We don’t usually talk about our writing. We simply write. But recently, all’s been quiet on the blog front because we’ve been doing our writing business in other locations. By location, we don’t mean sitting in a beach chair by the pool with a margarita in hand. We’ve been glued to our desks and computers writing essays that will appear in publications beyond our blog.
After years of writing together, it finally occurred to us that we should write about our experiences writing together as a team. Creating personal essays together – and still liking each other after 15 years – is unusual. Many marriages don’t last that long. In fact, at our book talks we used to start off by introducing ourselves with: “Hi, I’m Ellen, and this is my partner, Joyce.” Then we realized that people didn’t know that we are married to two men, not to each other. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
We’re thrilled that The Writer bought our essay about writing together for the October issue of its magazine. In it, we talk about the process of writing together, our complementary skills, and confess how we meld our two families into one enormous lump so as not to embarrass a particular person – but the kids are always sure we are talking about them.
“Mom, I don’t hate your broccoli casserole…”
We recently wrote an entire essay about food, in which we pondered the difference between kreplach and wontons, macarons and macaroons, and why chopped liver is Jewish and pâté is not. It will be appearing in The Forward’s Food section soon.
The business of writing includes shmoozing with editors, agents and colleagues, and we did just that at the recent Philadelphia Writers Conference. We took an interesting class on memoir writing with Tom McAllister, author of Bury Me in My Jersey: A Memoir of My Father, Football, and Philly.
We also had a chance to shmooze with Lu Ann Cahn, former NBC 10 news reporter, and we were happy to take her class on writing nonfiction books. Optimistic, perky and full of energy, Lu Ann recently wrote a book entitled: I Dare Me: How I Rebooted and Recharged My Life by Doing Something New Every Day.” She started her year of new experiences by taking a polar bear plunge and moved on to hula hooping and zip-lining across a crocodile-infested lake.
Inspired by Lu Ann, we plan to:
- serve liver pâté at the next holiday dinner.
- refrain from phoning, texting, or messaging our children for 24 hours.
- pay it forward and thank the waiter who forgot to refill our coffee and bring the check.
We were thrilled to slip Lu Ann an autographed copy of the Dictionary of Jewish Words, and we wish her only mazel with her next adventures.
The conference also offered writers the change to “speed date” with agents and editors. The Word Mavens were lucky enough to meet with five, four of whom showed interest in our work and our ideas for future projects. So this week, like polite Bar/Bat Mitzvah teens, we’ve been sending thank you notes to the agents – by email, not snail mail. We didn’t order the personalized pink and purple thank you stationery to match our invitations.
Thanks for reading as we kvell a bit about ourselves. You’ll be the first to know when we have news to report.