When 50-minutes Feels Like 5-Seconds

I’ve spoken about the MeetUp writing group to which I belong before. Just about every Saturday, a small group of us get together to just write.

BC (Before Covid), we would meet at a Starbucks, taking over a table or two, to just sit and write for an hour. There would be, of course, some small talk before we got started, we’d order a beverage of choice, and I always got an old-fashioned donut. At the designated time, we’d open our laptops, iPads, or actual notebooks, and begin to write.

Some people were finishing up dissertations, others books of different topics, while others were journaling about their lives. It is where, as I have mentioned before, I finished the first draft of the book I was writing.

Now we meet via Zoom, following the same-ish format. It is a little more intimate though as we are now in each other’s homes, not a Starbucks. Our husbands, wives, children and pets have all joined in various ways (luckily everyone has been fully dressed so far). We are also no longer bound to local folks, with people joining from as far away as New York. Today, with a person from New York joining for the first time, it dawned on me I could join another group too, at a different time, to have a second set writing time each week. Thought it might be fun to join one from the West Coast as the time difference might help with my time available; it might start after my work day ends.

I wasn’t sure if I would stick with the group once I had finished the book. Writing the book, having that structure, and being around other writers, helped me, but I thought my time with them would end. I had no other concrete ideas on which to work.

However, I enjoyed spending time with my fellow writers each week. It has become of one my personal care times to relieve stress. So I let my brain percolate, and it finally settled on writing about, and expanding upon an extremely vivid dream I had, and still remember, about 25 years ago.

Writing this story has been both scary and extremely sad for some reason so far. I feel on the verge of tears each time I reread what I’ve written so far, and as I add to the story. Not sure yet why the emotional response. I’m wondering if I’ve held onto the dream for so long, and now writing about it, “verbalizing” it, is somehow a way of letting go of the emotion that has been attached to the dream for so long. I still am not sure what, if anything, the dream has meant, what lesson it may have/might of held. I do know it was time for the story to be put to paper.

The challenging piece has been writing it with no dialogue. Dialogue has always been a challenge for me. I rarely use it in my writing. It has also been challenging keeping the characters in order, and making sure the setting remains authentic. Today while writing, I had to get a post-it to write the names and relationships of the characters down. It helped a lot, and I kept wondering how authors, with a huge cast of characters and a multitude of settings, keep them straight in their minds.

I’m not sure what I want to do with this new piece when the draft is finished. Will it be enough to have just gotten it out of my head? Will it be something I’ll try to have published in a book or magazine featuring horror short story fiction? Not sure if it matters right now, since this piece didn’t have an overall purpose like my book.

Time will tell its path, as time often does.

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