27 August 2016 – Proud to report that I’m an honorary member of ICE Club. That’s what the boys (Drummond, Luther, Nolan, and Riley) have decided to call our, or should I say their, creative writing group. Inventive. Creative. Experimental. They wanted to include Stories somehow but once they got the ICE acronym down there was no dismantling it. So they came up with a motto instead: Making and sharing stories. They’ve also decided on a rite of initiation (sharing a story), a club handshake (a traditional shake slipping into joined fists with thumbs up), a password (currently gumboots), as well as the beginnings of a charter/mission statement (to provide an inspiring and supportive environment for telling stories).
It all went down rather dramatically. Given how unresolved everything was last week I decided to go in guns blazing. I was so keyed up to deliver what I’d prepared that I completely dismissed the fact they all came in together and were being atypically chummy with one another as I rounded the table to close the door. They were absolutely brilliant though. Soon as I closed the door they quietened down and let me launch right into things, saying that if I expected them to share their writing then the least I could do was share something I’d written.
In a nutshell the story I presented was about my notebook, which I brought along as evidence (even reading portions of the opening entry), and how it eventually turned into a long letter to you, my mortally departed brother. Wrapping up I explained that I am still writing the letter, now as a kind of post script to the completed notebook, and will do until I feel it is done.
Public speaking has never been a strong point, but I have to say I was in pretty fine form. For their part the boys played along admirably. There were a few giggles at each mention of Griffin (who I’d introduced at the outset as my boyfriend), otherwise they were a receptive and, to my surprise, attentive audience. When I was done they grilled me with pertinent questions. Mostly relating to Griffin (they had a grand time teasing me in tones about my boyfriend) and whether or not I would be making him a gift of my long letter to you.
Finally, with less than 20 minutes to go, I clued in that something was up. That there was more to their jocularity than interest in my personal life. I raised an eyebrow and smiled with mischievous intent before asking what was going on.
Drummond was the first to speak.
‘Should we tell her?’
They exchanged glances and barely audible chatter. Then Luther stood and said, ‘Congrats, Missus Dawson, by unanimous decree we the founding brothers of ICE Club, bestow upon you the title of honorary member.’
Can you believe it! I was floored. (Didn’t even feel it necessary to correct them on the missus bit.) And maybe the best part about how things happened is that I didn’t have to figure out a way to broach Luther’s club idea. They were miles ahead of me. For the remainder of our clubhouse time I listened as the boys laid out ICE Club for me. They described having met earlier in the week, at Luther’s relentless urging and of their own volition, to hammer out details. More impressively, each of them made good on the rite of initiation and, in the process, have fast become something like brothers—or, to use the preferred term, Icers.
There remained two last pieces of business before we brought the first ‘official’ ICE Club gathering to a close. Firstly, the boys (including Luther) handed me their notebooks, each pointing out the selection I am, as honorary Icer, dutybound to read. Then we each placed our writing hand on our forehead (Riley, by far the shiest Icer, is a lefty) and pledged to invent create experiment a story for the next gathering.
Above the moon, I took the boys down the street for slushes to celebrate and next I knew my shift was over. I’m still buzzing and would like nothing more than to delve into the first round of ICEworks, but time has gotten away from me. Heading out to meet up with Sonora!