Here Comes Family Writing Prompt

By Antonia Crane and Marilyn Friedman

Thanksgiving is a time of family which, for some, means a smorgasbord of suffering and trauma and for others, a time of cozy snuggling and full tummies. For me, it’s somewhere in between my Dad’s emotionally reticent wild rice stuffing and my Mom’s overbearing cranberry beet salad. My sister’s kids bring me joy but also remind me of my fallow shortcomings. Family invites a complex palette of emotions and lots of distracting entertainment. My relatives are coming to visit this T-day weekend so I found some fun places in LA to bring your crazy family:

  • Little India in Artesia for exotic shopping and a delicious lunch at Rasraj.
  • J. Paul Getty Museum for a picnic.
  • Huntington Rose Garden Tea Room for high end treats after a peek at Blue Boy and Pinky.
  • Stark Bar at LACMA for a trendy cocktail after a jaunt to the Stanley Kubrick exhibit.
  • Tula Tea Room inside the Museum of Jurassic Technology for free tea and a sampling of something odder than your family.

And here are two refuges to race off to for a few hours when your family is napping in your bed:
For Her: Olympic Spa in Korea Town.
For Him: Yoga for Men (Stephen Ewashkiw’s class at Urth Yoga in Silverlake).

And don’t forget that Writing Pad has a wonderful collection of classes to keep your muse sharp and warm in the last two months of 2012. For instance, on Tues., Dec. 11, transform that hellish T-day visit into a hilarious stand-up comedy routine with master comic Johnny Walker (“The Tonight Show,” “The Hollywood Improv,”  “Laugh Factory”)! Find out how to land that plum staff TV writing job so your Dad will stop bugging you with Emmy award- winning writer Ed Crasnick (“Hot In Cleveland”, “The Sopranos”) on Sat., Dec. 8. A full list of our classes is below. Click on the links to sign up before they are full!

Note: classes with an asterix (*) will be held at our new, posh Westside location in Westwood!

OTHER CLASSES BY GENRE

Book Publishing
Writing for Actors

Do Re Mi, Baby: Songwriting Made Easy
The You Show: A Solo Performance Intensive

Say It Isn’t So: A Storytelling Class
Stand Out Stand-Up: A Comedy Workshop

Screenwriting
From Spec to Staff: A Ticket To The Writer’s Room

Writing Prompt: Your Most Annoying Family Member
You know that family member who makes you want to stab his or her eyes out? Use that relative to write a deeply flawed and wonderful character for your next story. Make a list of your three most annoying relatives. Pick one. Write down something that relative does that make you want to scream. Make up a code name for that relative based on that annoying behavior so you don’t get into trouble posting about them (e.g. Competitive Buddhist, The Nagging Queen). Give your character a life dream and a unique physical characteristic. Now, place that character in their favorite setting like a dude ranch, a casino, or hammering tiles on the roof. Start with a scene in that setting where your character is doing that annoying thing and include their life dream, code name, and unique physical characteristic (or whatever you get to in 10 minutes). Before you know it, you will fall in love with the character on the page and so will your reader! Then post the results in the comments of this blog to be entered into the contest for a free class!

I can’t wait to see what you come up with (feel free to email marilyn@writingpad.com if you want to remain anonymous but still enter the comment contest).

Write about your most annoying relative!  Post your 10 minute write in the comments of this blog, and you could win a free class!