Monday, August 25, 2008

To Writer's Group in a Whirlwind

Today was a whirlwind. I seem to live life that way. After cramming in four medical visits before noon and two trips to the school to pick up and drop off children, I raced to the Circle K "convenience store" to buy a hot dog shaped cheeseburger topped with chili, nacho cheese, onions and sauerkraut. (My stomach is reminding me why I shouldn't eat much meat and why mystery meat doesn't classify anyway. ) I gobbled it as I sped to Clermont Christian Writer's Group, arriving thirty minutes late.
Whew! I made it, but not without dashing through buckets of rain and tripping in through the front entrance of the Coopers Memorial Library. Soggy books and papers in hand, I hoped to sneak into the Genealogy Room where our meetings are held and slide unnoticed into a corner.

Of course, I was rudely reminded as I opened it, that the door leads into the center of the seating area and I was in plain sight. Water dripping from my overgrown bangs slid down my glasses and made a trail down my temples and nose. I stifled the urge to swipe my hand across my forehead and push my hair up into a good "Catholic girl" bun on top of my head. Terri mentioned there might be press at the meeting. I really don't want to draw attention to myself looking like this. Of course my gift of gab usually lands me in trouble anyways. I opened my mouth and said "sorry" two or three times, looked around and saw no cameras so breathed a deep sigh of relief and took the first chair, the one I always sit in when I attend because I get there in the nick of time.

"Is it raining?" someone asked. "It was bright and sunny when we arrived a half an hour ago."

I just giggled like a nervous chattering bird. "Yup," I muttered and then tried to wipe off my loose papers. Then the door opened again and in walked, Roxanne, the reporter from the Daily Commercial. At least I missed being the only soggy person in the room.

Welcome to Florida. It's like that here. Not a cloud in the sky and all of a sudden, WOOSH! The sky is falling on you in the form of liquid sunshine. On the bright side, it doesn't last all day for weeks like northern Springs and Summers. Here in Central Florida, rain comes in spurts, like giant mouthfuls of lukewarm water spewn from the clouds and then it's over in a few minutes or an hour (even during hurricane season it's not as rainy as Upstate New York in June). Of course, there are exceptions. Today wasn't one of them. I just happened to catch the downpour.

I'm sure you've heard enough about Florida's weather! I made it to my favorite group wanting to make the best of the time I had left. Outside of family and church, CCW is the place where I feel most at home. We writers are a different breed. .. and being part of the pack again feels fabulous.

Life has a way of weaseling in other things and bumping my writing time to the back burner. That is not good for a writer. Nothing happens back there. It's much better when I give it the heat it requires. When I place myself in the company of other creative people, the flame under me reaches ignition point and I am, once again, bubbling up with tasty morsels of writing ideas. This is one of the reasons I have enjoyed the last two writing groups I joined.

There are many talented people in our group. I wish you could meet them but since only local residents may have that privilege, I will introduce them to you now via a "little blurb" for each member.

Donna is a gem. She sparkles and brings joy to all who are in her presence. I enjoy hearing her talk about her experiences and how they have helped her to reach out to others. She is working on a novel that sounds very appealing to me. I get the feeling as well, that she is a very deep person with many fascinating tales to tell. I would love to hear them!

Dave is a brilliant and charming man with a unique angle for almost anything brought to the table. He carries with him experience and realism that set the tone for the genre at which he is apparently very skilled, although, the praise won't come from his own lips. He is a very humble and generous person. Last month, he brought a copy of his published book, The Sign of His Coming, (see the link on CCW's blog) to give away. He held a contest to see who could answer a question about the title of his book. I was fortunate to be the winner. I can't wait to open it. It will make good night time reading. I love the genre. It reminds me of my father. He was always into eschatology, prophecy and similar topics. I think Dave and my Dad would have been great friends had they known each other.

Sharon is a darling! My Dad would have loved her also. There is a lot of wisdom in her speech that is both uplifting and informative. She is also a very thoughtful person as she remembered minuscule details I had shared with her about my personal life. During the month, she called to tell me of a radio broadcast which had some helpful information to me. I never did get to thank her. (Thank you, Sharon!) She has a knack for relating to people's needs. I'm sure her stories and poems of comfort will touch many hurting people. She has a joy emanating from her that is evident even in her writing.

Terri is the Founder and Group Facilitator who has a wealth of knowledge and experience and yet she is very down-to-earth and approachable. She's the kind of person you feel you've known all of your life and would trust with your deepest secrets knowing she wouldn't bat an eyelash at anything you said and yet she is very professional and accomplished. I look forward to learning more from her. She is truly amazing to have launched this group in such an effective and efficient manner, not to mention, the information highway she keeps up with on our group blog! She keeps us on our toes with market opportunities galore! And now we are tap dancing as she and the group hold us accountable to go after our individual writing goals for the month by posting them on the world wide web for God and everybody to gawk at! Thanks, Terri! It helps me to see it. Maybe I will view my writing more as work now!

Last, but not least, is my new found friend, Nancy. It sounds as though some similarities in our experiences and life goals might bring us together at some point to a joint endeavor. She is the type of person I just feel at home around. I feel I can look up to her as she always has a "word from the Lord." By this, I mean, some spiritual insight or scriptural reminder that uplifts and encourages me as a Christian and a writer. My prayer for her is that she realizes what a special person she is in Christ and that all writers, at some point, feel unworthy or intimidated by the goals and dreams they have. This is, especially, not a bad thing for a Christian writer for we are reminded that the Bible says we are strong when we are weak. This allows us to give the glory to none other than the One who deserves it. And, as she shared, it allows us to see the miraculous in the ordinary tasks of our writing, discovering that God is indeed leading and guiding our inspirations.

In every group, I've attended, it seems the Lord has connected me to at least one person with whom I find much in common. In Palm Group, it was Barb and Sherri. There were many I enjoyed knowing. It is the same with CCW. I feel as though every person in the room could be a great friend.

As we "spur each other on to good works", living our lives in fast forward motion, I pray that the results we accomplish and the fellowship we share will not only enrich our lives, but also, complete the extraordinary purposes for which we assemble. I do feel this group has a divine purpose. We are in the seed-sowing season. There is much labor and joy as we work together. There will be sweat and tears as well. Together we will rejoice when the harvest arrives. Life seems so busy but soon it will fly by us and we will see the fruit of our labor.

This whirlwind I travel in is like a tornado some times. I'm being carried to many places, to see and do many things. Life happens so fast that I feel like I'm trying to tap myself on the shoulder as I spin to catch up with the stranger I'm trying to find. I hardly recognize myself anymore. God is changing so much so fast. In the midst of the rush, I feel a strange calm. I can't describe it fully, but I can only offer that it is the breath of God blowing over my life, taking me where it wills, accomplishing what it sets out to perform. As it carries me through the remainder of this year, I pray that I will be able to look back and see that I didn't try to fight through the storm to get to familiar territory but rather, that I rested in the eye of the storms when they came and when they were gone, I ran with the breeze. I pray that I will always land in God's green pastures where He leads me beside the still waters and restores my soul. (Psalm 23). There He has a table before me to celebrate the victory and success He has brought through it all.

This day has flown and slipped through my fingers. I can hardly stop reeling from all that has happened. As the spinning slows, I just thank God that He had all things under His control. "Even the wind and the waves obey Him."


Terri Tiffany said...

WOW! What a wonderful blog you wrote today! I absolutely agree wholeheartedly with your descriptions of the people in the group! I love each and every one and you wrote about them so beautifully! You pegged them all perfectly! Thank you!
I didn't realize you did all that in your morning hours and then rushed to the meeting! Thank you again for your commitment!! It was such a blessing to me. I hope our group grows in it's support and not only in numbers. Know that I am praying for you as a writer and as a fellow Christian!

Leaders In Learning said...

Thank you. I consider a compliment from you a trophy. :>)

Lisa said...

So glad you found your way to my blog and it's always wonderful to build support with parents who understand the trials & tribulations of RAD, PTSD, etc.
Looking forward to learning more....