Meeting Tidbits From a Noisy Coffee shop

beach grass/cuba gallary/flickr

beach grass/cuba gallary/Flickr

Last night was our writing group. We met at a local coffee shop because our usual reservation of a room at the library fell through somehow. There was a lot of background noise and I wish I could have heard better. As it was I sat in the middle of the group hoping to be in a better position to catch what was going on. Here is what I did hear.

B talked about her trip to Italy and Europe. I only caught bits and pieces. One important part of the conversation I heard was that she was accepted to George Mason University to the writing program in the English department.  Hurray for her!

L had gone on an extended trip to Michigan and was having trouble getting back into her writing. She is heavy into rewrites of her book. She meets with her book doctor in two days so he’ll get her going. She is having a great experience with him that it is definitely worth the money. She debated about the book coach at first.  The way she told it was this: she is still working, has always wanted to write a book, this book. She is 62. She talked to her daughter about it and her daughter said “Mom, this is something you have wanted your whole life. Put aside two paychecks and pay for it. Wouldn’t you do this for traveling?” L made up her mind the very next day, called him up and scheduled the workshops.

S was having an experience with her “French Connection”. She is working with an agent in France who likes her children’s books. She is going over the art and text and giving her consent about it. The contract seems emminent.

SK is having B go over her book before she submits it to a publisher she met at the Pennwriters conference. She talked about how hard it was to write a query letter for it. Depending on how you looked at it the antagonists and protagonists were interchangeable. Her book is science fiction/fantasy with lots of elves and magic. We all decided that the environment could also be a protagonist and could also cause conflict.

D is writing about her grandmother and has submitted it to people to read. She was quiet for the most part. She showed us her alumni magazine of George Mason where she was highlighted as being published. Her book “Born a Refugee” is a story about a Palestinian family and the politics of the times. D lived on the West Bank for eleven years and wrote her dissertation about it.

As for me, I’m waiting for eTreasures to return my contract with eTreasures Publishing for “Annie’s Special Day.” I had some questions and sent them an email asking for their answers and am waiting for a reply. I asked D to read it because I wanted some other input into it than mine. I have no experience with contracts and hoped D did. He didn’t see any thing to be wary about. He teased me about how if it became a movie I might want more than fifty percent royalties. My children’s book about time and clocks a movie? No way.

So do you have writers groups? And if so tell me about them and what you discuss.


About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn,, life story, personal growth, social networking, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Meeting Tidbits From a Noisy Coffee shop

  1. D says:

    Actually, we said the environment is often the antagonist–seldom the protagonist. In fact, I can’t think of an example of the environment as protagonist. Can you?


  2. SuziCate says:

    I belong to one. We have great speakers there, and do thought provoking exercises but it is too large to allow critiques. I would really to be able to get input from others. Yours sounds nice.


    • clarbojahn says:

      I do like mine. Sometimes we do critiques and sometimes it is just news. This time is was socializing and news. There were some regulars who were absent and one I didn’t report on because I couldn’t hear her and didn’t talk to her.


  3. nrhatch says:

    I joined a writing group here but didn’t enjoy it.

    During the winter, it was mostly focused on having outside speakers come and talk about their books to 30-40 members. In the summer, attendance dwindled when the Snow Birds left. The 8-10 remaining attendees would take turns reading excerpts but there was no real give or take.

    Stand up. Read. Applause. Sit Down.

    I’d rather meet with one or two people rather than a big group. Your group sounds nice.


  4. clarbojahn says:

    My group is nice. It was founded by Bobbi Carducci and her motto is to encourage writers to write and get published. Without the group I would be lost in trying to correspond to my publisher of “Annie’s Special Day”.
    On book you may want to read is one that got introduced to me at the Pennwriters Conference. I got it not because I wanted to start a group but that I wanted to be able to give better critiques to those in the group. It is called “The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide”.by Becky Levine. I went to the corresponding class and learned how to give better critiques and bought the book.
    Maybe you could be instrumental in your writers group in making it meet more of your needs.
    If you should choose to that is.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting


    • clarbojahn says:

      You have your Tuesday group where you are the giver of Love and Truth. Thank you for spreading good will.Thank you for stopping by and commenting. You are appreciated.


  5. jannatwrites says:

    I have never been part of a writers group, but wouldn’t mind joining one if I found thr right group. Your group sounds like it has been helpful for you.


    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, it has been helpful. And I treasure the friendships and sharing we do. I hope one day you find a writer’s group because writing is a solitary experience and it helps to share what one does. I have grown from belonging to it as a writer and person. Thank you for your comment and for stopping by.


  6. pattyabr says:

    It would probably help if I was in a writers group. No time currently but everything in my life now is preparation for the next stage in life. Opportunity is yet to happen.


  7. clarbojahn says:

    OK, great philosophy! “Opportunity is yet to happen.” I like that. I feel like that in my own life about my writing. Good luck in finding the time for a writer’s group.I always like your comments.


  8. Pseu says:

    I belong to a couple… later today a tutor led group, for which I pay a nominal fee, which has a termly programme of tasks, areas to discuss and time for critique. Once a month another group – each offers something different.


  9. clarbojahn says:

    I like your writing voice and style. It is fresh and honest. Do you write more than just your blog?
    How lucky to belong to more than one. You are busy.
    For eight weeks this winter I also went to a writing class that critiqued as well as my regular group. It helps but because it made me so busy, I was glad when it was over.
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it.


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