Last evening I spent two hours with one of the critique groups I helped organize last year through Northern Colorado Writers. This group now calls itself High Plains Drafters.
Don’t you love the names writers come up with for their groups? Another group I facilitated at the beginning is focused on mystery fiction. They named their group The Red Herrings.
Anyway, back to last night’s gathering. They invited me as their special guest to a picnic and critique session on the sandy beach of a small lake north of town. I ate a sandwich, a couple of raw veggies, a few nachos, and a great piece of chocolate zucchini cake.
Although I had expected heat and humidity next to the lake, and planned for a mosquito attack since the pesky things find me very tasty, none of that came to pass. It was cool. Fish were jumping way before the sun dropped behind the hills. During that two hours, at least six flights of Canadian geese came from across the lake and passed overhead in their perfect V formation.
I propped my leg on the crossbar of the picnic table and relaxed as I listened to the group critique three submissions after each author read a couple of pages out loud. I didn’t have much to add since their critiquing skills are excellent. This mixed genre fiction group has made great progress on their novels and short stories.
It was a wonderful to be in the good company of supportive writers critiquing good writing.
When two members of the group went to launch their kayaks, however, I saw the writing on the lake. If I stayed, someone was sure to talk me into one of those contraptions. A canoe is good, a rowboat better, but I’m afraid to get in a kayak. My spirit of adventure runs head on into my fear of drowning by hanging upside down in the clutches of something I can’t escape.
I ended the perfect evening by beating a fast retreat. I have no regrets.