Last night, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., I attended a writer’s meet-up. That I went out at night, drove after dark with my myopic cataract-ridden eyes is evidence of how badly I want to learn this craft.
The event took place in the home of one of the writers, BonSue. She opens her house twice a month. She provides elaborate beverages and snacks. She served cake, deviled eggs, cheese, crackers, nuts. An entire outdoor refrigerator was stocked with beverages for the guests.
When the meeting began, we were all asked to talk about what we are writing.
I was one of the last to speak. I felt intimidated when all I had to offer was my blog. The others were working on sequels to already published works and first novels. They all sounded so professional, knowledgeable, smarty-pants fancy.
I decided to say, “I am a professional artist. I’ve always wanted to write. In November I turned sixty-five and decided it was high time I learn how to.” Then I mentioned the books I’ve been reading and the blog I’ve been writing.
There were eighteen aspiring writers, six of whom had the courage to read and be critiqued. Reading one’s work must be a bit like dropping your pants in public. The risk of humiliation abounds.
Each reader made a copy of the pages they intended to submit for critique. BonSue set a timer for ten minutes, and the author began reading. We poised pen over pages and jotted our editorial comments as they read their work.
Following the reading, we went around the room and shared our critiques. I was a bit flat-footed since I didn’t have knowledge of the chapters preceding last night’s readings.
Here is what was submitted:
BonSue–A tightly organized, well-written mystery. The two protagonists are twins. I like their names. Justin Tyme and Summer Tyme. They have a private personal language involving numerical system. Interesting to note that one thing confusing the listeners was BonSue’s reference to a rocks glass. Who doesn’t know what that means? Apparently, I drink too much.
Name forgotten–A memoir about growing up in an abusive home circa 1960. Very well done and compelling.
Another man, the name also forgotten–Sci-Fi. I have trouble getting into Sci-Fi but learned last evening that it is a timeless genre. Like vampires.
Don?–a Gothic historical novel placed in 17th Century Wales. He described a river with such detail it became a character. I liked his stuff. There were suggestions he shorten some of the descriptive passages.
The critiques were gentle and constructive.
BonSue is moving to Belize. I wonder if the Meet-up will continue? I hope I’ll crank up the courage to read in front of the group. However, I have no idea what story I have to tell that’s interesting enough to find an audience. No matter. It will all fall into place if I plant my ass in the chair and keep on keepin’ on.
For now, I want to journal about my favorite foods. Bacon is second on the list. Just after cream cheese and before brownies.