The Story Studio

I’d wanted to take a class at the Story Studio for two years. I discovered it by searching the web for writing classes. I liked what they had to offer. A nice variety of classes that I was highly interested in exploring to learn more about this art we do as writers. Work and home life left me with limited time to sign up for a class. Money was also a factor. I couldn’t afford to spend a lot of money on any given class. It’s not that the classes are too expensive, they’re reasonable. In fact, I found one that fit perfectly within my budget and time. I signed up for the “Just Get Me Started” class that was held in the evening for a single session. All I needed to bring was a notebook and writing tool.

It’s cold outside, cloudy, and there’s light rainfall speckling my windshield. I left the house early enough to prevent a run-in with rush-hour traffic. I’m patient in bumper-to-bumper traffic, but I don’t like being tardy for events. I made it in time, although I got a little turned around while searching for the location. Google maps saved me and helped me navigate to it. I didn’t know how to get in the spot. The metal box with a dial pad and directory near the entrance was a control panel in a time machine. Sometimes I’m clueless about things. I went in when someone else was coming out. Lucky me. Now, which way do I go? I read a sign and took the elevator up to the second floor.

From the moment I entered the building, I knew that I’d made the right decision in places for writing classes. I liked the structure of the building where the studio is located. The open, lofty space, with hardwood flooring and exposed brick walls, beams and pipes in the ceiling were interesting to view. I should’ve taken at least one picture of inside the studio, but I didn’t know if that was appropriate for me to do. And I should’ve asked permission, but I felt too shy to do it. I snapped a few pictures with my phone so that you could share in what I saw.

Inside the well-lit space resembled an apartment. It gave me comfort, like visiting a close friend’s house. The decor was modern with contemporary furnishings in bold colors. I was offered coffee when I entered the studio after a greeting at check-in. I was a little bit nervous because I didn’t know what the class would be like; however, I was also excited and eager to learn something new. I selected this as my first class not because I believe I struggle with beginnings for writing, but I did so because I thought it would be a great way to ease me into a setting where I get to write with others.

I wonder who’s going to be there. What will the other writers look and sound like? What stories will they share? The class is held in a cozy room with a grand square table and art on the walls. One wall is terra-cotta in color and there’s a small olive-green couch. Those who aren’t able to sit at the table to write are provided with lap desks.

Our instructor is a soft-spoken, distinguished looking man with grey hair. Like me he’s a fan of journals. He brought an extra one just in case he used all the pages in one that was almost filled. I’ve done this too. We had a round table introduction. In attendance were a lawyer, recent grad, stay-at-home mom, actor, ecologist, reporter, and pastor. All were writers or interested in becoming one. We did several timed writing exercises to catapult flow. The word flow makes me think of continuum while writing and it’s the most essential component a writer requires to get words on the page. This is what I wrote during an exercise called “I remember…”

I remember the day you left me here alone in this world. It was three years ago on a fall day. I remember the monitor sounds and teary eyes I had. I remember thinking I’m not ready for this. How can anyone be ready to lose their mother? You are my angel. I remember the nurse telling me I had to make a decision about your life. I remember the sadness in your husband’s eyes. I remember the call I received from the nurse at the hospital, telling me that you’d had a heart attack. I remember sobbing as I pressed send to call the secretary at my school to tell her that I needed to call off work that day. I remember the raspiness in her tone of voice as she said, “I’m so sorry for your loss. Please be sure to call the principal and let him know too.” I remember not wanting to drive.

I really enjoyed my first class at the Story Studio.

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