There’s no secret handshake or blueblood pedigree prerequisite. We don’t have a cryptic logo or possess the ancient trade of masonry. We have little to no control over world events, observe no Satanic rituals and, to date, no U.S. presidents have swung by to join us. I’m confident that none of us is a closeted multi-billionaire.
OK, so it’s not the Illuminati, but it is a secret society, so secret in fact, that despite posting a running classified in the Rossland News for the last few years inviting writers of all walks of life to join, very few locals had any idea it existed.
Our meeting place is the back of the local seniors’ centre around a plastic laminate table that could double for use at a garage sale. Coffee and tea are set out, and someone is always kind enough to bring a plate of baked goods.
The only item in the room that betrays the current decade is the flat screen TV that is set on one side of the room. Sharply juxtaposing the high tech entertainment unit is a stack of LPs and a wooden radio that may have once reported the end of the war. The sectional sofa is festooned with crocheted pillows, which if they could talk, would surely share tales of grandchildren, loves long since passed, and the latest shuffleboard match.
This group may not naturally congregate in the light of day, but the first and third Wednesday of the month after dinner, we are all drawn to the modest little room at the edge of town to get our geek on.
Topics vary, from the technical part of writing like grammar, syntax and the nuances that can make or break a piece of work. That’s dinner. The creative part, the inspiration, the raw stories of lives that you can’t see from just meeting them is the dessert and I want seconds.
We are lucky to have a couple of published authors, but others write for more personal reasons, and some are required to write for their work.
No matter what the motivation, the playing field is levelled for 90 minutes and we all feed at the trough of creativity. Don’t expect to hear about the Rossland Secret Writers’ Society on CNN or The Guardian, or some A-list actor star in a cinematic trilogy depicting our surreptitious sins. We don’t have grandiose aspirations to influence the stock markets or lay a goat’s head on a stone altar. We just want to share some stories and have a chat over tea. So, while we’re not all that secret, I’d like to think we are a little bit enlightened.
For more info, visit rossiewriters.com.