Friday, June 30, 2017

About 30 Days in Existence- Group Update

WhipCity Wordsmiths has reached 30 days since inception.

Although I was just joking around when I put up a post on facebook saying that I should start a writers group (something I hadn't even been considering at the time) I began getting inquiries about the group within moments of the post's appearance and people wanting to join. This gave me pause and I quickly had to reconsider. I'd been asked several times but declined. I have RA so working full time and writing in all my spare times more or less consumes all my energy. But Kelly agreed to help, so we discussed it some more and decided that we could start a different kind of writers group with one meeting a month and a blog where members stay connected and every member can post.

I couldn't use the name I'd used in the original post because after researching it I found it was a registered trademark of a library related thing, so I kicked around alternative names. I came up with all sorts of names but decided against KeyPunchers, PenPushers and anything with the name Westfield in it. I've always liked that I live in the Whip City (Westfield once being a leading manufacturing center of whips back in the day), so I crammed the words together and then realized I didn't want the word writers in the name either, so came up with wordsmiths because writers and authors are artisans of literary works. We use words to craft our stories. Thus, WhipCity Wordsmiths became the name of the group.

As soon as it had an official name, Kelly and I had Shawn Flynn (The Kitty Who Rescued Me After I Rescued Him)on board. I don't know whether he was serious or not but he wanted to be VP so that's what he is. Basically the VP steps up to run the group should I be unable to. Shawn is very personable and outgoing with a great smile- a terrific public face for the group whereas I am full of bright ideas but a quiet, more reserved person by nature, as is Kelly.

The Mike Walsh (Eddie's Method, The Wizard's Return, Just Some Old Man, etc.) joined from his home in VT. His roots lie in Westfield and his enthusiasm for the group extends all the way up into the Northeast Kingdom.

Fourth member was Bethany Almeida, Kelly's former college roomie and best friend who has written a novel (unpublished at this time and fan fiction, etc.). Bethany is currently working toward her PhD in Bioengineering at Brown U. in Providence, RI. She's my extended family daughter.

Next came Wayne Weatherwax (author, Artworks Westfield), Bill Westerlind (book reviewer, aspiring writer, Artworks Westfield), and Lindsay Stenico (new writer about to be published).

With the membership growing rapidly by word of mouth, I contacted some author friends to invite them to join. Soon, Judith 'Sandy' Sessler (The Travel Kids series, The Legacy of Aidan McManus, etc), Rhonda Boulette (Flitten Kitten Fairytails, T's Adventures on Bear Paw Ridge series), Melissa Volker (Delilah of Sunhats and Swans, Anabelle Lost, Hidden, etc.), and the real Kate Anderson (Hospital Hill, Shadows On The Ward, and publisher) signed up.

We have a dozen members in less than 30 days without an official word about the group having been released yet- that's pretty amazing!

Official word that the group has been formed and is accepting memberships will go out in mid-July Right now people are taking vacations, spending time with their families during school breaks, traveling, having fun and relaxing. They have other things on their minds than joining a writers group. Jessica does have a sign and applications available in Blue Umbrella Books, and if members want to post about the group on their facebook and other social media platforms that would be fine.

Meanwhile, I'm glad to see members posting on the blog and hope it continues. It will keep the 12 of us connected while we wait for September to arrive.

I've put out some ideas what I want from the group and welcome members ideas- this is an us group not a me group so feel free to throw ideas out here on the blog and we'll hash out what we're going to do at the first meeting.

I think, when we have our first meeting, I want everyone to come to the meeting and bring their favorite word- I think most of you now know my favorite word is butterscotch! What's yours? (Okay, I have a lot of favorite words and you probably do, too...but just pick one!)

Thus ends the month of June...

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