I’m a joiner, and every once in a while, I’m reminded why I love groups so much. Last night was one of those times.
I spoke to the Raleigh Write to Publish Group, where everyone had a chance to talk about their current project, whether that was a novel, a poem, a childrens’ book idea, or a work of serious non-fiction. The thing everyone had in common was a desire to be published (some already are) and a passion for writing. Being in such company is always heady for me, but then there’s the networking aspect of such a group, which can be phenomenal. I learned that there’s a public access film studio in Raleigh, that one member’s husband is a singer/songwriter/novelist, that my favorite bookstore, Quail Ridge, is having a presentation Sunday on publishing, and that the Write to Publish groups are spreading throughout the state. If I’d stayed home last night, I wouldn’t have gathered any of that information. I also made some new friends, people I look forward to seeing again in the future. A few of us went out afterwards to continue chatting. Above, from the left are: Stacey Cochran, who is a novelist and a real mover and shaker. He’s the guy setting up the Write to Publish groups everywhere, so if you’re interested in getting a group in your area, he’s the one to contact; Sharon Kurtzman, who’s working on her second novel; novelist Andrew Baltzegar, Eileen Batson, who does the promo for Write to Publish as well as for her hubby, author/songwriter Jon Batson; Maureen Sherbondy, who just had her first chapbook of poetry published and who I met at the Opium Den (Starbucks) soon after I moved to Raleigh. I went up to her and asked if she was a writer–she had that daydreamy look about her as she sat in front of her laptop. We’ve become friends and she’s the one who invited me to speak to this group. And that’s me on the right, looking kind of like a beached whale in red, but I hope it’s just the angle of the camera. Below, the woman flanked by Andrew and Eileen is Jean Hedges, who moderates the group with class and compassion.
One of the cool things about speaking to various groups is being able to be a part of them, even if only for an hour or two. I belong to too many of my own already, but I still get to soak up a little of the group spirit with every one I visit.
Do you belong to groups that share your passion, whatever that may be?