I left my job at HBO after defeating a rare form of cancer, one that I believe I am still the only survivor of in the world. Having free time and being in transition, I worked out at the nearly empty gym in our 1,000-apartment condominium, contemplated what to do next with my life, and decided to write about my life-altering experiences. Weeks later, I met a fellow writer, Heather, in between the treadmill and the chest machine. We became instant friends. We talked about writing, encouraged and supported each other’s process, as well as offered critique and suggestions to draft pages. A few weeks later, Heather left the NYC area for three months, since her husband, actor Len Cariou, was starring in a L.A. theatrical production. I quickly missed our talks, the support, and the creative motivation.
I figured “there must be other writers around.” I drafted a flyer, talked to neighbors, and soon thereafter founded the Galaxy Writers Group. The group changed people’s lives professionally, personally, and spiritually, including mine. Each Thursday, we’d meet to free-write from prompts, read our work aloud, and offer feedback to fellow language laureates. We dusted off words, scrubbed concepts, and polished pieces. Every six months or so, we’d host a reading gala in our community, where we shared our worked-on stories to hundreds of fellow residents. The bi-annual celebration soon became the most attended and most looked-forward-to event in the Galaxy.
After doing this a few times, I thought, “It’s time for something different.” Inspired from the Galaxy’s Creative Eye Group, made up of professional and fledgling photographers, I encouraged our group members to let loose, explore, and write creative pieces using specific photographs as a muse or starting off point. It was a break from our core projects. It was freeing, flowing, and fun. We again dusted, polished and cleaned before presenting multiple takes from multiple photos at our “Perspectives Gala.” While previous readings received raves, this multi-media event was standing-room-only with people extolling its impact and importance for years.
“It’s amazing how everyone came up with such unique perspectives from the same image.” “This event and your words have inspired me to write.” “Some stories and poems made me laugh, others made me cry, and most made me think.” I decided to turn the idea into a book series, the one you’re reading about right now.
- Scott D. Rozman, Perspectives Series Founder