T. James Belich

Once more unto the breach...

Yes, I know how long it's been since I last posted.  And yes, I do have a good excuse for it.  Two, actually.  1) I have a toddler and 2) I've been writing.  Not the blog sort of writing (obviously), but I have been hard at work on The Mighty Carrot, my children's book about a rabbit who finds a red handkerchief and becomes a superhero, and a mystery play.

Since I last posted I've also joined a couple of writer's groups: one for the children's book and one for playwrighting. It's been awhile since I've last been part of such a group (Critical Mass - see this page on my website) and I can't tell you how good it feels to be part of a writing community once again. It brings to mind the first writer's group I ever attended: The Alnwick Writer's Group which met in an upper room of the Plough. I stumbled across the group not long after beginning a study abroad program in Alnwick, England run by Saint Cloud State University out of Alnwick Castle (did I ever mention I once lived in a castle?). For one meeting, prompted by a challenge from John, an older gentleman who had a very deliberate way of speaking that made you hang on every word, I wrote a short epic tale. That tale, of Sir Sherlacar and the Second Ring of Shalamanar, grew and grew until it became my first novel, Edelsha. Funny sometimes how things begin.

I've never forgotten my time in that group and how they welcomed a young American student into their midst. As a writer it is easy to neglect the importance of community with all the time we spend hunched over pen and paper or a computer. But we all need to break away from that from time to time and surround ourselves with others who will offer guidance and encouragement and remind us that we're not the only ones on this journey.

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