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Friday, December 4, 2015

Lonely Arts Club

Last night, I attended our city's first ever Lonely Arts Club, a speed dating event to find critique partners for writers. This is a terrific idea. The folk who ran it were playful and cute. They held it at a hip micro-brewery, dressed as waiters and waitresses, and handed us a menu for a communal writing exercise, like the story-telling game you play with little kids, tossing the plot around a circle.

Okay, that worked better in concept than in reality, but it was soon over and we were able to get to the meat of meeting other writers.

After some false starts, the organizers worked out the speed dating aspect as well. My side of the long table wound up hopping sideways, like fleas, to shout across the table at another writer--okay, the acoustics were horrible. I met a damned good short-story writer. I know she can write,
because she was next to me during the writing exercise. I met other writers who exuded confidence and possibilities. All in all, it was just plain fun, even though I have a mild-concussion thanks to a tall teenager who thought the back of my ice skates were third base and slid into them full speed last Sunday.

Writing is a lonely art. I'm an introvert, so that is mostly fine, but I love being able to shoot pages to someone or having them send me theirs. I find, though, that it can be extremely difficult, when you don't write genre and after you reach a certain level of technique, to find a critique group or peers.

Also, right now, I'm desperately seeking someone to read a revision of my first chapters, which an agent has requested and which I finished weeks ago--I think this is a very good revision--but am not willing to send it out without that careful read by an intelligent writer. My go-tos have either read my opening ad nauseum, or this friend's child is in crisis, this one's mother is in the hospital, this one is planning her wedding and applying to Journalism school, several work and are taking classes, too. I love people who can say no--it makes me know where I stand--but I do wish I could find a wise, thoughtful beta reader for these pages. Right now!

Any offers?

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