Posted by: jeannineatkins | June 5, 2008

Welcoming D. Dina Friedman to Live Journal!

My four person writing group has been meeting for nineteen years. That’s a lot of reading, critiquing, gossiping, analyzing, bemoaning, supporting, and occasionally bringing on the champagne. Over these years I’ve gotten to hear about D. Dina Friedman’s children growing up and read many of her wonderful novels. The published ones include Escaping Into the Night (S&S) a historical novel set in one of the underground forest encampments that saved the lives of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, and Playing Dad’s Song (FSG), which is about a music-loving boy dealing with grief.

Dina is not only a great writer but an insightful critic, and my work has benefited so much—I’m not sure I’d want to measure if I could — from her clear eyes. We’ll leave it at – thank you! She’s nice about it, too, which comes from that’s who she is and having been a gentle and good teacher of writing for almost as many years as we’ve written. And if you ever need directions or descriptions of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and environs, she’s your go-to person: I swear her head is filled with street maps imprinted in childhood, with not only street names, but details. She has a really nice dog. I’m happy she’s going to blog here now and she welcomes any of my wonderful LJ friends to join her friends’ list, too!

Here’s a picture of our writing group taken by Lisa Kleinholz’s daughter Brittany Kaplan in front of the Jeffrey Amherst Inn where we meet. One glass of wine each usually buys us two hours.

Lisa, me, Dina, and Bruce Carson.



  1. What a beautiful place to meet–during the winter, do you transfer inside and switch to hot chocolate?

  2. It is beautiful. Here in Massachusetts it seems winter a lot of the time so it’s not too often we’re on the patio and in the summer we often meet at Bruce’s house since he has a pool. Although we still work, I tell my husband, packing my swim suit and cake! We’re in shock now since the inn is going to be renovated and thus closed for almost a year. Not only is it pretty, it’s quiet and they let us sit. But I’m sure we’ll figure out something.

  3. Sounds heavenly! That picture is so alive with writer action.

  4. Hmmn, writer action, I like that. Maybe that is why my hand is blurred. I hate it the few times I’ve been given a handheld microphone. How do you talk and keep your hands still at the same time?

  5. Thanks Jeannine for the intro. I welcome more LJ friends. What Jeannine fails to mention is her role in our writing group–she is the inspiration to all of us with her prolific output and her perseverance in continuing to send things out. Jeannine is also an insightful and sensitive critic whose comments are almost always right on the mark.
    And I don’t think either of us would be where we were today without the friendship, support and inspiration of our writing group extraordinaire.

  6. Whoops
    Forgot to include my ID–as mentioned. I’m very new to LJ and somewhat of a luddite.

  7. Re: Whoops
    Thanks, Dina. I agree our group is an amazing thing in so many ways. — Jeannine

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