Back when I was a reporter for the South Dade News Leader, I covered the religion beat. One of the first people I met was a little old woman with the unlikely name of Romaine Alexander. The catchphrase she often used was my title above: "Better, better and better." She lived her life by that phrase, constantly striving to create a more positive existence.
Her spirit must have been with me a few weeks ago at Margie Lawson's Master Immersion Class, studying the art of writing at an airy mountain retreat in Golden, Colorado. I did something I haven't done before at a writing event. Despite the attack of altitude issues (at 8,888 feet, it was a little exciting!), i kicked my courage in the hind end and DIDN'T spend the whole off hours of the session alone in my room. I went out and actively joined the other women for an evening BS session-- very much against my nature. Not because I don't like people, especially the other six lovely writers who were on the mountain with me, but because I have a tendency to be a hermit.
Conference after conference, I shun the social events and retreat to my room to write or ponder the ideas I've absorbed.
I've read, of course, that one of the primary benefits of attending conferences and other writing events is networking. I'm just not very good at it. 'Schmooze' is not part of my DNA chain. Face to face, I'm articulate enough, with a sharp wit, or so I'm told. Overcoming that tendency to pull back into a safe shell is , however, quite a challenge.
But this particular group of women, all talented, warm and willing to share their lives and work, really brought something out of me that made me want to be part of them. Joan has a series coming out from Kensington, Gloria is working on a smart and snappy story about a woman with Vegas experience, Barb's romance and Lynn's YA about werewolves, both interesting, Jessie's another elf writer, like myself, and Sherry is populating the world with excellent short stories while her novel's coming together. We worked together, listened together and learned together about cadence and power words and how to make our work fascinating.
And I grew a little as a person--and an author. Thank you all so much--and Margie, too! The IMC class, one of the most special writing experiences of my life.
Better, better and better. Every day.
Causes Barbara Mountjoy Supports
Human Rights Campaign