Decades ago, my high school English teacher said our class had two good writers … one who was naturally creative and one who got by on his smarts. I was the latter. When I started the process of writing this novel, my daughter, who is the real literary bright bulb in our family, suggested that my writer’s voice sounded too much like a lawyer. Imagine that … who would have thought that twenty-five years of writing legal briefs would leave an imprint?. But was it indelible?
My daughter suggested the Loft Literary Center of Minneapolis as a place to hone craft and develop a storyteller’s voice. In response to a recent radio interviewer, I suggested that my writer’s journey was more perspiration than inspiration, and I was referring to the process of learning technique, which brings me back to the Loft experience. “Writers helping writers”. That was their motto, and it was accurate. I participated in numerous workshops, classes, and seminars. I met a lot of good people, and we had a great time; the process of critiquing and being critiqued was probably the most beneficial, even though friend Jim Lundin suggested that allowing others to read your writing was akin to dropping your pants in the middle of a crowd.
For a brief period, I also pursued the critique and be critiqued process through an online medium, and there I met cyberspace friends Bisi Adjapon and Ray Uloth. Bisi’s memoir Daughters in Exile is a “coming to America” immigrant story, and Ray’s memoir of motorcycling around the US following the death of his wife is a journey of grieving he calls Journeys, Two-Up. Bisi blogs at To Life, and Ray blogs at On the Backstairs.