As a writer, my journey has been full of lots of ups and downs, but nearly all of my ups involve members of my writing group—wonderful women that I’ve been meeting with every other week (and often more) for the past five years.
This year, some of those special moments have included holding an advanced review copy (ARC) of my book for the first time—a copy that arrived while I was away from home and one of my critique partners (CPs) drove three hours to bring it to me. (Okay, fine, she was also coming to a conference, but I appreciated the gesture). I taught a class at a local conference to a packed room—the first time I’ve ever had to be moved to a bigger room, with people sitting on the floor and standing at the back–and these women were in the audience, smiling at me while I fought down my nerves.
My debut novel owes a lot to them, to their enthusiastic reception the first time I brought a rough draft of the opening chapter to our meeting, to their careful critiques as we worked through the book, to their encouragement as I queried and waited impatiently for news of submissions.
But my most memorable moment this year has been a bittersweet one. You see, one of these women lost her husband last month to a tragic accident. At the viewing, we folded her in a group hug and wept together. Later, we stood together underneath an incongruously bright sky at the cemetery, and I realized that somewhere along the journey these women had gone from being just a group of friends who talked about writing, to something like sisters. We’ve celebrated the birth of children, our own birthdays, our book babies—and now those celebrations are both tempered and deepened by our shared grief.
This year, I’m grateful to be part of a wider writing community that has buoyed my friend in her grief. I’m grateful to have a book coming out in just under four months. But more than that, I’m grateful that writing has brought me relationships full of laughter, tears, pain, and joy.
For the new year, I’m looking forward to my book coming out—but also to spending more time with my writing group, and to an ever-expanding circle of writing friends.
Giveaway: ARC of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION
Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the telling and reading of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her chemistry professor husband and three children, watching British period pieces, or hiking through the splendid landscape of southern Utah, where she lives. She dislikes housework on principle. Her debut novel, BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, comes out March 28, 2017, from Knopf/Random House.