Many of these events take me away from home for many hours at a time, so that means Aunt Linda has to tag along. The first time I encouraged her to bring her video games or knitting, but she insisted that she would be fine. If I could handle it, she could handle it.
That was two years ago. Since then, Linda's attended 4-5 writing functions. She doesn't take notes, but she attends and pays attention, sometimes even participating. She's even starting to recognize some faces of people she's met at multiple events.
|ACFW-GLC meeting in Grandville, MI - August 2014|
We're regular attendees at meetings of the Great Lakes Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association. Those meetings take us all over the state. I'm not a fan of driving, but Linda loves seeing the sights and getting out of the house. I don't think it hurts that, as writers, we always have chocolate on hand, so she gets to partake too.
|Just part of the gang, hanging out in Gaylord.|
Linda's getting so comfortable with these meetings that she's figured out the routine. We regularly start by introducing ourselves and telling everyone what we write. I've often introduced Linda and explained that she travels with me. At this past meeting, however, she took the wheel. After the AA style intro ("Hi, I'm Karin, and I'm a romance writer) I started to introduce her, but she stopped me. "I'm Linda. I like Amish fiction."
This past week I invited Linda to become more involved in the writing process. I gave her my manuscript and a pen and asked her help out.
|Paper, pen, and coffee - she's ready.|
No, she's destroying my story. She marked up the already-edited pages so we can reuse them and print on the back sides. It may not seem like a big deal, but when you want to reuse 250 pages, it saves a few precious minutes to have someone else help out.
I don't think she's ready for an overnight writing conference yet, but Linda's become an unofficial member of northern Michigan writing community.