I just read on the New England Society of Children's Book Writers And Illustrators listserv that a new critique group is forming in central Vermont and will meet at Briggs Carriage Bookstore. The news took my breath away.
That bookstore is about 10 minutes from the house where I lived from third grade until after I graduated from college. Of course, at the time I lived there, that bookstore was also a couple of decades away, so to speak. We were in roughly the same place, but in different times.
When I lived in Sudbury, Vermont, growing up wanting to be a writer but believing it was way too farfetched and unrealistic a job quest, I felt as if I was trapped at the end of the world. We were far from New York City, far from everything I read about or saw on television. I had been to Burlington only twice before I went to the Univeristy of Vermont when I was nineteen. We were really isolated.
And now the next town over has a critique group in a really beautiful bookstore? The word cruel comes to mind.
I've got a Twilight Zone feeling about this.