On Time, Construction, Puppies, and Classes

Karen Gettert Shoemaker

Friday, January 21, 2022

Happy. . . um, New Year?

Is it just me or does it feel like it has been 2022 for a long time now? I mean once you get over the shock of writing such a futuristic number on your checks it sort of feels like we've been writing it for months, doesn't it? Isn't the purpose of time to keep everything from happening all at once? It’s not doing a very good job, IMHO.

But I’m not complaining. I’m simply noting that there is SO MUCH GOING ON! I know how lucky I am to work with other writers, to be a part of the lives of so many interesting people. And it’s exciting to watch Larksong grow – exciting to be involved in the process of that growth.

But still. There is SO MUCH GOING ON!

Let’s talk about the construction, first. Things are coming together. The bathroom walls are in place and – according to the plan – we’ll have the fixtures in a week or so, which means they should be in any time in the next month. The drive-through is now a patio with a door leading out to it. Note: if you drive by and see the “attractive” wooden pallets propped up along the front, those aren’t permanent. They’re just there to keep people who haven’t noticed that this is no longer a bank from driving through the new patio and dropping their car off the new ledge on the street side. We half expected the pallets to be hidden by snow by this time of the year, but that’s not happening.

I love watching the walls go up, the concrete being poured etc., but I admit I’m intimidated by the sheer physicality of these tasks. The men who have worked here so far show up looking every bit the construction guy part – that kind of gruff-faced, tool carrying, manly-man person I’ve been conditioned to expect at a construction site. I try to stay mostly out of their way. But every hour or so I take the puppy outside and when they see her, much to my surprise, they drop to their knees and start competing for her attention. While Tillie jumps and bites and falls all over herself with excitement, they become themselves, not their roles. They tell me about their dogs, about their lives. They ask about what we’re building here and how cool this old house is, and then they drop back down to play with the puppy some more.

I’m ready for construction to be complete, but I’m going to miss that part of the process.

In the virtual realm, we have online classes coming up this session that just flat out make me happy to be a writer and to be a part of Larksong. The instructors we have lined up to lead the workshops are an incredibly talented group, both as writers and as teachers. I want to attend each and every one of these classes. In fact, if you sign up you might see me in some of them!

What I love about the online classes is how many of them have led to online independent writing groups. People who come to our classes frequently keep meeting after the classes are over because they like the community they’ve found. Every time I hear of another one forming it makes me smile. (I’m just an inch away from paraphrasing It’s a Wonderful Life and claiming something about angels earning wings after each class. But I won’t. I just planted that seed in your head.)

Angel wings or not, here’s something I believe: whether in person or online, there’s magic afoot whenever writers gather. We’re working to make room for as much magic as this world needs. Join us. Become a member. Tillie won’t be the only one happy to see you.  

A Concrete Fairy Tale

Karen Gettert Shoemaker

Monday, December 13, 2021

Once upon a time there was a bank, a Cornhusker Bank branch, to be exact, on the corner of Fairfax and North Cotner in the fair prairie town of Lincoln Nebraska. The bank was in a building that once was a house and it retained the charm of that original state, with a fireplace, a balcony, and a center staircase open on all sides. It was, by all accounts, beloved by its workers and customers and all who wandered inside. Then time and technology called for changes in service and all that was inside the house that made it a bank was carefully packed up and moved away. (To 84th and O, for those of you wanting specific real-life details, but that phrase doesn’t fit the fairy tale rhythm I’m going for here, so I offer it only parenthetically. Now back to the story.)

As fate would have it, there was a dreamer driving by when the news was announced that the house would be looking for others to love it. That dreamer had already had her eye on that house, its parking lot, and excellent location, so it took but a moment to decide the match of the dreamer and the house was one for the ages. In July of this year, the house that was a bank became a place for writers - strictly online for a while, but not to worry! Soon the house that became a writers’ place will be open for in-house events of all sorts, from workshops to readings and meetings and various good times. It may be taking more time than we’d hoped, but construction is progressing in such satisfying leaps, it’s easy to believe this dream is for keeps.  And that my dear friends, is a fairy tale we can all believe in.

Just to sprinkle a little believing dust on you, check out the photos on our Facebook page of the drive-through lanes being turned into an outdoor patio floor! Picture yourself at a table there, writing your next novel or poem. Or maybe just reading a book, enjoying the company of others.

Stay with us folks, we’re all going to make this happen!

* Become a member today to support the dream that welcomes you to be a part of it.

* Are you looking for a gift idea for the writer in your life? We also offer gift certificates.

* We also accept donations. Your financial gift supports the writers who teach and allows Larksong to offer free programing, such as the annual Writing and Reading Holiday Party. You can find a Donate button on our Mission page.



Larksong is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are 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 tax-deductible donation.