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Member's Anthology
I know.  Writing just isn't that easy.

It definitely doesn't offer the kind of instant gratification that you get from posting a picture on Facebook and getting lots of LIKES.  Or checking your email a million times a day just in case you missed something good. Or watching videos on Youtube.  Or ____ (fill in your favorite diversion) __________.

It's true.  Writing isn't that easy.  Most of the time. Until you write something surprisingly good.

One day, among the rows of
predictably boring sentences and paragraphs, something wonderful happens.  An image, an idea, a vibrant series of words comes screaming into life. In that space on the page, your writing lights up with the beauty and meaning of Life.

But you're not sure.  The writing seems a little weird or too emotional.  Too something.  It's probably more lousy writing, you figure.  Best to avoid embarrassment and not show it to anyone.

That's exactly wrong.

Most people think that if you don't hit it on the first couple of tries, you might as well pack it in and take up a more meaningful activity like posting even more pictures to Facebook.  Listen to what Ira Glass from 'This American Life' has to say about the process of getting to your best writing.

Here's the deal.  You don't want to show your scribblings to most people.  Not because it's good, bad or ugly.  But because most people don't respect or understand the process a writer goes through to get to her (or his) best stuff.

And that's exactly what a Writing Partnership is all about.

It is very difficult to play dual roles of creative writer AND critic.  You can do it but it takes practice.  And the way you learn is through interacting with a trusted writing partner; someone who will respect and understand the process you go through to get to your best stuff.

A reliable writing partner will be able to tell you when you've hit the mark and when you're a few miles off target.    

That's why February is  Writer's Meetup month on the Transformative-Writing Forum.

Finding a good writing partner or group is the most effective way to blast through the frustration-factor of scribbling alone in your garret.  A writing partnership will bring conversation, relationship and fresh perspective into the mix.

It will also keep you accountable to your writing while providing you with reliable feedback and moral support.

Writing partnerships are definitely the way to go.

That's why I've started the Writer's Meetup thread on the T-W forum.  To participate, all you have to do is sign up for the Walkabout subscription on the JOIN US page.  It's $2.99 / month and you can cancel your subscription any time.

Once you register, you'll have access to the Forum page.  Check out the Meet Up event under the General Discussions. Then post your own new topic. That's how we get this thing going. 

It will be fun.  Conversational.  Maybe even enlightening.  Who knows?

Be bold.  Try it out.

You'll be very glad you did.

Join now!
 

Winter

Member's Anthology

Winter

By Laila Brady Walzer

I am sitting outside in the gray day, one of those numerous and abbreviated winter days of almost equal length to each other. The pendulum of the Earth has been flung to its limit, and pauses in the cold, silent vacuum, quivering daily by a minute or two I know the Earth is poised to rush back, tilting headlong towards the sun, bringing light, warmth, life. As I sit in the frozen near-silence, though, bundled in a comfortable hodge-podge of clothes, this is just a theoretical concept, and I find strength and renewal in the raw stillness, the dull and unchanging snow.

A favorite moth-eaten hat and scarf and a voluminous, black synthetic-down vest top off my outfit. Under the hat I’ve jammed one of those festive, cheap, Indian-print cotton scarves with silver threads running through. I’ve found after a wash or two that the silver begins sticking up at odd angles, crimping, falling off. Then they’re reborn and re-found in delightful places – clinging to my dog’s whiskers, for example, or to the back of my husband’s jeans. When I glimpse myself in the mirror, silver threads circling my head, I amuse myself by imagining that my brain is fraying, that I am shedding bits of myself, continually re-birthing a clearer and cleaner me. The found threads serve as a playful and irreverent testimony to the surprise gifts that well from letting go.

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Heart and Soul

Member's Anthology

Heart and Soul by Lynda Sales Engholm

I hadn't really wanted her in my class. When the principal told me that Darlene would be coming to my room, I was dismayed. She had been in two classes before mine, in our residential school for students with autism. I had observed her a few times, and what I saw was a child who needed a lot of attention.

When I saw her in her first class, she spent most of her time that day under a blanket, head and all, on the floor, and then refused to leave at dismissal. She only stuck her head out once while I was there, displaying some unkempt braids, a brown face with dried milk around the mouth, and deep set dark eyes with long lashes.

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Maja

Member's Anthology

MAJA by Allan Edmands

Last June, the day before my sixty-ninth birthday, Ina and I drove all the way, two and a half hours, to the North Sherman Cemetery to check out Maja's grave. We hadn't been there for five or six years, only once since we'd returned from Japan in 1999. We probably didn't want Max to feel weird, reminding him of the daughter who, had she lived, might have meant we wouldn't have gone for another baby the next year: him. Well, now that Max has finished college and has a job and house out in San Francisco, I guess we can visit Maja once in a while. She would have been twenty-five this coming February.

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Private Conversations

Member's Anthology

Private Conversations

By Roger Bergold

 

Whoa, what the fuck was that? Did  something hit the house, or was someone breaking in?

1 AM, shit, I  always meant to get a gun.

I slowly got out of bed. I didn’t turn on the light thinking the dark might hide or protect me from whatever was now scaring the shit out of me. I got down close to the ground and moved toward the source of the impact. I listened. I could hear the refrigerator, my pounding heart and nothing else.

My house is surrounded by hundreds of acres of land, most of which don’t belong to me. And all is very, very dark at night. I have always harbored a silent concern that this isolation could someday present a problem and here it was.  For a quarter of a century, when awakened by a sound in the night, I would turn to my wife and ask the predictable, “Did you hear that”? I now turned to her side of the bed, instinctively. But, held my question. My wife and partner of almost a quarter of a century is no longer living, a victim of breast cancer. She died in my arms in this house and I have been lying alone in bed since then, more awake than asleep.

Now I rose and stood preparing to meet the unknown noisemaker. My brain, under duress, has always conjured up vivid images, real or imagined often ridiculous, and even inappropriate. Using humor to diffuse fear has been one of my life long defenses. Now my defenses REALLY let loose. I imagined escaped convicts, motorcycle gangs, overzealous Jehovas witnesses, pissed off mother bears, bands of coyotes, Hari Krishnas looking for an airport, and even process servers.

Everything came to a silent halt.

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