Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thanks, Phyllis. Thanks a Whole Bunch

Today I went to the memorial for Phyllis Gebauer, a writer and well loved writing teacher. I took a class with her in 1999 at writing conference. It forever changed my writing life. She gave me hardcore literary techniques on how to write. She was a dear friend to the amazing writer Thomas Pynchon, and gleaned writing advice from him.

From that class, I also bonded with several other writers. Phyllis created a safe, unifying space for us to learn. Recently, we had a gathering and toasted her memory.

I have no shame in saying that in my own life as a teacher, I've stolen many of her techniques. I sat in a church in Pasadena listening to others memorialize her. I took it all in and teared up. I'll miss this lady.

She'd taught many writers, and her legacy will live on in us.

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