A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Inching Toward Community

Northampton Screenwriters' Group tonight. Only a few of us showed up, and nobody picked up the key to the Media Education Foundation in time, so we ended up in a booth at Packard's, an extremely congenial pub a couple of doors down. Wade and Matthew ordered dinner, Diane had a glass of wine, and frugal Cicily had what was undoubtedly the cheapest thing in the place, a highball made with bar booze. We ate and drank and worked all at the same time.

Tonight was an industry discussion, and it proved very fruitful. We shared lists of resources and personal experiences. Wade and Mike, who between them have a couple of dozen completed scripts, had brought query letters, which we critiqued. Mike passed around a few pages of a screenplay he's working on. I thought all the comments were pretty useful.

Packard's, a former florist's shop, has a back room they call "the Library." It's the former refrigerated flower locker. Now it's lined with bookcases and portraits and furnished with an elegant conference table and clubby chairs. Any group can reserve it at no charge; of course it's presumed that a goodly amount of food and drink will be consumed. I had suggested it as a venue, knowing that the Northampton Poets use it for their meetings.

Wade had nixed it sight unseen, saying it would be too small and too noisy. But tonight, peeking in, he seemed impressed. He might be right about the size and the noise, but if so, it's too bad. Sitting around a big table, eating and drinking, is my solution to just about any situation. It certainly helped make tonight's meeting extremely productive. After breaking bread with these guys, I'm starting to feel like they're family.

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