Blog No. 65
Christian and I have been looking for ways to expand the reach of Adventure Worlds, especially within our community (and we’re always looking to improve our writing). While looking into different grants we stumbled upon a Windsor wide writing group that meets every couple of Mondays. The next meeting was a weekend away, but Christian and I thought we should scrounge together some stories to bring and see what it was all about. I can’t say I’m not sure what I expected; we always have some sort of expectation. I was pretty close to my initial thoughts. It was a group of people, older than us and mostly featured poets. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but when you bring a sci-fi and horror story into that setting the responses aren’t always good.
The writing was good though, for the most part. My background in English Lit cam into play and I tried to say something helpful or positive about everyone’s piece. It’s a little strange to be an outsider in a group like that, especially since they have been meeting together for a while now. (I have no idea how long, but they made it clear that it wasn’t the norm for them to have new people). There were ten of us there, including Christian and myself, and Christian let me do most of the talking. We both thought it would be odd for us to come into an established group and not have any comments, but I think he likes to have more time to pour over a piece before ha has anything to say.
The group was welcoming, which meant my first concern was laid to rest right away. Even though our styles weren’t what they were used to they did their best to be supportive and helpful with their comments. I should point out that there was an older lady who also brought a straight up horror story to the meeting. Christian and I were both shocked (though we probably shouldn’t have been since we are both adults who strive to not have preconceived notions about people). It was good too. Christian called it cinematic (on the car ride home). We thought about inviting her to write something for Adventure Worlds, but we got the impression that she wouldn’t be interested in some local blog. Maybe after a few more sessions (and after we get some business cards) we’ll invite the people who seem to write things that will fit on Adventure Worlds. That’s not to say that we won’t put up anything that is different than what we write. The first submission we’ve received is going up on the 17th, and while it’s good, it isn’t as genera focused as our stuff.
While I was somewhat trepidatious about going to the Monday night meeting, I was pretty excited about who was running the group. Maryanne Mulhern is a fairly well known, and very good, local poet. Back in my university days I was involved in editing one of her books for a class. It was a really cool experience and I learned a lot about editing and publishing. She was great to work with back then (especially with students editing her poetry) and she was no different with the group. The fact that she was leading the group did lead me to believe (correctly) that there would mostly be poets there. But I had a lot of other questions I had to wait for the class t0 find answer. Will it be all old ladies? Is that bad? Will they scoff at the mention of sci-fi? I’m happy to say that while I was the youngest one there and it was mostly ladies, they were very open to my chosen genera (though I’m not sure they were very interested). One lady even tried to teach me what a comma is, which was a little presumptuous, though I think she meant well.
Christian had a little more experience in an outside group and from what I gathered this group wasn’t all that different from the one he worked with before. The format was new, but the group Christian want to before was a class and was much more structured, so that’s to be expected. Along with the writing group we have been looking for and going to different meetings to connect with people and broaden our horizons. Between the four of us in the group we have been to two writing groups and the well established ‘Drink and Draw’, which has been meeting for the last few years.
We’ve thought about having events with our writing group, but I think we need to get more than 69 facebook followers before we attempt that sort of thing. Maybe get a book out too. At some point I’m sure we’ll have an event or a reading or something. The main focus always has to be writing, but we are looking for as many avenues for promoting our writing as possible. Though there is something cool about having an even based on your creations and having people come out to celebrate (or at least share) it. I’d better get back to my novel.
4 thoughts on “A Different Writing Group”
Ben — I’m glad the two of you had a chance to check this writing group out, I definitely want to make it out maybe next time you two are going. Back when I took a workshop at Mackenzie Hall back in the good old days I remember feeling very much what you felt in your initial impressions. The group I joined was headed by a very strong Female writer/professor and I was the solitary male within the group itself (not only that but I was also much younger LOL) but it was invaluable. I think that anything that can get writers more exposure to actual writing is always a good thing. Like always Keep Pushing Forward. JC
I hope to go back Justin. (It depends on my work schedule). I’m sure we’ll be back at some point. And if we do I’ll gladly swing by and pick you up. I’m not sure how helpful the group will be for our writing, but it’s good to try to push your boundaries and edge out of your comfort zone some times. Or so I’ve been told. Either way, back to writing.
The best part was seeing all the older people looking at us through the window as we got out of the car. They were so worried we were coming there.
Priceless. I’m not sure it was any better once we got started and they got to know us.