Friday, November 9, 2012

In Her Own Words - Jan

As we celebrate the third anniversary of the Women's Writing Circle this month, I asked the women to share what coming to our read-arounds at Wellington Square meant to them personally.  Our profiles of these women, which began last week with Candice, are garnering dozens of views each day here on this blog and are now in the hundreds since we first began this series.  This is the power of sharing our words, of writing what is ours to tell without pretense and with generosity of the heart . . . of coming together in a community of writers dedicated to finding our voices as women.  Here is Jan Backes story.  ~ Susan
I remember my first visit to the Circle and nearly every other one since. I had been looking for a writer’s group and checked out a few. The Circle was one that spoke to me best.
I remember trying to find the bookstore and how happy I was when Flo and I eventually came upon Wellington Square. The woman who first introduced me to the Circle no longer attends but I think of her from time to time and what she is missing.

I had only a poem to share but I thought it was a good one. I still do. It is in a poetry anthology and has been featured on the website of Poetrysoup:

Jan's poetry published in 2012.
There was something about reading "Birdsoar" and the look in Susan’s eyes. I could tell she was pleased to have me there. Then she told me what I did not know. She told me she felt I had a book in me. This came a few visits later to the Circle and I have never felt so high.

I guess I could consider myself a retired bus driver but the fact is I am at home on disability and have plenty of time on my hands. Folks would envy the time that I have when actually sometimes to me it is a drain. The life of a writer can be lonely. In the Circle I feel so supported and actually loved. I am never afraid to write what I feel and to read it aloud because I know it will be received with open arms.
I have made lifelong friends as a result of showing up the second Saturday of each month and being present for myself and all the other wonderful women.

Footnote:  Jan's poem, "Winter's Habit," was published in Stars in Our Hearts  . . . Remnants.  She wrote with her poem:

"I have been given the opportunity in the past two years to have the support to succeed in my writing by joining a women's writing group. It is in the Circle that I find strength and courage to write about nature and my life in general."


edda said...

Dear Jan,
.....I would never have known..or felt..the sadness and terror of your experiences if it were not for meeting you and hearing you at the WWC. You represent the best of the Circle. Jan, YOU ROCK!

Pat said...

OMG Jan...I admire not only the fact that you are writing, but that you drove a bus for years! I had to drive a small 20-seat school bus when I first started teaching in Switzerland. I backed into a firehydrant and took out the side view mirror going through the narrow streets of an old village.

Jan Backes said...

Thank you, Pat.
You visit from afar and that is such a blessing; knowing that we, as women, can reach out to one another with such ease.
Your story of the bus incident is hilarious. I would love to see it in print someday!

Candice Swick said...


Your courage and honesty are pure rays of light on a cloudy day. It's been an honor to sit beside you in our safe circle.

Patty said...

Your sweetness of spirit shines through in your writing. I'm so happy I found my way to the Circle to meet you and all of the other wonderful, supportive writers.