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Yes Is The Answer In So Many Words

Karen Shoemaker

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Is this a place for me?

It was one of those blistering hot days Nebraska summers are famous for. I was pulling tools and supplies out of the backseat of my car when I heard her calling out. I turned to see her rushing toward me across the parking lot. Breathless when she reached me it took a moment for her to speak.

“I saw your sign and I just had to find out what you are and what you do here!”

We stood in the sun talking about writing, the desire to write, the need for guidance and community.

“Just this very morning,” she said in a voice full of wonder, “I wrote in my journal that now is the time. I must start my book even if I don’t know how, and then suddenly, here you are!”

Is this a place for me?

 He stopped by one rainy afternoon and peered hesitantly through the door.

“I saw your sign out front,” he said. “Is this a real . . . are you . . .what is this place?”

He seemed to have trouble formulating his questions and at first I didn’t know if he was looking for the bank that had been in this building for decades or if he was asking about us – Larksong Writers Place.

Either way, the construction mess behind me wasn’t helping him make sense of what exactly we were so I told him about our plans for the building, our current and planned online offerings, and gave him a brochure. Again, a sense of wonder was evident in how he looked around the room, as if he too could see it as we envision it: a place for writers to gather.

“I drive a cab,” he shook his head slowly. “I want to be a writer. I can hardly believe this place is here.”

 Is this a place for me?

She knocked on the front door, the one so seldom used it sticks tight and takes both hands and all my body weight to open.

“I saw your sign,” she said, pointing at the monument sign that sits in our front yard on the corner of Fairfax Ave and N. Cotner Blvd. “Are you really a writers place? Please tell me you are!” She’s new to Lincoln, she said, and in search of a writing community like the one she knew out on the West Coast. She sat on the edge of the chair as I explained our mission and our plans. Her words bubbled out, tumbling over themselves as she realized we were just what she was looking for. “I’ve so missed working alongside other writers!”

On average these exchanges occur one to two times a week. Some people come to our door, some contact us online, some flag us down on the street. They are looking for help getting started, for guidance on how to be better writers, for education, connections, community, and support. All have the same basic question, is this a place for me?

Yes, I say to them, this is a place for you. Welcome to Larksong.

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Larksong is committed to supporting both the writers who come to us for instruction and the writers who come to us to teach. We keep our class fees low, offer free programming, and pay our instructors. Please consider supporting our mission by making a donation.