Writers are odd ducks, it might be a psychological requirement or an impairment. Who knows, just yet? We spend too much time alone staring the computer screens or white pieces of paper. Some days all we can do is sit and think. I think it's thinking. We're mesmerized by a golden leaf, the night patterns of the waves on the ocean, how words work.
I once got an inspiration for a poem, a mile and a half from home, on foot. I sang it, shouted it. repeated it, so I wouldn't lose it, for the 20 minutes it took to get home to the computer. If that behavior doesn't qualify as loopy, I don't know what does.
So when you find like-minded souls, loopiness and all, you cling together for decades. We bring our characteristics with us—the urgency to tell a good story, the deep-seated need to understand, the creative bent, and in this particular time of our lives together—the great congealing passion of Boise State football. There's that. These gatherings feel like sacred space, like family when you do well together, like liveliness, like life.
A few years ago, one of our group moved to San Francisco, wife and all. So this last weekend, they were back in town resonating with their peeps. Steven has been a doctor, a neonatologist, now his SF friends and neighbors think of him as a writer. He likes that. We like it too. He's written the great American novel. I'm serious about that. He's finishing up a wondrous, immense novel that will make you fall in love with America all over again. I'll keep you posted on that.
There's Leslie, who writes exquisite, delicate stories and poems about family. She has the most handsome, beautiful two children, Kyle and Claire, and her husband is Dan, a brilliant, kind man. Chris is our mountain man who writes love poems to the West. He deserves the Pulitzer, at the very least, but he's been too busy teaching high school kids how to think. He married a woman a little older than he, and they've been good together. Then there's Mike, married to Jenifer, who writes x-rated literature that so is funny you have to come up occasionally for breath. Bitsy is his main character, so you sort of get the drift. He only writes 2.5 pages every three months or so, given his legal practice, so it might be awhile before you can get your hands on his story.
I was the first one to be published, but I've always, always known I was the least talented of
the bunch. By a long, long measure.
We had dinner together. Les picked up gyros and spanikopita. I brought exquisite tomatoes, fresh from the Marshal's and Jeanette's garden, tomatoes that had been artfully tended. They were seasoned a little bit, some dried basil, a little salt and pepper.