With Writer Friends

wally and dianeI just returned from a reunion with my old critique group. We all lived near Mount Vernon–George’s home–when we first got together, so we named ourselves the Mount Vernon Writer’s Group. Our first meeting was a very long time ago. As a matter of fact, it was the day I sent my first full manuscript to my first agent. I was so young and nervous! I think we were all young and nervous about our writing in those days. (That book became my first published novel, but not until four long years later).

We were all working on novels back then, and we’d read and critique each other’s writing every week.  We were a diverse group in terms of age, backgrounds and interests, but we had writing in common and that drew us together. Over the years, other writers have come and gone and members of this core group have moved away, but we’ve never lost touch. We’ve had varying levels of success, but we all have talent and we truly helped one another hone our skills. 

This week, we met at one of our member’s homes at beautiful (if rainy) Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, for a reunion. We read from our works-in-progress, caught up on our lives, ate gumbo, went out for Italian food, played Cranium, and got wet puppy kisses from Wally, one of my favorite dogs in the world.

mt vernon writersWe can still remember bits and pieces of our work from twenty years ago, especially the parts that made us laugh. The only negative was saying goodbye again. Can’t wait until the next time!

The Mount Vernon Writers’ Group at dinner. Ann Allman, me, Linda Rainwater, Jane Drewry and Jeanne Van Dusen Smith.


  1. Margo on November 13, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    What a wonderful group of friends, including the adorable ‘Wally’!!…it must be so enriching for all of you to be together and catch up on your lives, career and achievements…you’re all very lucky to know one another.

  2. brenda on November 15, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    How much fun. I am still working and sleeping…not going out at all on weekends. however, this Wednesday-no school-I met a group of people with whom I worked in the late 60’s…had not seen some of them forever…it was wonderful to get back together…very emotional…we had a lovely lunch compliments of two of the physicians for whom we worked (l recently died)…Reunions are great…yours looks like fun too.

    • Diane Chamberlain on November 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm

      I’m glad you were well enough to get together with old friends, Brenda. So much fun. And Margo, you would love this dog. Wish you could meet him.

  3. Margo on November 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Diane, I bet he has a personality all his own…I know I would love him…Kramer would be so jealous tho…recently I attended the Animal Lifeline Annual Auction where I was asked to paint their ‘house cat’…I painted 2 watercolors for them and had them framed with plagues mounted..I donated the paintings and was thrilled to attend the auction and see the bidding…they sold for $550.00 which went toward this great shelter…back to the dogs, they had a ‘parade of animals’ and each dog I fell in love with as they tried to climb into my lap (lol)…when I got home that night, Kramer went crazy smelling their scents…I have to be more careful of his feelings I quess…as much as I LOVE all the doggies I meet, poor Kramer doesn’t handle it very well. (-O:

Leave a Comment