Once Upon a Time We Had a Studio…
I am an old man, my children, and it was before my time, but in the years when BWW’s history was only passed down by spoken word, it is said that an eager group of writers would flash mob a cafe, library, or sunny stretch of park grass to discuss each other’s writing.
After many epochs of nomadic workshopping, I have been told that they found a cave in which to meet, but troubles brewed there, so they found a hovel to rent and again met with frustration and disappointment.
Finally, after wandering about the cityscape for too many generations, our BWW ancestors—some still alive among us though rarely seen—discovered a Golden Studio in a central building, easy to access, with an elevator that could carry people to the third floor even with rolling chairs or bicycles. And it was like heaven to those simple folk.
They would meet around two large, handmade and donated tables, sip fresh brewed coffee, drink cold co-op water from a water cooler, hang their parkas on a fine metal coat rack, and sit as many as a dozen at a time discussing each other’s writing. In person. Yes, verily, once that was done, children.
Alas, came the Pandemic. For many a month no workshops met in the Golden Studio. No poems were read there. No positive feedback encouraged early stage writers to devote their lives to the writing art or advanced stage writers to publish. Yet even at reduced rent, money poured out of the BWW coffers month after month.
The Pandemic expanded, evolved, and grew, and those tasked to represent us made the painful decision to leave the Studio and wait for the Pandemic to be gone.
But lo! a new technology Zoomed from the sky, and writers were able to meet and workshop virtually. New members joined BWW from all over the great land, even from great distances, and enriched our discussions. The virus kept mutating every ten hours, and even though some began to ignore it, others could not take that chance.
Accustomed to digital meetings, even people who lived half an hour away no longer were eager to drive, park, and drive back, expending the world’s fossil resources, to attend a workshop or class when meeting online was so much easier, quicker, and they could still be there to kiss the children good night. And most members lived farther away than that.
Those tasked to represent us made another painful decision: to dispose of the furnishings and accouterments that had once lived in the Golden Studio but now moldered lonely in someone’s basement, barn, or attic. If virtual meetings did not exist, who knows if BWW would still exist throughout the eternal Pandemic night. But the fish walks on land and becomes a frog, then a mammal, then returns to the sea as a dolphin. BWW has also evolved, perhaps seemingly full circle back to nomads, but no, in effect more like telepathic, teleportic beings, able to meet anywhere with anyone, any time!
And they all wrote happily ever after…
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