I was determined to make it to the Rochester writers’ group meeting last night and much to my surprise, I did it! It had been years since I was able to attend, not counting the Christmas potluck parties held every year Mary’s house. Mary is the leader of the group.
So how did I make it there? I improvised. I called my uncle’s aunt, picked her up and had her watch the kids at the Thomas and Friends train table at the back of the bookstore – my son’s favorite place – while I sat with the adults, some whom I’d known for many years, some of whom I just met.
I listened to a meaningful poem, a hip novel excerpt, a drastically improved and revised first chapter of another novel, a beautiful memory of a romance, one soldier’s experience in the army, and a man’s heartfelt story about caring for his dying father – though I must admit the parts in the caretaker’s story about the feces were a bit much, especially when enjoying a hot cup of hazelnut macchiato, a new drink I was excited to try at Barnes & Noble.
I received delightful feedback on the material I read – even clapping! It was like the olden days, when I was in doubt about some of the scenes in my chapter and once I read them to this group, I knew what worked, what didn’t, and I walked away feeling a sense of peace and accomplishment.
The biggest difference between then and now is that yesterday, in the midst of the meeting, I began to hear my son’s voice creeping up behind me. I turned around and there were my kids with my uncle’s wife.
“We’re hungry,” my daughter said.