For Christmas, my supportive husband, paid for one of my manuscripts to be critiqued. I thoughtfully chose the piece that I thought was my most creative. My heart felt like it was in my throat as I pressed the send button. This was the first time anyone other than my critique group would be reading my work. I was to receive my critique back via email. That day I checked my email at least 15 times. Finally it arrived about 8:00 p.m. On one hand I was so excited and on the other hand I was afraid to open it. As I began reading it, my throat tightened, it was beginning to feel like a rejection letter. Paragraph after paragraph of noted things about the development of my protagonist. My first response was disappointment. At one point in Laura's critique she said, "I hope this doesn't make you feel bad", that was the defining moment for me. All the things she pointed out were to make me a better writer. My disappointment turned to encouragement. So thank you Laura Backes!