One of my favorite things to do every week is to run my writer’s workshop on Mondays at 1 pm. The men and women in the group are of all ages and run the gamut of skill sets. Yet we are enriched by each other’s work and style. What draws us together is our love of the craft.
As we grow in our chosen genre, we also change format on occasion to suit the needs of each one’s desire to read their work or to listen. What we all appreciate is a good story that is told well, to which we can respond and sometimes enrich the readers desire to add changes.
This week, Richard, a retired journalist read from his very first novel. Although I have known the man for many years and was quite aware of his journalistic style, I never realized how capably he could add color and sound to the new book which features the ocean and the personalities of two young men as they grow and make mistakes along the way.
What I love about the story is the texture of the words. I can clearly see everything he writes about as his words transport us to the places he describes.
Diana is also a former journalist and her work is quite diverse. Her specialty, however, is the short story. She’s written about the Civil War, the old west and recently she wrote a novella that featured her 86 year old sister and her 92 year old lover who live 12,000 miles apart.
You no doubt say that a relationship of that sort is impossible. All you have to do his read her book to know that lovers at any age will go to extremes to be with each other. And they do.
How, you ask can you call people that age, lovers? Well they are the real deal when they are together after traveling from Vermont to South Africa to be in each other’s company for months at a time.
Clearly you can see what makes this book special. It’s because love spans every age and time in life. Our most difficult part of discussing the book is finding a title that captures the essence of the story and how it might end.
Pat has the hardest time of all as she works on a revision of a published book that she wrote many years ago and she is torn between it’s completion while she also works on a memoir that seethes with scorn and treachery within her family throughout her youth. We’re never sure what we will hear about each Monday, yet all her prose is smooth and gentle. Imagine that with so much distress within a family.
Our youngest member of the group is married to a man who was once the lead singer of a punk rock band. She loved him then and still does to this day. It’s been a while since he’s made music and toured throughout the northeast and mid-Atlantic as the band developed a reputation within its genre. He eventually moved on to focus more on his career.
During his tenure with the band, she had to deal with “groupies” that she referred to as “alterna–bimbos,” who threw themselves at her husband while she attended their local gigs. Her exasperation was real, and it comes across in the work she has done on this project. Her husband has since gravitated away from that stage and put his music on the back burner for now. What remains of those days are the tattoos on his arms that reflect that period of his life.
I’ll continue to write about the others and their work. They startle me, confound me, and enrich my life in a way that I never expected. I sincerely love these people and their work as they move forward with their computers and exhilarating minds. Others sometimes join us with as much desire to work and learn in the craft and they eventually become part of our writers world.