During my recent visit to New Mexico, I discovered the joy of keeping company with other writers. I know, silly right? After having written a first novel and dabbled in short stories, poetry, and flash fiction, to make the, rather obvious, discovery that there is value in the opinions of other people who do this crazy thing.
I’d never actually taken a writing class and so it was with apprehension, excitement, and curiosity that I embarked on a road trip with my dear friend Bob Spears. Our destination? Ghost Ranch (of Georgia O’Keeffe fame) to attend a week of writing class taught by Ina Hughs.
How can I describe the experience? Well, I can’t really other than to say that it was a deep soak in authorship. Days were spent sifting through the treasure chest of each other’s talents, examining one glittering jewel after another as we each read our days’ assignments. We talked and laughed, listened and cried, grumbled and learned, all under Ina’s capable tutelage and surrounded by the grandeur of the high desert.
In a very short time, a shorter time than I’d ever managed before, I felt at home with my fellow students and was well on my way to building beautiful friendships. To say that I came home with a lot to think about, about writing, about the world, about myself, would be a colossal understatement.
Mostly what I’ve been thinking about since, though, is the value of having other eyes on my work, the wonder of hearing other voices than my own, and the incredible feeling of sharing this journey with other people who make stuff up.
Toward that end, I’m starting this blog. My intention is that this will be a private site where only members can read what is posted. We will post things here for each other to experience and critique. Membership will be with invitation. When you have a new piece, just send it to my email and I’ll put it up. Remember, all writing forms are welcome and don’t forget that photos and artwork would be great too! (Please no material that is of extremely explicit sexual or violent nature.) Critiques can be made in the comments.
Just to get the ball rolling, I’ll start with a first post that my class at Ghost Ranch has already seen. I look forward to seeing your work. I look forward to hearing what you’ve got to say about mine.