Wanted to say hi to the new people, and also those who haven't yet come to one of the montly social meetups for writers of all stripes in the Austin area. I've been mulling over some enhancements to our humble offerings lately, though work and other things have yet to let these ideas bear fruit.
One idea that's been passed around is that of doing a social sort of 'happy hour' or bbq kind of thing, as a supplement to the monthly cafe sits at Dominican Joe. I've heard some enthusiasm for this idea, but not enough yet for it to gain critical mass; then again, to do a happy hour / after-work / early-friday eve at the 6th street Opal Divine's or somewhere else is quite doable.
Another idea that's come up is to do one of these sessions as a 'write-in'. The idea is to bring your means of writing and simply sit and write in the presence of other writers, asking questions as needed to keep the sparks flying. For my own part, I am hampered by the lack of a laptop and the inability to write well longhand. So this remains a dream so far.
Finally, I wanted to point again to the web forum, which is slow-moving but on which I have added a few features. One is the addition of an 'Introductions' area, at Greg's request. I haven't yet posted my own intro there but will start it out if no-one else beats me to it.http://www.austinwriters.net/http://www.austinwriters.net/index.php/board,5.0.html
Another is the beginning of a little writing exercise in the 'Share your writing' area. There, I've started with a simple paragraph, written and lightly edited as it appeared in my mind, which the next person would launch off from and add another paragraph to. We'll see if we have any takers!http://www.austinwriters.net/index.php/topic,39.0.html
(As a teaser, here's the paragraph that came to me:)
"Caben closed the shop door, gently turning the key til its latch slid click-lock into place, hand solid on the bronze of the doorknob as he waited for the telltale sign of its security. Satisfied, he turned and, before he was able to pull the tethered golfball that hung the plumb line of its bare-bulb light above, glimpsed upon the shelf of that pantry the small tin his grandfather had long thought forgotten. He blinked, and tilted his head, peering in an idle curiousity at the thing forbidden by oblivion and the pantry's darknesses over the long years. This time, he thought, he would risk what he had dared not so long ago when, as a boy of ten at most, he had first ventured into this small foodcloset, seeking out the Pringles. Caben reached and lifted the tin, and, before he could do another thing, noticed the dusty ring its round form left behind, and beneath it, perfectly clean and yellowed with age, a small folded note."
The Austin Writers Meetup has been meant from the start to be an informal and low-stress way to help spark a broad writers' community within Austin, and it remains satisfying after 5 months of monthly daytime meetings. Some really great conversations have been had and great people met; and for all it is slow-moving, it's nice to know that it is there and that the chances exist to meet and brainstorm with other writers. It's the best I can do given the costs of group leadership and knowing my own organizational limits, so I'm thankful that it's worth something. :)
I look forward to seeing more new folks and old faces, either at the cafe meetup on the 23rd, on the web forum, or at an as-yet-unforseen happy hour type of event.
- Heath, Austin Writers Meetup Organizer