The Beauty of Community….

The Beauty of Community….

We all need one another. Some of us know it; some of us are reminded when we need it the most! Although we may look like islands sitting self sufficient in a calm sea sometimes, we are truly necessary pieces of the main, strongest when we honor and respect our bonds.

One day last week, out of a most brilliantly sunny morning, an e-mail popped into my Google in-box. It was from my delightful comrade in friendship and writing, the Nik Nicholson. A bluebird, she was bringing the much-needed worm, either humorous words or writing tidbits. Turns out, on that day, it was the announcement below. The Lambda Literary Foundation was offering a Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices! Oh my goodness, was I ever ecstatic! Now mind you, do you think I cared that my little bluebird was dropping said delicacy off on the morning of the final day of the Application period! Heck no!

A sistah rolled out of her bedding and danced about my laptop for the sheer joy of living and striking out in the direction of one of my dreams. And that particular one is to be a successful, well-known—no, world-renown, LGBT writer, whose laptop ever blazes with stimulating, provocative fiction and prose! My genre right now is primarily Contemporary Romance, but I know I will delve enthusiastically into Historical Fiction, Mystery and Thrillers, etc. Everything in its time.

Anyway, here I am racing out on the Net, going to see what my Nik Nik has for me to see! It was so blessedly me, all I could do was stare. I couldn’t ever share. Yep, sad, I know. There was no time to post the writers retreat to my Facebook walls, my Twitter page or even my Google+ homepage. There were simply only so many hours left in the day for me to accomplish the feat of successfully completing, attaching all the necessary documents that I needed to attach, and seeing the entire package to the post. (Do I sound English or what? LOL)

“A one-week intensive immersion in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry” as the Lambda Literary Foundation website advertised the retreat, established in 2007 and is the newest, LLF program of its kind offered to LGBT writers, was the shot in the arm I required for that day! Truly, the retreat was a gift possibility. I read further down the website and learned that several writers I’d read for years had been former faculty for the gala. The names read like a dream-come-true list: Dorothy Allison, Jewelle Gomez, Alex Sanchez, Claire Carmichael, Nicola Griffith, Ellen Bass, Bernard Cooper, Elana Dykewomon, Katherine V. Forrest, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Cris Beam, Ellery Washington, Carla Trujillo, Eloise Klein Healy, Fenton Johnson, Michael Nava, D.A. Powell, and John Rechy, among others. So do you see what I mean? I was ready.

I might have been ready to go, sitting on Green, but circumstances arose blaring stop, flashing Red. Do you think that annoyed me? Not even momentarily! My mind rolled into, What happens now—now that the printer has spit out 3 copies of the application and then promptly informed me that the ink cartridge was done? Another part of me answered, Complete what you need to complete; write what you need to write. And then e-mail those babies to the Head Honcho, who turned out to be a super wonderful person, willing to offer support and assistance wherever he could. Community. Each of his communiques needed with “Good luck!” That was all I needed. I gassed up and kept it humming.

Busy writing and editing my responses to eight sections of the Application that called for essays and lists and explanations, I eventually peeped at the time on the bottom, right-hand side of my laptop’s screen, but I didn’t allow it to halt my efforts. I meant to get that total package in before the sun set on 4/1/2014. Periodically, my little Nik Nik popped back on my Google chat, informing me of her progress, as we both raced that clock. Community. When she posed a query that gave her room to pause, I stood up and offered a suggestion that helped her cause. Likewise, she did the same for me. We were on and poppin’!

Our race sped straight on into the afternoon, in different states, and reeled right into the evening. She was working FedEx to make the deadline, and I was rubber-to-the-road on locating the all-night post office.

For me, the beauty of the entire endeavor was rising to a new day that presented me with a new opportunity to sink my teeth into something I really wanted to do and embrace it with a CAN DO, NON-STOP, DETOUR IF I MUST, but DO NOT ACCEPT NO MISSION! Every once in a while, we need that kind of fix! We need to be reminded that we, along with the Divine, underwrite our days. We need to be put in remembrance that we are powerful creators, no matter what the obstacle looks like. We are even thankful for the obstacle!

Filled with light even now, on Monday, April 7th, I await the May date that will inform me whether or not my Application will be among The Chosen! I will learn whether I will be seated in Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s Fiction Workshop, chin cupped in my little palms, hanging onto her words of wisdom beside my friend Nik Nik and other LGBT writers, new or slightly seasoned. I will discover if I will get to practice speaking Spanish with Poeta Eduardo C. Corrall, the leader of the Poetry Workshop!

And let me inform you, I have FAITH that I will stand among the chosen for all that I applied to do in this effort: attend the two workshops, be a scholarship recipient and serve as the editor of the anthology that will be birthed from the pens of attending writers!

Yet if I am not to be among the attendees, I will be GRATEFUL for the opportunity to have vied for the chance to attend. I promise to be thrilled for those whose names made the roll. I will read the books of the workshop leaders, including the one I’ve never read, Elizabeth Sims, the mystery and thriller author. And I’ll read the latest work by Randall Kenan, a writer I read and loved years back. You see, just because you can’t attend doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the workshop leaders’ writing.


Oh, that reminds me. My baby sis and I were chatting about what we have learned from those who have been living life for far longer than we’ve been living. One lady my sis met was nearing 98. When she inquired what the lady’s secret was for living such a long life, my sister said the little lady answered: “I have learned to be grateful for everything, the so-called good with the bad.”

And on that note, I shall remember the power of brevity…and take my happy self back into my day, where other blog entries and a poem await me!

Much love and abundant light, Beloveds!


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