Sy Syfransky on Writing

“Readers sometimes ask how much I edit my own writing. I edit until each paragraph has lost the ten pounds it gained over the winter. I edit until each sentence can survive three days in the wilderness on its own. My father taught me to look at each sentence and, if it didn’t deserve to live, shoot it between the eyes. Ignore the pleas of women and children. Take no prisoners, he said.”


--Sy Syfransky, The Sun

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Enid Brock: Little Things I Love

Seven-year old Enid in the back of her aunt's VW microbus in Oregon

Enid Brock is a long-term member of the Friday morning feedback group. She has been writing, most often about food, since 2008.  She wrote this piece in response to the prompt, "Tell me about the small, everyday things you love," just a few weeks before her doctor ordered her onto a gluten-free diet. Now Enid spends most of her time googling searches like "xanthan gum chocolate cake" and "tequila gluten free." It has been 8 days since she ate cinnamon toast.

The gritty sharp sugar topping on cinnamon toast, the way it mixes with the hot melty butter into a slurry, and if you are ... [Continue Reading]

Come to Bali with Laura!

The Writing Retreat of Your Dreams Goes Back to Bali:
Writing, Yoga and Adventures in Paradise  June 21- July 5, 2013 

“I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You created an experience that touched my soul and opened deep levels of creativity and inspiration. Your trip to Bali is a gift that will keep on giving for my entire life.”

–Elya Braden, Santa Monica

Writing, traveling and yoga are transformative experiences that can open your heart, expand your world, and put you in touch with your own deepest self. This in-depth excursion into the culture of Bali—through the eyes of the Balinese—will use writing practice and yoga as a daily ... [Continue Reading]

My Obsessions

“Most of us have ongoing obsessions, sometimes as a result of difficult, tragic, magical, or unexpected events or circumstances in our lives. Sometimes these are the things we studiously avoid in writing about, but sooner or later we come to realize they are our bedrock material. The fact is that writing, like any creative undertaking, carries with it both pain and great joy. The pain is often inherent in the most fertile subject matter; the joy lies in transforming that subject matter and thus moving through it in a way that helps us grow while we create something of value to others.” --Judith Barrington, Writing the Memoir

Make a list of your current obsessions. Make a second list of the obsessions you had ten years ago. Make a third list of the obsessions ... [Continue Reading]

Creating the Conditions, Welcoming the Muse

“Sometimes we feel as if we’ll never master the art of writing because we are so enmeshed in daily life. We sandwich writing, reading or walking in between work, family and chores, and nothing gets done. There is no continuity or development. We imagine what it is to be a writer and assume that is different from how we are. We come to believe that we will never know how to do it, even if we have the time and opportunity. We are afraid of the solitude and the concentration we believe may be required.” --Deana Metzger, Writing for Your Life

With words, create a yearlong sabbatical in which the perfect conditions to support your creativity exist. The world and ... [Continue Reading]

When Were You a Part of History?

“The past actually happened, but history is only what someone wrote down.” --A. Whitney Brown

Tell me about a historical event you lived through or witnessed--the story of where you were when it occurred. Depending on your age and era, your story will vary. Just the other night, for instance, my mother told us about  being in Times Square in New York City on VJ Day--the end of World War II. Your historical event may be different. Choose one you remember well.

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