I recently joined a writers’ group. No, I’m serious. A group of people who write professionally are allowing me to attend their meetings and events and soak up information like a big old bloggy sponge, and I’m loving it! Today we had a cozy group of about eighteen people, half of whom I’d met a couple of times before, in attendance for a workshop with Kathy Seidel, a brilliant novelist whose work I’ve only recently discovered. Her characters are authentic and appealing, and their relationships as complex and as rich as real life (OK, maybe more so than real life, depending on what sort of life you’re leading). She was such a vibrant speaker, and even though she has a PhD from Johns Hopkins in English Literature and has published fourteen novels she spoke on a level that even my no-creative-writing-since-high-school brain could comprehend. In fact, I was so inspired that I’m going to spend the rest of the weekend writing! I was lucky enough to win one of her books as a door prize, and since I’ve been stalking her buying and reading her books voraciously since I heard she was coming to town, I already have a copy of this one. It deals with the lives of middle school girls and their mothers, and as the mother of a middle school boy I found it especially fascinating. To win, just leave me a comment here on the blog. I’ll leave this open for a week, then pick a winner at random and mail the book out – Good Luck!