I am ashamed, oh so very ashamed. It's no secret that I've been looking for a better critique group. I've come across a couple and have spent the last three Saturday mornings with one. Truth be told, I wasn't impressed. But in an effort to put my best foot forward, I've been doing my part. Last Saturday I received 10 pages to critique. I dug into them with the same ferocity I do with my students work. In short, I bled all over it. (At least I didn't use red ink!) Sitting back to look at my handiwork left me feeling embarrassed. I would be crushed to get something back that looked like what I had just done. I know because I've received more than a few harsh critiques. I reminded myself that I am not here to kill a writers dream. I am here to help them improve. But there was something else, something that nagged me, making me feel even worse about what I'd done. Unlike the others, this man had shown me kindness and attempted to include me when others did not. Bob is a 70+ grandfatherly gent. He sent me the email about the next "regular" meeting and pointed out to the bitchey women in charge that they "neglected" to add my email to their roster. At my first meeting the man next to me leaned over and said, "Sometimes the fringe element of society tries to join, but we don't allow that at all." As a card carrying member of said fringe element, I was not impressed. Shannon made a big deal of adding my email into the roster on her laptop then and there, saying she was sending me the rules of the group at that very moment. No email ever came; not then, or anytime since. When Bob announced that he posted some work on his website (https://30minwrite.wordpress.com/) and would appreciate some feedback Shannon declared, "Word press doesn't work. It's a horrible platform and there are far better programs out there. No one will be able to read it." Then Jackie, the Pres., and Terri agreed, "WordPress won't even load on my computer." Allow me to take a moment to call bullshit: CNN uses WordPress. If it's good enough for a major corporation, it'll work just fine for Bob and me. Now, I'm trying to right my wrong. Penance is a bitch. I won't be attending another meeting of this group, so Bob will never know what I've done. They are clearly snooty and spiteful. And I've never been interested in drama unless it's between the covers of a book. Besides, they only allow you to have 3,000 words critiqued twice a year. At that rate it would take 17 years to work through a novel. Seeing as it only takes about 3 months to write a novel, I'm not interested in a 17 year critique. As soon as this is posted, I'm emailing Bob to let him know that I won't be returning to the group and I will include the critique he deserves in the message. If you have some free time, swing by Bob's website (https://30minwrite.wordpress.com/) and offer some words of encouragement. It will give his ego a boost and maybe I won't feel like such as ass now that I have confessed to my sin.