Friday, 10 February 2012

I am grateful for.....the Closet Writers (R. Jefferson)

What are you grateful for and why?

Prompt given at the Closet Writers group, November 23, 2011

            I am grateful to be here as it has been eons since the last time. And I feel good here—despite not always writing nor “being a writer.” It’s a small, practical oasis and totally different from what I do other places, whether working, playing with friends and family or exercising my stiff back.
            I am grateful that the group seems to be open to pretty much anything—from level of involvement to level of ability. How wonderful that personalities like this exist and exist with the kind of talent to give ideas, support, guidance, motivation, and encouragement.
            I am grateful that I was exposed to the group’s nature, that a member was present enough to make a connection between my expressions and providing information.
            I am grateful that I can immerse myself in a different brain corner for a while—one that is not focusing on pain, the past, the future, the problems and possibilities.
            Just write.
            Keep going.
            It doesn’t matter.
            The outcome is not the point.
            Finally, an outcome-free zone. No standards to meet, process to complete, etc. etc. Although I guess I didn’t read the whole journal yet: maybe there is a procedures section. Maybe there are certain thoughts and beliefs I’m supposed to have and fulfill by the end of the writing. Maybe that’s my problem of not getting more writing done.

©2011  R. Jefferson

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Box by Wayne Smith

The Box
Feb 4th 2012

Audio Recording:  Read by Wayne Smith

I saw the box only a  few times in my lifetime. Mother would be carrying it, tears in her eyes.
My mother  passed away recently and I asked my Dad if I could have the box. He said:
"Take it."
I was delighted; the box looked old yet well preserved. 
I opened the brass latch, lifted back the brown leather lid.  Inside I found old family
photos and my grandmother’s saved letters home from her lost son Roy while he was here in Canada training to be a British Lancaster bomber pilot.
Near the end of the Second World War, Roy’s plane was shot down over Nuremberg, Germany. His body was never found.
My grandmother hoped he had been taken prisoner and would return home once the War was over.  She waited many long months, in vain.  I believe she wrote letters in search of her lost son.
It is that loving grandmother’s search that makes me feel, and the memory of my own mother’s pain whenever I saw her with the box, that is a reflection of that painful search.
Roy’s letters home are the hopes and dreams of a  twenty year old British lad. In them he asks if his mom could send him clean pajamas.  Or he is telling her the only girls the army could find for them at the airmen’s dance were all thirty years of age or older.
"Oh, Mum—I had to dance with thirty year olds, I will never live it down."
Ironically, he never did.
Today I hold the box as a treasure of love and hope, held for so many years by my grandmother, my mother, and now by me.  I hope to add the gift of a story to that box, passing the box on one day to someone who holds a memory precious.

Thanks, Mom.

(c)2012 Wayne Smith


New York (sigh) -- always a couple of years behind Vancouver

Last fall American science fiction author Mary RobinetteKowal took a month-long vacation from using the internet. 

She asked anybody & everybody to communicate with her by post and paper letters.   

And they did.   

So now she has these correspondences going, and she’s delighted: “When I write back, I find that I slow down and write differently than I do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever I write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom I am writing.”

Now she’s challenged her friends & family -- and all her Facebook buddies-- to mail at least one item through the post every day through February, part of a bid to help the ailing U.S. postal service hold its head above water.
And it’s catching at close quarters: her own agent has actually promised to respond to an author query every day. And many other writers are joining in the call to put pen to paper.
Well, that’s New York, behind the times as usual.

In Vancouver, a shop called The Regional Assembly of Text on Main Street has for years been encouraging its customers to come in at 7 o'clock on the first Thursday evening of the month to write paper letters to their loved ones. The Regional Assembly hauls out their collection of old Remingtons and Royals, Underwoods and Smith-Coronas -- and encourages all us limp-wristed internet writer lightweights to pound our hearts out on those cranky old manual typers in their Writing Club.  

Glad to hear that the Big Apple is finally catching up.

(c)2012  Margo Lamont

2012 Grind Writers meetings schedule

Grind Writers
meetings schedule
Saturday, Feb 18
Sunday, Mar 4
Saturday, Mar 17
Sunday, Apr 1
Saturday, Apr 14
Sunday, Apr 29
Saturday, May 12
Sunday, May 27
Saturday, June 9
Sunday, June 24
Saturday, July 7
Sunday, July 22
Saturday, Aug 11 
Sunday, Aug 26
Saturday, Sept 8
Sunday, Sept 23
Saturday, Oct 13 
Sunday, Oct  28
Saturday, Nov  17 
Sunday, Dec  2 – last one for 2012
Meetings start at 10am,
 go til 12:30pm.
Grind Gallery Café
4124 Main Street
at King Edward Ave.

Email before you attend the first time: sometimes we go on field trips & artist dates an meet outside the Grind.
margolamont [at] gmail [dot] com