thanks for the input... i appreciate your well-thought out reply here. i think it does take a while for some to feel comfortable about posting their works, while others just dive right in. both are valid approaches.
i think we all break the rules every now and then, it's not a mortal sin. so don't worry too much about it. on the whole, i do feel that the boards work best when we try to adhere to the very few guidelines we have set out. (whole other topic... sorry! hah!)
critiquing can be difficult. i often don't feel "qualified" enough to reply in a critiquing fashion, but i come at it more from the perspective of just a reader, not an expert on writing...
good points... i look forward to seeing more of your stories soon.