Here and now I am sitting in my living room. The grandfather clock just chimed on the half-hour. I am listening to Sacred Music from Spain on YouTube. I haven’t heard this before but it’s lovely. I try to listen to music when I’m writing that doesn’t make me want to sing along and is also fairly calming. This has some lively songs, but it’s in Spanish so there’s no singing along!
I have just finished responding to 12 of my 14 writing students who are taking my 20 Minutes a Day class where they write 20 minutes, 6 days a week for 4 weeks. If you have wondered where I’ve been then just imagine me sitting every night responding to 14 students plus reading 14 comments from their reading partners. No, I haven’t been off taking a writing break, I’ve been writing for at least 2 hours a night for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Only 1 1/2 weeks to go!
While this is a lot of reading and responding, I have to admit that I’m going to miss these 14 women when we wrap up our class at the end of next week. They have been so open, so honest, so sincere in their writing that I have been pulled into their worlds and their stories. I look forward to reading their daily submissions to learn more about each of them and their lives. Maybe it’s the pandemic or maybe it’s just this particular group, but their writing is deep and soul-searching. They would all say the pandemic is certainly a factor. Also, some classes just have natural chemistry.
A writing friend of mine dropped off a book for me today: Selected Stories from Anton Chekhov translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. He wrote inside, “Dear Len, Thank you for inviting me into the group lo so many years ago. I’ve been reading these myself. Pretty amazing writer, this Chekhov guy. Much love, Randy.” He added a P.S. “These are the best Russian translators around. Read the intro!” The group he is referring to is the writing group I’ve hosted for many years now. We are down to four members, but that’s okay. We all love each other and are very respectful of each other’s writing. That is gold in a writing group, believe me.
I must say that writing has brought me such a depth of connection with other people and such sweet relationships. I feel so happy/honored/grateful to have these writing friends in my life. What a gift! Tonight, I am feeling quite blessed.