EASY AS A, B, C . . . from BB
A note from The Bensch Wensch: I love books. Therefore, I love TKE. That’s The King’s English, a wonderful, independent bookstore in Salt Lake City. (If you haven’t been there, drive to 15th South and 15th East to check out the funky, artsy small business community in the heart of some of Salt Lake’s finest older homes.) TKE is so wonderfully supportive of books and of authors, both foreign and domestic. And by domestic, I mean Utah’s authors.
Last very early spring, I was there to hear Amy Jarecki, a wonderful, now Utah- writer, at her book launch. Talking to her after the presentation, I also met and enjoyed another interesting Utah writer, Amy Freeman. She has thrown herself whole-heartedly into the Utah writers scene. I’ve asked her to share one of her blogs with us . . . and, though it’s her first for The ABC Writers Guild, I’m sure it will not be her last . . . ENJOY:
I have run into this twice in less than a week, so I figured I should address it. I took a friend of mine to a writing group, Hayden to be specific, and when I say I took him, I should say I forced him. (The hostility comes from Hayden being slathered in talent and keeping it all to himself.)
So I told him he was going with me, and when and where to show up. When I pulled into the parking lot I found him standing by the flagpole looking left and right for my missing car, so I parked, jumped out and ran to greet him. He seemed a tad uncomfortable. But that only increased when we actually entered the conference room. We took our seats, and five minutes in he turned to me with his note pad in hand…
Now, I would insert “memory lane” music here if I possessed the capacity to do so, but I don’t, so please provide your own.
Hayden and I met centuries ago in Massage Therapy School, and from time to time we were blessed with some very “special” teachers. This prompted an abundance of note passing between us in class, a skill we have fine-tuned and chose to utilize during this writing group.
Hayden: ”Every single person in this room is Mormon!”
Me: “Not EVERYONE…”
You see, Hayden is not Mormon. But that’s not the bigger issue. The bigger issue is that Hayden’s subject matter is extremely colorful and filter free. But that’s not the biggest issue. The biggest issue is that Hayden is gay.
So here I have taken my non-Mormon, graphic, gay friend to a predominantly Mormon writing group.
He was thrilled. Thrilled to death, but, somehow, loves me still.
As the evening progressed, I would turn to him, lean in, and prod...”How are you doing? Do you want to leave?” and so on and so forth.
But the surprise answer was, “No, there’s some really good info here.”
By the end of the evening, although he maintains the experience was akin to a relief society meeting, he did learn plenty, many things he never knew and many things he can, and will, apply to his own writing.
The bottom line is not to prejudge. Go check that class out anyway. It may not be a perfect fit for you, and you may not go back. But you will learn something. Even if it’s what not to do for your ventures, and if you just can’t find a group that really gives you what you need in order to progress and learn, why not start your own? Seek out writers who are just as outrageous or colorful as you are and band together!
We all need a group that works for us; a group that brings out our inner writer in its most vibrant form. Don’t judge the book by its cover. Go find one! As “West Side Story” (or Barbra Streisand) promises us through song…
THERE’S A PLACE FOR US!
See you day-after-tomorrow for “Sunday’s Snippets