The sun had just risen in Izmit as we crawled out of bed and into the car. Roads clear, we made it to Kadıköy with an hour to spare, which meant copious amounts of coffee before we arrived jittery and excited at Montag for our talk about Sofra for The Professional American Women of Istanbul (PAWI).
Over 25 women joined the meeting on November 14, 2015. We talked about food, expathood, writing, how PAWI and a strong expat network supported our early writing endeavours (and still does), the ten-year anniversary of the anthology Tales from the Expat Harem, and life in Turkey. Attendees participated in a short food writing exercise based on an assignment in Lynda Barry's Syllabus, a fantastic book on creativity and the mind and visual thinking. The energy was palpable as stories were read, and we will be sharing several of them here on the Sofra blog. In closure, we read Virginia (Ginnie) Lowe's submission to Sofra about a Göreme expat wedding in honor of her memory. The world lost a vibrant, loving soul when she passed away in October.
The Writing Exercise:
Based on Lynda Barry's short writing exercise in Syllabus, we asked participants to think of one of their strongest food memories in Turkey. They wrote the name of the food at the top of the page, and we asked a series of questions that they answered in quick succession. Those answers were used as writing prompts to pull together a quick story in under ten minutes. The results were incredible, and at least one of the Sofra editors wanted to snatch them out of the writer's hands and cheer.
Thank you so much to the PAWI Co-Coordinators for inviting us to speak about Sofra. It was an honor and we enjoyed it so much! Read more about PAWI here, and follow them on Twitter. And thanks to Montag Coffee Roasters for hosting.