In which I remember the concepts of writing and reading

The one downside of being in a writing group (I could go on and on about the upsides, so really it’s a small thing) is that when one or both of your write-mates have some serious life events going on, and they stop writing, you tend to stop writing too. For instance, M just got married a few weeks ago, and you better believe writing has been the furthest thing from her mind lately. And this lack of writing atmosphere has led to a certain silence of my own.

But the amazing and dependable thing about writing is that it’s always there waiting for you to come back to it.
So I’ve come back.
Our November goal is 30 pages in 30 days. It’s a very achievable goal, though not nearly as admirable as the whole NaNoWriMo 200-page thing. But honestly, what adult with a day job has time for that? (Probably many, but I’m not one of them).
Another small thing that’s come up is N’s writing contest. She works at a library and is hosting a contest for grades 7-12 in the genres of comics/manga, short story, and poetry. She kindly asked me and M to be the judges, and yesterday I sat down to read the short story submissions. I was holding in one of those sighs that says Woe is me, I’m a busy and important person. (I’m not). But I didn’t end up sighing as I read the submissions.
It reminded me of grad school when you had to read your classmates short stories and make little notes about what you liked or didn’t like or didn’t understand so you could come to the workshop and discuss everyone’s writing. I freaking loved grad school. I don’t think I’ll ever get a better job or get paid more because of it. But man it was fun.
And the added bonus of this was getting to read what kids and teens are writing today. These are the people I write for, my very own audience sharing their own stories and poems and images, and there was something thrilling about it. Some of it was incredible. There were pieces that were miles ahead of where I was at that age (and let’s be honest, where I am now). SO cool. It makes me want to do this more often, to create a platform where budding writers can connect with volunteer authors and share their work, have contests and workshops, that sort of thing. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out. Until then, I’m sappily happy to be back on track with COG 2, and thrilled to be reading others’ unpublished work.