Sunday, January 9, 2011

Newspaper ads

I am indebted to a friend...or very soon will be... for the drama of which I am about to enter. Thanks to my writer friend’s gentle encouragement, I salvaged an advertisement I’d cut out of the newspaper MANY months ago that was suffocating under a stack of papers. There was a reason it was UNDER the pile – fear and trepidation on my part. There was also a reason it was on my desk and not in the garbage can (which is, by the way, my favorite invention. I relish the feeling of throwing things away). While I’ve been intrigued since first hearing about this group, I’ve been nervous as hell to actually show up at a meeting. I think it’s because it means I actually and seriously take myself to be what I am: a writer.
Parenthetical Guidance Suggested
presents informative and supportive meetings open to writers of all levels of experience and all interests. No principal players here, we have members with various stages of accomplishment to their credit.
*Act Now!*
Join us for motivated guest speakers and engaging explorations of literature, poetry and prose.
Scripts and screenplays co-star with essays and press releases.
Meetings are open and informal; we have reel after reel of fun!
Your input is welcome, and your writing will receive the direction and validation only fellow authors can supply.

Yes, there are some things only friends can help us do: take ourselves seriously and venture out, even if our knees are shaking and our hearts pounding within us.

So I called Frank and learned their next meeting is Jan 25th and the writing assignment this month is for each person to write a "drabble," which I guess is a short story of exactly 100 words. Then they project your story (or if you are an over-protective writer, they project your baby) on the screen and the author reads it aloud as everyone else follows along (who knows what thoughts in their heads). Then everyone talks about it (dissects its parts), as the author stands up there and wishes for her own death over that of her baby. Writing groups are not for the faint of heart.

In the next few weeks, I am going to work on composing a decent short story of precisely 100 words. And if I give birth to it, I shall present it willingly to the babysitters club. It might just be that they could do me and my baby some good. Of that, I have no doubt.

Hmmm… the whole advertisement scenario reminds me of a delightful movie, Enchanted April. Ever seen it? Oh, poor Lottie Wilkins! Stuck with an unromantic name and worse, an overbearing husband, and drab, rainy London. Something goes wild inside her when she glimpses an advertisement in the newspaper for “Wisteria and Sunshine,” an Italian get-away, and desperate to escape life’s miseries, she loops a stranger, another suffering Englishwoman, into taking the vacation together to escape everything that is ordinary, especially the men in their lives. Two other ladies will join them, an old cranky widow and a frivolous playgirl. Each character becomes so inspired by the beauty in this Italian paradise and their bruised hearts begin to open and blossom until they have to share their new life with others…even those men their husbands! It’s an amusing story, richly characterized, poetic, romantic, and satisfying. If that sounds super sappy to you, it’s not; it’d happen to you, too, if you were in an Italian paradise.

And finally, in closing, this brings me to another thought. Oh for that writer’s retreat in Georgia! May the dream come true, friends.

1 comment:

  1. Christina, I'm so proud of you for taking a risk! I trust that you will not be disappointed. Growth is painful but is so rewarding. Thank you for sharing this, and your connection to the ladies of Enchanted April. I think my favorite character is the extremely short-sighted owner. Oh for a few rays of Italian sunshine!