Friends Reunite to Talk Writing, Reading

Imagine eight animated adults chowing down at a table like this, in a small town in Maine.
(Image credit: Rick Scully)

Last Sunday brought together eight of us from last summer’s Stonecoast Writers’ Conference / Novel Writing class. (I wrote about the Stonecoast experience in blog entries on July 22 and July 25, 2011.) Sunday’s reunion occurred thanks to the instigation and follow-through by one member in particular, who should get a medal but is characteristically humble about the role he played.

We all brought some food dish, and our instructor-turned-friend, Lily King, provided the setting (picnic table in the driveway between the family’s old New England house and a side yard of grass, trees, and kid-centered paraphernalia), liquids (nonalcoholic), and wait-staff (her competent and willing daughters). We slid into place around the table. Random chatter accompanied the passing and serving of our gustatory choices. The aromas swirled, the sun shone, the temperature was in the seventies, and the time was all ours.

We got organized (thank you, Lily) and went around the table twice. The first time, each of us commented on the greater or lesser degree our writing had progressed during the year. The second time, each of us recommended books from our year’s reading that others might enjoy. The interactions around each person’s contribution were spontaneous and idiosyncratic. These words are how I experienced the luncheon: happy, caring, respectful, hopeful, grateful, utterly convivial. We agreed to make the reunion an annual affair.

Driving away, I mused what my overall impression was. Last year we’d come together as strangers, more than one of us uncertain whether we could or would apply the label “writer” to ourselves. Last Sunday was a day created by eight writers, some in more advanced drafts or stages, but all of us knew we were writers. Thank you, Lily. Thank you, all. Can’t wait till next year!

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