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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Writing Prompt: Favorite Summer Destination

By Marilyn Friedman and Alana Saltz

We're winding down for the summer, but we still have a few fantastic classes and events to engage your creative brilliance this summer. Scroll down for your writing prompt. Hope to see you soon! I'll be posting the September classes shortly. Keep writing!

Photo credit: Alana Saltz

Writing Prompt: One of the best parts about summer time is the long-awaited summer vacation. We all have our own favorite summer destinations - those places we daydream about all year long, eagerly anticipating a visit.

Make a list of three places you've visited during the summer. Be specific (e.g. Zuma Beach, Wisconsin Dells, Ft. Lauderdale). Pick one. Add a specific detail that you remember about this place (e.g. Harry's Fish Shack where they have the best shrimp tacos, the Spanish moss covered Haunted Victorian house). For 10 minutes, write a story that involves this place and include the specific detail. Post your story in the comments of this post to be entered into the July/August contest for a free class.

For example, Alana's stepmother has family in Northern Ireland, so she's gone there on vacation a few times in the summer. She stays in a village along the coast called Glenarm. Her favorite spot there is a beautiful wooded stream just down the cobblestone main road with a view of Glenarm Castle. The tiny town has two pubs, one cafe, and no restaurants or post office. It's quite a contrast to Los Angeles!

What's your favorite summer destination? Write about it for 10 minutes, and you could win a free one-day writing class!


Anonymous said...

Looking for that special one
My light, my sun
I love her
She loves me
As long as we have each other
We are forever free
I need her
She needs me
We are each others

Suzanna Regos said...

Even though it’s only about a one-hour drive from L.A., I love spending time in Huntington Beach in the summer. I work a lot and have a busy life, so having this respite to recharge my batteries and just chill for a day does wonders for me in between trips outside of the state (which usually means Portland, Oregon, for me).

Even though I’m getting up there in age, I still love boogie boarding, and HB is perfect for it. There are no scary drops in the ocean floor like in Laguna, the water stays pretty shallow quite a ways out – perfect for someone whose biggest fear is sharks! – and there are nice swells.

One spot I often frequent is close to Seal Beach; there are cute houses right on the beach, there is a Jack in the Box nearby (I love greasy tacos at the beach), there’s a decent restroom and it’s not too crowded. I tend to follow rituals and going to the beach is no exception. I keep my beach bag in the car at all times so I don’t have to put that together. I get my 2 tacos and fries at Jack in the Box; I bring my own alkaline-balancing water. I have my suntan oil SPF 8, because I love to bake in the sun and the oil feels really good to me. And I also bring a pipeload of pot, which helps me have the patience to bake in the sun and totally shut off my head and chill out. I love the way the heat of the sun feels on my skin when I’m stoned, not to mention the cold water afterwards. I also love the way my beach hair looks from a day of saltwater, oil and wind; it makes me feel sexy.

Frequent dips in the water throughout the day are lovely, and boogie boarding is fun and gives me something to focus on in the water. I try to stay near others; like I said, I have a fear of sharks. It must have something to do with my past life because I have always loved the water and I have always been deathly afraid of sharks. It doesn’t make sense and is a mystery that I have attempted to solve my whole life.

I also love to people watch and take pictures; I usually find myself inspired to write when I get home. The last time I went there was a really cute girl with a red bikini that made her butt look so sexy. It brought me back to my youthful days at the beach when I was young and hot like her. It made me smile.

The drive home from HB is just as much an adventure. I take PCH pretty much all the way. I love driving through Palos Verdes and Redondo Beach, two of my favorite beach towns. PV is rich and gorgeous; Redondo is funky and cool. And the Whole Foods in Redondo is never crowded! By the time I get back to Hollywood I feel refreshed, happy, inspired, and ready to go back as soon as I can.

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to follow rules
I wouldn't have begun to write
I would simply have become a shepherd
So at least I could get laid every night

Art Parga said...

Tri-tip, 2 liter bottle of Shasta, fifth of Jim Beam, a head of lettuce, blue cheese dressing, some apples and bananas, and a 12 pack of Natural Light. I should also call my buddy Jose to see if he needs a box of shotgun shells. The other staple item for my desert getaway weekend was coffee, but Jose also was well stocked with that. This Stater Brothers market was the last grocery store at the edge of civilization before heading out to Lucerne Valley.

Jose Sanchez’s house was about 5 miles off the main road and most of that distance was a dirt road. There weren’t many homes out there in his neck of the woods. Actually, there weren’t much woods; just a lot of sand and rocks, and the occasional Joshua Tree. The “neighborhood” that Jose lived in was sprinkled with a few mobile homes and houses. The road was bumpy and lumpy, and occasionally I would spot a jackrabbit or a roadrunner. It was about 100 degrees out here, but that didn’t bother me because it meant one thing- time to jump into Jose’s kiddy pool.

Jose’s property looked like a little ranch. He even had some chicken coops out back. The moment he heard my vehicle pull up, he’d come out of his house with a margarita in one hand and a bong in the other greeting me with a hearty, “What’s up, fucker!” He’s one of the few men that I knew that had a firm handshake. Jose knew my routine after I unpacked my car and brought in the groceries. So, he would always say, “Pace yourself. You know how you always get wasted by 3pm.” I just smiled and replied, “I’ll try.”

That pool was an oasis in the relentless heat. Jose had A/C in his house, but there was nothing like lounging in that pool with a bottle of bourbon listening to Johnny Cash or Bobby Darin on Jose’s XM Radio coming out of his old beat up, red Toyota Truck. There was still something else about that pool. Maybe it’s that I always wanted one, but never got one when I was a boy; or that my parents never bought me the Evel Kneivel motorcycle and action figure(with the red launch platform with the crank on the side). Whatever it was, there was a tiny nirvana in sitting in that kiddy pool like a little kid while sipping on bourbon.

Jose walks by me with his 12-gauge shotgun and the box of shells I bought him. “Hey dude, thanks for the shells. Check out these targets I got. 5-gallon water jugs filled with red paint. Remember to not get too wasted. We still have to go to the Moose Lodge tonight and get fucked up, so take it easy.” I just smiled and said, “No problem, fucker.” Yes, taking it easy is all I wanted and for now this pool worked.