A million years ago (it seems), I taught an evening writing workshop for adults who wished to be published. And I’ve just seen that one of my students has had his book on addiction recovery published! James DeSena’s manuscript stood out for its passion and its controversial take on the ‘recovery movement,’ and while his wasn’t my final choice to bring to my agent, I’m happy to see that he pursued his goal and brought it to print. Bravo, Jim, and thank you for mentioning me in your acknowledgment as being instrumental in inspiring you as your teacher. This makes three of my students who have gone on to publish, which makes me very, very proud.
Since I’ve been scanning Amazon.com on this rainy day, awaiting news from the hospital on my Dad’s transfusions, I’m excited to see that I pop up as a contributor in some new books! My colleagues often come to our writer’s circle for anecdotes, and it’s always fun to pitch in. So my advice shows up (and you can see it online, if you don’t have the books) in 101 Things Every Kid Should Do Growing Up, by Alecia Devantier (I suggested sharing other cultures with kids via research and food tastings, music, etc.); How to Survive a Move, in the Hundreds of Heads Survival Guides (not what I expected — a snippet of what I shared in the ‘how to apartment-search via classifieds’ arena, but still fun to be in there); The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing (Lots of quotes and advice from me on the writing life) and the 52 Most Romantic Places in and Around New York City (I spent a few days doing press tours of some of the most amazing hotels and restaurants, Wollman Rink, Lincoln Center, and — sadly — the top of the World Trade Center. It was one of my most unforgettable assignments).
I won’t discuss Amazon’s program where you can search inside a book for what you need…for free…It’s one of those opportunities to sigh, accept it, and see how you can work with them instead of against them. Thus, some upcoming ‘So You’d Like To…’ guides I have my eye on. It’s a bit of a martial art. Step away from the oncoming ‘assault’ and let its own momentum make it sail past you. Then make something good come from it. Not always easy, but definitely an exercise in resilience and creativity…which is what the writer’s life is all about. Seeing Jim’s book there makes me want to teach again, so maybe I’ll look into that adult school for the spring.
I read something that resonates in Body and Soul magazine this afternoon — how just having something positive to look forward to creates the same type of positive hormones as experiencing the positive thing. It’s quite a way to look at your calendar.