Christmas Party 2018

Nashville Writers Alliance

I won’t say how long ago, but word processing was a relatively new concept for most of the would-be-writers who gathered on the Vanderbilt campus for the week-long Cumberland Valley Writers Conference.  (I was still pounding out stories on an IBM electric typewriter.) After the conference, some of us decided we wanted to continue meeting to read and critique each others’ work.  It would be years before we called ourselves the Nashville Writers Alliance, but we began meeting every Tuesday night. Even in a pandemic, when we have to meet via Zoom, we’ve met most Tuesday nights since.

Rita and Phyllis at the Bluebird

(l. to r.) Doug, Ed, Corabel, Shannon, and Mary Bess at Writers Group Christmas party 2017

I have the distinction of being the only “founding” member still participating.  Man, that makes me feel old!  Many of the group remained for years – even decades.  Jim Young, Alana White, Madeena Nolan, Martha Hickman, Kae Cheatham, Steve Womack, Michael Sims, Squire Babcock, Amy Lynch, Sallie Bissell – to name a few. Our dear Martha Hickman died a few years ago. She had moved to California, but those of us who had the good fortune to know Martha felt her loss profoundly when she was gone. We still miss her.

We lost another beloved member in January 2021. Rick Romfh had been in the group for at least 15 years, maybe longer. I like to remember the last Christmas party that we had before Covid changed our lives. Rick was there that night. He was a bright light in our midst, and we miss him terribly.

Members of our current group are Rita Bourke, Mary Buckner, Doug Jones, Will Maguire, Shannon Thurman, Mary Bess Dunn, Ed Comer, Jack Wallace, Randy O’Brien, and me.

(John, Rick, Will, Mary, and Doug) Christmas Party 2017
Rick (Indiana Jones) at one of our Halloween parties
(l to r) Rita, Rick, Will, Mary at 2017 Christmas party
Mary and Phyllis at the Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference at Ole Miss

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