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Headed for writing group on the bus. I really need to make a mix CD that's got louder songs for on the bus and so forth, as quiet songs need to be turned up too loud to hear over the noise.

Did a The Artist's Way exercise and wrote up an incident with an enemy of my creativity, and a letter to same. I may or may not type that up and put that in here, suitably polished.

Got there. Long line for signing in -- I think quite a bit the yoga crowd. Gone are the days when you had one person asking about stuff at the desk, and you could sidestep and scribble in to the clipboard. Now the line is at least five long, and everyone takes forever.

There was a healthy debate over book group vs. writing group. The eventual consensus was to not break what didn't need fixing, and writing group is all Thursdays but the third, which is book group, and I forgot Reading Lolita in Tehran to return. Next week. This next month's book is The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and I finished most of it on the bus home and the rest in the bathtub just now.

After book group reconvened upstairs, we had new people downstairs for the writing group. Even when easalle isn't present in person, she gets introduced. P. and I were the only old hands on hand; the Pisky Queen was upstairs with the book group. There were a couple teenagers, and a woman maybe a little older than me, and a woman recovering from a car accident that caused her brain damage, trying to re-gain some of her skills by learning to write about things again. A good group, if a bit quiet.

We had some time apart to write on a moment of perfect contentment. I wrote yet another angle of the trio and the romance. This group, being new, isn't used to the way I can grab a topic and whip out a near-polished fragment in record time. This, my friends, is because of practice. Lots and lots and lots of practice. In addition to the general writing practice, I've been over that sequence more times than I can count. I lived it, I wrote it in my journal while I was living it, I've summarized it in my journal, I've told the tale to friends, I've told it to parents, siblings, strangers... I know how the moment's gone smooth and shiny from so much handling, and I have to strain to recall the sharp bits and the way it wasn't so perfect. I know I'm conflating many memories together into that one perfect moment that I wrote, that the conversation wasn't all over that one fateful lunch, that it was spread out over weeks, that the conversation I represented as having been over that lunch was actually in the Academic Support Center, with me facing north, sitting at one of the long tables. It wasn't actually raining, quite, that first day, not pouring like it could have been, but it was overcast and I was in quiet love with the weather.

So we got into a bit of discussion of the creative process, and I mentioned how the stories don't come out organized, I have to line out and rearrange and piece together, and that sounded more familiar to the rest of the group.

We eventually dispersed, and I missed the 8:00 bus and had to get the 8:30 one, and that put me home at 9:30 instead of 9:00. My batteries ran out halfway home on the Red Line, and after that I listened to the bus noise and tried to remember to look out the window to watch for my stop.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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