What Is An ML?

I’m a writer. 

If you know me, or have come to know me in the last few years, you know that I used to have a hard time saying that sentence. Let’s be honest here. There are still some days that I say it, but I’m not sure I quite believe it. 
Every year, just to see if I can drive myself completely crazy in 30 days, I participate (yes, willingly) in an event called the National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to see if I can write 50,000 words in a month. The hope is that the words will be A) coherent, and B) presumably part of a book or story that I will then go back and turn into something that I will actually let other people read. 
I’ve been doing it since 2015. 2015 was a waste. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Again, some days I don’t think I have a clue. 
Something changed in 2016. That was the year I found myself in not one, but two writing groups.
And something crazy happened. I finished my first draft of my first book. 
2016 was the first year that I “won” NaNo. 
This post isn’t a how-to. It isn’t really supposed to be some kind of inspirational piece, either. 
What it is, is a thank you letter.
You see, if you find yourself attempting NaNo, you will want to find yourself a group. You can find other like minded writers in your region. Each region has someone call a Municipal Leader. And because we writers don’t really like full words in real life (just one the page), we call them ML’s.
My first (and current) ML is an author by the name of Carma Haley Shoemaker. 
She organizes events…she comes up with ways to keep us motivated.  She’s our fearless leader. 
It’s odd to have a situation where I can’t quite find the words I’m looking for. 
I guess, what I’m trying to say is…Carma, if you’re reading this–thank you.
I suspect that sometimes it feels like we don’t understand all that you do for us. The hours you plan for the activities we do. The little flourishes that make a write-in memorable. The pep talks. All of it.
I suspect that it’s quite a lot like herding cats. Wet, sometimes angry, confused, self-doubting, somewhat self-absorbed cats who forget that they actually do know how to meow. OK…maybe that’s just me. Which, is weird. I’m allergic to cats. 
Anyway. Enough about cats. 
Carma–thank you. I appreciate you. I value what you bring to the group. And I am thankful for the time and effort and blood, sweat, and tears that you’ve given the group, but also the impact it’s had on me personally. 
You rock.
Thank you, truly. 

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