this week I attended a writing group. First time ever. The group offers an assignment for each meeting. This time it was a 500 word piece that was to end with the words...he turned and walked away through the rain.
I started writing when I was about 8, I experienced a lot of childhood illnesses & was often out of school for weeks at a time. I read everything I could access: books, Time Magazine (yes even at a young age – from age 7 my father would give me a shilling if I could guess who was on the cover each week: my guess was based on my being informed from reading newspapers etc. I grew up in New Zealand so TV was not part of my life until I was 10)
Having read everything in sight – my parents were avid readers so there were a lot of books in my childhood homes – library visits were weekly, even if someone made choices for me. By 10 my mother had introduced me to biographies, and auto-biographies: historical figures, artists, writers, film stars, film makers, these last few because my father had commenced taking me to movies when I was 7. I wanted to know about the people in front of the camera, then I wanted to know about the people behind, then I wanted to know about the process. Of course I wanted to know about who wrote the story in the 1st place, then I wanted to know how films were made and read about Producers, and editors etc etc (Years later I studied film at University)
Eventually I read the Bible, and polished the family silver collection (such as it was). My mother thrust pen & paper into my hand and told me to write. It was like a light going on. Now, the word I would use to descibe what happened in me, would be
One of the 1st things I wrote was a letter to Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, to congratulate her on the birth of her newest son: Edward. Some little time later my parents were greatly startled to find a letter from Buckingham Palace in the letter box, and it was addressed to me. I still have that letter.
Then I entered the world of poetry writing. About age 17 – a cataclysmic year in my life – I began a few attempts at writing my life story.
The poetry writing went on for years, and is still there. A few years back I decided my season had arrived & I commenced serious writing; in the form of a novel. A few trusted & yes, safe friends have been reading here and here along the way.
Last week I reached a watershed moment & took action. The result: I attended a writers group. I felt comfortable & accepted. It fitted.
I read my much thought about, well worked over, adjusted and edited version of the assignment.
Suffice to say I will be returning to the next scheduled meeting.