The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Writers' Room

         I meet with my writing group twice a month--on the first and third Wednesday. The WWWPs are the best at critique, in my opinion.

      Recently, however, I became chair of a "teachers-as-writers" group. In past years, this group set up writing marathons, writing retreats, and so on. However, the only thing that really gets teachers writing is writing... and writing... and writing.

       So, several of us formed a writing critique group, and now on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday we meet. (That means I'm in a critique group four nights a month. Yikes!)

       There had been lots of discussion back and forth. What day? What time? And where? 

      One of the teachers has a connection with a bar and grill called Fergie's. (Her dad owns the place.)  She claimed there was a private room that would probably be available. After double-checking, she reported that the private room was free, and we could have it for the perfect price. (I told you it was free. "Free" is a teacher's favorite phrase, second only to "snow day.") 

       This past Tuesday was our third time meeting. The funny thing is, the bar's regulars (and all the people there are regulars, it seems) along with the staff, are quite curious about what goes on behind our closed door. They ask the owner lots of questions. They interrogated us when we left tonight. The waitresses--more than one--kept coming in with offers that made me suspicious.

           "Is that salt too coarsely ground for you?"
           "Would you like me to wipe the water spots off your utensils?"
           "Would you like me to peel your grapes?" 

       When I left on Tuesday, I told the owner, "I think you could make some extra money. Install a two-way mirror, and charge people to listen in on what we're doing." The group that was sitting with him got quite enthusiastic about the idea.

       I have a feeling that what they think is going on in the private writers' room is a whole lot more exciting than the reality of it. But it is amusing...

       What do they think is going on in the writers room?

       

20 comments:

  1. Love this post, Sioux. Cracked me up. And you do realize that this is the basis of one heckuva of a story plot, right? I only wish I'd thought of it first, because my brain is bubbling up all kinds of things. But this one is all you, lady. I hope you'll run with it.

    Since there are so many regulars, you might convince the owner to take an informal poll of his patrons one night and have each of them write on a napkin exactly what they think is going on back there. The answers would probably be hilarious, and your group could vote on a winner to sit in with you one meeting. Might be fun. :)

    I love your teachers' two favorite phrases. My New York "daughter" (my daughter Stephanie's BFF from college) is a teacher on Long Island, and I bet she'd concur with you. I have to ask her.

    Thanks for the morning chuckles! I loved this post.

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    1. Lisa--I lovelovelove your idea on how to get the bar patrons involved. I imagine we could give them napkins at different points in the evening... after one drink... after a second drink... and so on. Perhaps their answers would change?

      I think YOU should write a story with that idea as its core. It was YOUR idea. I have enough on my plate right now (0 manuscripts finished) while you have 3 done--or more? Anyway, even if we both wrote a story about this, they'd both be different.

      And it's only fair to return the chuckles. You always make me laugh or think or sometimes cry (about Bronwyn, for example). And your New York daughter... I have snow envy (they get lots more snow than the Midwest... but I can always dream ;)

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    2. Haha...after multiple drinks the answers would definitely change---from Sober Sippers to Drunky Monkeys. Do it!! And please share with us here.

      Since you don't mind me appropriating the secret back room deal with patrons all guessing and gossiping, I might work it into my current WIP, which includes the very fictional McLoy's Irish Pub. I'll have to think on that, because honestly, it could be a great standalone premise. And thanks for sharing the idea with me. :)

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    3. Me, sharing YOUR idea with YOU? You Georgia ladies go overboard with humbleness and generosity... ;)

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  2. You are so funny -- and busy -- Sioux. I'm glad you're taking time to write.
    Can you make up a story that you are teachers meeting with a secret plot to overthrow --- fill in the blanks. I bet before long word will get out about your secret plot and you'll have a reporter showing up demanding to know why teachers are meeting behind closed doors at a bar.

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    1. Donna--I don't think teachers today have the energy to overthrow even a towel. But thanks for the kind words. Writing is one of the things that's keeping me sane these days...

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  3. I don't know how you do it. Working full time, two critique groups, and regular blog posts. Seriously, how in the world do you find any time to write? I need to know your secret!

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. Pat--My secret? I fall asleep in my rocking chair while watching one of my favorite shows. I have Samsonite suitcases under my eyes (they've gone past the point of bags). I start to snore before I've even read five pages of a book at night. That's my secret... ;)

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  4. Ooh! And don't forget to write up the results of your scientific study, "What Drinkers Think Teachers Are Doing Behind Closed Doors: An Informal Poll of Bar Patrons on the First and Third Wednesdays of Each Month."

    I think your findings should be published in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.

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    1. That really wasn't a jab. You are always finding ways to cram more writing into your busy life. As a science teacher (BUT ONLY FOR SEVEN MORE MONTHS) I figured you could add a scientific journal to your list of publishing credits.

      Perhaps, Madam, you are feeling the delayed stabs of pins through a voodoo doll from that person you tried to steal the dog from! Don't think your disguise worked.

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    2. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science... JABS! You can't fool me.

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  5. See what happens when you take a character (teacher) out of his or her routine setting (school) and put him or her somewhere completely different (a bar)?

    That's writing gold, Sioux. Brought to you by a former teacher/bar patron. :-)

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    1. Cathy--I understand that for you, the teacher part is in the past, but how about the bar part?

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  6. Human sacrifices to the skull of Poe?

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    1. MZ--I'm not sure that these bar patrons are that into classic literature. But I'm not sure...

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  7. They used to sell (cow) brain sandwiches there with sauteed onions and provel cheese.

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    1. Michael--I think they still have them on the menu. However, I won't EVER be ordering them...

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  8. We used to have open mic readings in a bar. The more they drank the crazier it got.

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    1. Linda--And you're a magnet for crazy!

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Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by...