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Writing Pad: The Pen is Mightier than the Swizzle Stick

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Peanut butter has jelly and bacon has eggs, so why not make a go of pairing writers with food? Well, that's one of the underlying philosophies of the workshops offered through Writing Pad. Writers hungry for a comfortable and inspiring environment to sharpen their skills, rejuvenate their creativity, or hurdle over their writer's block can take advantage of a variety of single or serialized classes that are rounded out with catered tasting plates, desserts, and beverages.

Recently we had the opportunity to sit in on such a workshop, at the last meeting in the "Writing Cocktail Party" series. The workshops are held in the Silver Lake home of Writing Pad's founder and instructor Marilyn Friedman, who ensures that her attendees feel welcome and comfortable both physically and creatively. One emphasis of Writing Pad's classes is the relaxed and nurturing atmosphere, which helps facilitate both the freewriting responses to the given exercises and the voluntary sharing of the work produced in the class. Friedman, who taught the course we took part in, took great care to have us remain focused on the positive, and did not force anyone to read their work aloud, or even for us to adhere to the parameters of the numerous exercise options we were given. The exercises were drawn upon the evening's theme of "Miss Manners" and the pre-writing included looking at some published works Friedman provided, but there was no pressure to follow any given tone, form, or style of response. Listening to the other writers' work was, as it often is in a writing group, an act of witnessing a living tableau of creative possibility. Oh, and did we mention the food?