Hi, folks! I'm continuing my series for the month of March. In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, I'm calling this series: Lucky Serendipity. I have tripped across many moments in life that really direct the whole of my writing future. I call these moments: lucky serendipity. I'm cheating a little this week because these are beautiful trails of lucky serendipity.
Once upon a time I really wanted a writing group, not just my Star Trek fanfic group, but one that wrote original stories. In college, I had my friend Susan Melenkevitz. We would dream about becoming new millennium writers and discuss how we really should go to New York and write for David Letterman. We read each other's poetry. But that was the extent of it.
Then of course, I found SCBWI and met once a month for occasional critique with Kathi Appelt, Donna Cooner, Debbie Leland, and others. When I moved to Washington, I didn't know anyone. Nope, no one. I'm not exactly sure how I was invited into my first bi-monthly critique group, but I was. We met at a library branch. My son, J4, was a newborn and I'd take him to group. We annoyed the librarian because we would stay till past closing time. She would place this tape recorder on our table and play Roy Rodgers' "Happy Trails to You." I still smile about that.
This group included: Cathy Benson, Marion Holland, Conrad Wesselhoeft, Shelley Seely, Louise Spiegler, Megan Bilder, Susan Greenway, and a few more. Oh, I learned how to draft a novel here. These were my "million words" days that led to viable works. I learned the craft. There are no words to my gratefulness to this group of writers. We met for about twelve years.
Somewhere in here, I realized I write in multiple genres and that is sort of rare. I branched out for critique of shorter works. This led me to the Larry's Market group and Vijaya Bodach, Allyson Valentine Schrier, Kevan Atteberry, Lois Brandt, Jen Heger, and more. Here, I learned the energy aspect of writing. I wrote boatloads of stuff for tiny paychecks with the most vibrant go-getters I've ever known. I learned the words "do it." Oh, so helpful.
In my last year in Washington, I was asked to join the Diviners. This group was like the icing on my Washington critique cake. Holly Cupala, Peggy King Anderson, Katherine Grace Bond, Judy Bodmer, Dawn Knight and a few more. This group is so aptly named. Here, I was guided into a world of the ephemeral and the divine. I moved beyond craft and energy and found indefinable art in my writing. I began to feel, dare I say it, worthy.
Life happened and I moved back to where my dream started. I found my critique group on the first day back at the local Barnes and Noble: Kathy Whitehead, Shirley Hoskins, Andy Sherrod, Ellen McGinty and Liz Mertz. This happy trail was about sharing all the good things I've learned. It's about ultimate confidence that we start here and we will find success. Magic. I've seen this work too many times by now to doubt it. .
Oh, yes, as usual, I have multiple projects and I need a group that reads out loud. This leads to Robin Cox, Kathy W. and Susan Haven, who is, btw, Susan M. from my college days. This is about dreamcatching. Nice, here we are in a group of new millennium authors.
Thanks for dropping by for Lucky Serendipity. I hope you find as many wonderful creative folk on your journey. Next week I will be back with more inspiration.
Here is a doodle: "Barnyard Stack."
A quote for your pocket:
Ezekiel 37: 5-6 "This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[ enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord."