Last Tuesday, under roiling skies and the threat of a tornado, we made our way to the relative calm of the newly expanded Mamaroneck Library for "Stories From My Life," a workshop taught by Judith Dupré. Judith, a best-selling author and teacher, introduced me (your faithful scribe) and Mamaroneck High School intern and photographer Grace Rafferty, who will help with scanning and take in-class photos. I will act as blogger, assistant and point person for the books’ layout and production.
Sixteen of us, 55 to 87 years young, gathered around a big table to write and, eventually, publish illustrated books. We are parents, grandparents, authors, teachers, arts' lovers, a former Mamaroneck Village trustee and even a local poet laureate—each of us united by our desire for a written legacy.
We read aloud from David Grossman’s marvelous essay, “Writing in the Dark.” Judith gave us writing prompts designed to diminish our writerly fears. (Yes, even veteran writers understand the terror of a blank page!) I spoke briefly about BookSmart, the bookmaking application by Blurb, that we will use to design and publish our books.
For homework, we’ll develop our “gratitude lists” and “personal timelines,” and select 3-5 photographs that “speak to us.” How will we choose these photos? How will our stories unfold? To find out, come back soon and follow our literary adventures.
Much like the weather—writing can be messy, unpredictable, and even frightening—but it is always, as Grossman so eloquently put it, “crammed with possibilities.”