Currently on a Writing Retreat

I’m currently squirreled away at a bed & breakfast on Cape Cod, taking a 3-day writing retreat to really concentrate on the last 120 pages of the rewrite of Chaos Chronicles #4, which I have been calling Sunborn all along (though that might change). My wife fixed this up for me back in August, as my birthday present. (Good wife!) I’m sitting in front of a fire with my laptop, trying to figure out the remaining thorny questions in the storyline/plot/background of the book.

Just taking a few minutes to post this update. However, I’m also going to take this opportunity to say Happy Birthday to my friend Victoria, member of my writing group for significantly more than 20 years! (Slug that I am, I forgot to say this on her birthday, so I am trying to make amends by shouting it to the world.) Happy Belated Birthday, Victoria!

0 Responses

  1. VictoriaB
    | Reply

    Thank you kindly, Jeff. This birthday gave me my last chance to be 50-anything, so I cherish it more than most. Remember when I turned 50? And 40? The rest of the group was there when I turned 30; we hadn’t met you yet. I remember when you turned 40, and 50 (and where IS that Lavalamp? In your office, to inspire you?) and all the life stuff we’ve been through. Marriages, divorces, remarriages, babies, cats, dogs, domesticated aquatic lifeforms, losing parents and friends, and our little group steadfastly there through it all. We’ve grown and contracted, we’ve fought and hurt each other and made it up again, and we’re still here.

    The group, BTW, was first formed in August 1977. We are still trying to figure out exactly when Jeff joined us, but we think it was in 1980.

    Would you be the writer you are today without the group, Jeff? I think you would, but you wouldn’t have enjoyed the trip nearly as much. You would have had to do all the work of figuring out what does and doesn’t make a story come alive all alone.

    Like many marriages, writers’ groups don’t always survive. But when a group works and becomes part of what is necessary for life for each of its members, it feeds your soul like nothing else. As one member remarked during a “crisis meeting” early on in our group’s life, part of the value of a group is that in the big world, no one cares if you write. To have a group of smart, talented people who care very much that you write and who are willing to meet regularly, read and respond to what you write is gold in your hands. It’s worth the struggle of finding the right people to make it work.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, Jeff. See you next week.

    Peace,
    Victoria

  2. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Thanks for the great retrospective on the group, Victoria! A lot of memories there.

    And just for the record, I know perfectly well I would not be the same writer without the group. I might have written all the same titles and storylines, more or less, but no way would they have been the same books. Partly it’s the encouragement, of course, but the plain truth is that the constructive criticism of the group has been more valuable than I could possibly say. My books simply would not be nearly as good without your help. So thank you. Again.

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