"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

19 September 2006


I have longed for someone to share my writing with -- someone who will be honestly, lovingly ruthless. Someone like LuCindy, who helped me tear apart and reconstruct my tenure paper a couple of years ago, who has been a Godsend to me in this and many ways.

True, we can help each other online some, and we do so, but it's not the same as when intellectual energy sparks across a room and productive silences explode into dynamic word-play.

This year, I've been blessed with two friends who desire the same thing and are willing to sacrifice to make it happen.

We are all busy with lives that draw us away from writing by urgent claims on our time, many of which cannot be ignored. Yet we are writers, and our craft -- whether publication is in view or not -- cannot become a casualty of the urgent.

So we decided to help each other maintain a discipline of writing. Every other week or so -- the realities are not to be ignored and if we try to do too much we will do nothing -- we will bring some work in progress and delight together in the crafting of language.

We met for the first time this afternoon -- affirming, questioning, challenging, laughing together even as we delved into complex and unsettling truths.

It was good. We love each other enough to be kind, yet we are confident enough in each other -- and in our work -- to be honest. As I told a colleague -- this is something I no longer have the time not to do.


Fieldfleur said...

Yeah! Sounds wonderful for you, Beth. Thanks for sharing your creative blessings.

alaiyo said...

It is wonderful, Teri. Accountability to people who truly love and help . . . what could be better?!