Sometimes a favorite hobby is a lifelong pastime; other times, it flourishes later in life. At Otterbein, the Scribblers is a writing group that includes people who fall into both camps.
Watch our discussion with Nancy N., who leads the Scribblers, to hear what’s so special about the group and how it nurtures creative spirits of all types. You can also read the full video transcript below.
The Scribblers at Otterbein Lebanon
We are a group of people who like the written word and who are generally readers - it starts there, I think. We are readers and writers because we really like to put together a really great phrase. Something that says it just the way you want - I like that. I wrote that.
We’re just a group of ordinary people. I write the preface to our books - and it kind of tells who we are. We’re just ordinary people; we’re not professionals. And we are not a critique group. We do not critique each other. We just read and listen and enjoy. That’s it. We accept all the writings for what they are - the work of somebody’s mind and thoughts and feelings. It’s great. We get to know each other.
What Makes People Want to Join the Scribblers?
It’s such an inspiration to come to Scribblers and hear people’s stories. People tell their stories, and we inspire each other. And I think that’s why I started writing because I’ve heard all the different stories and styles and voices and just said, wow, I love this. I can do this. And I began writing on my own.
Some [of us] were writers before. We’ve had through the years - as the cast constantly changes - we’ve had writers who were published, who were pretty much professionals, and people like myself who probably wouldn’t have gotten into it, except they came to Scribblers and were inspired. And for many of us, it’s a matter of telling our stories for our children and grandchildren. Putting them down on paper, and things we wish that the next generations knew. And memories - just things that pop up. For a lot of us, that’s kind of where it starts.
And then, creativity kind of sneaks in. And then we start thinking about poetry and expressing feelings and thoughts, and it grows - it just, I don’t know, I think for most of us, that’s kind of the story. We came, we tried, and we said oh, I like this.
How Does the Writing Process Work?
It starts with every week we get together and read stories to each other. I make a note each week of who read what. And I put a little asterisk beside those that just blow me away - I think oh, wow, that’s good.
And then when it’s time to put together another group of stories for a book, I go back through and pick those out and then I ask each Scribbler for copies of those stories, and then we compile a book from those.
So it’s kind of the ones that struck me, or people sometimes submit other things they would like us to consider. And we often include those.
This newest book has more stories from each person than we would normally do. So we put together around a 200-page book. And it’s just a collection of our stories long and short, poetry, just everything.
What is the Meaning of the Latest Book’s Title, Ever Green Winter?
This book - this was just inspired, I think, the title, Ever Green Winter.
In Psalm 92, one of the verses says, “They still bear fruit in old age. They are ever full of sap and green.”
And in my preface, I mention how here at Otterbein, we have so many things to do. We have so many activities, new things to learn, things to do.
And in writing, we’re creating. In the creative arts center, we’re creating. In music, we’re creating.
We are still green. We are in the winter of our lives, most of us are - most of my friends are in their 80s and 90s - and we are still creating.
We’re still green. We’re not shriveled up and done. We are evergreen. Here at Otterbein, as I said, it’s always an evergreen winter. Because that’s just the way life is here. We have much to do.
Ever Green Winter is now available for purchase. Copies can be found in the Otterbein Lebanon marketing office for $10 each.
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