A space to reflect on my readings and musings, scattered and rescattered


A Writing Community

Something really cool happened in class--at least in my mind. Today our Creative Writing class took its first real step in becoming a writing community. Kitty brought in and shared her short story “When Mary Liptin and I were best friends." We decided to read it together as a class. As her colleague read the story, we all followed along with bated breath as we worried about her characters, were humbled by the realness of the school setting, and started caring more deeply than we could imagine about her character. The short class period (and her long story!) didn't leave us as much discussion time as we'd all have liked but the story stayed in the air for the entire day. The little notes that we wrote to her at the end of class were just the beginning of the conversation about these characters and the world they lived in. Several of us talked with Kitty about her story throughout the day, puzzling through scenes and pondering each character's actions again and again. The conversations felt really alive. As I overhead them (and participated in them!), I understood that something beautiful was happening. We were becoming a writing community--an invested committed group of people, excited to talk about our writing together, excited to give and receive feedback and to live in one another's created worlds. To live within one another's imagination is a exquisitely beautiful.

This feeling of a writing community who really cared for one another struck me and reminded me of the title of this blog, something I wrote about over 2 years ago as my first blog entry:

A site just for my own stuff, named in honor of the women who helped me understand the importance of how we talk about our lives, how much the stories and the ways in which we tell those stories matters. Scattered was the title of a collection of poetry and stories created by a group of exceptional women I once knew who were recovering from life's disappointments.

As I feel this writing community swelling and taking shape, I can't wait to meet with these young women (+one good-natured young man!) again. I'm ready to talk about making a UAMA publication that will help us celebrate our hard writing work in some way. I have all these ideas spinning in my head for the conversations I want all of us to open up with Kitty about her story, about the conversations I want to make a space for in my classroom. And now I am remembering that yet another Fire Drill is scheduled for this coming Wednesday at the exact time of our class and I will have to wait an entire week to meet again with this amazing crew. Graaarrrrrrr!


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