Last night Nancy and I said goodbye to the excellent friends in my writer’s group after close to 16 years of twice-monthly meetings. Patty and her husband Craig hosted the evening of dinner and conversation, and this time there were none of the usual critiques. If Patty isn’t the best cook in New England, and she might be, she must be the best who also writes horror fiction and works as a bank VP. Dave and his wife Stephanie were there—Dave’s a fine mystery writer and teacher who can quote Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Bev and I have carpooled to writer’s group meetings dozens of times. Her Peace Corps background has given her grist for some of the marvelous essays she’s written. Marj hasn’t made it to many meetings lately, because life can be a handful, but she showed up last night with a plateful of chocolate, the elixir of the gods and panacea for whatever ails you. Kathy and Lee, spouses who sit next to each other and finish each other’s sentences at writer’s group meetings, presented me with a delightful poem they’d written and framed. It will hang in my new office.
And there were other great friends who couldn’t make it: another Kathy, a couple more Daves—our group is replete with Kathies and Daves—and Judy and Kristi, who have already moved away.
Love of writing is what brought us all together. Some of us have substantial publishing credits, some are still working toward publication, and some, like Kristi, have decided to pursue other interests. Every one is a good to excellent writer and critic, and I’ve learned from them all. Thank goodness for e-mail, which will keep us all in frequent touch.