I’d like to say we’re shape-shifters because that would just be cool. Sometimes I feel like one, when the dark side appears on those rare occasions. This wasn’t one of them. Imagine immersing yourself in a warm pool of shimmering talent under a full moon. You come out of the water, shake droplets from your fur… Too much?
The truth is, we sat around a big table, eating, talking, socializing — doing what any group of people does in a private room at a restaurant. For some of us, it was the first such meeting. We were there to howl at the Moon — not as werewolves, but as writers and musicians.
From poetry to fiction, folk tales to inspirational writing, we were encouraged, enthusiastic, entertained and excited to get to know others driven by the need to create. It was a gathering of souls intent on communicating, eager to connect as humans with something to share.
You are vulnerable when you share your work openly among people who are, themselves, brilliantly talented. I was unsure whether I’d be willing to read to this group. What if they don’t like my writing? What if they criticize? What if they don’t laugh at what I think is funny? What if I sound like a dork? What does a dork sound like?
I had nothing to fear. Howling at the Moon is a bonding experience. I felt lifted up and encouraged. I made some new friends.
If you’re a published writer, hope to be one, or just dabble in it, I encourage you to join a local writer’s group. The two I belong to are not critique groups, but suggestions and help are offered when asked for.
The organizer gives us prompts and a set amount of time to write something — anything — that has to do with the prompt. Afterwards, we can choose to share what we’ve written or not. I can feel the old brain become more elastic as I try to meet the challenges.
Writing is a solitary exercise, but it doesn’t mean you have to be alone to create. There are worlds to explore, friends to meet, and a big old Moon to howl at!