by Glynis M. Belec
I love my writer's group. When we first formed I was dreading it in a way because I was the one with the most experience, so I thought that everything would fall on my shoulders. Not so. It's been almost two years and I come away after each meeting with a smile on my face.
We are a bit of a motley crew but we all seem to love each other. Let me introduce you and you will see I love them:
Meet Rosemary. I picked to write about Rosemary first because she is my big sister and is the top of the pops in my books! Rosemary doesn't think she can write, but let me tell you she can express herself in ways that can knock your socks off! Rosemary loves to read. She doesn't read a lot of novels; non-fiction is her schtick, but she sure is an expert on...well...everything. She has her Masters in Life and she sure knows what to bring to the table. I am trying to get her to write an article called 'For the Love of Reading."
Sue is our English bosom buddy who is the sweetest Christian gal with a rebel streak. She loves to write for children and is not wont to tell us to get to the point. We can always count on Sue to keep us focused and on our toes. Her quirkly sense of humour keeps us smiling and her desire to find ways to love the little people spurs her into writing for the children's market.
Then there is our lovely Janet. Our humble Mennonite member who never went past grade 8 but has a brain equivalent of that far surpassing University level, writes the most exquisite poetry. She has a way of penetrating the soul with her words. Her understanding of humanity is a Divine gift and her poetical paintings are the most beautiful canvasses.
Barbara has been with us a couple of times and we are hoping she is going to get her memoirs written. Barbara, bless her soul, is in the beginning stages of Alzheimers. Sue brings her to our meetings when she is up to it. Barbara thought she burned all her journals about her post war experience. We rejoiced last meeting when she told us she thinks she found them.
Betty and Marion are new to our team but I think we are about to be impressed with the wealth of life experiences these gals plan to bring to the meetings. It's good to have a representation from so many different age groups. Betty writes a 'who's who' newspaper column and Marion is an avid reader, too.
Heather wrote a book about her beautiful twin boys and had it self published. She is an admitted SOP (seat of the pants writer) but wrote from the heart. She is thinking about having her book edited and doing a second printing. Heather has a passion for missions and a beautiful smile. She keeps copious journals from her mission trips.
Ashley is our youngest author and we are so proud of her. At 15 years of age she has just had her first novel published. How about that? Her momma and agent, Tracey, always comes to the meetings, too, and although she says she is Ashley's manager and not a writer, she is always happy to participate and asks all sorts of writerly questions. Both Ashley & Tracey share their publishing experiences and everyone learns from it.Shayne, sweet Shayne...our song writer and faithful listener. He probably feels somewhat overpowered by all the chatty gals. Shayne took one of Janet's beautiful poems and put it to music. That was a wonderful surprise for Janet and for all of us. We love it when he comes through the door with his guitar. We know we are in for a treat.
We love our farmer Caroline. Caroline is one of our newest members but she joined us with gusto. Caroline was eager to tell us about her first article on maple syrup that she had published in a local rural magazine. This past week at our meeting, she pulled out her list of WsIP (works in progress.) Then she read us her letter to the editor. She is an inspiration to us all as she is the one who always asks 'what's for homework?'
Last but not least, Amanda. My darling daughter, Amanda is the treasurer, the photographer, scrapbooker, card maker and techno-geek in our midst. Lately she's been getting her feet wet in the writing department, and recently shared a couple of her published clips. The memories flooded back, too, as she pulled out that prize winning book at the last meeting - the one she wrote in grade 5. I remember her prize was a trip to the Author! Author! conference in Guelph and momma bear got to accompany her there so many years ago. I was so proud of her (still am!)
So that's our crew; we meet monthly and the meetings carry on much longer than scheduled most times. God has blessed me mightily by nudging me into heading up this group. I am so encouraged when someone thanks me for giving them a tidbit of useful information. I certainly don't know it all but I love passing on what I do!
If anyone is considering joining or even starting up a writer's support group, I say dive in head first. You just might be surprised to discover the tidbits other like-minded souls will bring to the table!
I am loving the journey.