Lady Caroline may have described Lord Byron that way but it certainly fits The Luncheon Society. We had two wonderful luncheons on both coasts. These are smart women who are great writers.
In Los Angeles and New York, we convened at locations we know and enjoy; Napa Valley Grille in Westwood and Prime House in Manhattan. Jamie Rose, Samantha Dunn, Carrie White and Hunter Drohojowska-Philp joined us in LA; Jamie, Christina Haag, and Jillian Lauren joined us in NY.
The History. Back in 2008, I called a couple of LA writer friends to have a reading. Joining us around the table at La Terza were Erika Schickel, who read from just-published memoir, “You’re Not the Boss of Me,” a whip-smart tome on being a hip parent. Anne Beatts , a pioneering writer who became the first woman to helm The Harvard Lampoon and the first female writer at Saturday Night Live, read from her unpublished memoir about attending a funeral with John Belushi. It screams to be published. Writer and memoirist Eve Brandstein, who with Anne has created a ton of stellar television, read poetry and reflected upon her childhood in New York City. Rachel Resnick read from the galleys of her soon-to-be-published memoir titled “Love Junkie,” a harrowing life story of somebody coming to grips with her own demons as a love and sex addict. Rounding out the group was our old pal Colleen Wainwright, an LA blogger extraordinaire who did something wonderful in 2011 by raising $50,000 for Writegirl, an LA nonprofit which partners women writers with at-risk teenage girls for creative writing workshops and one-on-one mentoring. It was part of her milestone birthday; when she exceeded the figure, she gladly shaved her head as a crowd of friends cheered. All five are equal parts vibrant, brilliant, and cool.
For some reason, I never got around to scheduling another “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know” (MBDTK) gathering until I sent out a few emails in late summer 2011. Eve Brandstein was directing a play in Los Angeles and mentioned that one of her actors, Jamie Rose, was ready to publish a memoir on how Tango allowed her to “let go.” A few phone calls later and we had luncheons scheduled in Los Angeles and Manhattan; I hosted the gathering in Los Angeles and Eve ran the show in Manhattan. Jamie was critical in building out the roster of writers.
Perhaps The Great Recession sapped the marketing guts from the publishing industry because good writing remains unsupported and stillborn on the shelf. So The Luncheon Society will step in and do what it can. As we move forward, MBDTK will be one of those fun gatherings, the kind where calendars are kept open and people disappear down into our world of “Adult Drop-In Daycare,” a Luncheon Society stylemark since 1997. Continue reading