FRIDAY NOTES & NEWS: Creating community in these isolating times


Copyright is held by the author.

Over in my neck of the woods, all three levels of government have strongly advised against sending kids out for Trick-or-Treating this Halloween because of rising COVID numbers. I have to admit, my initial reaction to this news was outrage — couldn’t they have at least left us this holiday in tact? It happens outdoors doesn’t it? It was then pointed out to me that kids living in city high-rises do most of their trick-or-treating inside their buildings, racing through the corridors and knocking on apartment doors. Oh, yeah, right.

So, after I came down from my high horse, I began to think about what I had been so upset about. Was it the lost opportunity to give candies out to kids to rot their teeth? Or is it because Halloween is one of the most communal events I participate in all year, during which I meet and laugh with neighbours young and old? I think it’s the latter.

We under-estimate how being a member of a strong community helps us in all aspects of our lives — including our writing. And I worry about people whose writing groups have not shifted — for whatever reason — to an online video platform since this all started last March. The continual support a good writing group provides is a lifeline to many writers. So how are people doing out there? Have you been able to keep in touch with your writing group members? Do you hold meetings online? If so, how are they going? How have you pivoted so as to not lose that sense of community? Drop us a line and let us know at: admin at commuterlit dot com.

Contributor News

Janet Garber‘s essay “The Bite” appears in the Jack Walter Press Friends Anthology, released Oct. 20 and available on Amazon.

Gail M. Murray‘s story “Florence — Art Is in the Air” was published in Story Bridges Magazine‘s August issue.

1 comment
  1. At the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association we moved to online in April and continue meeting monthly on a virtual platform. In fact, due to the ease of online, a small subgroup of novelists has started up their own second meeting each month to increase the submission opportunities for critique for those writing multiple chapter works. We are open to new members and with online, it doesn’t matter where you live. Just google Canadian Authors Association to find us. And, the national association will also be opening its own online writer critique group. Imagine connecting and receiving the perspective of writers from all over the country. Many people enjoy online. It’s been in front of us for years. It took a pandemic for us to find it.

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