by Alain Brunet
As soon as he walked into the meeting room, he felt the energy in the air. Roger is a retired journalist from the Atlanta Tribune. His political analysis and opinions were both respected and feared by all parties for over twenty years. He almost died after a stroke and while convalescing, he decided to quit this stressful job and give himself fully to his passion for writing fiction novels.
Over the years he had established an impressive network of contacts, many of which he maintained as close friends. The broad diversity of their origin and personality gave Roger a lot of story characters and topic ideas. He was currently writing his eighteenth novel and royalties earned from previous ones assured him a comfortable retirement.
Page 93 is where he was jammed. This blank page stubbornly refused to be written onto. For the past four days, he had re-read the beginning of this story he had started writing two months ago. He tried every trick he knew to no avail.
It is Merryl that kick-started him again. She was one of the nine participants in this gathering of writers. Haymond is her surname and she had always been proudly Scottish. Her memoirs confirmed her impressive family heritage but, brought her to an unexpected turn. A recent DNA analysis reported that she was forty percent French! Digging into her ancestry information confirmed that her family used to be named Emond and originated from the Bordeaux, France region. In 1428 this illiterate young Emond sailor landed in Scotland, where locals decided to write his name Haymond, as it sounded.
Merryl went on for a little longer with her story, but Roger wrote himself a note. At the end of the meeting, he thanked everyone for accepting him in the group but specifically Merryl for her oblivious prompting. He rushed back home and wrote the draft of a new chapter giving a whole new twist to his novel. The DNA analysis was the keyhole perspective he admitted later, provoked a sustained intrigue that brought success to this new novel. And it all happened because he attended this writing group meeting, rightfully surnamed “Just Write”.