I have belonged to a writers' group at the Jericho Town Library for a number of years now. In fact, I just realized I have participated since its inception. The group has changed members over the years, numbers growing and falling off.
Right now there are three of us who meet on a fairly regular basis--the goal is every other week, but of course life sometimes intrudes on that plan. We work on our separate projects and meet to share and offer feedback and support. This has become such an important part of my life as have the the two women who have become writerly colleagues and friends.
Sometimes we go on a field trip together. Yesterday we went to a public event that was part of this summer's Middlebury College writer's conference at their Bread Loaf Campus. You can see a video and a slide show of the campus HERE. You can get more information Here.
We attended a reading from a novel in progress by Margot Livesey. I could only sigh at the craft in the hands of a master. And Alan Shapiro read poetry that striped down to the bone. And to shamelessly name drop, Julia Alvarez sat just across the aisle from us. We were cool--Jen and Margaret and I--but on the inside we were like teenage girls at a Beatles concert in the late '60s. Wow.
I consider the Bread Loaf Campus sacred ground. Mike and I were married in the nearby Robert Frost forest. This was a trip that fed my soul and affirmed my spirit. And I needed that.