Our neighbor in Minnesota lakes country asked, “Are you two a pair of nomads?” He was teasing, of course, but indeed it does seem like we’re always on the road, going to and from our temporary home bases to attend family functions, reunions, business appointments, and other obligations. Very soon we will be on the road again to our winter “tent” in Florida. Although we have only been making this trek for a couple of years, we have made some very good friends and have become involved in engaging activities.
One of my favorite activities to which I am looking forward, and which will make the long trip worthwhile is my involvement with Sol Writers, a women’s writing group. Friends often wonder what we would do in such a group. I explain that we meet twice a month with the following agenda.
At the first meeting, we do a fast write, an often challenging and nerve-wracking experience. Our leader, Kathy, throws out a random topic, and each of us writes for fifteen minutes on some inspiration sparked by the topic given. Sometimes, five of those minutes are spent looking for that spark When the fifteen minutes are up, we must quit writing no matter where we are in the process. We then share our very rough drafts and gain constructive criticism and ideas for further development from our colleagues. These drafts, after much revision, often become pieces that we read at our annual Coffee House, where we share our writing and home-baked goodies with the public. Sometimes these pieces actually get published. I was fortunate to have a creative nonfiction piece and a poem recently published in The Talking Stick Volume 25, a literary journal, released this month. (Click on “News and Events.”)
Since most of us are working on pieces we either hope to publish or just enjoy writing, we bring drafts to the second meeting for our sister writers to critique and support in our endeavors. Four of these colleagues served as Beta Readers for an early draft of my current novel.
It is now early fall and time to leave our cabin and wonderful Minnesota friends. Fall is my favorite time of year in the north, and a Minnesota fall is particularly beautiful with its vibrant color, warm days, and cool nights. So it is with some sadness that I leave the gorgeous scenery and my special friends.
So, yes, I’m on the road again, but I’m also looking forward to the journey to Florida with the anticipation of being reunited with the Sol Writers, who have become not only my inspiration and support, but also my friends.