Wow, what a weekend at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop ! Last weekend, I attended the EBWW in Dayton, Ohio to teach two classes. It was such a privilege to work with so many talented, passionate and dedicated writers. The spirit of Erma was everywhere. As Erma said, “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” I saw that courage over and over.
During my first session, The Birds & The Bees of Being An Author, I told a story about a guy I met years ago at a cocktail party who wanted to write a memoir. I asked him how long he’d been thinking about it. He said roughly 10 years. What was stopping him? A lot of things: He didn’t know how to start, where to start, would anyone like it, he feared it wouldn’t be good. All this thinking was paralyzing him. It was snuffing out the very desire to write.
There were laughs around every corner. EBWW knows how to stack the talent! I have not laughed so hard in a long time. Or eaten so much cake! First, the incredible Cathy Guisewite, creator of the Cathy comic strip. I’m so lucky to have grown up with the hysterical, relatable and wise Cathy! As a gift for presenting at EBWW, I was given a signed copy of Birth Of A Writer and Cathy was so generous to personalize it. Dion Flynn entertained us with his amazing voices and impersonations and a dark, moving story. Katrina Kittle inspired us with her publishing journey, Adriana Trigiani, Cathryn Michon, and W. Bruce Cameron lit up Dayton on night #2 and if that wasn’t enough, the combination of Alan Zweibel, Laraine Newman and Wendy Liebman on night #3 had me laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants.Emceeing this exceptional lineup was (very) funny lady herself, Leighann Lord. While all this was happening the extraordinarily talented Bob Eckstein documented it all with his phenomenal illustrations (check them out on his social pages!). He must have churned out dozens, all perfectly capturing the spirit and energy of #ebww2022.
At the beginning of one of my classes, someone approached the stage and silently handed me a card with an illustration on it. I said, “what’s this?” and looked closely. Then it hit me. “Are these the twins!?!?!” I asked. I was referring to the twins from my first book THE MEMORY BOX. To that she replied, “I don’t know, *are* they twins?” Which sent a shiver down my spine. (You won’t know why unless you read the book. Just saying.)