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For the last few days I’ve been away. If you read my last post, you know where.

This was the first, but not the last meeting of the Shenanigals. A group of four writers who met on Twitter, then came face to face at a writers’ conference, and since then have become a source of support and love to each other.

Logo designed and drawn by Marjorie Brimer

I am lucky to be a part of this group. Seriously lucky.

Photo by a nice woman who was sitting by the pond…

So we spent a few days together, ready to write and chat and revel in general silliness.

I went with a manuscript that needs to be revised before I send it to a few critique partners. Others were thinking about notes from agents and editors. And one, dear Jamie, went through her entire book…again. A true rock star.

I didn’t know what exactly would happen. I didn’t really know what to expect, considering we had hung out at a writers’ conference, but never in this type of setting.

Writing did happen…

As did silliness…

Adoring a beautiful kitty…

Aw…Pepper! Photo by Jamie.

Watching a show called Botched…so much cringing…

Good food…

Deep discussions about, well, everything…

Much brainstorming about what we are all working on. The creativity was flowing freely…

Possibly a tattoo…

Okay, yes, a tattoo. Isn’t it wonderful? Go, Jamie! You handled that like a champ! You be the light in the world!

Yet, something happened that I wasn’t expecting. I went in with fear. Fear of these revisions. Fear of messing up this manuscript. Fear of failing.

As I sat around with these great people, my fear lessened. I started revising. And then I met chapter nine, learned that nothing happened in that chapter, faced that I had to rearrange things and fix it…panicked slightly…

But everyone gathered around and reminded me that I am pretty cool…and pretty talented…and to not be afraid.

So I did it. I faced chapter 9 and redid it. Let me tell you, it is so much better now. The words felt right as I wrote them.

Even though I still have to pick up the mess of restructuring the story, I am not afraid. I am ready. I am going to power through the rest of this story and get it sent to those fabulous readers, who are waiting.

All the memories. All the fun. All the learning about each other and building stronger bonds.

I carried fear in with me and left it there, dropped it and let it die. So no matter how much writing I did or didn’t get done, that is the best thing that could have happened for my words.

This is what’s best when writers unite. The bonds. The support. The willingness to chat about everything. The acceptance.

Shenanigals forever

And I might have a signed ARC of Rena’s new book WITH YOU ALWAYS…OUT IN A LITTLE OVER A MONTH! Okay…I DO HAVE ONE! You can be jealous.