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Friday, August 10, 2012

Chicago and LA Restaurant Picks and Home Town Writing Prompt

By Marilyn Friedman

Me, Top Chef Winner, Stephanie Izard, and Mr. Writing Pad

I can't believe that it's August already! I don't know what you've been up to, but I've spent the last week and a half with my family close to my home town: Skokie, Illinois. I am reminded of how much slower the pace of life is in the suburbs and after 10 days, I'm more than ready to launch back into my urban lifestyle.
Ironically, although I've lived in cities for over 15 years, going to the city of Chicago still seems exciting and forbidden to a former suburbanite like me. I even get excited when I see the signs for city streets like Pulaski and Randolph as we race down highway 94.

My one fun excursion to the elusive city during this trip was very memorable. We dined at Girl & The Goat, the restaurant of Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard, and had a stellar meal, then trotted over to Ing Restaurant for some Miracle Berry drinks that turned ultra sour beverages to sweet, and then somehow, Jeff had room in his stomach for a burger so we went to Grange Hall Burger Bar and had a fantastic burger with sauteed mushrooms and blue cheese. I will definitely be going back there for their homemade ice cream and locally sourced libations the next time I blast into town.

Fantastic Escargot Ravioli at Girl & The Goat

Pig Face at Girl & The Goat (I know it sounds gross, but it was amazing!)

Next weekend, I hope that you will join me to celebrate the best places in LA, including my new favorite downtown bakery, Bread Bar and of course, Writing Pad. On Sat., Aug. 18 we will be having an adult Summer Camp with award-winning novelist and short story writer Maureen McHugh, famous memoirist and personal essayist Annabelle Gurwitch, and "Mad Men" screenwriters Victor Levin and Michael Saltzman! We'll take you to the pool, feed you some of the best food you've ever eaten, and most importantly, you'll study with successful writers who can help you launch your writing career. 
For instance, this is your last chance to learn from Victor Levin and Michael Saltzman until next spring. Learn how to punch up the drama or comedy in a scene of your screenplay, webisode, or TV show in Punch It Up and find out how to become a successful screenwriter in From Pitch To Paycheck: A Screenwriter's Journey. You won't get these classes or networking opportunities anywhere else!
Victor Levin, Screenwriter Extraordinaire
On Sun., Aug 19 on the West side, award-winning novelist Zoe Archer will show you how to write gripping action scenes in Fist Fights, Car Chases and Shoot Outs: Writing Action Scenes for Fiction and successful journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner will teach you how to get an essay or article published in a women's magazine in What Women Want: Writing For The Women's Glossy. Taffy has already helped 16 of our students get published! I want you to be next.
To sign up for a class, click on the links below or email or call 323-333-2954. I hope to see you soon 

*Classes with an asterix will be held at our Westside location in Culver City.

Classes Starting Aug. 12 - Aug. 19
Writing The Market Friendly Masterpiece
Writing Pad Summer Camp

Writing Prompt:
For this week's writing prompt, make a list of 3 things that are special or memorable about your home town or your fictional character's home town (e.g. restaurants, museums, people, food items, traditions). Pick one. Now add a sensory detail to it (smell, taste, sound, touch). Now write for 10 minutes about this special thing in your home town. You could write an ode poem to it or a scene that takes place at that location. Then, post the results in the comments of this blog!

For instance, I'm going to write about the stuffed pizza at Giordano's. The pizza is so gooey and rich--it is one of my favorite things about the Chicago area. We'd always go to Giordano's for cast parties in high school. Psst: you can even order a pizza to be shipped to you even if you don't live in the Chicago area! It's a decadent treat.

Write about what's special about your home town. If you post your 10 minute write in the comments of this blog, you could win a free class!