Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Washington, D.C.

WRW, the Washington Romance Writer’s group was wonderful! Gave my Book in a Week workshop there and loved having all day to cover the material. I still didn’t have time to cover everything, of course. But that’s how it always goes.

I love giving workshops. I love knowing I make a difference when I do. I love making writing easier and more fun and sharing tools that can make us more effective writers. At the same time, I’m always energized by the ideas people at the workshops have to share and I always come home eager to work on my own manuscript.

I also got to see an old friend from high school. This is someone who had the courage to be himself in school and as an adult found a career that involved something he enjoys. It was wonderful to be able to reconnect with him. We vowed to keep in better touch in the future.

Flying back home I found myself spinning stories about some old maps my friend showed me. I also found myself wondering about other people I knew in high school and wondering how they are doing.

How many of us, I wonder, avoid high school reunions, feeling that maybe we’re going to feel the same way we did back then? And for many of us, high school was a time of insecurity, wasn’t it? Seeing this friend, though, made me wonder what it would be like to go to a reunion. What would it be like to see how everyone has grown and changed? To discover a side of them I didn’t get to know at the time? That was such a difficult time in my life anyway that I wonder how much I missed seeing about my fellow students.

And, of course, it had me working out how various characters in a novel might react to going back to a high school reunion and what it would help them realize about themselves. But that’s what we writers do. I’m not sure, if we’re writers, that we can keep life and writing separate. If we did, I suspect our work would ring hollow. It’s when we’re willing to look at and dissect our own emotions and those of others that we find the means to bring characters to life and maybe even offer new ideas of how one can face life’s challenges.

Here’s hoping everyone has a great week! I’ll be voting tomorrow and hoping that someday it will be possible to truly discuss the issues and listen, really listen, with respect to each other knowing that none of us has a lock on wisdom or truth. that we each have something to offer, and that deep down we all just want to be safe.