The Tri-County Sisterhood of the Traveling Book, or TCSTB, was formed in August 2014. After I had finished writing “Pithea,” and doing some broader changes, I asked my 3 sisters to read it and give me their thoughts. One sister, Heather, actually got an electronic copy and had read the whole thing before I brought the idea to the other two. Then I printed several copies–one for me, and one for each sister. Over the next little while, I would discuss with another sister, Toni, thoughts she had while she was reading. She said she was making a lot of notes, and I thought about how best to discuss some of her thoughts or concerns. The third sister, Sarah, moved with her husband and three young kids to the Dominican Republic during this time, so she did not have a lot of time to read. She wanted to help, and did send me her notes on the introduction to the book. However, when I asked my sisters if they thought somehow meeting periodically to go through notes would be feasible, we knew Sarah would be too busy.
I suggested to Heather and Toni that we meet over Skype, so we could cut out travel time and expense, and we had our first meeting on August 6th, 2014. On that night, I mentioned that we should come up with a name for our group, and some ideas were thrown around (some of them in jest). For my daily blog post about that meeting, I smashed some of the ideas that had come up into one name, thinking it was long and silly and wouldn’t stick. It has.
Shortly after that first meeting, I hit on the idea to use Google Docs to create a shared document, which we now use every Tuesday during our regular Skype meeting. We talk for usually 2-2 1/2 hours once a week and are making steady progress through the book. Now and then, when we can, we set aside a Saturday and meet in person, spending the whole day to get a bigger push through the story. During these “marathon meetings,” as I call them, we also like to act out scenes that we aren’t sure about (usually scenes involving action of some sort–fighting or the like) or do other hands-on activities, like make tea out of oregano. We also have a lot of fun.