I have been a member of Riverton Writers for about 15 years. My guess would be that the group has been in existence for about 30 or more years. There are four of us left from the eight who were regular attenders when I began. At present, we meet at Dorothy Stanaitis' house each month. We are all writers. Dorothy has published well over 100 essays, Ed has published at least three books, most recently "Lost Philadelphia" and Carol was a long time New Jersey Journalist who still writes articles and memoir pieces. Tom, is our poet, though, like Emily Dickenson, he shies away from the glare of publication. Dorothy and I also have in common history performances. She is a Philadelphia Tour Guide and a New Jersey Storyteller for all ages with stories for children and historic tales for adults.
As for yours truly, Jo Ann Wright, I have published two novels independently, and have three collections of short stories and two collections of poems. Over the years, I have also written and performed several historical pieces, most recently, the Civilian Conservation Corps in South Jersey. I have kept diaries for 40 years.
Also, there is this blog. I have had 35,187 views, 910 visitors last month, nad average about a dozen a day. That's plenty for me, just enough pressure to keep at it, and not too much pressure. I like the Independence of it too.
I'm off to Riverton Writers today, which is why I decided to post this essay. Over the years, I have been a member of one or two other groups and I'm always surprised and interested in people who write. I have a number of other writing frends, two who have published books of poetry, and one who has published three books of South Jersey history, plus numerous acquaintances who have written and published.
This year, I am working on family history and writing an essay on each of the relatives who "speak to me" and about whom I have something to say, either some biographical information, or a living memory. That is what I'll be presenting today. It's a piece about my Grandmother Mabel Wright, who lived in Ocean City, on 6th and Asbury and 11th and Bay, when I was growing up and with whom I was very close. I have her diary. Next, I'll be writing about Joseph Lyons, my grandfather on my mother's side, and I'll be posting more family history on this site as well, since this year is devoted to fitness and family history.
At Bogart's Book Store in Millville, they often entertain local writers such as Marianne Lodz, whose family history memoir I bought and very much enjoyed reading. I think I blogged about it at the time.
"There are a million stories in the naked city, this has been one of them." That is a quote for a memorial if ever I heard one. Just so you know, it came from a movie called the Naked City, which is a film classic now, and was based on a book by Martin Wald. That was about a murder mystery, but, I like to think that every one of the 300 million Americans or so of us has a story to tell, we are living stories. Every family adds hundreds of other interesting stories too. I hope you are writing yours!
Happy Traiils, Happy Tales! Jo Ann