By Linda O. Johnston
I’ve mentioned here before that I used to attend a lot of writers’ meetings and conferences, including monthly lunches with my wonderful Writers in Residence friends.
Well, we still get together monthly for a “lunch” – one that’s online on Facebook. It’s definitely enjoyable. And that’s kind of how all my get-togethers with writer friends are going these days.
I miss seeing them in person!
Yes, writing is a solitary existence. We generally sit in front of our computers and let whatever’s on our mind spill out onto the keyboard so we can read it on our screen. And edit it. And add to it.
And it’s not like we can no longer run ideas by our writer friends. Thank heavens for the internet and text messages and, yes, phones.
Still, it’s different these days.
But hey, thanks to my wonderful husband, who added a camera and microphone to my new computer, I can now attend Zoom meetings and be seen and heard. Not that I always want the others in a meeting to be able to see all my expressions, and I have to use a false background to prevent the windows in my actual home background from letting light in to blind anyone who looks at my frame. But I can always pick up one of my dogs and let whoever I’m talking with see them, too! And I’ve also been interviewed on Zoom for an upcoming YouTube program, where I’ll be talking about cozy mysteries.
I’ve always recognized that people are versatile–and these days we have to be especially versatile. And wise, hopefully. I don’t appreciate people who get together in large groups now, particularly without facemasks and not staying a decent distance apart. That can be dangerous not only for them, but for others, too.
But I appreciate how resourcefully we’ve come up with ways to communicate with others, including other writers. I look forward to when we can do it safely in person again. Meanwhile, a virtual hi to all of you out there. Stay safe!
This article is posted for Linda O. Johnston by Jackie Houchin.
14 thoughts on “Getting together”
Although we must maintain social distance, it’s only in the physical sense. We’re so fortunate, as you point out, to have many ways to connect without breaking the rules. My new rule when Zooming: I won’t make fun of your hair if you don’t make fun of mine : ). We’re a clever and resourceful species, aren’t we? Stay safe, stay healthy, and for my SoCal friends, stay cool.
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Hey, I like your new rule, especially these days when it’s harder to get my hair trimmed. And yes, I agree we’re a clever and resourceful species since we’re all finding ways to deal with the current situations. You stay safe, healthy, and comfortable!
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I like your “up” attitude, Linda. Writers ARE fortunate in that they usually stayed home in front of the computer anyway. But it’s weird how hard it’s become to focus!!
Zoom is very nice, and I’m thankful for it, but… well, in person is so much better. After all, we are 3-dimensional folks, not two. Here’s to getting together soon. (Here in OC, we can now go inside restaurants and churches!) Gosh… lots of buts in my comment. BUT (a good one) we do have a virtual Writers In Residence meeting TODAY!
Our virtual lunch today was definitely enjoyable. But being in person is so much better. Well, someday… soon, I hope.
COVID has opened lots of new frontiers for me. I don’t have writer friends to go to lunch with, due partly to where we live and partly because I’m a man in a world where most Christian story writers are women. (I’ve discovered that most of the authors that do live within face to face distance are women and busy mothers who certainly aren’t going to join an older recluse for lunch, even if I bring my wife along! 🙂 ) I’m used to virtual meetings so they don’t frighten me like they do some people. I’ve been able to join several writer’s conferences this way that would have totally out of my budget otherwise.
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I like your attitude, Lester! (I for one would have loved to have you (and wife if interested) to have lunch with us and talk writing. The virtual conferences are a real blessing. Hopefully, if ever this pandemic is gone, they will still offer online meetings as well. Thanks for stopping by!
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That’s a good way to look at it, Lester–that COVID has opened up new frontiers for us. Now, if we could only add the old frontiers to them!
“This” has been an unusual experience, Linda! Especial for the ones of us who are used to social activities with friends, relatives, and colleagues. Out here in the boonies where am, I get internet through Visasat, and at the rate I can afford, too slow for good zooming. So, I’m missing that experience, too! (And not have to “spiffy up” for the camera (smile). Too bad about conferences, sigh. I can do FB though, yeah, and hope to see everyone at Lancers today!
I tend to be somewhat solitary anyway, but I love writers’ meetings and conferences. And Lancers lunches!
Technology has made this lock down a little easier to handle. It might be the only solution for a while longer. I will be glad when we can laugh over it and tell each other how we managed to survive it with all its handicaps. But people in the past endured things like this, some worse, and they got to talk about it. So let us hope we do just that in the very near future. Hang in there, Linda. You, Fred, and the pups.
Yep, we’re hanging in there, Gayle. Thanks. And hope you and Candy are doing the same. I’ll look forward to the day we can look back on these times and laugh.
Well, I am not a fan of virtual meetings but they are one way to communicate, as you all point out. They can never substitute for the actual reality, the warm and wonderful in-person contact, and I find it wearing to keep wondering when all these restrictions will be lifted. Still, they are designed to keep us safe. Love to you all. Might make a business trip to Yorba Linda in October.
I understand but will do what’s necessary for as long as necessary to attempt to stay safe–because that way others I care about will hopefully also stay safe.
My book group planned to meet–socially distanced–in a park the other day. Rain put the kibosh on that idea, so we went back to Zoom. We’ll try the park idea for October. I hate the way I look on Zoom (vanity speaking ;-). It puts 20 years on me! But I’m thankful for the technology we have to get through this. They didn’t have it in 1918.