Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A PenUltimate Evening

Last night I was a guest at my friend Kim’s writing group meeting. The evening was quite pleasant and much too short with a group of truly interesting people -- I would have loved to have stuck around longer and listened to the members tell me about some of their writing projects, because I found that being in their presence was inspirational.

When I was a teenager, I remember being a part of a local writing group in my home town, but the group seemed to just dissolve after perhaps 3 meetings. Over the years I guess I forgot the wonderful power that a writing group can have on an individual. You’re with a group of like-minded people willing to share and support. Second, you’re given the opportunity to give and receive frank and honest commentary on writing (often, giving commentary can help one’s own writing, because sometimes it’s easier to spot a “fix-it” item in another person’s writing rather than your own). You’re constantly learning from your contemporaries, and the ongoing writing projects and assignments keep you doing what drew you together in the first place -- writing.

One of the highlights of the evening came when Kim read the assigned “Postcard Challenge” stories and we all voted for our favourites. These are flash fiction pieces that had to be less than 250 words (ie, could fit on a postcard), included the words mummified, thriller and haunted, and fit within the theme of “Isn’t it Romantic?”

As I listened to the stories that were read I found something unique or remarkable about each person’s entry. Sure, three of us made reference to an album by Michael Jackson in order to work the word “Thriller” into the story, which was cute, but the subject matter, tone, voice and style of each tale demonstrated a creative mind dedicated to crafting a moment or scene, from the disturbing to the reflective, from pensive to gritty. And it's not easy when you're forced to keep it to less than 250 words.

In all, the evening was a real treat for me and I was glad to be a part of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had a good time, you're welcome to join us anytime you want. An honourary member!

Kim :)