When I lived in New York I relied heavily on MeetUp.com to build my life. My Life, including: things to do, things to get people to do the things I like to do, business, and, fun.
I sat in bed with my computer and my coffee every morning posting to my MeetUps, JaelYoga, YogaDanceFitness and People of the Book, my Jewish book club. It was fun and creative and socially conscious and productive. YogaDanceFitness, at two locations had over five hundred followers on MeetUp alone.
So, in an attempt to break the pattern of boredom and apathy I’ve allowed to overcome my life here in Marion County Florida, I looked to MeetUp.com. The closest thing going on anywhere I found two counties over at Citrus County Writers and Poets. My expectations were …… Well, I hoped for at least one grizzled old creative intelligencer, maybe an old coot who had lived a life on a canal writing about nature and wisdom dappled in quaint Southern sayings.
So, what I found was ….. a smattering of possibly interesting women, some rather quiet men, and actually a bit of intelligence! The mix was led by a British accented woman who radiated ebullience in her physical affects, her words and even her vocal inflections. “Scary”, I thought. I had forewarned the group of my shyness. At this particular moment in my life I do suffer from low self esteem. The three above sentences are related, read them again if you don’t see it please.
Eventually they got me to sit at the table with them. Eventually they got me to read aloud a two paragraph short; I did follow the assignment. Eventually I found myself sitting next to an elderly fellow with an attitude. He wore an old army jacket with a cavalry patch on the right arm which I do not doubt he earned, and asked amusingly impertinent questions. He promised to give me a hard time, which I immensely appreciated. I had found my grizzled intelligencer.
Three drafts in hand, of my one wordpress post so far, I advanced burnt offerings; but they wanted me to read it aloud. I did so, for the first time, noticing several, okay many, flaws in the process, and did so without tears. As hard as I tried to maintain an objective voice, I think I did shrug shoulders and make other displays of sarcasm, but I can’t tell, I wasn’t watching. When I was done my intelligencer took the manuscript, read it quietly, leaned into my face and said “Write a book”.