Today I attended the Tokyo Writer’s Salon, hosted by Lauren Shannon, the gifted proprietor of Kimono Wine and Grill in Nogizaka, Tokyo.
I’d been planning to attend for the past three years but between blogging, teaching, writing and publishing my book, I just never got around to it. I’m so glad I did tonight. It was just what I’d been needing: to be in a VERY creative environment with a dozen or so talented people who share my passion.
The circle of writers that attended were diverse and each had a unique voice and style. The exercises were fun and challenging, and I learned a number of new things. One exercise in particular was a challenge to write for 10 minutes inspired by the phrase: Bad News Cures All Things.
I wrote a little story inspired by my grandmother (actually my best friend’s grandmother but she was closest I’d ever had to one) but in retrospect I’m sitting here thinking the following: one of the main reasons I never attended the meetings was because I had a student every Monday evening which is when the meetings are generally held. A solid source of revenue every week which I needed to sustain myself in overpriced Yokohama. But she has recently taken a hiatus from English study (bad news) leaving my Monday’s free to do other things (possible cure to my writing loneliness).
Also I learned an expression: “get it in the neck!” meaning get in trouble. I’d never heard that before, but you can bet I’m gonna use it one of these days.
I don’t know what I expected. I’ve never attended anything like this before. Ive always been a loner when it comes to writing. I don’t even know that I had expectations, but I am very pleased with the result.
And Lauren is simply the best. I’ve rarely encountered someone who listens so well, and is so intuitive in her feedback. And instantly. I’d need a week to put together as succinct and incisive a message as she gave to several of the writers in attendance (including myself) in response to their readings. I was frankly blown away. And that’s just the way I remembered her from the Writer’s conference where we first met years ago and when I had decided to join her writers salon.
I cooked some hopping john for the new year. Supposed to be a lucky dish. Well I feel like I just got a plate worth of new year’s goodness tonight.
Anyway, thanks Lauren! You rock!
If you’re a writer (or want to be) in the Tokyo area and want more information on the Tokyo Writer’s Salon, follow this link: http://www.meetup.com/writers-648/