Writing groups are not without risk. After all, it’s a dedicated time when you meet with like-minded (or other-minded) souls and open the veins of your creativity, trusting them to apply tourniquets as needed. Or last rites. Definitely not for the squeamish.
The risk Lois, Joy, Sara, and Marilou took has paid off handsomely for all of us. This body of work is intimate in observation and grand in scheme, with palpable sympathy and understanding for the human condition. Beginning with four examples of their individual responses to a singular prompt, the writers then move into their own stride, with a wide range of writing pieces. Each to be savored and reread at our leisure.
The focus and dedication of meeting together and reviewing each other’s output has brought each writer to a level of clarity and grace with language that we can all enjoy. We can also be encouraged by this heartfelt effort that has now taken flight to form our own writing groups. And grow our own wings.
Judy Hopkins Trujillo, M.A.
Retired Writing Instructor
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA
Often we who write hear that writers are the loneliest people. While it is true that writing is a solitary act, and only one person at a time can hold a pen or push a key, we can use our writing to build a community. The singular act of creation—a thought, a line, a word, or a place—can become a link, a portal if you will, to a greater dimension. And, as with our creation, it is the writer’s desire to ultimately share.
When I thought about how I could grow as a writer, I finally concluded that a workshop with finite structure could keep me tethered to my writing earth. I knew from a previous critique group that a workshop format could be productive, supportive, and powerful. I set about looking for similar spirits to form with me a small, intimate writing community.
For two years we’ve completed writing exercises (in and out of our individual comfort zones), taken on grueling challenges, grumbled about assignments, whined about deadlines, and had a wonderful time. We’ve written pages, crumpled up papers, slashed through lines, and learned new words and techniques. We’ve had a ball.
We started as seeds with our individual pages, taken on ink as our life fluid, learned to walk with markers and delete buttons, laughed at our growing pains, begged for our words to mature, and with big breaths we burst out of our little cocoons.
In our workshop we know that to write is to write. For you, our treasured readers, we hope that to read our writing is to know us and to become a part of our wonderful journey.
We have taken off. Can you see our wings?
Sara M. Robinson
Founder, Lonesome Mountain Pros(e) Writers Workshop
Joy's blurb . . .
Our individual works became linked in such a way we knew we had to put them together as a collection. These collective writings proved our ability to find humor, creativity, and a certain amount of awe in just about any subject. We may have grumbled about how difficult some of the assignment topics seemed, but we met each challenge head-on and often came back to the group with a publishable piece.
We would then focus on reviewing each other's output with productive and supportive critique, and challenge each other to enter contests and submit our work to publications as well as publishers.
Our dedication to showing up at our workshop with finished assignments brought us to the high level of clarity and grace we have achieved in our writings; all done in a comfortable setting with a delightful group of writers.
We hope you can be encourage to form your own writing workshops.
for information and copies, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at either of my email addresses on my website homepage.
I How Many Stars Are There in the Universe?
II Something Takes Place in the Woods
III Sunsets Are Nice at the Beach
Other Beach Themed Pieces
Elegy for a Dead Admiral
IV Lighthouse, Rabbits, Rosebush & Ice Skates
V Darkness Falls
VI We Grew Wings and Flew
Epilogue - poem by Joy Merritt Krystosek
We started our group---
a handful of us
to write and discuss.
To learn and grow
little did we know
how high we would fly---
encouraged to reach for the sky.
Nourished and fed by caring critique
we learned our work was indeed unique.
A sonnet, a nonet, a villanelle
we worked hard at show and not tell.
Made up characters like Jacques Rainelle
the molas, green flashes, jars of worms,
ride-along moons, and brewing storms.
Seems no end to what we'll write---
here's to reaching an audience and readers' delight.