I have a Magic Circle of writing friends. I love them all for what they bring to the table of my life. Each woman represents a different take on writing, a different genre, a different approach and a different style. I go to them with my ideas, my pages, my contest entries and my contest results. I feel very fortunate to have met each woman in my Magic Circle. And best of all, the circle is growing. I’ve made several new friends in the south and have been fortunate to find a few brave souls to read my pages, vet my story ideas, encourage me during low times, and share in my victories.
Why? I hope it’s because I’m practicing the art of civility and acting like a writing hostess in my corner of the world.
I started off as a lone writer. Then I met my first CPs, K & S. They “vetted” my writing and invited me to join their critique group. I worked with them for over a year, meeting once a week, to hash out the pages we’d sent to each other. Knowing these ladies improved my writing tremendously. But more so, knowing these ladies improved the quality of my life. They are my friends, my sister writers and my mentors. They are very important to me.
And I was very sad when I had to say goodbye to them and move to Alabama. We all floundered that year. I with no one really to connect with even for a cup of coffee and they with their various life hijacking issues. But we kept up our contact via phone calls and emails. Together we charted new courses and plans for our writing future. And we’ve seen various levels of success, celebrating the victories of our CPs as part of the joy. One is published in middle grade fiction and has a YA novel out on full requests! The other is a blasting through the contests with wins and finaling entries in prestigious contests for unpublished writers, including this year’s 2010 Golden Heart. I am so pleased for them.
I got lucky in Alabama. I have great writing chapters, Southern Magic and Heart of Dixie to start and, after I went to Moonlight and Magnolias, Georgia Romance Writers of America was added to my list of support chapters. I also met another amazing woman who became a friend and a critique partner. We’d meet in Birmingham, talk on the phone, share pages, help vet pages and help grow each other up in the writing industry. This CP has read the drek of the drek of my pages with patience and grace. I am so fortunate to have met her. She’s dedicated and persistent in pursuing the goals we all have as writers.
But darned it all, she moved! And where did she move to? Yup, to my old stomping grounds in Virginia. Thank goodness I have email, a cell phone and the Internet. We continue to schlep through the writing process together. But as a Writing Hostess in my corner of the world, I want to introduce her to K&S. After all, they are fabulous and wonderful. They might be around when my CP has a victory to celebrate or a rejection to moan about. Today I get to fulfill my desire to connect her to my VA CPs and friends.
I can’t wait. Although it is a bit sad that I am going to miss out on all those stolen latte moments, not to mention a bit of alcohol in the evenings, I am happy I have this opportunity to bring them together.
How are you welcoming writers and people into your magic circles?