Yesterday, I had the privilege to observe the North Shore Writer’s Group in their natural habitat. Officially, I am not yet a member as there is a waiting list, but after John convinced me to see what they were about for an evening, I suddenly had a clear motivation to finish a short story so that I can one day seek the advice of these other talented writers.
The meeting was held at The Art Corner. At first I admit that I was a little antsy at first, because the last time I had set foot inside of this building was when I was homeless in 2011. All I remember of the store is their turtle having the run of the place and I was pleased to see him resting in his cage when the owners let us in just as the rain was beginning to fall.
Although Wendy, the facilitator and group leader, had sent us copies of the other members’ stories to read and eventually comment on, I was given to understand that I would be silently observing and therefore not invited to participate beyond my physical presence. Because of that, I only actually read one of the stories, which turned out to be a bit of cosmic intervention as that was one of the stories that was discussed.
Allen, the author, actually asked us to chime in on his piece of paranormal fiction. This was great at first, because I did have some genuine comments about it, but it caught me off guard and I was reluctant to speak at first. You have to wonder what kind of hold this group would have over me to actually make me reluctant to throw in my two cents, but there you go. I waited for one of the established members to offer their comments, before working up the courage to offer my own insights.
My over all impression of the group is that it was like an online forum. As I said, I only read one of the stories discussed last night and the other one was a short piece about a Vietnam veteran. Though I hadn’t read the story, I found the insights of the group members to be fascinating and insightful regardless. They gave me a lot to think about in regards to how I was writing one of my own short stories.
It made of think of the stories people would post in forums. How I would often skip reading the actual story and scroll down the page to the comments, which were often more insightful than reading the wall of text.
As with the Film Fest, so many different topics arose from participating in the Live Action Forum of which I was only a guest that had not yet made an account. As such, I will be writing staggering several posts about this night over the course of a week.