close up of woman writing with penTuesday is writing day. My regular writing group, the Eastside Writing Room has been meeting for seven years. In a burst of nostalgia I found the original email I sent out in February 2013:

The Eastside Writing Room

For writers who may be busy, over-scheduled, and/or distracted

 Tuesday, March 5 and Tuesday, April 9     11:30 AM-1:30 PM

 The Writing Room is open—in a calm, quiet, and supportive environment.

Writers are often nurturing their dream of publishing while juggling the day job, family, friends, and the “stuff” of life. The Writing Room offers solace, silence, and no cell phones for busy writers.

We have committed to write together. Making that commitment has always worked for me as I sometimes “blow off” my self-commitment, but rarely one to others. State your intention, and then… write. We’ll check in how it went after the two hours. 

Interested? Email Ethel.


We began with five writers around my dining room table, meeting for two hours of pure writing time. NO to-do lists, no cell phones, no content sharing, no critiques. We alternated hosting homes and the host had beverages available; writers brought a snack or lunch.

Imagine the freedom from the following types of exchanges: Request: “Honey, will you take care of the repair guy who’s coming this morning? Since you’re home, I figure you can do this.”       Reply: “Oh, gosh I wish I could (?) But I’m sorry, I’ll be writing.”

Eastside (of Tucson) being part of our name, we’ve attracted writers who live within about a 15-minute drive of the three alternating hosts. Not too much driving time to take from valuable writing time.

Then Along Came COVID

Since mid-March we have been meeting virtually, via Zoom and/or email check-in to state our writing intentions. Our purpose is still the same.

The palpable energy of sitting around a table together is not there and I miss that. However, and this is a vital however; there’s something about knowing my writing mates are writing. They are at home, on their patio, at their kitchen table, or in their office and we are all writing.

Until We Meet Again- In Person

This virtual connection serves to let me smile at those little Zoom boxes on my screen or nod my head as I read intentions from my colleagues. “I’m working on revision for my novel,” “starting a new poem,” writing from a prompt,” “drafting a social media post,” “working on my book,” “not sure what will happen today but I’m showing up to write.” And then, I write.

Today we also can accommodate more folks around the table; two of our members are in California, the rest of us in the Tucson Arizona area, or Zooming while on a short vacation. We are part of the Zoom “Brady Bunch” groups that comprise 200 million Zoom participants. I can’t even begin to think how that works from a digital standpoint, but for me – it’s good to be connected.

Next blog –Speaking of Connections

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She’s retired from professional writing gigs after 30 years of teaching, coaching, editing, and gathering writers to publicly share their work. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. In retirement she’s writing to inspire, to connect with folks, and for the pure enjoyment of it, and sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling Tucson Tellers of Tales, and anywhere there’s a Zoom mic.