Local short story writer Alex Kourvo and young adult novelist Bethany Neal discuss ways to create strong, catchy openings for novels, memoirs, and nonfiction stories. For all fiction & nonfiction writers grade 6-adult. Also, Kourvo & Neal host an open house for writers to connect with one another and/or work on their projects at 7 p.m. on Aug. 20.
7-8:45 p.m., AADL Westgate. Free. 327-4200.
Aug. 7 & 21. Open mike storytelling competition sponsored by The Moth, the NYC-based nonprofit storytelling organization that also produces a weekly public radio show. Each month 10 storytellers are selected at random from among those who sign up to tell a 3-5 minute story on a biweekly theme. August themes: “Business” (Aug. 7) & “Destiny” (Aug. 21). The 3-person judging teams are recruited from the audience. Monthly winners compete in a semiannual Grand Slam. Space limited, so it’s smart to arrive early.
7:30-9 p.m. (doors open and sign-up begins at 6 p.m.), Greyline, 100 N. Ashley. $8. 764-5118.
Literait is thrilled to welcome author and eduacator Callie Feyen who will be sharing her new book The Teacher Diaries: Romeo & Juliet.
About The Teacher Diaries: Romeo & Juliet:
What do teachers feel when facing William Shakespeare, tales of family feud, breathless kissing scenes-all in front of a class of teens who are keeping their heads down (and threatening to fall asleep or plot their next prank in the process)? We may never know what our own 8th or 9th grade teachers felt. But, on this count, educator Callie Feyen has done us a favor. She has written a poignant memoir-‘The Teacher Diaries: Romeo & Juliet.’ It begins with a kiss. Then, page by page, it reveals her generous, hopeful, and humorous heart. For teachers everywhere, this is a beautiful book to help them remember why they teach. For those of us who just love to get the juicy details of what someone in a challenging position really thinks, this book will satisfy (and sometimes make us laugh, or cry).
Callie Feyen likes Converse tennis shoes and colorful high heels, reading the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the Twilight series. Her favorite outfit has always been a well-worn pair of jeans and a white T-shirt, but she wants hoop skirts with loads of tulle to come back into style. Her favorite line from literature comes from Sharon Creech’s Absolutely Normal Chaos “I don’t know who I am yet. I’m still waiting to find out.” Feyen has been a middle school teacher, is the Teaching and Learning Editor and Children’s Editor for Tweetspeak Poetry, and serves as the At-Risk Literacy Specialist in the Ypsilanti Public Schools.
Toastmasters is an international group devoted to helping each other grow in our abilities to give speeches. The Sweetwaters Toastmasters Club meets twice monthly. We are a fun and friendly group! Toastmasters also helps you develop leadership skills if you wish to do that. Come as many times as you want for free, and decide later if you want to join. In the meantime, come make new friends and have fun!
Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea on Washington Street, 123 West Washington Street. Free. 323-286-3999. https://www.facebook.com/groups/TMSweet/
Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild members host a storytelling program. Audience members are encouraged to bring a 5-minute story to tell.
7-9 p.m., Crazy Wisdom Tea Room, 114 S. Main. Free. 665-2757
Literati is excited to welcome Anthony Debenedet who will be sharing his new book Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World.
About Playful Intelligence:
As adults, we have more responsibilities than we could have ever imagined growing up. Learning the work of marriage. Navigating the bumpy terrain of parenting. Maintaining social relationships. Facing grave hardship. Finding contentment in our career. As the years pass by, we sense how the good things in life are so often eclipsed by stress. We find ourselves doing everything we can just to endure adulthood, all the while wondering whether we are actually enjoying it. This is exactly why Dr. Anthony T. DeBenedet decided to write Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World, to show readers how playfulness helps us counterbalance the seriousness of adulthood
“Five years ago, my life was becoming more intense and stressful,” DeBenedet says. “My relationships, clinical work as a physician, and basic interactions with the world were blurring into a frazzled mosaic. Going through the motions became my norm, and every day brought busyness and exhaustion. I thought about whether I was depressed. I didn’t think I was. Anxious? Sure, but aren’t we all anxious on some level? I also thought about the lifestyle factors that could be making me feel this way. Was I getting enough sleep? Was I exercising regularly? Was I eating healthy? Was I playing and remembering to be playful?”
Today, we live in a taxing world. The endless pressure to keep up with our responsibilities and the daily headlines swarming around us can be overwhelming. DeBenedet’s work comes at a time when stress, uncertainty, and intensity levels are high. Playful Intelligence shows adults that there is a way to live lighter–and smarter–as we navigate the seriousness of adulthood. It’s not about taking life less seriously; it’s about taking ourselves less seriously.
The book’s core chapters are devoted to exploring the effects and benefits of five playful qualities: imagination, sociability, humor, spontaneity, and wonder. By examining playfulness as a sum of its parts, readers will gain a working awareness of its power and be able to apply playful principles to their own lives, bringing the magic of childhood back into their day-to-day existence. The book also offers practical suggestions on how to make life more playful in nature.
Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D. is a practicing physician and behavioral-science enthusiast. His interviews and writings have run in various media outlets, including the New York Times, the Today show, the Washington Post, and TIME Ideas. He also co-authored The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It (Quirk Books, 2011), a parenting book about the importance of parent-child physical play. DeBenedet has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, a Master of Science Degree in Health and Healthcare Research from the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, and a Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Michigan Health System. DeBenedet lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he enjoys spending time with his family, connecting with friends, and playing a little basketball.
Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild member Lyn Davidge hosts a variety show with several local performers, including storyteller Beverly Black, poet Rebecca Biber, comic Steve Wilson, and others.
6:45 p.m., Bookbound, 1729 Plymouth. Free. 369-4345.
Three bestselling authors talk about the most gripping aspect of storytelling: the deep dive into all facets of human relationships. Whether it’s bringing characters together in a forever love or exploring the depths of a broken family, Beverly Jenkins, Sylvia Hubbard and Sarah Zettel talk about the art of exploring the shifting, fascinating and sometimes perilous spaces between people. Authors will also discuss some of the romantic titles included in PBS’ The Great American Read, in partnership with Detroit Public Television and the American Library Association.
YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti. Free. email@example.com www.ypsilibrary.org