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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Speaking at the Monadnock Writers Group

This weekend Rich and I were guest speakers at the Monadnock Writers Group, a cast of nearly three dozen burgeoning writers who get together once a month at the Peterborough Library in southern New Hampshire. They exchange ideas, sometimes listen to guest speakers and give encouragement. What I liked most about the experience, was that regardless of whether or not they have guest speakers, one member of the group gets the opportunity to read an excerpt from their work at the beginning of the gathering.
It can be pretty daunting stepping behind a podium and reading your work to a group, whether you know them or not, but it's essential. Not only does it force your psyche to accept that you are, indeed, a writer, but it's also important to get feedback from others, as well as their support.
We're all vulnerable and perhaps even more so when we're pouring out our souls on paper, then giving the books to someone and hoping for a connection.
A Writers Group can provide us with an instant sense of belonging, a warm blanket over our shoulders as we struggle or triumph in our work.
I enjoyed reading Little Joe aloud and having a few librarians in the audience who were also raised on farms, comment that my work resonated with them and felt authentic. It's such a thrill to have someone who's read your work comment on specific chapters and characters. Experiences like these buoy you for weeks on end.
Thanks to Laura for inviting us, and to such great questions and feedback from our fellow writers. Happy writing!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pennsylvania Bound

Little Joe's "Blue Ribbon Tour" hit Pennsylvania the first weekend in November and it was really great for Rich and I to visit our old home state. Kickers, Rich's soccer series, already has quite a fan base and one young reader wore his Bobcats shirt, just like Ben does in the books. Little Joe, set in PA farm country, was bought by parents and grandparents to read aloud and share experiences familiar to some of the generations who were in 4-H.
We were smack in the middle of farm country in Muncy, where Madison, pictured with me, got Little Joe for her Christmas present and promised not to read it until then. Thanks to Joyce at the Borders there, who made us feel special and had our signing table hopping!
We met up with teachers as one of our stops coincided with a book fair and a few burgeoning young writers who have been penning realistic fiction since before they got into double digits.(Can't wait to read their books in the future.)

A Blue ribbon for all the Pennsylvania stores that carry our books and for those that hosted our signings!