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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Writing Prompt: The Best Years of Your Life

By Dalia Martinez 
Maybe you are a child of the 70's and you still say “Good night John-Boy” to your siblings. Or maybe you think the 80's is the best decade ever. Thriller, Like A Virgin, The Cosby Show and Family Ties come to mind. If you overdosed on Squeeze-Its and Hi-C when you were growing up, then you are probably a child of the 90's. Or, maybe you came of age in the early 2000's and still find yourself inadvertently singing “Hit Me Baby One More Time." 
 As writers, we often look back on our lives to find inspiration and reflection for our creative work. We have some great classes coming up to help you make your true tales into riveting stories. 

On Tuesday, October 29, bestselling memoirist Brett Paesel ("Mommies Who Drink," LA Times, More) will be teaching a memoir class. And on Wednesday, October 30, master storyteller Brian Finkelstein (The Moth) shows you how to tell a riveting story for the stage. Sign up now, before the classes are full and your memories have faded!

Classes Starting This Week/Next Week
Short, Smart and Literary: Writing and Publishing The Modern Short Story (4 Wk)

Creative Writing/Multi-Genre
Writingpalooza: Find Your Literary Mojo

Journalism/Web Writing
Stuff I Like: Crafting An Irresistible Blog
#FameSuccessLove: Harnessing The Power of Twitter
Travel Writing

Addictive Fiction: Writing The Knock Out Novel
How to Hook an Agent
For this week's writing prompt, think of the best years of your life. Write down what year that was a part of (e.g. 1982). Make a list of sensory details (smell, taste, sound, touch) that were part of that epoch -- things that make you nostalgic (e.g. snorting Scratch and Sniff stickers, the sound of Velcro ripping a Trapper Keeper open, the pop of Nerd candy…). Pick one. Now write about a moment that involved that sensory detail for 10 minutes.
If there is one time I’d like to travel back to, it’s the early 80's in Miami. We get nostalgic for various reasons. But there always seems to be a time that rises above others. It was a time before I counted calories, before I panicked about incurring late fees, before I lost many of my loved ones, there was a time when the world felt safe. 
As a kid in the working class neighborhood of Little Havana in Miami, the early years of the 1980's were unmatched in joy to any other point in my life. My brother and I played outside till the streetlights came on, riding our bikes without worry of harm. My friend was a blonde girl with ringlets. She tried to show me how to blow bubbles with gum, but I accidentally spat it out. She picked it up off the ground and rolled it between her hands before I popped it back in my mouth. I know…gross, but it’s the innocence of these times that make memories so endearing.
Now it’s your turn. Tell us what your favorite decade or time period is. What made it so great? Use your specific time-based sensory detail and write for 10 minutes about your experience. Then post your story below. You could win a free writing class!


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