I joined a local writer’s group in 1997. It was not something I’d really planned to do but I met a couple of nice women in the lobby of the local theater and we got to talking about writing—not so surprising since it was a play rather than a movie we were attending.
They invited me to their group, which met every other Thursday in the back room of a burger joint near the river. I gave it a try and I’m still attending fifteen years later. Only now the group comes to me at my house.
Back then there were six or seven members, as I recall, all women except for me. And there were strict rules; I remember that. You had to bring something of yours to be critiqued, every time, no matter what. You had to do the critique a certain way (the specific requirements of which, thankfully, I don’t quite remember).
The lady “in charge” at the time was a former school teacher. Possibly a nun, as well.
The group has slowly evolved over the years, sometimes larger and sometimes smaller than the original, once in a great while (briefly) with another male in attendance, almost always less strict. Right now there are four of us and, remarkably, three of the four go back to that first meeting I attended.
My first book is dedicated, “With many thanks to Jennie, Janelle, and Lynne.” Those are the other members of the group that currently meets at my house two Wednesday evenings a month. They’ve read every word of the book, at least twice and in some cases three times.
All the typos, repeated words, flaws in logic, bumps in the flow, incorrect grammar and awkward constructions that are NOT in the book can be credited to those three women. And, believe me, over the course of the two years it took me to write it, we’re talking about a lot of credit.
So, I say yet again: With many thanks to my friends Jennie, Janelle, and Lynne.