An official welcome to our blog! In this first post, I have highlighted our group’s history. We are eager to further explore the wide world of writing, and bring you some entertaining reading. We hope you enjoy our site and come back often.
There’s a place for your comments and we’d love to hear from you.
At our most recent meeting we sat around the dining room table. We are like a family in some ways—no matter whose house we meet at, each of us seems to gravitate to our place at the table. As usual, we had all brought an appetizer. Although none of us is afraid to try a new recipe—either cooking it or eating it—we tend to have our specialties. There was no shortage of wine or good food or good company.
The four of us were discussing details about our upcoming blog. We had overwhelmingly decided to call it Writers Uncorked. I volunteered to write a short history of our group. It’s difficult to explain how four people changed over several years, how we became friends, and how we helped each other be better writers and better people. But I’ll try!
It was July of 2003 when we four—along with many other aspiring writers and students— attended the Imagination Writers’ Workshop at Cleveland State University. Among several activities, small groups of attendees would meet with a published author, who would read our work and comment on it as well as lead a discussion on the craft of writing. Our group was fortunate to have as our leader the hot new author of that year, Alice Sebold. She was in the midst of the almost fairy-tale-like success of her (then) recently-published first novel The Lovely Bones.
Near the end of that weeklong conference, five of us decided that we had worked well together and wanted to continue meeting monthly. I remember being excited about the prospect of working with other writers on a regular basis. Until then, I had usually abstained from letting others read my writing.
Our fifth (and former) member, Kaki, had had a previous long-term commitment, so she was only with our group for a couple of months. Even in Kaki’s short time with our group, I remember how much we valued her contributions, and I remember (at least once, maybe twice) meeting at the elegant lakefront home of her family. We sat around a huge dining room table, enjoyed wine and snacks, and took in the view of Lake Erie.
That first year, one or two of our meetings were held at a centrally located restaurant, but we soon decided that we would alternate hosting the group. We quickly got to know each other and enjoy each other’s hospitality. Two things were constant—we always enjoyed a glass or two of wine when we got together and none of us was shy about offering opinions.
Since we began meeting, Everett, Barbara, and Sarah have completed novels. Barbara and Sarah have both begun second books and Everett is working on a series of short stories. I have chronicled, and looked for the humor in, my daughter’s journey from single college student to bride. I continue to try to find—and write about—some humor and some tender moments in everyday life.
Through the years, we have been able to offer each other encouragement and criticism. We can happily spend a large part of our monthly meeting discussing the merits of keeping or getting rid of a single word in a piece of writing one of us has done. We have toasted each other’s victories and commiserated over rejection letters. We don’t share a single gender, a neighborhood, a nationality, and we’ve never helped each other move, but we help each other write. In a recent email to the group, Everett said, “Let me know what you think.” Two lines down, he added, “Well, of course you will.” And he’s right.
So let’s raise a virtual glass…Here’s to you, our readers, and here’s to us, the Writers Uncorked.