Studying Away

Today, the trees outside my house are stiff with frost and almost shockingly white against the blue sky.

It’s cold.

It’s been cold for days.

It will be cold for many more days.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’m sick of cold, but I’m definitely getting there. I want to go outside again. And not have to light a fire every time my house is chilly. 

But it’s December, Christmas is coming, and winter is not leaving.

So I’m trying not to be sick of cold. The trees are pretty, at least.

Since I can’t go outside without risking extreme frostbite, I have been focusing my energies in other areas. Writing is getting done, cookbooks are being read, I am nearly three quarters of the way through Les Miserables (which happens to be an excellent book, by the way), and—best of all—I am cruising through my MasterClasses.

They’re turning out to be a mine of information.

Thus far, I’ve finished Neil Gaiman’s storytelling class—which I highly recommend—and am now making my way through a screenwriting class by Aaron Sorkin, another spectacular writer with a long list of successful projects and awards in his back pocket.

I’ve been devouring his classes.

I don’t write for the screen. Radio dramas are not as popular as they used to be, and you aren’t likely to find a MasterClass—or any other kind of class—about how to be a successful radio writer. Screenwriting is probably the closest that I’ll get as far as classes, and thus far, it’s proved wonderfully helpful. Aaron Sorkin is known for his dialogue, which is an area that I always need help in, and between his classes and Neil Gaiman’s masterful approach to story, I am learning in leaps and bounds.

Also, I’ve been learning how to make Middle Eastern food with Yotam Ottolenghi.

Because my life is not entirely about writing.

Now I can make a fabulous hummus, and just try telling me that isn’t a necessary life skill. Everyone should know how to make hummus. Hummus is amazing.

I’m still trying to convince my husband of that, but I’ll get there.

What are you learning about these days, either from some kind of classes or just in life? Tell me about it in the comments!