Beginner's Heart

imageThis is the weekend of the Nimrod conference for writers. AND it’s the ‘prequel’ to National Day on Writing. What serendipity, huh?

The NDW’s theme is ‘write2connect,’ as I mentioned yesterday. And all day today, that’s what I did: connect. With writers, wanna-be writers, student writers, apprentice writers, and the readers who love us. Because what you may not know about writers is that despite the solitary nature of the art, we need communities.

That’s what Nimrod does beautifully. Last night was a paean to Nimrod’s editor of 47 years, Fran Ringold. Today was a testament to the Nimrod family she has nurtured, and to her lasting legacy.

My husband asked me how it went, after I returned — exhausted! — from a day w/ writers. ‘Great!‘ I answered. It always is. Because in addition to the expected (nationally recognised poets, non-fiction writers, short story authors, & novelists), there is the lasting affection the Nimrod family have for each other.  As one of editorial board members (of longer than 35 years!) said, she’ll be back next year just for the hugs

Writing is a lonely business, all too often. But not at the Nimrod weekend. Everyone from the high school slam poet to the 90-year-old grandmother doing her memoir fits in (and this weekend we had both). One of the winners of the Nimrod Awards was a 22-year-old poet; the other winning poet was 74. That’s not unusual for us.

So as I gear up for National Day on Writing, I’m grateful for my writing family, Nimrod. And for my other writing family, the National Writing Project, which taught me about the National Day on Writing. Because at my house, EVERY day is writing day. It’s good to fit in with ‘normal’ people (e.g., non-writers) at least once a year.

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