The Perfect Readers

In June 1982 I attended the Wesleyan Writers Conference in Middletown, Connecticut.

Ironically this is the town where my father’s family hails from and most of my ancestors, including my father, are buried in the Indian Hill Cemetery up above the college. Back then, I wasn’t particularly interested in my relatives. I was there to hone my writing skills. The director of the program of the conference  introduced me to to two other writers, Margaret and Betsy, and the three of us have remained fast friends and writing companions for almost thirty years.

These are the two writers I trust the most.  They know my work, they know my limits, they know when I can take the toughest criticism and when I simply need to hear what I’ve done well. They don’t mind reading my drafts more than once and I do the same for them. Right now one of us is writing poetry exclusively, one of us is writing memoir and getting a masters degree.  We all live on the east coast, but often we don’t meet for months, even years.  But when I write, I write for them because I know if I have pleased or amused or entertained or touched them, then the book or story or poem is on it’s way.

Everybody should be blessed with readers like these.