Note: This is the second of three parts. Click here to read from the beginning.
So, I’ve established that my friends from my book group don’t really read or discuss books, but they are funny.
And now I’m going to tell you how they are also inspiring.
Even though we don’t have articulate book discussions and debates, we are still a literate bunch, and we have amazing conversations with depth. Mariesh inspires all of us with her stories of trips abroad with her sisters, for instance, and Stevie and Mariesh energize us with their dedication to their work.
Recently, without knowing it, Gina also gave me a jolt of inspiration.
I’ve been struggling to find the time to work on my second book, Seeking the Sun, and I’ve also hit a wall in terms of where the story is going and what will become of Roxie and Alex. This block is another symptom of my fiction versus nonfiction dilemma as I struggle to pull the story from my heart and mind as opposed to my journalist’s notebook.
Gina and her kale helped unplug one small piece of the puzzle.
At a gathering in my living room, complete with Kina Luna’s popcorn, Gina was talking about how she uses up the kale from her farm share so that it doesn’t take over her kitchen or go bad before she and her family can consume it.
“I break it up in pieces like this,” she said, demonstrating the act of tearing the kale into small pieces. “And then I freeze it.”
Suddenly I knew that Roxie has a small garden plot at her studio, and she, too, shreds and freezes her kale so as to not become overwhelmed by the sheer volume. I knew that the nice couple that rents the art studio to Roxie also lets her take charge of a plot of land on their property to plant lettuce, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes and basil. Perhaps, it occurred to me, Roxie is even a vegetarian. Maybe she ferments her food. Maybe she cans it.
I couldn’t wait to get writing again and begin to work on this aspect of Roxie.
But there was an even bigger inspiration – and an opportunity – that came via my dear book group.
For April, which is National Poetry Month, my friends and I decided we wouldn’t choose a book (that we wouldn’t then read) but we would each come with a favorite poem, and we would read them out loud to one another.
We each read various selections. Stevie and Mariesh’s works were classics, all read from their bound collections of poetry. Kina Luna read hers from her iPhone.
Reading her first poetic selection, Claire seemed a bit nervous. Hers was a beautiful piece about being on the back of a motorcycle, watching the landscape pass, feeling the fresh air, feeling alive.
“That was lovely,” we all said in unison. “Who wrote that?”
Very quietly, Claire said, “I did.”
After we heaped praise on Claire, we launched a conversation about writing and who loved to write and what we loved to write and that we never have writing time.
“We should have a writing retreat,” someone suggested. We were all over that idea.
Stevie offered up her vacation home in West Chesterfield and offered to do a Doodle poll so that we could choose a date. We said we would each come with a writing exercise, and we talked about a group writing project as well, although this concept had no shape to it.
We left one another that night with a higher energy level than usual. Soon, we would gather to write together.
Question was, would we write together as well as we discussed books?
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