Tag Archives: tumblr

The Moon Is A Silent Killer

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

I hate it when someone is a better writer than me.  Or has just actually published a book, put pen to paper like a raging sword and ripped open the wounds of that lined paper to turn it into something typed in loud Times New Roman and quiet in its white space.  Marina Keegan hated this as well, hate might be a strong word, but she felt the same feelings I felt as a twenty-something trying to make it in the publishing world that taught us how to seek out mystery, relevance, and the good story.  She said, “I’m so jealous.  Unthinkable jealousies, jealousies of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel I’m reading and the Oscar winning movie I just saw. Why didn’t I think to write Dalloway?  I should have thought to chronicle a schizophrenic ballerina.  It’s inexcusable.  Everyone else is so successful, and I hate them.  There’s a German word I learned about in psychology class called schadenfreude, which means a pleasure derived from the misfortune of others” (204).   I wonder now if she’d be proud to know how very jealous I am of her.

“read to me” – sexts

Marina Keegan died in a tragic car accident days after she graduated from Yale and was headed to a cozy office job at The New York Times.  I don’t actually know if they have offices there, but one can assume that it isn’t a giant cafeteria filled with type writers instead of non-chicken chicken nuggets.  Although, that newspaper would be quite thrilling.  Her essay, “The Opposite of Loneliness” written about her feelings upon leaving Yale went viral.  And she’s right, there is no word for the opposite of loneliness.  No, one syllable stacotto thing that we could say to explain how we’re feeling when we’re vibrant in mass, vibrant next to a stranger, vibrant in a train car, vibrant walking down streets where it smells like home brewed coffee, vibrant at our parent’s kitchen table.

Image @ Tumblr

Whatever word that is, the opposite of loneliness, maybe one of the 96 words that Sanskrit has for love, Marina Keegan made me feel that when I read her brilliant new collection of writings, fiction and nonfiction.  I requested this one on Netgalley after reading her viral essay and I can say in a completely honest way, as you know that I am, that this book held some of the best short fiction that I have ever read.  I don’t care if she was in a creative writing workshop with a bunch of people who wrote about fast-walking zombies, or glittering vampires, these short stories edited in a college dorm room are breath-taking and stand tall next to the great writers that I’ve had the privilege of hiding in my arsenal.   There is a giveaway on Goodreads if you’re already convinced.

Image @ Tumblr

“Cold Pastoral” is my favorite story in the collection of short stories.  The book is categorized as viral essay, short fiction, and then essays that were published in the Yale Daily Newspaper.  This story is about a girl in an almost relationship, you know that sticky “talking stage” that teenagers do now, with a boy who tragically dies.  It’s actually quite ironic to Marina’s life, a lot of these stories and essays are.  It was almost as if her writing foreshadowed her own story.  The girl wasn’t even sure she wanted to date the boy, had late night wine conversations with the roommate over whether to continue the relationship.  He was just a boy in a room where she forgot sweaters occasionally. However, when he dies, she feels pressure to become the girl he needed and the girl that his parents expect her to be, the girlfriend.  I won’t give anything away, but she discovers his diary and already has discovered how “cool,” literally, his ex-girlfriend is.  This ex plays guitars in basements for shadowed bar-goers.  It shows the triviality of college hookups and those in-between relationships where the person is just waiting for the bigger/better to come along.  I felt the unsure voice of the narrator, I was the narrator.  I think a lot of college girls can relate to this story of learning to date for dating rather than learning to date for marriage.  It’s a hard step up when you’ve been told your whole life to hold out for “the one,” that boy pocked full of marriage material, and grow old swag.

Image @ Tumblr

I also really loved, “Reading Aloud,” where an old NY Met dancer finds herself reading to a blind college kid.  She reads in the nude because her husband has found old interests in his window office job and comes out of retirement to continue working.  The wife feels like this is a personal dig at the time he was spending with her and signs up for this community service through the local library.  She’s SUCH a character, the Havisham of short stories.  I could hear the whisper of her sweater leaving her shoulders, and the quick way her fingers fiddled with the buttons.  There’s something strangely alluring about silently undressing in a short story and even if Keegan didn’t type every sound on the page, I was still immediately intrigued with this woman.  Keegan writes these stories that you don’t want to believe can actually happen, but you know somewhere in some condo, or tenement building these characters are feasting on our brief images of them through the telling of their story.

I didn’t find the essays AS riveting as the short stories, but come on..that’s because they’re essays.  I actually found “I Kill For Money” and “Why We Care about Whales” to be the deepest essays of the collection.  “I Kill For Money” tells the story of a bug guy.  I think I enjoyed this so much because who would think to interview an exterminator.  He had an unmarked van, which I always find creepy because I feel like Law & Order makes this the vehicle of all pedophiles, everywhere.  And then…he was a little bit sad. I almost felt like he killed bugs to spare himself of some sort of aloneness, not loneliness because he had a wife and kids, but just this feeling of aloneness.  People were rude to him in Keegan’s presence and he was just expected to go on with his day, do his duty, and climb back into the leather seat of his white van and go on handling bug business.   It also broke my heart that he was an older man and it seemed like he almost HAD to work.  There was some odd debt crisis, or some reason he wasn’t retiring.  He repeated several jokes in the interview and seemed to be losing pieces of himself in each apartment where he poisoned bed bugs, and unclamped the squashed feet of mice.  I just wanted him to go home and take a bath.  You know it’s good writing when an essay can almost make you cry.

Artificial Creativity @ Tumblr

The “Why We Care about Whales” essay just made me think.  Why do we care about the deaths of animals more than we care about just another human death by car crash in the news.  The opening of this essay is, “When the moon gets bored, it kills whales.  Blue whales and fin whales and humpback, sperm and orca whales: centrifugal forces don’t discriminate.  With a hushed retreat, the moon pulls waters out from under fins and flippers, oscillating them backward and forward before they slip outward.  At nighttime, the moon watches its work.  Silver light traces the strips of lingering water, the jittery crabs, the lumps of tangled seaweed” (181).

Let me just say, I don’t want to look in the eyes of a whale who has been beached by the allure of the moon and watch its jaw lay open in a sandy death.  I do wonder why the death of a human this way doesn’t affect my soul as much as the death of a whale this way.  Maybe it’s that I can’t imagine this happening to a human, or it’s that the idea of animal deaths, creatures that can’t defend themselves against human stain, or now I suppose the laws of the universe, are much more sobering because who knows what they think, if they feel pain more intensely than humans, if they mourn their lost loves.  It’s too much mystery for my small mind to comprehend in bed at this moment with a tea bag and an ice pack.

I want everyone to read this book, not so that in her death, Keegan can know the fame she should have attained in this life, but because I’m so jealous of her writing, her thought-provoking themes and messages, that I need other people to feel that burning need of wanting to do that too, wanting to write like her.  I think it’s safe to say that that’s what Keegan would have wanted, people to go out and create something that will live in competition with her college creations.  To be inspired, one must inspire others.

This book comes out April 11th, 2014.  I DARE YOU to buy it.


Linger: The Story of a Noun.

Image @ Tumblr (Victor Hugo, I believe)

There are very few men that deserve to have poems written about them.  This is just a fact.  Swooning love songs, yes. Movies of the romantic comedy variety, yes.  Romance novels, yes.  Autobiographies on love affairs like that of Ella Fitz and F. Scott, yes.  Poems, very rare.  Looking at a man under that fine tuned microscope, the small specks of dandruff on the shoulders of their suit coat, the way their voice cuts off with hesitation at the most important moment because they filter their arguments, the voice of October for me forever being the slip of a sliding glass door and that hard push at the last few inches.   Now, women though, those beauts can be written about all day.

I won’t get into the logistics of this.

Tumblr Image

I’ve only written poems to two men and one is almost a mystical creature so he doesn’t count: God and let’s call him, scar tissue.  I have heard my words on the lips of neither of these men.  The physical man was written about in college and I think I was so determined to figure him out as a victim or a survivor that I couldn’t fathom his abilities to be neither, just pity.

Sometimes, I’m an embarrassment.  Like that time in English 101 when I made faces at a boy across the room because, let’s be honest, hot boys rule over the technicalities of research papers.  He walked me home in the rain and progressed to not call, the way boys play the game from the start.  When he did, I was holding heels in my hand running across the street with a girlfriend in heavy winds at 1 am.  He and a friend picked us up.  The friend had a collection of thongs hanging from the rear mirror.  This should have been when I said, “No, darling, don’t write poems about boys like this.  Their words are left in the strings of bikinis, if they even have words small enough to tie together.” But, there I was.  I didn’t do anything that night, this isn’t a story of lust gone haywire.  We talked, I walked home before it was morning enough to be called shameful.

Zooey Deschanel @ Tumblr

Two years later, he was stabbed and died twice on the table, woken, a new man, but not a fresh one.  He was damaged in more ways that human connection can fix.  I hope he doesn’t google me and read this.  I still wrote him poems because he lingered, and some men are just good at that.  In advanced poetry, he lingered.  At the teen center poetry class, he mulled.  Teaching students creative writing, I remembered chopping up and dicing through a terrible poem he wrote when he thought he could be a poet and I made it “sexy.”  My words exactly.

My point is, I’m telling this story, because few men are capable of this.

A woman looked at me at work today and told me that if her husband packed his bags and walked out the door tomorrow she would say, “thank you.”  That was the end of the conversation.  Thank you, period, silence.  He wouldn’t endure.  And I wonder if this is how other women look at the spectrum of men in their life.  (Let’s talk about it). 

The Beauty of The Husband by Anne Carson

Then, there’s Anne Carson.  I feel like I’m getting drowned in memories at the same time that I’m getting a literary education when I read her books.  Keats, that distant lover of mine, molded together in a fictional unloved story between women and husband.  I say woman because she never really had him anyway.

This woman, this Hilary Clinton, sticks by her man until there is no man to stick with.  She is mesmerized by his beauty.  Completely unfurled with his crumbs of love.  She is the Anti-Beyonce.  Living Pre-90s Girl Power.  Not an angel of Charlie.  There are so many ways to put this.  This woman who has not the strength to even throw away his letters that just keep coming even after he’s married to someone else, and what is this skill that he has to keep her locked up in this cool, whispered place, linger.  Linger as a noun.  That white space where memory curls like smoke.

He has made himself impossible.  He has proven that love can move, can finish, can spread through different fields, but stay buried in the first.  It’s the compartmentalization of a man’s brain and the lack of understanding in this woman.  Only Anne Carson can show you the despicable behaviors of both husband and wife, granted, I don’t know what it means to be husband and wife and the power that that sort of certificate and oneness has over people, but I can’t imagine staying with a man who takes me to Athens and calls the mistress from the bar phone when he goes to get me a drink.  I’m just not sure that that would fly with me.

Then, there’s Anne Carson’s language.  OHMYGOD, this woman.  Can I request to be her in a next life, or be friends with whatever she comes back as.  Lyrical genius.  I was almost more on the side of the husband than I was on the side of the wife because of his words, their lack of words, the brilliance in their one word arguments. This book is written in 29 Tangos.  It says on the back cover, “A tango (like marriage) is something you have to dance to the end.”  I’m not even sure the end of this tango was the divorce, in fact, I’m more than sure it wasn’t.  It’s that damn linger.

Writing porn.

Using a mix of Keat’s lines, her own background in classic literature, and her wired notebooks full of words she’s put together to create a hypnotic rhythm, she creates a marriage that has fallen apart, but never really moved from where the pieces have landed.  Each tango has a title that is even more beautiful sometimes than the tango itself.  Each tango has at least one full line of beautifully, poetic literature.  Each tango has lines that aren’t at all poetic, but make you immediately angry with this woman who takes this kind of shit from a man.  At the end though, you almost forgive her.  I wanted to forgive women everywhere actually.  This is a no judgment zone.  I couldn’t stay with someone who cheated, but maybe some women could and I would like to know their answers to that.  How they solved that issue within themselves, not between them and the husband, but in their own gut.  I want to know the equation for that.

Notes @ Tumblr

My diary description of this book, “high school <3 story turned poetic intellectual instead of slimy.”  <——-I have a way with words too it seems. Just read these quotes:

“We have this deep sadness between us and its spells so habitual I can’t tell it from love” (20).

“His letters, we agree, were highly poetic.  They fell into my life/like pollen and stained it.  I hid them from my mother/ yet she always knew” (37).

My mother and this fictional mother must be friends.  My mother used to say in high school, “it’s like you wanted me to find out,” because I would leave notes stained with the inside of my jean pockets flopped around on my dresser, hidden in my underwear drawer where my mom’s hands would stuff my folded laundry, notes left washed out in the dryer.  She could read everything.  I never hid it.  I once tried to hide something in my pillow case and I knew by the frozen form of her face when I came home that she’d seen it.  The rites of passage in my life were immediately known to my mother, she felt the cells of my body change.  Mother’s intuition is worth writing poems about.

“He can hear her choosing another arrow flow from the little quiver/ and anger goes straight up like trees in her voice holding his heart tall” (61).

“XVIII. Do you see it as a room or a sponge or a careless sleeve wiping out half the blackboard by mistake or a burgundy mark stamped on the bottles of our minds what is the nature of the dance called memory” (79).

“He still got his clothes at your house? / Some / Throw them out. / Can’t / You know what the rules are for this? / No / That’s because there are no rules for this.  A ship passes, there’s a bit of wake and some spray then it disappears” (111).

Still Victor Hugo, I believe @ Tumblr

I’m just not sure, Anne, that it ever disappears.  I might have ability to leave a man that’s done an absolute wrong to me.  I might have the strength to grab my 27 pairs of shoes, a clean toothbrush, and one bowl and one spoon and walk out the door (because my mother did and I have to live up to at least the totem of what I believe she is), but I’m not sure I’d be able to erase the linger.  I might let it eat at me.  I could so desperately want that man back that I wallow under a couch blanket for weeks.  Where’s the strength in that, I’m not sure, but a little linger, might be better than a lot of stay.

Read this book, learn yourself.


Life Was Easier When All I Had To Take Care of Was a Tamagotchi

Because every author I love should make lists like this one…(Thanks, Tim Manley).

This time around I will be supporting hipsters and their cult following.  I swear, that’s the snarkiest thing I will say about hipsters all blog.  If you haven’t heard about Tumblr by now, it’s pretty much the place that all internet memes, gifs, fangirls, people who take photos and then filter in “vignette,” girls in combat boots, Ryan Gosling “Hey Girls”, or Feminist Ryan Goslings, naked selfies sans face, and lots of sad grammar issues, go to die.  It’s the land of everything great and awful about the inter webs, and there is definitely something for everyone.

Chicken Little from Alice in Tumblr-land by Tim Manley

In fact, recently a lot of publishers have been looking to popular Tumblr sites to find first time authors.  My favorite one of these is 40 Days of Dating where two friends, and designers, chose to date for 40 days and write about the entire thing.  I won’t ruin it for you before you’ve checked it out, but you can read it from the beginning, or from the end and it’s still the same amount of broken at top or bottom.  I’m really looking forward to the pub date on that one, Abrams is supposed to publish it in the fall.

These are just a few of the fantasies you can have on tumblr.  However, there’s also a deeply seeded life of romance on Tumblr.  There are tons of sites with couples and fairytale pictures from weddings, and just people kissing each other square on the mouth.  And who are the queens of romance? That’s right; Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, and Little Mermaid.  Yes, I’m aware, that these girls have relationships equivalent to Romeo and Juliet, they were most likely teenagers who fell in love in a single night, hinged on a single moment that usually involved stars brilliant over a rising horizon, but I think it would be safe to say that the majority of girls look for this kind of blind spot in romance.

He also provides Christmas comics for the LOLers.

The newest version of these teen dramas comes in the form of a tiny and illustrated book called Alice in Tumblr-Land.  Tim Manley, a cog in the wheel of tumblr created Fairy Tales for 20 Somethings and it become this 90′s baby’s dream.

I read this book in one sitting and was hooked as soon as Manley mentioned Dunkaroos, a staple of my childhood packed lunches.  He has so many references to my childhood and teenagehood that I couldn’t help but laugh in glee.  All of your favorite Disney stars and even just some children’s book stars like Ugly Duckling are popped into modern times and expected to cope.  Peter Pan desperately wants his blog to be a hit and so he creates a viral meme (where was Wendy when he needed some guidance because we all know Tiger Lily would not put up with any of that SHIZZ).  Sleeping Beauty has self-esteem and self-expression problems, we all saw that one coming.  I mean for heaven’s sakes, the girl was raised with three babbling crazy aunts.  Usually, we only have one of those in every family, but she had a mighty and strong three.  I’m truly surprised the Ugly Duckling wasn’t mildly obsessed with the Aflack duck, but she did go to a high school reunion and take plenty of selfies.

Tamagotchi, YES.

Let’s be honest, I grew up in the original selfie generation.  First, we created juice packets that you had to stab in order to sip.  Then, we had the misfortune of letting acid washed jeans come back.  We led the boy band movement and wallpapered our rooms in Nick Carter’s face (okay, that one was just me). We can all sing the F.R.I.E.N.D.S theme song and when I have children, they will definitely yell “Smelly Cat” into the faces of Fromage and Jasper.  We kept small creatures alive on Tomagotchi.  Now that was a cool aspect of the 90s, proven by Sheldon on “Big Bang Theory” still carrying his Tomagotchi around on his keychain.  Tomagotchi was the last straw before AIM.  I believe my aim name was OompaLumpa76.  It changed frequently, but that was the beginning from dial-up to “dtf,” and here we are.

Memory lane can be so good to me sometimes.  Manley captures all of this in Alice in Tumblr-Land.  The Fairy-godmothers provide service through twitter.  The little beauties have self-esteem and jealousy issues because of this social media world of “only the happy” that we live in.  Listen, your ex boyfriend is on vacation, that doesn’t mean every moment of his life is a cheerleading session starring him.  Just because your frenemie is living in New York and making it work doesn’t mean that he isn’t, like you, drinking coffee at four am just to keep up with the amount of work he has.  We all wear socks with holes in them, we all cry sometimes in the privacy of a very small closet and if we’re lucky, in front of people.  And we all get let down, multiple times in a row.  I understand the power of social media, especially as it pertains to my students, heaven forbid a boyfriend forget to “Woman Crush Wednesday” his current girlfriend every. single. Wednesday.  Can’t we just go back to the camel, guys?

Snow White just….gets me.

Either way, this internet based fake reality has caused a lot of problems in our society (and a lot of gifts) and I think Manley covers these aspects really well in his new vignette collection with illustrations.  The illustrations are hilarious, the characters are stock and unlike everyone who follows us on instagram, we actually have a good handle of who they are, even if in this collection they’re not at all sure of themselves.  Would mermaids be mammals or fish?

Each moment in this collection is a conversation.  I posted snapshots as I read on Instagram (because I, too, live in this dry abyss of “likes”).   I found The Tortoise and the Hair to be the most accurate of our fast-paced and ever changing lifestyles.  Both animals really have to learn to love themselves before they can even promote the other.  Then again, were they ever really friends?  I ask myself that a lot about people I haven’t talked to since high school that I follow on Instagram.  It has to be some minor version of stalking, as in, I want to know you, I just don’t want to know you well enough to call you.

Author Autographs

Let’s get to the best part of why you should read this book; it’s perfect for your coffee table.  No not really.  He’s a high school teacher.  Bless the high school teachers of the world and promote and support this book.  It’s literal magic,  both with characters and the way that Manley analyzes the silent social aspects of our technological world.  It’s a book for the lonely and the aggravated.  When you’re alone in your apartment and you can choose pinterest, ex-boyfriend googling, or Alice in Tumblr-land, always choose the stories that give you the ability to laugh.  At least, enjoy the Little Red Riding Hood section because the poor girl just keeps meeting wolves, and none of your ex-boyfriends could possibly be that hairy.

Other cool things you can find on Tumblr:

  • Lol My Thesis: Maybe one of my favorite tumblr sites.  I laugh my juicy girl butt off when I read this one.  I will hold hostage a few for you on this blog to share in my glee.

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 7.47.47 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 7.48.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 7.49.35 PM

  • Facts and Chicks: Basically half-naked “chicks” with facts attached that have almost nothing (or usually nothing) to do with them.  However, the facts are usually crazy interesting and some of them come for actually reputable sources, not like Wikipedia.

factsandchicks

  • Writing Prompts: Some super awesome English teacher aligning writing to common core one prompt at a time.  AND THEY’RE AWESOME.
  • The Typologist: A site of collections, leftover as they may be.
  • Literary Tattoos: Self-explained
  • Shit Rough Drafts: Just the best way to make yourself feel good about your writing.

“Wait What” – Shitty Rough Drafts

Resolution Recap @ Coloring for Grown-Ups


Newsday Tuesday (& An EXCITING Q&A)

Favorite Tweets:

This is sarcasm:

Favorite Search Terms:

  • what did people eat in uk circa 1800: Beans.
  • spanking themes in young adult literature: You got my blog?  That freaks me out a little, a lot.
  • farting competitions in bed: haha, welcome to my life.
  • virginia woolf car: She didn’t drive, she walked into the sea.
  • metaphors for instructor of yoga: the sun is like a window to heat.  my legs are like strong sticks; soft and golden as hay, crossed at the knee like two branches intersecting at a nest.  (BAD POETRY).

Book News:

———————————————————————————————

Loved by Kimberly Novosel

Earlier this week I had the loveliest chat with new author Kimberly Novosel.  I feel like her last name pretty much explains why she’s a novelist since it seems a distant twin to the word itself.  She’s the author of upcoming book, Loved and has created a Kickstarter campaign to get the book printed.  Normally, I’m a snob about self-publishing and prefer publishing houses and agents, but the theme of her novel, Loved, is dear to my heart.  You’ve all heard me rant about self-esteem, usually in the young adult genre, but Novosel has written a novel dedicated to struggling women in their twenties.

We did a quick Q&A from questions I pondered while reading her bio and learning about Loved through the Kickstarter campaign.  I feel like everyone at readings always asked, “What inspired you to write?” or “What do you recommend to young writers?” Instead of asking these questions, I asked questions about Novosel’s own upbringing and how it influenced her writing as well as how other authors have influenced her.  Read our Q&A below:

How has being a small town girl gone big city shaped your writing?  What did the small town give to you as gifts for writing, and what did the city give?  And with this what are your favorite writers from both places and landscapes?

Audrey Niffenegger, who wrote The Time Travelers Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, is from South Haven, Michigan and has lived near Chicago most of her life.  A small town to a big city, like me.  I think in these cases the small town develops a unique kind of imagination, learning to fill the quiet with your own thoughts.  Living in a bigger city as an adult helps to surround you with more stimulation, more fodder for stories, new ideas and personalities and backdrops.  Nicole Krauss, who wrote The History of Love, was born in Manhattan and lives in Brooklyn, where I live now.  If you read The History of Love, her deeply rooted knowledge of the city and the people who come to live there is apparent.  I think both can develop strengths in a writer in their own way.  What matters most is that the best writers write what they know.

What were some of your favorite mystery books as a girl in Pittsburgh and did this shape Loved?

I read a lot of Nancy Drew books and ghost stories, though the names escape me now.  I loved that stuff!  The little girl who is haunted by the girl who lived in the old house before her.  One favorite from those days is Ouida Sebestyen’s The Girl in the Box, about a girl who is kidnapped and held underground in a dirt hole with nothing but a little bit of food, water, and a typewriter.  I’ve obviously never been afraid of darker material, even as a pre-teen.  I also liked some fantasy stuff like A Wrinkle in Time, The Phantom Tollbooth and The Giver, which I recommend even to adults.

Why did you decide to self-publish Loved rather than shop around for agents and publishing houses?

My goal is just to put the book out there into the hands of readers. I’d love to be published on a large scale, but that wasn’t my immediate goal.  First I want to see how it does, what kind of impact it has.  Maybe big publishing will happen with this book or maybe the next one, as I continue to grow as a writer.

How did you come to novel writing?  Have you tried poetry, short fiction and other genres before ultimately writing Loved?

My earliest memory of writing is changing the words from the willow tree poem in the movie “My Girl”, and then writing new lyrics to Mariah Carey melodies.  I was probably ten or twelve.  Then I started to write my own poetry.  That turned into writing lyrics with musician friends at Belmont University, and then I jumped right into the process of starting this book.  I’d love to do short stories eventually, for literary magazines or my own full collection.

How did you come to the title, “Loved?”

Coming up with a title was one of the most stressful parts of writing this book.  There was one title in the beginning, and as a different theme began to emerge I came to a second title and stuck with that one a good while.  In the end I felt there was a better fit, and in the absence of coming up with the perfect clever title, I landed on Loved.  I just kept coming back to that word.  It just felt right to me, summing up the theme and evoking the right emotion, so I had to go with succinct over poetic.

What is your favorite quote from Loved and from literature?

From literature…oh how to choose!  I love so much of the mother’s dialog in White Oleander.  She’s such a fascinating character to me.  She has this one rant in which she says, “If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.”  She’s practically evil but sometimes what she says rings true. Fascinating!  I don’t know the exact quote for this, but in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller, a young Pippa follows a man she’s attracted to down the street and into a café.  In such a short time, she imagines their future together, and when he leaves with out speaking to her, she’s heartbroken.  That is amazing writing.

This is one of my favorite quotes from Loved:

“The thing about secrets is that they can hurt you more than the person you’re keeping them from.  It’s like eating the last piece of caramel candy, a delicacy for you alone to experience.  You hold it on your tongue, savoring the layers of salty sweetness.  It makes you so happy while it rots your teeth.”

If you could tell women struggling with self-esteem or self-discovery, what would you say?  With this can you give book recommendations for girls or women dealing with these struggles.  

Forget what’s normal or what’s expected of you and decide for yourself.  Are you talking to yourself respectfully? Are you listening to yourself and what it is that you need?  For example, I need more alone time than most people do, and when I thought that was weird or that I was acting out of fear and not health by isolating myself, it actually caused me to be unhealthy.  Now I know it’s ok for me to take that time that I need, and it makes me better around people when I am social.  Write your own rules.

I suggest coming of age stories or stories of survival rather than the typical self-help books.  Study others’ stories of growing and overcoming and you’ll start to recognize your own.  Alice Sebold’s Lucky, Terri Jentz’s Strange Piece of Paradise, Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle, (all adult) Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep (adult or young adult).

What is your six word memoir?

“Present or absent, love moves me.”

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Check out Novosel’s blog here.

Check out the Kickstarter Campaign here.


Newsday Tuesday

Month of Letters

Update: Month of Letters is going quite swimmingly.  Daily, I’m happy to unhook that black box at the end of my driveway, above where my mother has planted an assortment of peach flowers.  I’ve been enjoying rhyming #2 with “goo” on the lick line of the close of the envelope.  And what girl doesn’t love to doodle petals and leaves everywhere?  Thanks for being a part of my project, there are still empty days – no one is too late.  Feel free to send me your address now.

Favorite Tweets:

Favorite Search Terms of the Week:

  • Cassie M______: They love me, they really love me.  Or, they’ve received my resume and have immediately decided not to hire this quirky, curly haired girl because one of her blogs has “uterus” in the title.
  • Rush Limbaugh Picking Nose:  Clearly this person doesn’t need to hear anymore about cruelty to women, he/she just wants to know how Rush digs for gold.
  • Aggressive Business Cards: Are you a ninja?  Perhaps an evil villain? Maybe a zombie…
  • examples of metaphor poems comparing mosquitoes to fireworks: I almost want to google this myself, just to see.
  • Sylvia Plath handwriting: I would like this analyzed.  I did a project on handwriting for the 7th grade science fair.  I’m a professional.
  • southern girl quotes: I just like to be known as a southern girl, my grandfather would be proud.

Book News:

Favorite Tumblr:

Lovely Poem, Lovely Tumblr.

And that is it. Have a wonderful week.


Newsday Tuesday:

I’ve found so many things I love for this weeks addition of book news.  In fact, this may be my favorite book news…ever.  Even though there’s only been like eight weeks of Newsday Tuesday.

Mine is perfection.

  • Let me preface this by saying, yes, I follow MuggleNet.  And it seems that Harry Potter helps college students study classic literature.  It certainly didn’t help me with Jane Austen, but maybe others are experiencing euphoria from classic literature.  Personally, I took a whole class (one whole semester) on Chaucer where my teacher spoke Old English (it is another language) and I only realized how dirty he was by the time Wife of Bath came around.  I’m clueless.
  • I found the holy grail of articles for tumblr.  This is a Guide to Literary Tumblrs.  I plan to spend entire days perusing this. The best part: NIKKI GEMMEL HAS A NEW BOOK.  SHE’S ONLY ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS EVER IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE KNOWN UNIVERSE, EVEN PRE-DINOSAUR, HOLY BALLS.

NEW NIKKI

The sad thing is...I remember dancing to this on the bar at City Limits Teen Night. "Dontcha"

Cracks me up, and my grammar isn't even on par.

And that’s it folks; read, read, read.


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