Writing Group

I couldn’t post last night because I was with my writing group. There are three of us and we meet once a month to talk about what we’ve written. So far—and this was only our third meeting--we’ve been sharing fairly polished stuff, so the gloves are still on. Gloves or no, this is rapidly becoming one of the best things in my life and you can imagine why.

There are three of us, all about the same age, all teaching lots and lots of writing and literature classes, all women, all working hard to keep writing even during the semester. We like each other a lot and we love being in New York. But after that, there are lots of differences, enough to keep us happily entertained with the living of vicarious lives through one another.

We’re from the West Coast, the Midwest, and the Upper East Side. One of us lives alone and has a great boyfriend, one is married with a beloved toddler, and one lives with a longterm partner. One of us is writing, fiction one, criticism, the third, essays. One of us is reserved, the other two garrulous.

We meet in the elegant and dinky apartment of the single woman and drink lots of wine and eat wonderful food, including, this week, as a treat, a miniature quiche from Payard that restored my faith in both quiche and convenience food as a delicacy. We drink and gossip and eat and then, taking turns, go through one another’s pieces. We begin at 6. By 10:30, it’s time to head home, tipsy, delighted, inspired, exhausted. Never has the incredible slog from the Upper East Side to Jersey City seemed so fine.

A couple links worth checking out: I found this “Talking To” site (from the Times of London. It’s not active anymore, but it’s fascinating. Back in 2000, you could write in with your question for one of a handful of famous writers (Shakespeare, Woolf, Austen, Dickens) and a scholar would answer it in that writer’s voice, with quotations from his or her life. The questions are sweet and absurd and the answers seem pretty accurate.

Then, via the beloved (and especially hilarious lately somehow) Gawker, this from the Observer: a mock masthead for the masthead-averse New Yorker.