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Scott Lax Blog

Why Cleveland is Ideal for a Novelist

I'm a Cleveland guy. Born in the City of Cleveland itself, raised first in Parma Heights then the Chagrin Valley. As an adult I've lived in the city, as well as a various villages and suburbs of Cleveland.

I've had offers and opportunities to work and live in L.A., New York City and Atlanta, but I always decided against moving permanently, always came back. I've set both my novels in the Cleveland area, produced a feature film about the area, in the area, wrote a produced play that takes place in the Cleveland area; co-created, co-wrote and co-executive produced a TV pilot starring Clevelanders Fred Willard and Martin Mull that we filmed nearly two years ago in downtown Cleveland. I played music full-time here, started businesses here.

Aside from my fiction, I work at a full-time job I really like, and I work with people from all over the world. That's the Cleveland my dad grew up in: filled with immigrants, people who provide fresh ideas and vibrancy. It's still like that. You just have to be open to it.

My wife -- who's from southern California -- and I like it here, want to raise our sons here. I like Manhattan, Chicago, California, New England, the Carolinas...so many places, really, including Paris, Oslo and Bergen, Norway and London and Cambridge, England.

But Cleveland and northeast Ohio are in my blood. The area is diverse in people and topography, filled with history and rich with culture. It’s kind of an odd, conflicted place, but the people are unpretentious and that means a lot. As for the weather, it's dramatic and always changing. And I can't stop rooting for the teams, which is a common theme for lifelong Clevelanders.

Fo me, the Cleveland area is a fantastic place in which to set stories, as well as to live.  Read More 
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A WRITER'S JOURNEY

What could Finn be looking at? What else; who else? His mommy.
I'll be posting soon about my upcoming writing class in the Chagrin Valley -- in the heart of the Village of Chagrin Falls. It's a new venue for me, but I'm back to teaching part-time after a respite of two-and-a half-years. The class begins in January.

The reason I took this break is pictured to the side of this post. Finn Scott. And the look on his face is what I hope to teach my students: how to look at the world with wonder, with awe, with innocence...and then write about it in a new way, taking into account all the baggage they have gathered along the way. Those two things seem opposite, don't they?

With Finn, so much is new. I look at the world through his eyes. Through my own, too, and therein lies the conflict and paradox of a writer's journey. How do you meld the two visions together. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

This is true of any good writing. This is what I will try to teach my students. This is what any decent writer must, should struggle with.  Read More 

Last Class I'll be Teaching for at Least a Year

It seems that this blog gets quite a few more hits than the other pages on my site, so if you're interested in taking the last workshop class I'll be teaching for at least a year, please hit the Educational Services link, above. After this workshop I will sometimes be available for manuscript consultations.