Thursday, January 7, 2010

Encounters/Sharon and Holly

One of the pleasures of the writing life (and there are many) is connecting with other writers. A few years ago I had the good fortune to be invited to spend a weekend writing by the sea with Sharon Wright , a novelist (and now wonderful life coach) I'd met when she attended a writing retreat I ran. Sharon had also invited another writer friend, the journalist (and now novelist) Holly Robinson. The three of us had escaped our daily lives as mothers, wives and jugglers of many tasks to hole up for two days in a small apartment on the beach in the middle of January. We wrote for hours, Sharon and Holly wrapped in quilts with their laptops on the couch, and I with my narrow-ruled pad and fine point pen at a small round table overlooking the water. At night, we ate a meal I had brought (a butterflied leg of lamb marinated in garlic, rosemary, olive oil and lemon juice; roasted red potatoes and baby green beans), drank some very good wine and read out loud to one another what we had written during the day.

We affirmed what was good in one another's prose and offered fresh perspectives and thoughtful commentary. And then we drank some more wine.

I count both women as friends. Although I rarely see them because of the geographic distance between us, our stories link us. My writing has been enriched because of those days I spent with them at the beach, and I feel privileged to have been among the first to hear their words as they were tumbling onto the page.

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