When I first moved back to Cape Cod, I was invited to join a group of fiction writers. We met once a month and handed out copies of our recent work so our fellow writers could flay us. It was fun.
I was, shall we say, the odd man out. I was working two jobs and was not a professional writer. The others, ALL the others, were retired. They all had published work under their belts. I think I was invited to join them for my baking skills.
They were very, very professional. I learned how to format my work for submission because that's the way they wanted it printed out. It was not okay to skip a week because you had been out too late the night before.
I lasted about a year.
I've been thinking about that group a lot lately, because yet another writing group has made the mistake of inviting me to join them. Its been 10 years, so the last one must not be on my record anymore. This one is exactly nothing like the last one. This one is like that one, on steroids.
I've been following Polite Fictions since it started last summer. Some of my favorite writers on the internet are participating. It's a "write your bit and pass it on" kind of thing. I would be lying if I didn't admit to secretly wishing I had been invited. Kind of like how when I was 12 I thought it would be fun to be a guest child star on Charlie's Angels.
Except the producers of Charlie's Angels never sent me an email invitation.
I think that would have been easier. Frankly, I am terrified. It's a story I'd never attempt myself and I'm suddenly running with the big dogs. I have never felt more like a papillon.
On the plus side, I can't spend my week thinking about what to write next. It's a pretty safe bet that if you think of some great lines for someone, that character will be dead by the time it's your turn again.
Also, I've gotten really spoiled with this blog. I can write in my own voice all day long. If you haven't noticed, my voice isn't particularly gangstery.
To say the least, it's a stretch.
And I've never been happier.
p.s. If you're here finding shelter from all the swearing on the internet, do yourself a favor and don't click the link. Trust me. I mean you, mom.
p.p.s. A big fat thank you to everyone at Polite Fictions. It was a horrible mistake inviting me and I'm really glad you made it.