A weekend away. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance, right? Mix in a three hour drive consisting of nonstop chatterbox banter with my friend, author Angie Klink; I’m sold. Our destination was the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop in Dayton, Ohio. Angie was embarking on her fourth trip to the prestigious workshop; I was the token virgin. Two full days of workshops, guest speakers, networking, and free wine at dinner sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?
When you put 350 people, funny people that is, all together in a room, you must be on your toes and ready to deliver one-liners at any time. When you put 350 funny people in a room, who love and revere the body of work Erma Bombeck produced over her prolific career, you find something quite different. You get funny with a side of sensitivity. Tears married with knee slapping. Supportive comrades that love idea swapping while waiting their turn for a bathroom stall. “High fives” for those with red stickers representing food allergy purgatory (If you would have seen the delicious chocolate cake staring at this celiac from her table at dinner, you would have hugged her; tightly). This was not just another writing conference. This one was different. I learned more than I could ever adequately share with you in a few paragraphs. Supremely difficult to accomplish, but I boiled it down to three important things I wanted to share with you.
|Getting a book signed by Alan Zweibel|
Meeting new friends is bliss. When you sit next to a gorgeous, gray-haired beauty, with a nose ring and headscarf all a glitter, you will find a kindred spirit who wants to join you on your quest for tattoos the next time you visit New York. She will also desire to see you attain your bucket list item of being a flower girl, just because she wants to see you cross it off your list. I later realized that this splendid creature was author, Ilene Beckerman, who penned and illustrated the book "Love, Loss, and What I Wore." Her first publication became an off-Broadway sensation in the hands of sisters Nora and Delia Ephron. The book that Ilene defines as, “accidentally published” also made a television cameo appearance. It was a part of a bookstore scene on a little show you might have heard of called Sex and the City. Did I tell you that this all happened for Ilene at the age of 60?!? It’s never too late to write; just begin!
|With Ilene (center) and Angie (right) while|
working the Meg Ryan look
You do not have to wait to travel to The University of Dayton in 2014 to find laughter, new friends or inspiration. It surrounds us daily. Be open to the experiences life places right in front of you. However, if you want to stretch yourself as a blogger, complete that novel or need the nudge to begin, or you want to connect with others who love to laugh, then EBWW is the place for you. If you want extra dessert while you're there, make sure you sit by this particular gluten free gal on chocolate cake night. My staring at you while you take each glorious bite is a small price to pay in exchange for seconds, right?!?
You can learn more about the workshop on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the website. And if you haven't yet gotten to know the fabulous Jen Tucker and really want to meet her, visit her at her website and blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.