A first for me: My essay “The Tao of Apples” published in an anthology called “How Does That Make You Feel”

hdtmyf Last year I took a writing course with author and teacher Susan Shapiro in NYC.  This is a great workshop in which the main assignment is to write a humiliation essay.  The only hard part of this  assignment for me was answering the question, “Where should I start?”  The year before, I had gone through depression, which was caused by some stress. One day I had found myself lying on the floor weeping, when my wife said to me, “Why don’t you call Larry,” so I did.  What led me to the floor and what happened when I called Larry became an essay entitle “The Tao of Apple.”

When I had finished it, Sue helped me find an editor, whom I hired.  He made it better.  Then I took it to my writer’s group and got feedback from my two fellow writers, Shelley Crocket and Allegra Chapman, who gave me even more feedback.

Then I sent it to the New York times, and pitched it to the editor of “The Couch.”  He never wrote back.  A few months later, Sue wrote to tell me a friend of hers, Sherry Amatenstein, a therapist and writer living in NYC, was compiling a collection of essays written by therapists and what I call “therapees,” i.e., people like me who’ve gone to a therapist.  Sue told me Sherry needed an essay and gave me advice on how to pitch it.  Sherry loved it, and suggested a few more edits and a different closing.  Rather than be discouraged, I got the old brain-box started again, and worked out a much stronger last paragraph.

My essay now appears in the final anthology, “How Does That Make You Feel?” that was just published by Seal Press. We had a book event at the Word bookstore in Brooklyn on Thursday night, where fellow essayists, Sherry, Beverly Donofrio, Pamela Grossman, Jenine Holmes, Amy Klein,  and I read from our essays, had a panel discussion, and then took questions and answers from the audience.  We hadn’t received our authors’ copies yet from the publisher, so this was the first time I got to see the completed book, but better still, I heard the powerful stories and beautiful prose of the others.

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Check out the bios of the other authors here.

You can read the gracious reviews and articles about the book at the following links:  The Washington Post, Tablet Mag, and on Atlas Wonders.  Also some great blurbs from readers of the advance copies. There are a number of events that Sherry has organized on the left and right coasts.  See if there’s one near you here.

I’m so grateful for having met Sue, who has been a wonderful teacher and mentor, Sherry, who’s a great editor and writer herself, and my writing group buddies.  With their wisdom, the time they took reading,  their gift of feedback, and guidance, I felt truly the power of community and friendship.  And I look forward to reading the rest of the essays in this unique anthology.

How Does That Make You Feel is available on Amazon and other bookstores.

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