Annual meetings are a good thing.
I came to this conclusion after attending the weekend annual meeting of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild (no, not that kind of hooking) in North Bay. Many months before I’d signed up, sent my money and committed to making a piece that reflected the theme of the meeting “All Abuzz About Bugs.”
But towards the end of last week when it was time to organize the dogs and myself I wondered if I should stay home, forget about the money and not go.
I didn’t make that decision because organizers know a thing or two about human nature. I’d spent months designing and making the rug, I’d signed up for classes to learn new skills and I knew the merchants would be there with fabric and wool and all sorts of other enticing items. I couldn’t walk away from my commitments.
In addition, I’m sure my dogs were looking forward to a weekend at Happy Tails Camp. So I went.
By Sunday afternoon when it was time to go home I felt rejuvenated, inspired by the wonderful work I’d seen and ready to start new projects. My wallet was lighter as I hadn’t been able to resist the siren call of woolen fabric in glorious shades, of a new frame which promised to allow me to work faster, of a new hook made of exotic wood. I’d met people, shared stories and planned to attend an October retreat.
The meeting had achieved its purpose.
So too with Bloody Words, the annual get together of Canada’s mystery writers. We may grumble and think we won’t go but we’ve made commitments to help or be on a panel or critique. Missing the event is not an option.
When the weekend ends we’ll be pleased we’ve connected to old friends, met new ones, bought too many books and generally had a good time.
Creative people, whether they choose textiles or paint or words usually work alone. Not only do they spend hours by themselves they, or should I say we, sometimes lose our perspective. We begin to doubt the validity of what we’re doing. We question spending our time locked away with our computers, paints or fabric.
The Annual meeting validates our reason for being who we are and it shouldn’t be missed.
A member of the Ladies Killing Circle, Joan Boswell co-edited four of their short story anthologies: Fit to Die, Bone Dance, Boomers Go Bad and Going Out With a Bang. Her three mysteries, Cut Off His Tale, Cut to the Quick and, Cut and Run were published in 2005, 2007 and 2007. The latest in the series, Cut to the Bone, will be published by Dundurn in November. In 2000 she won the $10,000 Toronto Star’s short story contest. Joan lives in Toronto with three flat-coated retrievers.