Last night I went to a meeting of a local writer's group for the first time. It was pretty fun. Not what I expected but I enjoyed myself. There were five other people there besides me - the ringleader, another new guy, another new girl, a woman who is working on her fifth book and a former literary agent from New York. It was an interesting mix of never-been-published up to successful authors. I feel that I will get a lot out of knowing them and sharing my work with them.
The literary agent was trying to discourage me from returning to New York. He talked of working 14 hour days and never having "a life." He is so happy in Austin, and I agreed - I am very happy here too. It is completely laid back and low-stress, which is what I need right now. To be honest, I am apprehensive at the prospect of moving back home in the next year or two, but then there is my family to think about. L.A. said, "If you're thinking about graduate school, there's no better place for it than here. There's such an open artistic community here for your writing." He was like a walking advertisement for Austin, but I understand why.
He was a trip. He said he had written a novel for NaNoWriMo but that he didn't share it with the group because there was too much sex in it - lol. I rarely "lol" in blog posts but that warranted it. He is an older man with a large, bushy beard and round glasses who wore socks and sandals so I just didn't expect that from him.
Another woman told us that since her current historical novel takes place in the Middle East of yesteryear, and one of her characters traveled via camel caravan, she went to Syria and Egypt and did it herself. And I thought, that's what it means to be a real writer.
Will I ever be one?