Two Sundays ago I said goodbye to my Ann Arbor critique group. We’ve been working together for I want to say four years. Is that right? (Why am I so horrible with keeping track of time?) We were all newbies to the game of YA writing and publishing when we began and in some ways it’s been the blind leading the blind. But looking back, I can see a lot of growth over the years, both in relationships and writing skill. In a very real sense, I couldn’t have had the success I’ve had without their help. And in some ways it’s been my church. I often forget that people aren’t as interested in talking about the craft of writing as I am. On good days, I hold my tongue with general public. Did you ever see Anne of Green Gables? Poor Anne, she is so talkative! Always getting scolded for not holding her tongue. There’s a scene in the movie where she confesses to Myrilla, (whom she so badly hopes will adopt her) that she knows – she really knows – how irritating her talking is, but “if you only knew how much I really wanted to say but didn’t!” And oh, have I felt that way about writing. And my critique group has been my sanctuary for saying anything and everything I want to say about the thrilling/exhausting/heart-breaking/ball-busting/insane business of trying to publish. I will miss you all.
Josh has also begun saying goodbye, and wrote a beautiful last post to his blog. Thanks, Josh. I took a quick look back over some of the posts and it was fun to remember things like showing the girls the fairy doors in Ann Arbor. They never believed in Santa, but BY GOD the fairies in Ann Arbor are REAL! There was also the day the Eleanor was interviewed by the Humane Society for starting Vegetarian Wednesday with Josh. She’s now become a full-time vegetarian. I got to remember seeing the Dalai Lama speak. There’s so much more obviously, but I’d forgotten about those. It’s been a long chapter for Josh and the kids and I, and I’m sure I’ve said it before, but this is the longest we’ve lived somewhere together. To read about some of the good times was nice.
Now, I’m off to get ready for an interview. When they ask me what my weakness are, I think I’m going to say, “Well, every time I see sweet potatoes on the menu, I order them. That and carrot cake.” What is it with the orange veggies? Love ’em!