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I attended my first monthly meeting of the Charlotte Writers Club today! Tonight's main speaker was the charming and hilarious, Morry Alter, who clarified to us that he is, in fact, Jewish and not Jew-ish. With the help of his equally amazing wife, Joan, Morry regaled us with the writing and creative processes he used to develop his affiliate news reports called "Morry's Stories." One such story featured my dear friend Kim Tuttle's English classroom's work with the Charlotte Jewish Community Center's Butterfly Garden project.
He then told us how he got into quite a bit of trouble for an attempted April Fool's prank in New York. He actually enlisted the help of, wouldn't you know it, a one Mr. Donald Trump. Morry filmed a segment about a new condominium, office, and amusement park high-rise complex that had gotten approval to be built in the middle of Central Park. People lost their ever-loving MINDS!!! He held off on participating in April Fool's Day fun for quite some time after. The lesson here, as well, is that even horrible people can have a decent sense of humor, I guess. (Trump, not sweet Morry.)
Next, a few folks discussed their recent publications, including a gentleman named Landis Wade. His award-winning Charlotte Readers Podcast is being reimagined as a book series that collects the best topical quotes from over 300 author interviews.
This first one, "The Writing Life," features observations on what it means to be an author from hundreds of his favorite interviewees, and will be released March 1. I can't wait to grab my copy!
Finally, winners of their February writing contest, which called for tales of real-life events, were announced and excerpts were read. Third place was a gentlemen named Larry who told us about growing up near an enticing, yet unpredictable river that ultimately claimed the life of his compatriot. In second place was Raven with "Chickadees," a story about being comforted at bedtime as a child, and her having to do the same 40 years later when memory problems plagued her mother. First place was a woman named Suzanne with a remarkably touching story titled, "What I Know About Death So Far." I am literally crying my eyes out RIGHT NOW just recalling it. Oh my god…
Okay, so her husband proposed to her when she was a senior in college in a truly bold, but rather abrupt way. When she asked if he even loved her, he said, "That comes with it." After years and years together, he still was never one to say those three words. One day, when he was in the final stages of his illness, he told her that if there was any way to reach out to her from the hereafter, he would. Three months after he passed, at 3am, she began to receive unexplainable phone calls. This went on periodically for a few months when one evening, she saw a call come through with no caller ID. She picked it up and only heard silence, so she said, "I know. I love you, too. Thank you." After that, there were no more calls.
All in all, I am so very glad to have found this group. I am truly blown away by the sheer degree of talent that was in that room and I'm very humbled to be a member. I may not be here for next month's meeting, as I hope to get back home to my family by mid-March, but I fully intend to get and stay involved as best I can. Oddly enough, the only other Black person there was a beautiful young lady named Sabrina Lewis who has volunteered to help them with their social media, which is fantastic! If you're a writer in the Charlotte area, I'd encourage you to join, as well. Click here for more information.
Just one final note! I am car-less for the first time in almost twenty years, so ride-shares have been my best friend while in America. On my way to the meeting today, my Uber driver pulled up with his little girl sitting in the front seat. Luckily, guess who isn't using her car seat right now? I couldn't run back to the house fast enough! Cloud will be ready for a booster seat when we're back in town this summer, anyway, so it just worked out so perfectly.
On my Uber ride home, the driver's name was Patricia! I told her that was my daughter's name and she exclaimed that she was so excited to see me pop up because Sophia is her daughter's name! ❤️