I love my writers’ group. We have been talking to one another about manuscripts and life for seventeen years now. I was always the itinerant member, living too far away to attend in person, and grateful for Skype when it enabled me to attend virtually on a regular basis.
We have connected through various combinations of the following:
- completed work
- incomplete work
- common readings
- writing exercises and challenges
- joys and sorrows and losses both professional and personal
- one death among us
- new books
- reviews: good, bad, and indifferent
- shared meals
- and the annual retreat.
Oh, and the tradition of handing off this license plate to one another to celebrate new publications. The plate itself has been lost and found and lost again over the years but some facsimile of it remains around to keep on traveling.
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Stephanie Farrow, and Katherine Hauth, thank you for all you’ve done for me and my work over the years. And to relatively new members of the Autodidactic Society, Caroline Starr Rose, and Mark Karlins, thanks for being there at the other end of the Skype channel with your astute comments and questions, and for picking up so readily on the spirit of this group.
For one reason and another I have not been able to make it to the annual retreat in the last couple of years. This time I’m going. I have two major projects under contract that need revision. Once again the Autodidacts will gather (in an unpublished location in the high desert of New Mexico) to share a few days together, to write, to read, to cook, to walk, to be. And I will be there with one or the other of my revisions-in-chaos, ready to find the way forward.