This November, I am so grateful for my expanding writing community. Sitting (or standing) at my desk with the people I make up in my head delights me, but so does engaging with real people who are also exploring the ups and downs of the writing life. Not always easy for someone who would probably make a good hermit.
At the beginning of the month, I attended Unpack Dat! A Writers’ Popup, a new writing community hosted by the lovely Alisha Johnson. After touching base with one another and setting some intentions for the day, we spent a bright blue Saturday morning at Sankofa Community Development Corporation with tea and sunshine and sweet, blessed quiet to work on our projects. Then we came together again to close the circle and make plans for the next visit. Setting aside time and space (and support) for a purely creative process was so valuable. I look forward to doing it again.
In an even more extroverted move, I was interviewed by F. Maria Velasco, a visual artist and Associate Professor of Visual Art at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, whom I met during our residencies at Elsewhere. She’s making a documentary about parent-artists and invited me to participate! We Skyped for more than an hour, conversing about the challenges and joys of creating art while raising kids. Here’s her trailer so far:
For my ongoing engagement as the Louisiana/Mississippi SCBWI critique group coordinator, I reorganized our Critique Group Hub with tips and suggestions for starting and working with critique groups–accessible to all!– and our own members-only space for folks to reach out to one another. All through November, we’re encouraging Meetup Month for anyone looking to build their own writing groups.
On that note, I’ve joined two different critique groups myself, one specifically kidlit novel writers, and the other more loosely defined but primarily adult fiction. Looking forward to reading my colleagues’ work, having them read mine, and talking shop.
Whew! Balancing time in my writing cave with socializing isn’t always easy for me, but it’s rewarding on so many levels. I’m grateful to get to build community with folks I admire and respect!