This weekend is the February writing group meeting, which reminds me, we probably need to give it a name, just for fun.
We are small but fiercely determined to make 2010 one of the best writing years in our lives.
The snowfall on Friday night melted away quickly on Saturday morning and it became obvious travel would be fine, so D. headed out from her place and we decided when she arrived to pack up our notebooks and laptops and head to the local coffee house to do the business part of our meeting.
We agreed when we formed that we'd use the group to set goals for ourselves, and to discuss all the issues that are coming up for writers in this age of digital media. The Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad all make it possible to publish independently and quickly, and while many people are viewing that as a decline to come in the overall quality of novels, we're choosing to view it as an opportunity for new and unique voices.
There's been so much to talk about these last few months, but it is satisfying to have a place to sit and not just gab, but write things down with intention to get them done before we sit together again.
It's even better when you're doing it in the embrace of a mini-retreat. D. comes bearing Mediterranean food and wine in fun print cloth bags that make you smile just seeing them. She arrived this weekend sporting a new haircut, and jewel-colored clothing, and when we agreed to drive to the coffee house, I threw on my brown boots and my black poncho/cape and it felt like we were heading to a party.
A productive party. I had an entire page of notes by the end of it, as did she. We had scheduled our next meeting, discussed a longer writing retreat later in the year, and inked in full slates for ourselves for the next month.
Back at November Hill, we laid out all the food for dinner and took a break from book business. Around 8:30, we met in the garret to read pages out loud. D. read from a new project she's writing, and I continued where I left off last month in my pony book.
The garret is now my sandplay office, and because I've done a lot of writing and a lot of reading out loud in the company of my sand trays and collection, it feels perfectly right to be doing it again. One of my favorite things in the world is reading my pages out loud to other writers who take it seriously and offer constructive feedback.
Which is yet another reason for this group: to celebrate the joy of writing, reading, and just being in the company of other writers. It rejuvenates the writing soul.
Today we made breakfast, took it back to our respective rooms, and are working for another chunk of time before reading out loud again, once more before D. heads back to her house and a jazz concert.
D. has started a wonderful new blog that chronicles her take on writing this year. I'm stepping into her fold, and I invite you to join us!