Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Chamber, a Circle of Family

By Keith Fisher

Good morning, I’m the first to arrive at the Utah county league of Utah Writers, Spring workshop. It was either, write here, or write this blog at home and be late for the workshop. Or, wait and write it later today. You might wish I waited, since I’m having a hard time organizing my thoughts.

It’s been an interesting week with many things to do. Yesterday, I went to Ken Garff Ford, (a car dealership) in answer to the mailer they sent me. I got to try my key and see if it started the car. It was a cool car, and I didn’t win. (Of course not, right?).

On Wednesday, I made a Dutch oven dinner for my critique group and our guest. It was great to hear Tristi Bless and the food and ask that I be blessed too.

As part of two contests, in honor of Kim and Nichole’s book launches, We offered the winners an opportunity to come to our group and be critiqued. What a fun prize, and great fun for all of us, as well. Only one of the winners was able to attend this time, but we had dinner and an extremely long session. We laughed well into the night. Heather made a cake in honor of the release of Tristi’s, Secret Sisters and it was delicious.

Our guest LT Elliott, is a great writer and editor. I hope she got more out the session than we did. I know I had fun, reading her chapter. I love the way she writes.

During the session, my mind drifted back to a blog I wrote in 2008 called The Chamber. I talked about setting up a critique group. I knew I needed help with my writing, and the idea of socializing with other writers appealed to me.

During the LDStorymakers Conference that Spring I invited a few of my friends. Since then, we’ve read thousands of words together, critiqued six books that were later published. I’ve brought two and a half myself, but they haven’t been published yet.

Our group meets once a week in rotating places. Sometimes there are scheduling conflicts, but if there are three of us, we meet. We celebrate each other’s birthdays, and publishing contracts. We attend Book launches and support each other in other events. We’ve been known to read in restaurants, as well as family rooms. Whoever is hosting usually prepares snacks and we take a break during our reading to shoot the bull, and talk about Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and publishing news. We’ve laughed with each other, cried for each other, and been each other’s best friend.

I knew we had a special group, when I attended a writing event and heard a few writers express their envy. I never realized there were writers who would love to be part of it.

So, there I sat, in my living room, looking around at my friends, with gratitude for the help I receive each week. I’m also grateful for their husbands. Without the support of their husbands, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.

I don’t mean to be sappy, (I know, it’s too late.) but I have found a family of writers who support me in ways I will never be able to repay. Cooking dinner for them is an effort to show my gratitude. I earnestly hope you have a circle of friends like mine.

Well, now its afternoon and I’m listening to Dan Wells give his presentation. Sorry if this needed more editing. Blame the workshop. We had a wonderful time on Wednesday night. I think LT did, too.

Good luck with your writing---see you next week.


Lynn said...

Sounds like a wonderful group! I'm still hoping and praying I'll be part of one someday. Have a great conference.

Nichole Giles said...

Dude, cooking for us is, like, the best way EVER to show your gratitude. The only problem is that I'm not a world champion dutch oven cook, so how can I show my gratitude? No way I could compete with that.

All I ever bring is salad or drinks or paper plates.

But I'm grateful for our group as well. We're pretty lucky to have each other. Thank you for getting us together. You're a good friend.

L.T. Elliot said...

Oh, I had a KILLER time! It was incredible to be there and your cooking was beyond delicious. I think Tristi and I alternately rhapsodized over our favorite dishes until the very last second. ;)

Thank you so much for letting me be a part of that night. You guys really are a great group and your friendship with one another is not just something to be envied, but emulated. Thank you. Truly, I had such a great time.