A Mountain Top Experience

105182105411111CDPby Neva Bodin

The sweet spicy smell of sap mixed with the cooling mountain-tainted breeze, which whispered through the pine trees. Invisible fingers played pine needles like they were fine instruments. The squirrels occasionally chattered staccato comments.

The mountain grasses, like metronomes, waved rhythmically back and forth, and alpine asters smiled as mountain sunflowers nodded their heads in approval.

Flashes of cobalt blue announced the mountain bluebird audience, seen among hovering emerald green humming birds.

And God sat back in his chair and laughed.

I wrote the above while sitting in the woods on our nearby mountain top. Our writing group had been invited to Gayle Irwin’s cabin for a writers retreat. We snack, share, wander into the woods by ourselves to write amidst the trees, and in general leave feeling refreshed in spirit and writing minds.

We were invited again recently, and found ourselves amongst friends that inspired, shared, and allowed us to support and enjoy comradery. It’s not that we all write the same genre or have the same beliefs about life issues. But we are all committed to encouraging and helping each other be the best writers we can be. And we accept each other’s ventures.

Writing critique groups are important, but the tone set at them is also important. I encourage anyone interested in writing to form a critique group, write some basic rules about how to critique, how to ask for help, and what’s the format of the group.

Our group eats finger foods brought by members, visits, and catches up on news which breaks the ice, especially when we have new members. Then we settle down to critiques, sharing information others might be interested in, and congratulating fellow members on accomplishments.

And, I wish for everyone, a mountain-top experience.


17 thoughts on “A Mountain Top Experience

  1. Love this post. Although not a critique group, I live for my Thursday improv writing group. Support and friendships can make a writers life easier.


    1. Thanks Doris. They are where we learn not only techniques, but how to handle finding out I didn’t just write the great American novel, but maybe I could with improvement! And yes, the support is wonderful. Neva


  2. Just being in the mountains is a tonic all by itself. Your prose does a most excellent job of showing us a moment in the mountains.


  3. I agree that critique groups are important. If not for my third Thursday poets’ group, I wouldn’t have had the inspiration for many of the poems in my two collections, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver and That’s Life: New and Selected Poems.


  4. Neva, loved the poem. Loved the rest of the post too. Glad you could be with Gayle. Unfortunately, with my job, I’m more or less a solo writer. When I’m driving I think poetically. God provided some awesome views. Cher’ley


    1. Bet you will find others in your area that would like a group. Our library here has them too, and sometimes the college. Thanks for the positive comments. It was a great time on the mountain.


  5. I am so inspired by your stunning words about your view on the mountaintop. I felt like I was there with you! I sorely miss my Writer’s Group in Mexico. We met once a week and it’s where the Inzared series was born and critiqued. I belonged to the group for nearly eight years and we were all friends but all provided good critique for each other. Since I am living in a very rural place right now I haven’t found a Writer’s Group, but I may check out Green Bay and see where theirs meets. It would be worth the one and one-half hour drive and afterwards I could shop my favorite thrift stores! Great post!


  6. I was part of an awesome critique group for a few years and then everyone moved away. I tried not to take it personally. I have tried on-line critique groups but I find it better to talk to someone face to face so I don’t do that anymore. I don’t have one right now but miss the interaction and view points provided by other perspectives. Great post. Erin


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