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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Writing Prompt 4/28/10: Bad Dates

By Marilyn Friedman

It's almost the end of April! Comment over the next couple of days to win a free class! And don't forget, we have wonderful May classes starting soon. Call 323-333-2954 to sign up before the classes are full.

Writing Prompt: For 10 minutes, write about the worst date that you ever had (or your character had)! If you never had a bad date, make something up. Have fun with it!

Comment on this blog! What was your worst date like? Comment before this Friday night to be entered in the April comment contest. You could win a free class!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Writing Prompt 4/21/10: Home Sweet Home

By Marilyn Friedman

Kickstart your writing practice or finish the novel, screenplay, or collection of poems that you've always dreamed about writing! Call 323-333-2954 to sign up for one of these classes before they are full!

Writing Prompt: Make a list of 5 places that you have lived. Pick one and add at least one sensory detail to it (smell, taste, sound, touch, sight). Then write about it for ten minutes and post the results in the comments of this blog.

Comment on this blog! Write about a place that you have lived! You could win a free class.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sketching Her Story: Gwenaëlle Gobe'

by Halie Rosenberg

Meet our April Awesome Alum, Gwenaëlle! For the past nine years, she has been writing a comic book series called "The Diary of Stephanie and Stephanie" for Swingset Magazine. The series follows the adventures of Stephanie, a Janus (a two headed person). It explores the concepts of belonging and miscommunication.

Gwenaëlle worked on one of her comic books in Writing Pad's "Finishing School," and we are proud to announce that it will be published later this year! Until then, click here if you would like to see a sample of what she worked on in class.

Gwenaëlle came to Writing Pad because she wanted to create a longer, more in depth episode of the comic books called "Electoral Surge." She decided to write a script first, a task that she found very daunting. Since her background is in art and animation, she usually based her work on visuals, not words. A friend recommended that she take "Finishing School."

At Writing Pad, Gwenaëlle found it exciting to meet writers that had different ways of approaching story. She "learned a lot from hearing other people's work in progress." Being used to harsher critiques, Gwenaëlle found Writing Pad to be "a refreshing change." She enjoyed the supportive environment, and everyone's passion for writing. Her favorite part of the class was the short writing exercises "that always triggered a lot of ideas." She also loved the delicious gourmet tasting plates. She says, "each meal was a sensory cacophony of inspiring blends!"

Congratulations, Gwenaëlle, on getting your comic book published! Your work is fantastic! We can't wait to see your book in print.

Please let us know if you have a recommendation for our next Writing Pad Awesome Alum.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Writing Prompt 4/14/10: What's In A Name

By Marilyn Friedman

Call 323-333-2954 to sign up for this class with the amazing Aaron Henne! It's almost full!

--Writing Pad Show and Tell (Sunday, Apr. 25) -- Only 1 spot left

Writing Prompt: Write for 10 minutes about the origin of your name or write a story about a character that bears your "stripper" name! This is how you build your "stripper" name:

First name: Name of your childhood pet

Last name: Name of the street that you grew up on

For instance, my stripper name is "Muffin Crawford." So I'll write a story about her. Have fun with it!

Comment on this blog: Tell me a story about the origin of your name or write a story that involves the character that bears your "stripper name! You could win a free class!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Writing Prompt 4/7/10: A Few of My Favorite Things

By Marilyn Friedman

For your recession pleasure, the all day Show and Tell class with the successful writer, Aaron Henne is more affordable! Four hours of writing exercises and lecture on this valuable topic priced at only $100 ($110 for new students)! What a deal! Call 323-333-2954 to sign up before the class is full!
--Writing Pad Show and Tell -- Sunday, Apr. 25 -- Only 3 spots left

Also, next Tues. April 13 at 8 p.m. is Chi Chi's Word Parlor. Don't miss this fantastic show of stories, improv, and music at the Atwater Playhouse. Tickets are only $8 and include a wine and cheese party. There are still a few spots available for our "Dirty" show. Email to reserve your seat!

Writing Prompt:
Make a list of 5 articles of clothing that have been meaningful to you in your life. Perhaps you own a favorite pair of jeans or a very tacky Christmas sweater from your grandma? Pick one and write about it for 10 minutes. Then post it in the comments of this blog for the chance to win a free class!

Post on this blog! What is or was your favorite item of clothing? You could win a free class!

Monday, April 5, 2010

March Comment Contest Winner

By Marilyn Friedman

Writing Pad classes are almost all full! There are only 3 spaces available in Writing Pad Show and Tell. This one day intensive is great for those who don't have time for a multi-week class or who want to polish their showing vs. telling skills! Sign up before the spots are all gone by calling 323-333-2954.

Our March Comment Contest winner is Julie Ward! Congratulations, Julie! Above is a picture of Julie and her daughter. You can read her fantastic story about chores here:

When asked about what inspires her to write, Julie said, "I am inspired by the little details in everyday, ordinary moments: things my kids do, the things that make them laugh, my daily routine, the craziness of a kindergarten Valentine's Day party, the crack of the bat at a little league game. I'm inspired by old things, nostalgia and simple pleasures like chocolate or a hot cup of coffee in the morning."

Fabulous! Read all the other terrific March stories at these links:

Everyone, please keep commenting on this blog! I really enjoy your stories. There is another comment contest on for April. :)

Wake Up to Adel's April Recipe for Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes

By Adel Aschenbrener/Amy Robinson

Revive your writing practice and your tastebuds at Writing Pad! Every class features gourmet tasting plates created by Writing Pad's genius Executive Chef, Adel Ascenbrener. Her caramel baked French toast will make you wake up on the write side of the bed.

Sign up for classes by calling 323-333-2954 or emailing Grab your spot in this all day class with the fantastic Aaron Henne before it's full!

These cool April days have me yearning for a hearty breakfast to energize a full day of writing. Adel must have read my mind! This month, she is sharing her recipe for Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes. Thanks, Adel. It sounds yummy!

Adel says:
"This is my favorite guilt-free, Monday morning breakfast, especially when coming off a weekend that included too many fried eggs, bacon, and Bloody Marys. These pancakes are perfect for a light but hearty breakfast and keep well so you can throw the leftovers in the oven or the toaster the next day and have a bite on the go."

Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons flax meal
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

canola oil or clarified butter for frying

Combine buttermilk and rolled oats in a small bowl; let stand for 20 to 30 minutes to soften oats. Stir together flours, wheat germ, flax meal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add the oat mixture and the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined.

Lightly brush a large nonstick skillet with a bit of oil or melted clarified butter. Using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake, pour batter onto the pan and cook until the underside is browned and the bubbles on top remain open, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pancakes over and cook until the underside is browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and keep warm in a 200°F oven. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing the pan with more fat as needed.

I especially like these topped with fruit, especially berries, warmed in a saute pan with a touch of maple syrup.