Gonna Be Fun!

Yesterday, after I voted in the town election and had my annual doctor’s visit, I went to hang copies of this poster in surrounding towns. It’s for the workshop I’m giving on Saturday at the Maynard (MA) Public Library where, being an expertly unstoppable blabbermouth, I will teach a small group of interested people how to journal – or rather show them that they already know how.

For sure I believe in the practice.  Dark times in my life, journaling is all that got me through I sometimes think. I would drive in my car to someplace quiet, some anonymous outdoor space and just scribble my every thought down on paper. Scribble it down, tear it up. Scribble it down, tear it up.  It worked too. It helped me fish around in every last corner of that messy attic that is the human mind.

And that was just when times were tough and my mind was a toss of conflicting emotions. When times are good inside your head and the livin’ is easy, well who wouldn’t want to write stuff down then?

I have a whole 90-minutes for this workshop during which the audience and I will remember back over our lives, using little starter phrases to get us going. I got a million of those all right. And if you’re not shy about telling your own funny-slash-embarrassing stories you find that your audience isn’t shy either and pretty soon everyone is laughing and slapping their knees, their own if not each other’s and sometimes that too.

I used to be so shy I couldn’t call up the theater to find out what time the movie started but I am not shy now because at the tender age of 21 I got a job where I was thoroughly exposed, right down to my footgear and fingernails. (“Gardening over the weekend, eh Miz Marotta?” No, staining wooden furniture actually.) Or “Miz Marotta! Time for some new shoes!”

You only get remarks like this in the job if you stand between the front rows, among your ‘customers’, so to speak, which is what you have to do if you want them to pay attention and live in healthy fear of getting called on.

You know what that job is now, right? Here are two super-blurry picture of me doing that job many a long moon ago, and along with it some of my ‘customers’ from Sixth Period.

Best job I ever had, I still say. Guess what that job was and I’ll give you a free book on Saturday when a bunch of us will look back together 🙂 (Oh! and the library says “If it’s not convenient for you to register in person, send an email to fmplibrary@gmail.com, include “workshop” in the subject line. and specify which class you’re interested in.”)

 

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5 thoughts on “Gonna Be Fun!

  1. What a lovely post. If only I didn’t live so far away I’d be in your front row for sure. I hope it all goes well. It sounds like fun.

    1. Nancye I’m delighted!
      I guess you do have to; just added this to the post: “If it’s not convenient for you to register in person, send an email to fmplibrary@gmail.com, include “workshop” in the subject line. and specify which class you’re interested in.”
      see you then!

      1. All set…just registered by calling the library…the reference desk to be specific…I am so excited about the conference…your workshop and seeing you again for the first time in many years when you’d visit the Sun newsroom in Kearney Square. I am also in the middle of Margot Livsey’s book The Flight of Gemma Hardy (loving it) and have written stories on Andre Dubus III, Jane Brox and Tracy Winn…it will be like old home week for me, and I am sure your workshop will help me jump-start my memoir “career” into full gear again…see you Saturday…

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