by Cathy Anderson Corn
My first writer’s group was spawned from a Community College course in creative writing led by teacher Linda Blahut. We took Linda’s class several times, and then some of us gracefully retired to first Linda’s, and then classmate Eleanor’s home for our sessions.
Class continued with tremendous benefits. We weren’t a high-powered, let’s-get-published group. We each read some work in progress and critiqued it, but mostly admired each person’s literary contributions. We supported each other through divorce, sickness, and death, so I guess you might say we were a social group; yet our group helped me keep writing, keep questing for a career then beyond my grasp.
Linda, the teacher, was married with teenage children. Eleanor, a fiercely independent lady who walked with a cane, had survived two marriages and lived with Charley, an energetic, loving spaniel. Ginny, widowed, treated me to dinner and an evening in her hot tub. Roy, a Vietnam vet, had divorced and shared custody of a young daughter. And my friend Vesta confessed to childhood scars, filled dressers with her unpublished novels to handle her angst. She didn’t know how to end her stories, so the protagonist ultimately got run over by a bus.
But the words of Angie, the psychologist of our group, still ring in my memory. Many times we of the circle would read and Angie’s turn would come. She’d look over her dark brown-framed glasses, throw up her empty hands, and apologetically announce, “The world has been too much with me.”
Lately, I’ve been thinking of Angie as I struggle to produce pages, to forge ahead with my novel. Some years I pumped out pages like water from a well, but this hasn’t been one of those years. The well hasn’t run dry, it just trickles at times.
I remember Angie’s words as I plug along and try to keep my project flowing. I would have liked to attend the Pennwriters Conference, but again, the world stepped in and I’m going to a Craniosacral Workshop instead (to expand on my non-writing job which pays the bills).
So, fellow bloggers and readers, has the world been too much with you lately? How do you cope with the rigors of every day living and still produce your works? What distractions in your life cause you to veer off your path to the Pulitzer Prize?
But most of all, anybody out there, or are you all at the Pennwriters Conference? Hope you’re having a great time.