I’m telling you, Philadelphia is turning into the writing Mecca. Not only does Jennifer Weiner live on my block and the Copy Store Man routinely tell me about the amount of local authors Xeroxing manuscripts, but now I’ve been asked to join the Advisory Board of this amazing start-up non-profit that’s opening a writing center for Philadelphia students. And because we have such a plethora of writers living in the area, the board is chocked full of amazing authors including—Elizabeth Gilbert.
Yeah, I’m going to be advising alongside the woman who wrote Eat, Pray, Love and who spent time on Oprah’s couch. No big deal. (Hence the note of sarcasm.) Seriously, how cool is that?
Now, I’m gonna have to read her book. I previously hadn’t picked it up because I’m happily married and I thought a memoir about a tumultuous divorce might scare the crap out of me (and my husband). But I have traveled to both Rome and Bali, which I hear are heavily featured in the book, so I’m sure I’ll love the parts about the pizza and the luxury resorts (please, tell me she stayed at the Aman Resort in Bali. I fantasize about that place often). So I now have a reason to head over to Head House Books and join the reading masses who have already made the memoir a colossal success. Can’t wait to dive in!
And I can’t wait to work with Elizabeth and all of the other authors, lawyers, educators, nonprofit advocates, marketing specialists and others who will be bringing the Philly Spells Writing Center to Philadelphia. The center will be based on the 826 Valencia model, and is slated to open in Fall 2010.
One of the goals is to expose the city’s kids (ages 6-18) to all facets of the writing world—from novel writing to journalism to song writing to screen writing. Let’s just hope I won’t be teaching kids how to write music. I’m fairly positive I did not retain the sheet-reading music skills I learned while playing the flute in the fourth grade mini-band. But hopefully I will be continuing my Creative Writing Workshops and teaching teens how to outline their stories and pull ideas from their personal histories (we’re all a lot more interesting than we think).
And hopefully we’ll help some kids enter the workforce knowing how to write better than they did before they met us. Hey, maybe they’ll even find writing fun. Wouldn’t that be crazy?
POP CULTURE RANT: Craig’s List Killer
So a week or so after BU’s Men’s Hockey Team wins the National Title, I find out that my alma mater is in the headlines once again—this time for educating a now notorious (alleged) serial killer. Yup, the infamous Craig’s List Killer was a med student at Boston University. Though something tells me BU won’t be sending any alumni emails about this. Seriously though, can you imagine what his fiancé is going through? In the midst of planning your wedding, you find out your groom-to-be (allegedly) murdered women—um, about your age. Talk about dodging a bullet. And do you ever picture yourself buying a sofa from Craig’s List again? I’ve never used the site personally, but I know people who have (mostly to buy furniture). And I can’t say I see myself showing up at some stranger’s house to pick up their old sofa now. If I want to save some cash, I’ll hit the outlets (and protect my life).