That being said, I'm still attending the local writer's meets on Tuesday hoping for fiction each time. Selfish of me, I know. Whenever it's poetry, I groan and die a little inside, but I make the best of it. I hang in there and pick out little phrases, good imagery and other things you'll get from good poetry.
Sometimes it's rather good, and I laugh or clam up the way the writer wanted. Mostly I try to look interested as not to be impolite. I found myself playing with beer coasters tonight, waiting for that electric shock of a great metaphor to hit me. It did hit now and then, like a white ball bouncing around a roulette wheel. But like that same roulette wheel, it missed more than not.
If nothing else, I get to take in the people around me. The traits, the sounds. The ebb and flow of conversation, the details that make these people real. The awkward way a teenage girl holds a cigarette as she tries to look cool. The glances of undergrads at pints of beer, like caged wolves eyeing a cut of steak. The guy sitting next to me talking to somebody about how good fantasy novels have the same hitting points as literary fiction, all in a nasally voice that makes me weep to be in the 'Sci-Fi/Fantasy' bookshelves. The little things.
But if I keep going, it can't ALL be poetry. I think. I hope. And besides, networking - such a God-awful word but one we all have to do in some form or another - can always be done.
I'll keep writing, you keep reading. That's the deal. I'll see what I can do to make it worthwhile.