Network TeamCamaraderie. It’s an odd word, isn’t it? I have a heck of a time spelling it and invariably have to right click it for support every time I attempt to insert it into my prose. I don’t use it very often.  Not because of my spelling angst but because its one of those words that holds a kind of strength for me. True camaraderie is as hard to find as spelling it.

I just returned from a retreat with fellow writers. Three of us have known each other for a couple of years or more, but one was a new, and oh-so-welcomed, addition to the pack. After we worked through the awkward first couple of hours of unpacking, apologizing for taking up too much refrigerator space, offering to share whatever we just stuffed inside it and negotiating the sleeping arrangements, we soon settled in and before long corks popped and discussion flowed. Its a rare gift to spend so much time with others that share your love of writing and dedication to the craft that energizes us in ways the rest of our lives can’t. Uninterrupted writing time is a precious commodity for busy wives, mothers and the gainfully employed. Those who were in the throes of their latest, first draft novels cheerfully announced their word count in the thousands by the end of each day. Those of us who were painfully editing our own or a peer’s work ruminated on the major dents, bumps and potholes we’d successfully navigated. What I came to appreciate is that we not only got to spend time with our characters and walked the streets of our worlds, this time our friends tagged along.

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