I enjoy writing about the writers group I've been blessed to be part of for nearly twenty years. As might be expected, to hang around with one group that long, it must be a pretty compatible group. And it is. Many of them have been around longer than I. Because they accepted me as a bona fide author when even I wasn't sure if I qualified, I will forever be grateful. For some unfathomable reason, for the last six years or so I've been their purported leader. Actually co-leader as a committee of four others ably assist me. And writing exercises similar to the one I wrote about below happen regularly. May they keep happening as we travel this road together.
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Most people have scars. Some are from accidents. Some from prior surgeries. Some deliberately acquired. This last saddens me.
A couple of years ago I handed out a list of five story idea prompts for a writing exercise at a writers guild meeting. Of those present probably ten or so participated and wrote short pieces which most shared with the group. One of the prompts involved telling the story of how you received a scar. Any kind of scar, not necessarily physical. Of the respondents, fully half had chosen the prompt about a scar. This surprised me.
My own scar is minor. And though it is on my face, can only be seen when the light hits it a certain way. In the distant past of my childhood Coca Cola, as well as other soft drinks, was sold in six ounce glass bottles. If you've ever seen one of them, you know the rim at the top of the bottle's neck was thicker than the rest of the bottle. Somehow the boys at my school managed to remove that glass rim and wear it on a finger as a ring. God alone knows why. I was a tiny first grader, just the right height for the glass ring on one of those tall country farm boys to accidentally strike across my nose as I ran down the hall among them. It bled copiously and I was taken to the doctor and then home, but I had no long-term ill effects. No law suit was filed either.
Maybe those of us who have scars long to confide in someone about how we received them. I can't remember any specific stories that the writers told that day. Just that some were actual physical scars, like mine. One or two were psychological scars. This surprised me, too. Psychological scars are the ones we're most prone to keep close, not want to tell anyone about. I believe the fact that they were wiling to share these personal stories speaks to the trust this group of writers have in each other.
Since I have inherited co-leadership of the group, my hope is that this atmosphere of trust and support will continue for a long time.