Living in Canada is great. I love my home. But there are times I wished I lived in Utah just to be closer to the LDS writing community. I've even had a few people tell me that an LDS writer living outside of Utah shouldn't even bother. I didn't really believe them, but at times it was terribly lonely. Especially when I heard stories about other writing groups, retreats, and conferences that I just can't get to.
Critique groups are such an important part of a writer's life. It took me a long time to admit I was a writer and a long time to try to organize something, but I finally did it and it's been worth it. The group is only four months old but energetic and committed. We are all still learning how to give a good critique. The variety of writing styles is interesting and I look forward to hearing more from them every time we meet.
We have one new writer who just wanted to try writing. She'd been bitten by the bug and the few pieces of her work she's read have such a unique voice. She's quite excited about the whole thing and is eager to learn all we can teach her.
Another member has been working on a book, but had not been convinced to show it to anyone. I think this was a case of "be careful who you tell you're writing a book". She told a friend, who then told me. I called this girl and convinced her to join us. She's been a great addition and is much more talented than she'll admit.
A third member hasn't read anything to us yet. She's been busy researching, but has promised that next week she'll have something ready. She's got great energy and great ideas.
We also added a new person a few weeks ago. At first I thought she was overwhelmed by us, but she keeps coming back and says she is learning a lot.
Then there is my sister-in-law. When my brother married her, I didn't know she wrote. What a pleasant surprise. She's been my writing buddy for several years, and my partner at the LDStorymakers conference. ( I sure missed her this year.) I don't know what I'd do without her support. I love her writing style and can't wait to see where her current story goes.
So there's my group. In January, I'd just about given up. My ad had no responses and I thought maybe my SIL and I really were the only writers around. I'm thankful for the writing friends I found right here at home. We are even talking about planning a retreat next year for ourselves and two other Canadian writers we know of. And just wait. One by one we are going to burst into the published book world and prove that good LDS writers can live in Canada.