Archive for March 14th, 2012

Ever since I attended the National Writing Project’s Summer Institute 17 years ago, I have been in a writing group. These groups have evolved and dissolved, but I still work together with other writers in some way to hone my craft. But most of all, a writing group gives me a community of writers. We share our greatest strengths and our weaknesses. Our goal is not necessarily for publication; it is more one of affirmation. We respect each others’ unique styles. We talk about little things like comma placement, and big things like theme development. We have met in coffee shops, bookstores, restaurants, and homes. No matter where we meet, writing becomes the focus.
Writing groups are invaluable to me. The friends I have here are somehow closer to me, more intimate because they read what I write. Respect is the number one rule; although, we never have to speak that one. We do critique, but usually with a soft hand.

Most recently I am in a writing group with my friend Stephanie and my mother-in-law. Yes, my mother-in-law. Besides being one of my best friends, she has been a judge for 27 years and is now writing crime novels. Neither Stephanie nor Minga (her grandmother name) write in the same genre I do. But it works. The poet in me likes to cut out extra words. Yesterday, I was dubbed “the it police.” It’s amazing how many times you can use it and not even notice it. And it’s not really necessary:)

Finally, I would like to plug two books from my writing group friends. Stephanie is working on a young adult series called The Saga of the Setti. Paranormal stuff that I don’t usually read, but her first novel Rising held my intrigued because she made me care about her teen-aged characters. Written in two voices, Gabe and Clara, Stephanie sends us into an apocalyptic time where teens have special powers. It’s available on Amazon. There’s also an inexpensive Kindle version.

The second is by my friend Dianne Dempsey-Legnon. Dianne grew up in the heart of the Cajun culture. With her book Belair Cove, she captures this culture while telling the fictionalized version of her grandparents’ love story.

I am very proud of my writing group friends and hope to join the world of publishing myself soon. That’s news for another blog.

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