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.


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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