Monday, April 08, 2013

Mamas Writing Retreat April 13th

Do you have a story to tell, but no time to write it? Or maybe after a day of acting like Super Mom, you feel like you don’t have the energy to write the Great American Novel. Perhaps you sit down to write and instead of drafting sentences, you arrange playdates via email or post birthday pictures on Facebook. And then you guiltily think, “I need to spend more time writing.”

Well, what if you didn’t do that? What if you sat down to write and the ideas just kept coming, just as fast as you could type, ideas you didn’t even know you had and then, ten minutes later you read those ideas aloud and after you finished reading, people told you all the ideas that resonated with them.

After you read your work someone else reads something she just wrote—vivid images and beautiful phrases and stories that make you laugh out loud or cry. Then it’s someone else’s turn. And then you write again and it starts all over.
You’ll go home and look at your work, polish it off, and send it out to an editor at a magazine, newspaper, or website.

On Saturday, April 13 we’ll block out the noise of our kids, our spouses, and our smartphones. We’ll write our stories and listen to each other share our work. Come join us!

Details: Register in advance at the Capitola Bood Cafe, by calling 831-462-4415, or online

Cost: $40

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm Teaching a Writing Class Jan. 26 at the Capitola Book Cafe

"Have you cracked the parenting code for how to turn your kids into little angels who share toys and play on their own for hours? Have you battled the Tiger Mom who lives next door and won? Do you have some special insight about raising well-adjusted kids, but need an audience to share it with? Then don't miss the writer Amy Ettinger's upcoming class on this thorny topic, entitled "Diapers, Sleep Deprivation and Dating Daughters."

Expect to hear some no-holds-barred juicy insider tidbits about parent-lit and the writing life, and get great feedback about your own writings in this intensive course.

This three-hour workshop, open to writers of all levels, will explore these questions in detail. We’ll talk about how to write essays and articles for national publications and add your voice to the growing genre of parenting lit. The class will discuss essays by Anne Lamott and Lorrie Moore. We'll also have on-the-spot sketches and exercises. Come with a topic in mind, some issue you would like to write about in detail, and think about what you might be able to teach other parents through your writing. As a bonus, this class will end with stories of triumph and horror from The Writing Life. Bring your questions about how to pitch and get published, how to work with editors and get your byline read by millions.

Details: Register in advance at Capitola Book Café, by calling 831-462-4415, or online here.

Cost: $40

Friday, April 20, 2012

More Comments

People have had a lot to say about my Huffington Post article. I especially enjoyed hearing from one reader who told the story of how she stopped speaking at the age of three. She started started speaking again at age six, and "went on to play the lead role in my high school's musical, join the Michigan State college cheerleading team and confidently give the commencement speech for my college in front of 10,000 people (a personal challenge to myself, perhaps to "make up" for what I put my parents through). I'm now 27, and I run a successful business that I started with my husband where I take the lead on sales, staff and client management. I teach a marketing class at Michigan State, I've travelled Europe on my own, and I recently led a trip to Costa Rica with a group of women entrepreneurs."

I was truly amazed by how many adults were once shy kids. My mother says that my grandmother(who is the most vocal 96 year old on the planet) never spoke in school at all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thanks for the Comments

Thanks to everyone who read my Huffington Post piece and emailed me with comments.
My favorite story so far was the message I got from a retired school teacher. She taught a very shy young girl who wouldn't speak at all at school.

After her last day of school - before moving on to kindergarten - I had missed saying goodbye to her at the gate - so I went out to the parking lot to say goodbye and to wish her a happy summer. FROM THE CAR - she spoke to me and said good-bye!"

Fast forward 25 or so years from that day in the parking lot...

The teacher
ran into the mommy of the little girl. They chatted about how the she was doing as a grown-up. When she asked how that shy girl had fared, she learned that she was now an opera singer!

I love these stories, readers. Please keep them coming.....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Huffington Post Article

Hi Readers,
I'm reviving the blog just long enough to mention that I have a piece in today's Huffington Post.

Please pass it along to other parents who might be interested.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Children's Books

If you have to read the same story 15 times a day, it ought to be a good one. As promised here's a list of a few books that stand multiple(as in hundreds) of readings.

1. Knuffle Bunny (1,2,3)
2. The Fierce Bad Rabbit (yes, it's violent but it's action-packed and the text is streamlined).
3. Madeline(I prefer the original. The Bad Hat requires some skipping unless you want to introduce your child to the horrors of the guillotine.)
4. Olivia (the original)
5. Maisy Goes Camping

Next week, I'll provide a list of books specifically written to drive parents batty. Books without plot, books with bad rhymes and books you hate that your kids love. Send me your worst and I'll include them.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One More Book

I have one more book to ad to this morning's list:

You Know When the Men are Gone.

I'll be posting my hits/misses for children's books later in the week, so stay tuned.

Recommended Books for 2011

I have benefited from access to McHenry Library, and have read some great books in the past few months. Here's a brief list of my recommendations for 2011:

1. Say Her Name
2. The Tiger's Wife
3. A Widow's Story
4. To the End of the Land(I know this wasn't a 2011 release, but it's the best book I've read in years).