Meeting Wrap-Up from 08.09.2020

We had a lovely, online meeting last night! There were familiar faces and new ones, too.

We attempted to talk about silence, and maybe it worked. We certainly learned a few things. Bill told a story about spending a very quiet time in the Himalayas. Later, he sent a link to his travelogue: https://siftingthroughlifeandtheworld.com/2018/07/06/ladakh-and-zanskar/

We spent some time writing, and used two prompts from Brian Kiteley’s book The 3 a.m. Epiphany:

  1. #30: Absent
  2. #36: Beyond Words

We talked about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is every November. Here is some information about it: https://nanowrimo.org.

We discussed various ways of knowing when and where to submit your work:

  1. Submittable: https://discover.submittable.com
  2. The Submission Grinder: https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com

Our next meeting will be on 13 October at 19:00. It will also be held online. I’ll announce it again here about a week in advance.

Our Next Meeting: 08 Sep. 2020

This blog post is not about how I became a first-time father a week ago. It’s about our next meeting, which will take place a week from today. Becoming a father has caused me to think about a number of things (you don’t say!). One of the things I keep thinking about and keep thinking about, though, is silence. And not just because babies cry.

Our next meeting will take place next
Tuesday
08 September 2020
19:00
on Jitsi

There was a lot happening in the delivery room when my child was born. There were at least seven people in there. And then there were eight. Despite all of that activity and all of that noise, my daughter’s birth was attended by a tremendous silence. I’ll probably spend the rest of my life trying to understand that silence, and/or trying to understand silence in general.

It’s not just that, though. I’ve also been reading Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists by Kay Larson. So I’ve also been thinking about silence in those terms as well.

And then and then and then, I’ve also also been reading Pierre Joris’ translation of Paul Celan’s book Breathturn, and Celan’s poems contain so very much silence, and not just the silence you automatically think of when you think of Celan.

The vast majority of reading and writing occurs in silence, and yet neither is exactly a silent act. Do you think about the silences within your writing? Do you need silence to write? When you write, do you tap into a kind of inner silence that isn’t?

Let’s get together online and first spend some time writing together in silence. Then let’s break our silence to talk about silence.

Digital get-togethers happen on Jitsi. In order to join, please send a request for an invitation to freiburgwritersgroup@gmail.com before 17:00 on 08 September 2020. I will also post the link to join in our Telegram group! Remember that Jitsi works best on Google Chrome and that there are desktop versions of Telegram!

I look forward to seeing you and listening to you in a week!

Summer Reading!

The Freiburg Writers’ Group Summer Reading will take place

On 14 July 2020
At 19:00
In Café POW

If you are a (semi) regular member of the Freiburg Writers’ Group, you are invited to read your work (5 minutes max!).

If you would like to read, please bring a clean sock with which to cover the microphone! Catching an illness from a microphone is something that should be reserved for authoritarian pisspots and hypocrite megachurch pastors.

Bring your friends and money with which to purchase drinks and tip your servers!

We look forward to seeing you and your in-person faces soon!

Summer Reading!

Good news, everybody! Our Summer Reading will take place in the same way it has for the last few years! Here are the details:

Who: The Freiburg Writers’ Group
What: Summer Reading!
When: 14 July 2020 @ 19:00
Where: Café POW (Belfortstr. 52)
How Much: FREE! (but you should buy drinks and tip your server well!)

We’ll have to do some thinking about masks and keeping the microphone clean . . .

***

The Freiburg Writers’ Group invites you to join them in one of Freiburg’s hidden outdoor gems (Café POW!) for a summer evening reading featuring a selection of our best work from the past year of writing. Listen to experiences of the humor, the sadness, the absurdity, the pain, and the joy of the human condition as expressed by the members of our English-language creative writing community. We look forward to seeing you there (and then welcoming you to our next regular meeting)!

Let’s Delete Facebook

In our last meeting, we took an informal poll to find out just how many of our members use Facebook. The results were that no one would be sad if we stopped using Facebook as a method to communicate. I deleted my personal account some months ago and haven’t missed it.

That we will no longer be using Facespace does not, however, invalidate the need for an online place to discuss things, and to that end, I have created a Telegram group. It can be found here. I would say my hope for the Telegram group is that it become a place to discuss writing outside of our monthly meeting, but that was honestly my hope for the Facitybook page as well, and that never happened.

It is difficult, in these times, to avoid cynicism.

I’m not opposed if someone wants to be cynical in our Telegram Chat.

Join us. We’re fun.

June Meeting Online

I’m on vacation, but I’m still here for you. America is burning. George Floyd was killed two blocks from my sister’s house. That’s not a metaphor. Though, I suppose, it is also a metaphor. Various reforms are obviously needed.

Writing can (and should?) be a method of personal reform. We use writing to interrogate and change our thinking and feeling. The unexamined life is not worth living.

Let’s get together, digitally, this coming Tuesday, 09 June at 19:00 and talk about writing as a tool for change. Let’s examine our own lives through reading and writing. Let’s change our thinking and feeling.

Digital get-togethers happen on Jitsi. In order to join, please send a request for an invitation to freiburgwritersgroup@gmail.com before 17:00 on 09 June 2020. Because I am on vacation, I will only be checking that mail shortly after the time listed above, which means, if you have a question now, you might have to wait a bit for an answer.

Our May Meeting Will Also Be Online

Dear Writer Friends,

The world is still stranger than it was just a few months ago, and even though the Carl-Schurz-Haus library is once again open for limited business, we still can’t hang out there as a group, cute little masks or no. So let’s get together again online.

Let’s meet at the normal time: 12 May 2020 at 19:00.

The rules have not changed.

We will once again use Jitsi, which works best on Google’s Chrome browser. If you would like to join us, please send me an email before 15:00 on 12 May 2020. Only people who have sent me an email will receive an invitation to the digital meeting space! Then, sometime before the meeting starts, I will send you a link with information on how to join the meeting.

I will not publish the link here or on facebook, and hopefully that will minimize any intrusion from (naked) outsiders.

Please be in touch. And be safe. And stay healthy. And find joy in the day-to-day. And keep writing. And recycle text and other things when you can.

Our Next Meeting?

Dear Writer Friends,

Let’s have our next meeting online, shall we? Let’s get together in a digital space and spend time looking at each others’ digital faces. Let’s spend some time writing and talking about writing and talking about writing now that maybe we all have a little more time to write. Let’s do this thing that everybody else is doing and meet in the digital ether.

Let’s meet at the normal time: 14 April 2020 at 19:00.

There will, however, be rules.

My plan is to use the service Jitsi. Here is some information about it. Something else you should know about it, is that it works best on Google’s Chrome browser. If you would like to join us, please send me an email before 14:00 on 14 April 2020. Only people who have sent me an email will receive an invitation to the digital meeting space! Then, sometime before the meeting starts, I will send you a link with information on how to join the meeting.

I will not publish the link here or on facebook, and hopefully that will minimize any intrusion from (naked) outsiders.

Please be in touch. And be safe. And stay healthy. And find joy in the day-to-day. And keep writing.

What happened at our meeting last night

Please have a look at the previous post to see what was planned for our meeting last night.

This, then, is what happened last night:

  • a tool of plumbers

  • a painting of toenails

  • a twitter of bagpipes

  • a bark of gardeners

  • a bag of Liptons

  • a stampede of earthquakes

  • a display of actors

  • a roll of eyes

  • an annoyance of musicals

  • a living of books

  • an embrace of octopuses

  • a drunk-tank of corkscrews

  • a swarm of teenagers

  • a sword of worries

  • a baptism of rivers

  • a courtesy of Canadians

  • a Jurassic of rhinoceroses

  • an octave of octopuses

  • a happiness of clowns

  • a demo of books

  • a sortilage of plants

  • a procrastination of podcasts

  • a circus of wannabes

  • a pool of conversations

  • an etymology of desks

  • a trail of vagabonds

  • an ink of factories

  • an Austen of lovers

  • an order of waitresses

  • a parade of shoes

  • a vitrine of priests

  • an Ahab of whales

  • a shrug of shoulders

  • a droop of grapes

  • a billowing of ghosts

  • a countryrunner of horses

  • a sneeze of toddlers

  • an abandonment of rough drafts

  • a gang of magpies

  • a speed date of volcanoes

  • a love song of cell phones

  • a mobile of planets

  • a babble of Germans

  • a rainbow of activists

  • a gossiping crowd of kettles

  • a swat team of coats

  • a stack of shelves

  • a rope of giraffes

  • an exhaustion of cars

  • a family of roots

  • a gaggle of students

  • a circle of rooms