I have been toying with the idea for years of going to the local writers’ club, but for one reason or another, never got around to it.
But I figured this is a good way to find like-minded local friends and maybe, just maybe, figure out how to make my childhood story-games into children’s books. (Many members write children’s books.)
(We do have some local friends, but they’re so busy with work and other things that we don’t get to see them often, except on Facebook.)
I didn’t know what to expect, but it sounded like the creative writing classes I took in college, which I loved: You bring in a piece you want critiqued.
Tonight, I finally worked up the courage and went. For my shy and introverted self, this was quite a feat, since they were all strangers. I barely spoke for most of it, just sat back and observed how things go, what the people were like, how they critiqued. My piece came last; it was The Fire Elemental.
It was scary reading it to them, laying it open to their comments. But they loved it. It was deep; made them think about what it meant; one called it “beautiful.”
Readers of my blog would know what it means, but I did not want to reveal every bit of my experience with Richard/Tracy in a writers’ group, especially among strangers. (Sure the blog is open to a world full of strangers, but the world doesn’t know who I am or what I look like or even where I live.) So I just said it referred to abuse between a husband and wife, and they basically took it from there.
I was impressed with how well they interpreted it based on such little information. Such as, one person picked up on the fact that I would see the abuse, the husband would tell me about the abuse, but would then tell me things like, “Oh no, everything’s fine.” Then later on, make me out to be crazy, and rage at me for telling the truth.
I got the impression that people in the group (older ones, who had experienced abuse of some kind, or seen it) have already seen this happen. In an odd way, this validated my experience, probably because it showed that it does happen this way, that others have been through the same thing, that I’m not making up some implausible situation. That it’s actually quite common.
It was very encouraging, especially since I wrote that after probably almost 20 years of not writing poetry at all. It was a first draft worked on over the course of a day.
I want to keep going with this writing group. And maybe, after years of not writing fiction or poetry, I can find my muse again.