Phi wrote an incredible intro to The Bloom: Yes & No last May. And it is with pleasure that I share it with all of you. (Thanks Phi for permission to post!) This is just a taste of what is in store for The Bloom: Joy & Sorrow.
"The Bloom: Intro"
by Phiroozeh Romer
They say writing is solitary and you ignore them. You quit teaching and start writing your novel “full-time”.
Then the day comes when you find yourself making inane small talk with the barista or the cashier or the shoe salesman - because yes, you go shopping for shoes at 11 am on a Thursday because you have flexible hours - and you find yourself stretching out this interaction because you know it might be the only time you use your mouth today besides saying, “Small latte, extra hot”, or “No, I’m not using that chair,” and of course those under-your-breath mumblings as you stare out the window going, “She … strolled?”, “She ambled?”, “meandered?” but those don’t count because those you’re not aware of.
Sure, you were attracted to writing because you were always a bit of a loner who’d rather make shit up in your head than endure whatever was happening out here. But actively writing, day after day, year after year, it’s a whole new level of solitary.
It can drive you crazy.
But then someone asks you to host a reading and you’re like, really? Because, hello, you’re in the midst of editing your masterpiece, you don’t have that kind of time. But out loud, you say, really? I’d be honored because you know you have to pay your dues and after all, weren’t you here in this very room six months ago, doing your very first reading? So instead you wrack your brain, convinced you won’t even be able to find enough people to fill up the program because you’re a writer, you’re a loner, you don’t have a barrel of friends to choose from.
And then Jason is putting up a page on the 14 Black Poppies website. And you see, in Technicolor, the list of readers you’ve rounded up. You look at the pictures they’ve submitted, in front of a camel, or just of half their face, or making a face, clutching a headscarf. You read their bios, each one bursting with the personality of that person and there’s not a single, “I was born in blah-blah and moved to blah-blah” among them. And suddenly you feel vindicated for the time you were asked to write a bio for the teaching program and you started with, “After forty-nine hours of labor, my mum was having second thoughts,” instead of “I was born in blah-blah and raised in blah-blah,” like everyone else.
You see you’re not alone at all. You have a place, a place to bring your true self and your imaginings, a place you’re taken in, heard. It’s just that, like really good writing, a really good circle of writer friends is subtle- you have to excavate it gently from the clutter, and then, like that really good book you just read, share with everyone you know.
Tonight, I get to share with you seven powerhouse writers.