These are the women of my writing group, who met on my porch tonight for, oh maybe the fifth time. They are a wonderful group of women, who openly share the joys and sorrows of their lives, the things they worry about, the things that make them happy. They
also share a bit of wine and snacks--tonight it was wonderful phyllo cups filled with brie, red currant jam, and sliced almonds, in honor of two birthdays. Plus a cake with raspberry sauce. We find that instead of spending most of our time critiquing each other's contributions--pieces of memoir--we spend a lot of time talking about issues. Tonight I asked them to each share something good that had happened to them since we met two weeks ago--and that discussion went on for a long time. Beth is surprised that we spend so much time on issues and less on critiquing, but I figure anything that gets the ladies to open up and examine their lives is good. We laugh a lot, and we sympathize when needed. Now I have a folder full of new pieces to read before next time. Tonight I thought we would be rained inside, but the predicted rain did not come as it did last night, and we were comfortable on the porch all evening. In the middle of our meeting, an ambulance and fire truck roared up to a house three doors down from mine and eventually carted away one of my neighbors that I do not know--but he was sitting up on the gurney, so I figured (hoped) it wasn't serious. But it riveted all our attention for a while.
This class is one of the most rewarding things I've done in a long time--I am so amazed at the way the women have become a close knit group. I began to worry yesterday about what to do when the group is over in early September; tonight someone asked if I would continue it and said she was in. I'll have to ponder that, because I have a waiting list of women who would like to be in the next group. We have lost one member because she came from Granbury and it was too far to drive at night, and another, just because. This isn't unusual in a group such as this, and I don't feel bad about it. Beth (Elizabeth to me) is an enormous help, and I am grateful for her presence.