Wednesday, February 13, 2008


This week, I am working from a hotel room in Houston while my husband attends a leadership conference. Hours before we boarded our flight out, my laptop died. No lights. No bells. No whistles. D.E.A.D. Dead. So, I've had to resort to processing e-mails and connecting to the Internet via my Treo cell phone. At times like this, I realize how very dependent I am on my high speed connectivity to the outside world.

I managed to somehow convey to a few of our Barbour authors in the Houston area that I was in town, and yesterday we gathered for a marvelous writers' gab fest and Mexican fiesta. Our consortium lasted for over four hours. By the time we left the restaurant, the management was about ready to charge us rent. Then a few of us who just couldn't bear to part company headed for the closest Sonic drive-in (non-existent in east Ohio) for a round of 44-oz. diet cherry limeades. Oh, but my authors are good to me!

Many of the "unenlightened" think of writers as recluses who only leave the safety of their writing cave to retrieve sustenance and then hastily retreat to their solitary confinement to write some more. Okay, I know this may be accurate on occasion, depending on the heat of a looming deadline breathing down one's neck. However, I know from experience that a writer's best work is not done alone. We really do need each other! Whether that "other" is a critique partner or group, or a reader who isn't afraid to be surgically accurate in her evaluation of your manuscript, a writer who is willing to accept the input of others prior to submitting their work is a much better author--and person--for it.

Thanks, Houston authors, for the fun afternoon of gabbing and gorging. I'm reminded again that I've got the greatest job, and work with the greatest people, in the world!



Janelle said...

And Susan's authors are blessed to have an incredibly sweet and thoughtful editor. She neglected to tell you how she had to put up with one author, who shall remain nameless, who over indulged in way too much caffeine...and it showed, as well as another author who desperately needed a caffeine fix. Too funny.
And she's right, authors need each other. We're the only ones who understand us. You should have seen the waiter's face when he heard us talking about how to kill someone with a chemical. LOL. But just as it says in Proverbs that 'iron sharpens iron', we authors 'sharpen' each other, not only with our contact with each other but also with, as Susan put it, a 'surgically accurate evaluation'. Thank you, Susan, for the chance to get together for fun and fellowship.

The Write Life said...

It sounds like you all had a good time, Susan!

I have a question. I signed up for the mystery shipments and never received them. I thought they were to ship late January? Now I'm concerned that my subscription didn't get through. Do I need to re-try? Or have they not shipped yet? I'm posted here in case others are in the same situation.


Myra Johnson said...

Glad you had such a great time visiting Houston, Susan (except for the laptop dying). Northwest Houston was my stomping grounds for 13 years.

You are so right about the importance of surrounding ourselves with a writing support system--critiquers, cheerleaders, pray-ers, advisers.

I'm ever-thankful for just such a group, the infamous Seekers, who converged on JoAnne's state update with such wild abandon. As crazy as we all sound, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more caring, encouraging, Spirit-led bunch of gals. I love every one of them!

Becky said...

Our team is still entering new mystery members into the system and will ship all the new books at the same time. They are aiming to ship early next week. Hold on. They're coming.

Rachel Overton said...

Mystery members? Is that like a mystery guest on a show? If no one knows who we are, how will we ever get our mystery shipments--wait! mystery shipments? I thought we were getting books...okay, I'm bein' stupid! :-) Ignore me.

I'm glad you asked, Paige! I was getting a little anxious for my shipment of mystery books, too!...Apparently now, I'm getting a little stir-crazy with all this snow!

The Write Life said...

Thank you, Becky! I'm glad to know I'm not "lost."

I can't wait to see them.


Mary Connealy said...

Enjoy the anticipation, Paige. All part of the aura surrounding a Mystery Book Club. :)

Insanely jealous of the lunch with authors. I live so far from everyone I just need to face facts and start my own writer's group. With only me as a member.

It's a bit after noon and I am now starving for mexican food. What am I supposed to do about that? My food source near work amounts to a mini-mart. I guess I could make do with doritos.

Self-pity reigns

Ausjenny said...

sounds like a good time out at the resturant.
oh sorry to hear about the laptop i know what being without the computer is like for one reason or another/

I saw the note about they mystery books. I sent a couple of emails last week i know one was undelivered but I think one got through about how to sign up being an aussie but i guess you have been away.