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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Writing Prompt: Best Thing About Childhood

By Marilyn Friedman and Kelly Smith

This weekend at the Pad, we're getting down to business! Literary agents Elise Capron of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and Jennifer Rofe of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency will be teaching How To Hook An Agent. If you have a novel, collection of short stories, memoir, children's book, middle grade, or YA book that you are dreaming of getting published, you should sign up. You'll get feedback on your pages, find out how to avoid the slush pile, and build a relationship with an agent who could end up representing you!

Also on Sunday, publicist Jenna Britton will show us how to take our blogs to the next level and draw customers or agents to our doorsteps in IAMAWESOME.WORDPRESS.COM. This class will include workshopping of a blog post or concept so take advantage of Jenna's expertise while you can.

Click on the links below to sign up or email or call 323-333-2954. And check out the last writing prompt for the June/July contest down below. We hope to see you soon!

*Note: classes with an asterix will be held at our Westside location in Culver City.

Classes Starting This Week/Next Week

Journalism, Personal Essay and Web Writing

Writing Prompt:
Make a list of 5 things that made childhood bearable for you (or your fictional character).  For instance, remember how fun it was to be the first to claim the loose change under your grandfather's chair, the tasty sugary cereal that your aunt fed you (Apple Jacks, anyone?) or the time you soaked your little brother with that water ballon? Pick one. Now add a sensory detail to it (smell, taste, sound, touch, sight). Now write for 10 minutes about this thing that made being a kid awesome, including the sensory detail, and post the results in the comments of this blog!

For instance, Kelly is going to write about that time she went into the living room, flipped on the record player and had a dance party with her Strawberry Shortcake album.  She thought that she was so cool. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Write about something that made you love being a kid! If you post your 10 minute write in the comments of this blog, you could win a free class!


Unknown said...

Jelly donuts. An Oreo cookie. A brand new Barbie. There was a reason why I loved going to the mall when my mom couldn't find a babysitter on her shift: everything was new and shiny. Plus, I didn't have to deal with the politics of illogically mean girls, as much as I looked forward to birthday parties, slumber parties or even being invited over for dinner. But sometimes it was worth the discomfort of not knowing how to act correctly during dinner. There was something sinful about not having to wait for the dad to start eating for you to touch something on your plate. Or being allowed more than one cookie. Just imagine -- a plateful of Chips Ahoy! a thousand chips delicious sitting on a ceramic plate while your neighborhood "friend" invited you to play a game on her Nintendo that entailed more than a game of Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros 1. Glasses of milk, juice or even soda! Soda was supposed to be for picnics and parties or fevers of 101. My ummah would preen over how incredibly magnanimous she was with gifting us with a single Nutter Butter every once in a blue moon. When she figured that my big sister was old enough to watch after us kids, we would wait twenty minutes before we would start the great search, hunting for sugary treasures Ummah would hide all over the house. There were rules, of course. No touching the king-sized candy bars, as tempting as they were. Opened boxes of Chocopies, cinnamon-sugared graham crackers and cookies were okay. It was an unspoken game of hide-and-seek and if Ummah suspected we had found her hidden stash, it would vanish the next day and we would have to exhaustively hunt all over again. Sometimes when all we could find were a box of boring Keebler shortbreads or Chinese almond cookies, I'd want to cry over the lack of sprinkles and chocolate and jammy fillings. In fact, I'd be so mad I wouldn't even touch the insulting pink box laced with dragons or the butter-colored package of shortbread cookies. But the hunt would give us a sense of purpose, and bond us together, brother and sister, when we'd normally declare bloody war on each other the moment our parents came home. It was the one thing we never ratted each other out on, the one thing that reminded me that we were bonded by blood. Because otherwise we pretty much hated one another's guts.

shelley armenta said...

Oh childhood….it’s like being drunk, everyone remembers what you did except you. My parents love telling stories of all the crazy things I would do or say. Most of the time the stories are just as new to me as they are to the guests my parents are entertaining. I have my own memories though. Playing with my pets and talking to them as if they could understand me and talk back. I had mice and a dog named Belle. They were my best friends and I remember feeling like a Disney princess when I was surrounded by them. I remember playing in the mud and “cooking” various types of cuisine for my older brothers. I remember my brothers not being impressed and ditching me for their friends. I remember my favorite time of year being December because of the holidays and my birthday. I remember elementary school awards ceremonies where I would nervously accept my honor roll certificates and my bundle of roses from my daddy. I remember being so proud to have those flowers on my desk the rest of the school day. I remember reading as much as I could whenever I could. I remember the best spot to read was on the couch by the front door where the autumn breeze could reach me. I remember my family being close and loving, something I desperately miss now. Most of all I remember planning for a future full of adventure and success that I am still waiting for.

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