Peer Groups are Da Best!


Back in December, Mrs. Axe was going through some emails and found a flier for a local community center.  On the list of upcoming events, she noticed a series of writing seminars being given by a local author.  The idea was to give some opening lessons to aspiring writers and help them get started.  Mrs. Axe said, “Hey you should check this out.”

So I did.  I figured, Hey, what have I got to lose?  Might meet some people, might learn something. The author running the class, Paula Winskye, turned out to be a very nice woman.  She’s published a number of books – lots of mysteries.  (Her Amazon page is here.)  Mystery isn’t my normal slice of bread but still, it’s nice to be exposed to other styles and fresh insight about writing.

There are 10-ish other folks in the classes, varying from people who have never put pen to paper to those who have been dabbling for a while and want to make a go of it.  A couple of them have raw talent, as evidenced by their early submissions.  Some are going to have to work at it.  Maybe it is arrogant of me to be judging based on their first efforts but then, not everyone can succeed at this business.

(Muse:  You sure haven’t).

Quiet, you.

At the end of the course, Paula is going to talk about publishing, which is what really sparks my interest.  So we’ll see how that goes.

The second helpful thing that has come of this is my introduction to my local town’s writers group.  My community is small; there are only a little more than 100K people in the whole county – so I didn’t even know such an animal existed.  Apparently, there are several!  I should have looked harder.

Anyway, the local group is made up of a handful of women.  I was the only guy present.  During the first meeting, I had a stray thought, wondering how they would feel if I made a joke about having a harem.

(Muse:  Too soon, idiot.)

Agreed, and thankfully, I kept my mouth shut.  The evening with the lady writers actually turned out to be quite enjoyable.  Let me caveat by saying I love Mrs. Axe and she is precious to me.  She always displays an interest in my writing but it is a polite interest, you know?  She’s more interested in me than she is in writing, so she talks to me about it and absorbs it because she knows it’s important to me – not because she has any love for it herself.  So it is gratifying to talk to folks who have the same desire burning in their hearts.  The ladies were a joy and we we talked, discussed one member’s submission, and generally did writer stuff.  I was even asked to submit something for next time.  Score.  And if they savage it – well, then I still have some work to do on it, right?

So I think I became a probationary member of the Lit Chix (Chicks).  Since I am now aboard – and not a chick – should I ask them to change the name?



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