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!