Write like an Elissa

Last weekend I caught up with my friend Elissa.

Three fun facts about Elissa:

1. When I was a senior in college I co-directed The Vagina Monologues. Elissa performed a monologue that required her to spend several minutes naming and then demonstrating different types of moans, culminating— er, climaxing—with a “surprise triple orgasm moan” (emphasis mine). Elissa was very brave and committed to this piece. It was a show-stealer. My favorite memory of the entire weekend is the moment I approached my octogenarian grandma after the first performance. “What did you think, Grandma?” I asked a little nervously. Without missing a beat or so much as nodding in Elissa’s direction, she declared, “Well. That was more than three!”

2. Elissa once wrote a letter that said, “I write like a girl…How does a woman get up and become the writer she wishes she’d be?” In reply, the columnist Dear Sugar published Write Like a Motherfucker. People were so thirsty for this advice that they now purchase a mug with the slogan.

3. Elissa obeyed. Now she is almost finished with her first book. She is also out to make sure that other women write like motherfuckers and get recognized for it. She edits a column called Funny Women (read the submission guidelines) and co-edited The Rumpus Women, Vol. 1.

It’s important to have Elissas in our lives, don’t you think?

Photo: Elissa Bassist reads at Greenlight Bookstore (2011/cell phone pic). 

November post count: 8. 

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