I started working on my blog yesterday. I picked the book and sketched my mind map, but the day’s events kept invading. Distracting me, blocking my thoughts.
First on my calendar was the closing on our Colorado house. That required no participation by us. However, I imagined the new owners experiencing their first day in the dwelling that had been our home for nine years. A good home. One we were comfortable in. Now theirs. I hoped they enjoy it as much as we did. That they form good friendships, appreciate the neighbors, relax by the pond. I did. I’m trading all that for new options—the blank journal pages of my life.
Next on my calendar was the move-out inspection from our California apartment. Our temporary home. Comfortable enough, but where were the friends and the memories? No time to accumulate those. Merely a few weeks in limbo. Weeks that gave me time to acclimate to northern California, remember the busy traffic, and experience record low temperatures.
Finally, my agenda ended with the appointment to sign documents for our next home. The one we plan to make comfortable. Our dreams swirl around this next building—a condo this time because taking care of outside space isn’t our thing. But it has two balconies from which to watch the birds soar in the thermals against the hillside and enjoy the sunsets. A change of scenery. A chance to make new friends. Another phase of life.
But those dreams must wait until Thursday to begin. California’s closing process works that way. So I’m still on hold, waiting. Dreaming. But not focusing hard enough to write about the book I recently read. Hopefully I’ll do that next month when I am in our new home. Until then we’ll make it our home for the holidays.
How’s your holiday home? Is it familiar? Have you made changes?
She grabbed my forearm and the pitch of her voice rose. “There’s a local Christian writers’ group?” As we discussed the details of her new-found gold mine, her enthusiasm fanned mine. Here we were, two kindred ladies who didn’t know each other five minutes ago, now we were babbling like early-morning robins. It felt like we both got the worm–she a new group and me another person who loves to write.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 NIV
I belong to a fabulous critique group. There are five members and everyone brings something different to the mix. That’s one of the benefits of the group–multiple eyes viewing the writing through filters created by varying life experiences. Our differences include age, occupation, education, and location. Those differences influence our critiques. One member may focus on dialogue, another on credibility, and another on description. I need and appreciate the suggestions these focuses produce.
We submit our work to each other every Wednesday and have a week to critique the submission. These are not flip reviews with minor comments. No, our group members kindly, but honestly, sift through the document and return detailed suggestions. Fortunately, these are not dictates and each author may do what she will with them. Everyone is professional and supportive and knows her markings are for the author to consider. Ultimately, the author decides what to change and learns from the critique what a reader’s experience might be with that particular writing. That’s valuable information. I’ve been amazed how many times what I meant and what I conveyed didn’t match. Without my group, I wouldn’t have realized that someone from the East Coast would have a different reaction to what I thought made perfect sense. It’s great to have the opportunity to give it another try.
Collectively, we support each other and yes, sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron. It’s a beautiful relationship and one I’m grateful to have. Thanks, ladies.