swg cake
The cake! Minus the sparkly candle things, which were way cool.

Last year I accomplished a lot in my writing world. I finished and self-published my first fantasy novel, Ashborne. I published my first short story, Orbital Extraction. I applied to a grant program. I took several courses related to the craft of writing, including a screenwriting course I never thought I’d take. I created a writing network for writers within Stockholm. And I created this blog. But the best thing I ever did was join a professional, physical, face-to-face writing group called Stockholm Writers Group.

I love how I can meet with a fantastic group of diverse people and they get me (sometimes). When I talk about character and motivations, they totally get that, instead of staring at me like I’m a horned bear as my husband does on occasion. As a group, we can discuss a protagonist’s psychosis and the delicious creepiness of a post-apocalyptic world, tossing out suggestions, favorites and frustrations within the same conversation, and yet we all understand each other. The language we speak is a common language, the feelings expressed familiar to each of us, and the desire to say something, be it good, bad, or anywhere in between, with the written word is a universal longing.

Last month, the group celebrated 20 years together! Talk about amazing. What lasts 20 years these days? I really can’t think of much. People buy a new car every few years. Appliances last, what, five or ten years? I have one friend who goes through a new TV every two years, another who goes through a new spouse every couple of years and one who moves to a new country every few years. I’m not knocking the call of adventure or televisions, but it is interesting to see what lasts. Take a look around you. What do you have that’s over twenty years old? We don’t place much value these days on longevity, perseverance, sticking it out. But despite the odds, this group has lasted not one decade, but two! Twenty years. A couple of the current members have been there since day one. To celebrate, we did what any respectable group of writers would do. We threw a party.

drinks with labels
Every good glass of wine should come with a label.
giving up synonyms
It’s time we gave up the things that hurt us, like cigarettes and synonyms.
candy plus candles
Not all writers drink. Some are addicted to other vices. It’s not a party unless random bits of chocolate are hidden all over the place.
food starting to arrive
Who knew writers were such great chefs? We had homemade crackers, enchiladas, chili, fritters, salsa, salad, empanadas, corn bread, and more.
corn fritters
yummy sauce!
cas and sara talking
I’m positive we were discussing something profound.

You may notice a distinct lack of people in these photos. Trust me, people were there! I just didn’t want to post the photos without their permission. Instead, y’all get to imagine the fun we had =).

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