Well the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop afterglow is slowly starting to subside. But it was such a life-altering experience for me that I can’t help but revel in its glory just a little longer.

I’ve been reflecting all week on some of my favorite moments and life lessons from the workshop, and honestly, I could fill a book. But if I had to pick a few, these would definitely make the list:

1.) I am a sucker for funny Jewish men with ginormous hands.

Leslie with Alan Zweibel, one of the original SNL writers. (OMG!) Such a funny and charming guy. Check out that catcher's mitt. Rarrrr.


It’s my Dad’s fault.


Hey now, no need to get all Freudian there penis. I know what you’re thinking bowling ball hold and you’re wrong. That’s just weird. Look at that punim, even then I was all hell no. Besides, I married a Catholic Italian. A Catholic Italian with really big hands. Shut up. Okay, you’re right. There’s something very wrong with me. Daddy issues are just the tip of the thumb iceberg.

2.) Pace yourself. Don’t drop it like it’s hot on the first night of a conference buying half of the keynote speaker’s library. There will be many additional fabulous speakers over the course of the next few days whose books you will also want to buy and have signed. (Dammit.)

Fortunately for me, Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel is Bucket Head’s new favorite book. We have read it every night this week and I don’t even want to hit myself with it like I do when he picks almost anything else. It has that magical mix of laughter and tears that keeps us both coming back for more. Truly, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Everyone should have their own Steve.

3.) The elegant, quiet woman sitting next to you might not necessarily loathe you just because you have celebrity-blogger-proximity-induced-diarrhea of the mouth, she might just be painfully shy. Talk to her. And no, “please pass the creamer” doesn’t count, dumbass.

4.) Yellow is my color. I know this because three different people told me so, including  THE Karen Walrond. And frankly, if that woman told me I looked good in a pelt of deli meats and pimento cheese, I would wear that mofo 24/7.

leslie with karen walrond at ebww

Leslie relishing a hug from THE Karen Walrond, and then editing the photo into a super creepy romance-themed vignette for funsies.


Sadly, I am only just learning this about the color yellow NOW, at the ripe old age of 42. Ack…better late than never. And that’s why I’ve been wearing my new yellow sweater all. damn. week.

This is me writing in my awesome new journal...because Karen told us to. That's why. (Suck up.)


That’s right. Get used to it, people. You know that song Lady in Red? I’m commissioning a rewrite called Crazy Bitch in Yellow.

5.) According to Suzette Standring in her incredible session, Hypnotic Recall Fills the Creative Well, self-hypnosis, meditation, and guided imagery are all the same thing, and a great way to access memories and details for one’s writing. Also, people who meditate tend to look 10-15 years younger than people who don’t, so guess who’s got a first class seat on the meditation bandwagon this week! {OHM.}

“I write. I heal. My writing serves others.” ~ Suzette Standring

6.) Photo-bombing can make any social situation more fun.

Front row: Kim Katcham, Deb Amlen, Nicole Morgan, Tracy Beckerman. Back row: some nutjob (ahem).

(photo used with permission by EBWW on Facebook)

So, this actually doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the wonderful things I learned at Erma. I think you better come on back tomorrow and hear some more.


Leslie (formerly known as Iris, but whatever, call me anything, just call me.)