I’ve been with my critique group now for almost eight years…is it eight already, hmm, time flies. I met them by chance one afternoon in a Border’s coffee shop while I was diligently typing on my WIP and swilling Java in tandem…sip, type, sip, type.
I’ll never forget that day.
They were sitting behind me, talking and carrying on like a bunch of caffeinated hens…I didn’t like them very much. I was about to turn around and say, “Do you mind? I’m trying to WRITE!” That is, until I realized their yammering had to do with romance writing. Could these lovely ladies be writers, like me?
With my ire quickly doused, and my curiosity piqued I politely sidled into their conversation.
I found out they were writers. And not just any writers, romance writers.
They instantly welcomed me into their established group. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I couldn’t believe their generosity. And I felt bad about calling them yammering hens in the recess of my mind.
We’ve discussed many things over the years. All four of us write paranormal, among other genres. Our sessions are sometimes very heated. World building believability and varying opinions on whether a character is acting logically or not have been points of debate on many occasions. But we compliment each other so well that instead of getting mad, in the end we usually realize we’ve ended up learning something.
That being said, let’s get to my point. When Alicia asked me to guest post for her, adding that she’d be interested in hearing my thoughts on being in a multi-cultural critique group, I was momentarily stumped.
And then, of course, it hit me.
My critique group consists of four women, including me. We range in age from forty-one (me) to just shy of seventy years old, and we’re all nearly ten years apart. Because of this varied range and many other characteristics, we each bring something valuable to the table. Mary is the educator, Connie is the analyst, Pamela is the romantic, and I’m the imaginative goof ball. Each one of us is necessary in the equation. And I wouldn’t have gotten published without them.
Now, back to— And then, of course, it hit me— reading this post, I’ll bet you can’t tell which of my critique partners is black or white.
I’ll give you a hint: two of them are gorgeous, wise and talented women of color (the third is just as gorgeous, wise and talented, but a lovely shade of bisque)
You see, reading this post, you can’t see their color.
And neither do I.
That’s why I was stumped when Alicia asked me to talk about my multi-cultural critique group. Their being white, or black or purple or green isn’t what I see. Their race doesn’t matter to me.
What’s important is that I love them. I learn from them. I am comforted by them and urged on by them.
I love them for what’s inside…not what’s outside.
That day in the coffee shop at Borders will go down as one of the best in my life. It’s the day I met the three people who would help me realize my dreams of publication.
I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a critique group? Is it as important to you as mine is to me? Is it a multi-cultural group? And if so, is race ever discussed?
Thank you so much for reading, and don’t forget to visit Alicia’s blog regularly!
Have a great day!!!
Tamara LeBlanc has been writing romance for twenty years. She is published with Liquid Silver Books and can’t wait to talk with you @ https://www.facebook.com/#!/tamara.leblanc.16