November 2012

What kind of an adventure could I have with a Writers’ Group? An adventure in literature!

We start on a dimly lit path to travel to our hostess’ home. It’s rainy and a bit cold. When we arrive, we’re treated to hot tea. And as we settle in, the first writer reads her piece.

From our comfy chairs we’re transported to the character’s home. She struggles with repetitive challenges. Will she master these? Who can help her? How will she resolve her quandary? We find out at the end of the story – in a surprising way.

And then we generously and lovingly provide feedback.

“What’s the next adventure?” Jane asked.

Donna reads from a chapter in her novel. We’re introduced to two characters who are struggling with loss. How will they develop? Will they reach out or lash out? We don’t know yet – it’s only the beginning.

I relax as I hear the stories and the discussion. Some of us have ideas about the plot. Others have suggestions about the characters’ voices and actions.

All of us want each other to grow!

Jane reads her story next. The tension between being with relatives and going home to her family comes out loud and clear. Yet there’s a twist in the story line. She wants our help in resolving some pieces.

Back and forth we debate the issues! Stimulating! I learn about each member of the group as they each share their feedback.

“I’d like to read next,” Sara says. We have no objection, of course. Sara treats us to a children’s story. Children’s problems, children’s responses. None of this grown-up stuff to deal with! Refreshing!

“Is the scene realistic for middle school kids?”

“I don’t think so; my daughter is that age and she doesn’t have those conversations.”

“Oh. Please tell me more. What should my characters be talking about?”

And members banter about ideas. Sara is open to the productive suggestions.

Our last writer shared a piece that’s inspired by a children’s rhyme. I found myself chanting the rhyme along with the author – I didn’t even think I remembered that one! And then she took us on a totally different tack – using a musical instrument as a metaphor. Wow! I had not thought of that instrument in this way. My imagination ran and I could see many possibilities for expansion here.

An adventure in story development. An adventure in human interation.

An adventure in reading, writing, and rhythm!


I placed the short circular white candle on the hexagonal mirrored base. The base and candle sat in the center of the smooth light brown wood table.

I’m ready for my job, the candle seemed to say.

The mirror reflected the candle gently. Although the scene looked complete, something was missing.

Hmm…where’s the placard? I looked for the laminated card with the sky blue background and clear block letters. It’s the placard that reminds me that all the activities I do today should bring merit to Herschel’s soul.

I lit the candle and watched. The flame flickered, unsure of what to do. Slowly, the fire melted the wax on the wick and the flame rose. The gentle white yellow light pointed up, straight and tall. I felt peaceful watching the flame.

The flame always points upward – like the soul that wants to rise to great heights.

May this candle be a merit for the elevation of the soul of Herschel Avraham ben (son of) Simcha Yosef on his third yahrzeit (anniversary of his passing). [5 Kislev 5773]