As I walked through the doorway into the office to register for this week’s class at the John C. Campbell Folk School, I thought I heard someone call my name. I turned around to see my dear friend Lynne walking towards me, arms outstretched.
“Can you believe we’re here like this?” Lynne asked. “It is a little surreal,” I replied.
You see, Lynne and I had met here just two years earlier. We were classmates in Glenda Beall’s “Your Life, Your Stories” memoir writing class. At the time, I was nervous that as a thirty one year old, I would be in a class of eighty year olds who looked at me saying, “What on earth do you have to write about? You’ve hardly lived yet!” Thankfully, that was not the case at all. My classmates ranged from their twenties to their seventies, both male and female, and everyone had stories to tell – stories that we all enjoyed hearing, stories that were birthed onto the page thanks to the guidance and encouragement of our instructor.
In that class two years ago, Lynne and I also met Pat and Lois – neighbors from Ohio. Upon our return to our respective homes, we all kept in touch. A year later, we started an on-line writing group. On the first of the month, each of us sends out one of our pieces to the others for their feedback and critique. During one exchange, Lynne said she wanted to take another writing class at the Folk School and invited the rest of us to join her. The response was almost immediate. And a few months later, here we all are – our very own mini-reunion. This week, we join a different instructor and four other students for the “Beyond Memoir” class. We join a little more confident in our writing skills since first we met, and ever eager to learn more.