It’s a good thing I decided to check my e-mail when I did. I was temporarily stumped by a block of squares in the crossword puzzle I was working on (the one in the Sunday Washington Post Magazine is my favorite) and decided to see if any new submissions had come in for the Young Voices Foundation Emerging Writers contest.
That’s when I saw the reminder on the screen. Community Literary Jam starts in five minutes. Fortunately, the location is just about five minutes from my house. If I left immediately I could make it on time.
Immediately didn’t happen. Even after deciding there was no time to print a sign in sheet and grabbing some blank paper just in case some new people showed up, I still had to come up with something to share and run upstairs to get my shoes and grab my Pennwriters cap to hide my uncombed hair. Then I had to pee, of course.
How much time do I have? Still two minutes left it I discovered after grabbing my watch from my dresser and running down the stairs. 1:00 PM blinked accusingly from the dashboard as I backed the car out of the drive and headed toward the Round Hill Arts Center. The speed limit through Round Hill is 25 m.p.h. and I was definitely late now.
I pictured a line in front of the building. A bunch of new writers waiting to share their poems, short stories or novel beginnings. When I arrived five minutes late the parking lot was almost full, but, there was no line waiting for me. Disappointment mingled with relief. Maybe I could get the doors open before anyone knew how close I came to forgetting this twice monthly event. Still, it would have been nice if some people were waiting.
It turns out – there were. Two writers were doing a bit of window shopping in the art gallery next door while waiting for me. Both poets, they read their work and I promised to send them information on poetry contests and calls for submission. We spent two hours discussing writing, rejection, and life in general. I learned that one of the other writers had nearly forgotten the Literary Jam too. Her mother reminded her a bit sooner than my automated calendar notified me so she made it on time. But, the important thing was we were there in the moment and even though the group was small the sharing was meaningful. I look forward to next time and hope you’ll join us.
Tags: Bobbi Carducci, creative writing, Jay Blevins, Literary Jam, Literature, Online Writing, Round Hill Arts Center, The Last Fall, Washington Post, Writer, Writer Resources, Writers Resources, Writing, writing exercise