Monday, April 7, 2014

The Inklings

You probably know that the Inklings were a writing group that included C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien and many other writers in the 1930s and 1940s.  Certainly, other circles of writers like this have existed, but ever since I heard of the Inklings, I dreamed about this group.  I would have smoked cigars and drank some manly British drink with them--no cosmos or gin and tonics with people like Lewis and Tolkien.

From what I understand, the meetings were not always Mensa-inspired, linguistically-challenging, and rhetorically-brilliant because they laughed a lot and joked.  Probably, the men (I don't believe any women were there, *sigh*) laughed and debated and may have even fought.

I like to picture C.S. Lewis getting mad or even getting tipsy--the intellectual, philosophical, theological man who wrote The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity.  This makes me smile a little.  

Truth is, I have wanted (yes, Keith, this is present perfect) my own Inklings.  When I first went to college, I talked some friends into reading poetry near a frozen retention pond while smoking cigarettes off the campus of our strict Christian college (no, not that one).

That was when I was 18.

Now, more years later than I care to say, I have been going to the writers' group at the Indiana Writers' Center since 2008, and our eclectic band of writers has bonded and become a forge that strengthens each other with lots of patience and care.

What will our little fiction forge produce?  Out of the fire, what lies in our future?  Will a Lewis and a Tolkien arise from our midst?

I hope so.  I love the idea that writers sharpen other writers and that other groups across the world may be doing exactly what we are doing: sitting around drinking coffee (maybe even cosmos), talking about point of view and perfect tense verbs, sharing ideas with other talented writers, and giving each other strength and knowledge.  We have faith that the people sitting next to us and across the table from us may someday make a lovely, permanent mark on literary history.

Side note: I've been mercilessly teasing Keith about perfect tense verbs.  Anyone want to guess/count how many are in this post?  Hint: more than three (include modals and conjuctive verbs).


  1. Hey, if anyone ever wants to conjugate torture, then do verbs. There is a Hell that keeps on giving. I learned a lot, but what a price. Thanks Heather, I think.

  2. Wasn't it the demon in Screwtape Letters who invented perfect tense?