Sunday Night Writer’s Group

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Sitting in Denny’s on a Sunday night has become a weekly obsession for me. I’m crowded in a back booth fighting for table space for my laptop and mouse. There are more power cords than plugs, and plates of fries are being devoured. But we writers endure and enjoy the camaraderie.

It’s the Sunday Writer’s Group that has spawn out of NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month. Most nights we tap away during the writing sprints, cheer each other on with the next published work or cry for the rejection letter. In between all that, we brainstorm stories and talk about the tribulations we had getting here.

The anticipation at the table is starting to build as November approaches.  All writers know what November brings, 30 days of laboring over the laptop tapping away hoping you reach your daily word count of 1667. That’s right, 1667 words per day for 30 days which brings the total to 50,000 words. And to tell you the truth, that is only half a manuscript by far.

I’m sure the literary agents and publishers dread December 1st, which means many of these drafts end up in their slush pile as we writers celebrate. It’s a time to pat ourselves on the back and say well done while the publishing world cringes.

So here I am with my fellow writers, plotting away for my November novel and dreaming about making it to the top of the NY Times bestsellers list. But I’m going to be truthful with myself, I’m just hoping to cross the line on November 30th with 50,000 words.

A Toast at Tobie’s Tavern

Here I am trying to chase the doubts and uncertainties that all writers have at some time in their day. You wonder if your story is strong enough to catch a reader’s interest, and have enough twisted hooks to pull them along so they dare not put it down.

The love to write and the sound of tapping keys from my laptop is something I recently discovered. But it is sharing the story that really excites me. If a writer tells you they only write for themselves, I would say they are not telling the whole truth. There is something powerful about having a total stranger read your work and crave more. When you get it right, you want to shout from the rooftops. Case in point, I belong to an online writing community and last night a member had just finished a short story. He couldn’t wait to post his finished work.

So what I need right now is a little chick time and a cold one at Tobie’s to sooth my insecurities. I walk into the darken tavern, the smell of stale beer and the comfort of old friends greet me. The clicking of pool balls can be heard drifting out from the back room, music is playing on the jukebox.

The place is crowded for a week night. The wood paneling on the walls do nothing to lighten the room. The only illumination is from the wall scones and the twinkle lights behind the bar, the intimacy softens people’s flaws.

Lauren and Donna are sitting on stools at the bar with three bottles of Blue Moon in front of them. “You look a little down, what’s up?” Lauren says as I take the stool next to her.

“I got another rejection for the book.”

“No, I can’t believe it. I plan to become famous when ‘In the Shadows of the Adirondacks’ gets published. I want Kate Hudson to play me when our story gets made into a movie.” Donna says.

I laugh and say, “I’m thinking more of Paris Hilton.” My mood starts to lift as I watch Donna’s eyes brighten as she thinks about the blonde bombshell playing her character.

“What about me?” Lauren asks. “Who do you think would do me justice?”

I take a sip of my Blue Moon and look speculatively at the red head sitting to my right. I never really thought of my book as a movie but I am open for anything.

“Maybe Nicole Kidman or Kate Winslet.” I say.

“Nicole is too tall but Kate Winslet is definitely a contender.” Lauren says.

“I have something for you. In honor of completing the manuscript, I got you a little gift.” I am surprised and touched at the thoughtfulness and take the little box from Lauren. I open it up and staring back at me is a silver necklace with a pendant with the word ‘Writer’ on it. I smile and look at Lauren wishing she wasn’t just a character in my book, but a real friend.

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“Thank you.”

Tobie sets three fluted glasses on the bar and pops the cork on a bottle of champagne. “And this is from me to celebrate the end of one story and the beginning of the next.” Donna says as she takes the glass of the bubbly and lifts it in the air for a toast.

We clink our glasses and I know that no matter what is next, my story of the quirky characters of Tobias will be published for all readers to enjoy.