On Thursday, Nov. 2nd, I had the privilege of attending the book launch party for Twins of Orion: The Book of Keys by new author Jennifer Rose. It was a magical evening of celebration. I have had the pleasure of knowing Jennifer Rose for a couple of years now. I have talked to her about her story at length on several occasions. I have even beta-read Twins of Orion for her. For Jennifer, the book launch was the culmination of a decade of struggle and dedication. I was happy to be there for her.
But something magical happened on that night. Something that made me proud of my participation in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Now, before I explain what happened, let me digress for a moment.
I have had the pleasure of knowing local authors in the Rocky Mountain community for about four years. I have been to almost a dozen book launch parties. The party has always been a reflection of the writer in question. Some have been in bookstores. Some have been in bars. One was on a university campus. I have even been to a book launch at the Hard Rock Café and another at a tea shop. Usually they are casual affairs with about two dozen people. We laugh, congratulate the author and catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a while. We dutifully buy a copy and have it autographed by the author.
Jennifer Rose’s book launch was something different.
At the beginning of the evening there were about twenty people, including close friends and Jennifer’s immediate family, who came from out of state. However, as the evening processed, more and more people showed up. Towards the end I counted over sixty people at the Tattered Cover Aspen Grove. The place was packed!
Jennifer Rose gave a talk about her story, how she came up with the idea and her writing process. Then she sang! (Jennifer is a professional musician.) Her music enchanted the crowd. There was a raffle and I even got to emcee the event.
As my wife and I drove home, we reflected on why so many people showed up. The only answer we could come up with was that RMFW is family. We support each other. We hold each other’s hands in times of sorrow, and we stand by each other in times of strife. We gently correct each when our stories are failing. On Thursday, we celebrated.
Former conference chair Corinne O’Flynn was there, with Indy Writer of the Year Wendy Terrien. Corinne said, “Jennifer Rose comes to everything. She is always supporting everyone else, how could I not come?”
Like any relationship, like anything else you value, the more you put into RMFW, the more you will get out of it. There are amazing people in this organization who will support you and guide you on your journey to publication.
Do you need a critique group? We got’em.
Do you need to learn about craft? Stop by one of the Saturday free programs.
Need a writing retreat with fellow writers? Yep, we got that, too.
Want to dig deeper into a subject? Then sign up for an online class!
There is a wealth of knowledge, talent and dedication in this organization. There is also a spirit of collegiality and support. There is no competition among us. We all root for each other.
I think it’s important to remember this. The craft of writing can be very lonely. At some point, we all have to shut our door and write our story. When we struggle with our characters' motivations, or try to wrap our heads around the midpoint of the story, we can feel like no one will understand. This is especially true if you’ve kept your story a secret from judgmental family and friends. Or, if you’re just a shy person whose story is very personal.
Remember, when it’s time to come out of your writing nook and face the world: You are not alone. We are your tribe.
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