Thursday, June 09, 2005

My Writers Group

Someone once told me that being able to handle cognitive dissonance is a sign of intelligence and mental health. I’m not quite sure what that means but if it is talking about handling a lot of diversity in one’s life, I’d say I qualify.

I just came home from a writers’ group meeting in Eugene at the home of my friend Jessica who recently had an interview at the New Yorker headquarters in NYC and will be doing an article for them on oboe reeds. Others in the group include Carol the copyright lawyer who is working on a new business exporting wine and cheese to Belize, Tom who has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology and teaches at the university, Robin who worked with Bill Gates in the early days of Microsoft, and Mary Kate who just published a gardening book through Sunset magazine.

This group is far and away the best critique group I have ever been part of. However, meeting with them always takes a bit of a mental lurch. In my daily life, I discuss Resisting Temptation with my Sunday School class, teenagers with my friend Sharon, the Father-Son supper with my friend Rita, clothes with my girls, basketball with my boys, will the rain hurt the grass seed harvest with Paul, husbands with my sister, Milford’s health with Aunt Susie, and potted plants with my mother-in-law.

Then I leave my tidy Mennonite life behind and meet with people who vote Democrat, dislike President Bush, travel abroad, have urban-y professions, are religiously liberal if at all, and know how to pronounce cognac.

But it’s really good for me. My essays always improve with their suggestions. They motivate me to keep writing. And, as typical Eugeneans, they give me a feel for the audience I’m writing for.

As I said, it’s a mental lurch, a dose of dissonance, and a good experience.

Quote of the Day:
"All mothers have kleenex."
--Steven, noting how moms can always pull a tissue out of thin air when someone has a runny nose


  1. Dorcas,
    You are fortunate to have a group like that, and time to attend it. Thank you for sharing your experience with it.

  2. Don't you love that God can place us in an enviroment that fulfils that different needs we have--I just love that I have such a "collection" of people in my life that meets the different needs.Thanks for being one of them!!I'm glad you have what fulfils your life.(Even if seems chaotic at times!!!!LOL)

    I think you would like this review of Bret Lott's writing by Lauren Winner, on Christianity Today's website.

  4. Julana--thanks for the link. Very interesting review. I'll have to look for Bret Lott's books.

  5. Yeah, my dear grandmother kept kleenex tucked just inside her cape on her dress. I always wondered why she didn't just make pockets.

  6. Yay for being a Roaring Lamb!