It's been a while since we wrote anything about what we're actually doing as a group. We had one of our regular meetings last night. Bridget and Sarah couldn't make it, so Steph, Joan, Alison and I propped the laptop on the end of the table and Skyped in Lisa. Or what I'm now referring to as "talking to Virtual Lisa."
She was never more virtual than last night. (Sorry, Real Lisa!) She had a new camera, so her picture was often frozen, and kind of blurry or broken up as well. We could hear her, and were still able to critique. We're looking at the revisions of the early chapters of her WIP, the first draft of which we've read all the way through. It turns out some of what I thought was new wasn't. It had been so long since I'd read it that I'd forgotten details. Then there was the problem of not being able to un-know information. I know what's going to happen, and how the MC is going to learn bits of her own history. But now when I read stuff early on, I see it in a completely different light because my brain can't help but fill in the blanks. I'm not sure how to get around this as a beta reader. I know I can't do it with my own work. And just as we were discussing all this, Virtual Lisa disappeared. Our call was dropped, and worse, irretrievable. I couldn't get Lisa back online, either with video or instant messaging. So we moved on.
We critiqued Steph's chapter. We talked about the James River Writers Conference. Alison, Steph and I have been before, but this will be Joan's first conference. Sarah is going for the first time this year as well. We'll be blogging about it, although not in real time or anything. I'm not prepared to lug the laptop around with me all day. But I do promise to take good notes.