Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Local Writers Present at Chevalier’s Books

Readers John Garrett Andrews (l-r) and Devon O’Brien pictured with friends Eve Gordon and Todd Waring. (photos from Lee Garlington)

Last Thursday evening, Chevalier’s Books welcomed a reading of members of “Write Here Now,” the weekly workshop for writers on Zoom run by Larchmont Village writer, Devon O’Brien.

Half a dozen writers shared their work, presenting in a range of genres, from fiction to poetry to memoir. A crowd of friends and family, local folks and fans of Chevalier’s — the oldest book store in Los Angeles — flocked to the event to hear the assortment of stories.

“You’ve done your part. You braved traffic. You found a parking space and fed the meter,” O’Brien said in her opening remarks to the gathered audience. “Now these wonderful writers will take you on a ride of the imagination, sharing stories set in an array of locations: Long Island, a Greek island, NoCal to SoCal. From yesteryear to this year.”

O’Brien spoke of how, each week, participants in Write Here Now have the opportunity and the space to “…lower themselves into the mine of their memory and imagination, to look for gold, material to be forged into a poem, an essay, a short story, novel or memoir.”

The writers who presented were: John Garrett Andrews, Angela Albert, Jan Bauer, Ruth Lerdahl, Mari Weiss. O’Brien was the final reader.

After the reading, writers and guests formed a line to purchase books at the storied bookstore, or to partake of refreshments. O’Brien brought a still-warm flourless chocolate cake and fresh whipped cream. She also brought a triple-berry, mint-infused tart. It’s her “signature tart,” she said. It’s one she made countless times during her original writing workshop, Five Nights, Five Tarts.

As she sliced the tart, distributing it on paper plates, The Buzz asked O’Brien: “What was the original inspiration for starting a workshop for writers?”

“People want to write. Yet being alone can be an impediment to writing. I know it was for me. But you cannot feel alone if someone is cooking for you. In 5N 5T, writers came to my house to participate in side-by-side writing while I clamored about, baking in the kitchen. Also, writing is challenging. Writers deserve a reward. There’s nothing like the smell of a tart baking to get a writer across the finish line of two solid hours of writing. Then there was the joy of sharing our words and a warm tart.”

Five Nights, Five Tarts ran for ten years. O’Brien made over 600 tarts for writers. When the pandemic hit, she hung up her tart tins, revised the workshop and pivoted to Zoom.

“Write Here Now on Zoom works so well,” O’Brien said. “No one likes to endure the freeways. Now, with a couple of clicks, we’re together on screen. Every writer makes progress on their project each week. There’s commitment, community, camaraderie — and no calories!”

The next sessions of Write Here Now start in early March.
For more info click here or email: [email protected].

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