Other things that came up made me wonder if I'm trying to be too subtle in my simple little story. I don't want to hit people over the head with my themes (growing up and growing human) but maybe I need to rap them firmly. More food for thought. I wonder if all these critiques would still be made if the whole book was available to read? It's hard to get a feel on a work one chapter at a time. It's like some of the critiques about cutting; novels need some room to breathe, I think. Short stories are more urgent, every word counts. With novels, I feel, we can take a little time to immerse people in the story.
And, of course, there was one guy who had nothing positive to say but who nonetheless was unable to point out anything specific to make it better. He just knows what he doesn't like, not what he does, apparently. With any luck, he won't show up at any more critique group meetings. I don't need everyone to love my work, even in my broader-audience stories like Angel Odyssey, but I do require the criticism to be constructive. If you have a problem, suggest solutions. Other than that, I'm putting him out of my mind.
I'm also only getting work done three nights a week. Once again, I need to cut something but I don't know what. Do I cut one of my gaming nights? That would seem to be the obvious choice but if I cut Mondays, that's the one night I actually get to do any storytelling and if I cut Fridays, I won't get any face to face time with my friends. If I truncate my Saturdays and Sundays, that takes time away from the wife. I don't know what to do there but I need to make more time to work. Rabble.