I am in the process of putting my latest draft novel, a Victorian Romance set in Scotland in 1900, through one of the two critique groups I belong to. For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, other writers read each other's work and comment on technical issues, characterisation and plotlines etc.
I wouldn't dream of not doing this before I asked a publisher to look at something I have written, because the other members pick up all my weak spots and lazy phraseology. They don't take prisoners and I'm thankful for it - they keep me on my toes!
I received an e-mail yesterday from one of my regular critiquers who hasn't had much time to crit lately as she is bound up with her own writing and editing work. She said she had uploaded the last few chapters I posted, and doesn't know when she can get back to critiquing, so would I mind sending her the rest of the novel as she cannot wait to see what happens!
That, I decided, is why I write - to hear things like that.
And just a quick update to see how the magnolia is doing - I think it's lovely and the first thing I see from my bedroom window every morning. Our gardener is not so impressed as it will start to drop petals any day now.
It flowers briefly but spectacularly - like most artists would wish to.