Last night’s writing class reunion was really wonderful. We met in a lovely home belonging to one of the women who was in a class previous to my class. She had a really cool fireplace, it was gas, but it looked like dirt on fire. There were seventeen people there, plus the teacher, which is quite a crowd considering everyone reads a story. There wasn’t much time for feedback unfortunately, the question and answer period after each story is really nice normally, I feel we can really get to know each other that way. On the other hand, it is very encouraging that so many people come out to these meetings; it’s like having a bunch of people with whom to have a common bond.
I read my story about my grandmother, and passed around a collage of photos I had made of her. Everyone seemed to like the story, the teacher commented on my use of dialogue. I have never really written dialogue before and it is a little tricky. I didn’t know whether or not to use “She said”….”She replied” etc, so I didn’t. While reading the story I was able to use my tone of voice and timing to convey who was talking, but I don’t know if it would work if someone is reading it.
There is an 83 year old woman in the group. She took a bad fall a couple of months ago and ended up in rehab. She wrote a story about it, and it was quite amazing. I would never want to go through what she went through, but she came out the other end and is able to still attend writing class reunions. Some other people wrote about friends and family members who are ill, or who have died after long illnesses. These circumstances seem like ones that NEED to be written about. I admire anyone who can read their stories without crying, like I do. I made it through my whole story without crying, until the last sentence. I couldn’t read it, so I just pretended it wasn’t there.
I did cry during some of the other stories. Sigh. Just too emotional I guess.
One of the women in the class wrote about her career as a flight attendant. The first time I met her she read a story about her experience volunteering in Burma. She is going to Cambodia in the middle of February for three months. Today I emailed her to find out more about her volunteer work overseas and she invited me out to lunch with her this weekend to learn more about the organization for whom she works. This is an NGO and the commitment is no less than three months. She said she will bring photos too and explain the whole process to me. I am actually looking forward to it.