Monday, October 28, 2019

With Endings Come New Beginnings and New Stories

It's a bit of a cliche to say that with endings come new beginnings, but I believe it's true. Taking time to renew and reset, especially from an endeavor that requires deep commitment and intensity of purpose, is important since new ideas and opportunities take root in anticipation of the unexpected.

November 9 marks our 10th anniversary when four women first met at Wellington Square Bookshop and started the Women's Writing Circle. We lit the candle and opened the sacred container to nurture our creative lives on a gray, overcast morning. But inside the bookstore, a fantastic and heartfelt journey I never could have anticipated waited. Over the years, the many names, faces ... the  stories and voices, comprised a collage of life's moments―large and small―imbued with the extraordinary, due to the faith and trust you placed in our Circle.

I have been asked about our plans for 2020 so I wanted to bring you up-to-date with my thoughts, which have percolated for some time. I have felt the need to finish and publish my book, A Woman Alone, as well as travel this coming year, so I feel I cannot give our Women's Writing Circle  the attention and devotion I would wish. After our Nov. 9 readaround and our Dec. 14 holiday party/readaround at SpringHill Suites in Exton, the Women's Writing Circle will be on hiatus for 2020. What comes next, I don't know, but as I have written in my memoirs, the road always leads back to writing and the connections that come with face-to-face encounters in a community of kindred spirits. In the Circle we could express our authentic selves, no small feat in a world where artifice and contrivance too often prevail.

What a great year 2019 has been. Our critique session this month was packed with intriguing pieces for our consideration and so many contributed amazing stories throughout the year at our readarounds. Our blogging workshop in August was filled and our writing workshops in the winter and spring on crafting memorable characters and crafting memorable scenes in fiction and memoir were inspiring and educational. We also found the perfect venue in our beautiful conference room with outdoor patio at SpringHill Suites. So, we go out on a high note.

Along with my deepest gratitude for all you have brought to our Women's Writing Circle over the last ten years, is the I hope I have offered tools for our writers to keep writing and meeting in person ... whether lighting the candle and sharing your wisdom, words and voices through readaround ... or meeting in a coffee shop with friends and reading each other's work and creating new stories. I feel Our Women's Writing Circle has already served as the leaping off point for the inception of several writing groups in our Philadelphia area, including those in libraries and in other public venues, so this has been an added gift. In the end, what remains most important is that together, we find kindred spirits and keep writing ... keep writing ... keep writing.

Note: The photo of the changing leaves  was the first photo I used to "advertise" that a new group was starting ... our Women's Writing Circle.


Lydia said...

Endings are often bittersweet. I hope everyone in your writing circle enjoys the hiatus (or whatever they do with their lives next if your women's writing circle ends up disbanding for good. :) )

kathleen pooler said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to The Women’s Writing Circle, Susan. You certainly have left an indelible mark in the lives of many woman who have participated. I remain forever grateful that I had the opportunity to experience the Circle first hand. Bravo my friend! I wish you happy travels and exciting new beginnings as you close this chapter and move forward.

Susan G. Weidener said...

Thank you, Kathy. You have been so supportive of our Circle. You taught one of our first workshops ... on journaling and what a success it was. Best of luck with your new memoir, "Just the Way He Walked" and thank you so much for the shout-out to the Women's Writing Circle in that book. We are grateful.

Susan G. Weidener said...

Thank you, Lydia. Endings are indeed bittersweet, but the memories linger for a lifetime. So many great stories along the way makes it all so worth the journey.

Marian Beaman said...

Congratulations on ten great years of commitment and enrichment for many writers, including me. With Kathy, I express my gratitude for experiencing the Circle first hand in September 2019. Brava to the new chapter, focusing on your book in progress. Actually, I have an anecdote to share from a woman alone, a dear friend who is trying to parse solitude and loneliness.

Here's to more lighting of candles and opening sacred spaces.Thank you for all of this, Susan!

Susan G. Weidener said...

Thank you, Marian. More sacred spaces are definitely on the horizon as we writers share our words and our voices. Love to hear the anecdote. Please message me. Also many thanks for making us a part of the book tour for Mennonite Daughter. Your memoir work offered a lesson to us all.