Monday, December 14, 2009

Shewrites. And she writes. And she writes...

Yesterday's coffee with Kamy Wicoff of was rather exciting. Kamy brought her boyfriend Pierre, a musician with The Dimes (click on their website -- music will play, and you'll hear their great sound). The others who joined us were writer/storyteller Devorah Zaslow and world renowned science writer, Virginia Morell, who had the February 2008 cover story for National Geographic and just signed a high six-figure book deal based on her research. Of course, Jennifer Margulis was there, too, who is an accomplished writer in her own right, having, among other things, held the cover story for November 2009's Smithsonian magazine, an article which was recently chosen for The 2009 Best Science Writing anthology.

You might say I was in exceptional company.

That's what made it fun, inspiring and special - but so was all the frank talk about writing and commitment and networking and choosing agents. Obviously, I'm nowhere near the stages any of these women are (by the way, Kamy's written a book, too, called I Do But I Don't, a book about marriage and divorce), but as Jennifer went around the table and introduced everybody, ending finally with me and my small accomplishments and novel-in-progress, I somehow still felt like I was part of the big picture.

There's a kind of big picture kindness and respect that comes from good writers. They're the ones who respect the process, the stages, the hard work, and the successes of any writer at any level. I definitely felt that respect and kindness yesterday as talk around the table shifted to different experiences and issues from each of us. Admittedly, I was the one playing the newbie card, but it was okay because they'd all been there.

But that's the point of, and that's the feeling I got from these other writers: at some point We've all been there. We've been at some spot, and possess information or advice or ideas that are valuable to share. And that's the purpose of a community of writers.

Kamy said she'd wished she could've recorded the meeting for her website, as it hit on the topics pursues. And, afterward, Devorah suggested we (sans Kamy) get together once a month or so to talk about writing.

Perhaps Devorah's comments were directed more at Virginia and Jennifer, but I didn't necessarily get that vibe. I got that writers-supporting-writers vibe instead.

It sounds like Virginia is absolutely swamped with her book deal, kind of like she wants to sneak away to a cave and pound the book out, uninterrupted, so I'm not sure what will come of Devorah's suggestion. However,I still came away inspired to work hard -- and you'd better believe I'll be sure to write again if I ever have the pleasure of actually being part of something so cool.


KUrlie said...

Congratulations Anj - this sounds so awesome. I didn't take the time to ask you about it this morning and I'm sorry. But I do feel caught up now. It is pretty cool when people who have had 'big success' come back to the table to share with those who are still 'big success' works in progress (which I believe you are missy.) I'm glad they're willing to share and support and I'm excited for you that you got to meet them.

anjie said...

It's okay that you didn't ask about it. I didn't even chat much with Mick about it. Maybe that made it easier to sit and write it - since I hadn't processed it already with one of you two. ;)

Big Share said...

I'm glad you wrote up your your coffee time; I was wondering how it went. Impressive group and wonderful that you feel supported and encouraged. On my way to check out the links