When you choose a career, it’s not always a straight line.
In my case, I started out at age 7 wanting to be an astronaut or a baseball player.
My father had always wanted something else for me.
“Be a dentist,” he said. “You get as much money as a doctor, but no one wakes you up at night and says you have to come into the hospital to fix a toothache.”
But by senior year in college, I was on a straight line: I wanted to become a novelist. I pretty quickly published my first short story, in an august journal called North American Review, which Hemingway and Twain had also published in.
“I pay for four years of tuition at UCLA,” my father complained to my mother, “and he wants to become a novelist?!”
He never told me about his complaint, though. He was too decent to say it out loud to me. I learned about it only years later from my mother.
After graduation, I didn’t find any companies who wanted to hire someone as a full-time novelist, so I started doing journalism, small-time at first, but within six years, was publishing in Mademoiselle, McCall’s, Harper’s Bazaar, and a host of other glamorous and glitzy publications. I was flying in to New York twice a year to meet with editors. I had bylines galore.
But I wasn’t glitzy by nature. I still wanted to be a novelist and I had no time for it. When Joe Weider offered me a full-time editor’s job in his fitness empire, I answered, “Oh no, I’m sorry, I’m working on a novel.” I was still under the delusion that freelance writing might allow me some free time to work on fiction. It didn’t.
When I finally realized that freelancing had failed me, I jumped ship and became a full-time magician. I had heard that cruise-ship magicians worked only two hours a week, got paid a couple thousand a week, and had lots of free time. That was the job for me. I would travel the world and write my novels for 38 hours a week. But in the meantime, I had to become a master salesman, selling my show to cold-call customers, which once again took all my time.
The only thing that gave me enough time to write my novel, finally, was poverty. Just giving it all up and writing. Not worrying about jobs, not worrying about getting new things, not worrying about going without health insurance, not worrying about what people think, and they think some pretty bad things, believe me.
I started writing the novel six years ago, after thinking about it for 24. I wrote much of it at night, when I had insomnia. It would calm me to write on it, chip away at it. There are so many different parts of a novel that it’s like a whole country, and you work to create that geography, climate, and culture. It was compulsive. It was the one thing I knew how to do. I didn’t know how to be happy, exactly, or worldly successful, but I did know how to write. You scribble a first draft, go away from it for a few days, thinking about it, and then ideas come to you in the shower, on the bikepath, before going to sleep. If you’re smart, you write down those ideas when they come to you.
But at the end of that path, which is a long one, I can assure you, winding and endless, you have something solid and real that you’ve been hoping for all your life. You sit in front of the computer and smile. You read the last couple chapters to your girlfriend and she cries. Sometimes, you even choke up reading it. You give it to your girlfriend to read aloud because you know you can’t do it yourself. There are gorgeous sentences that sparkle as if they were pure sunlight. There are characters who have lived in your heart for years. There are turns of phrase that only appear after the 80th draft. There’s a plot that fits together like a Mitrokhin puzzle. And there’s a dream that you’ve finally fulfilled, rather than letting it die.
And that’s why you should buy my novel, if only to support someone who’s had a dream.
Fashion is one of my most favoritest things in the world. Stay on my blog a little while if you so desire. Send me a message. Befriend me hehe.
XO, The Girl in the Little Black Dress
NYFW Show Review: Moschino
SO. Long time no talk. I got sick so I really didn’t feel like doing much all of last week. I’m feeling so much better today though, and I even wrote a little post schedule for my blog, so now I will be uploading articles more regularly. I also watched New York Fashion Week Spring 2014 on my computer every day after school last week and am so excited to write about it. I have decided to begin my (lets be honest here these will all be) rants about NYFW today with the Moschino line, one of my favorites this year. May the ranting commence!
Ok these first two looks are such a masterful blend of hard and soft, of gold chains and frilly ruffles. I can’t help falling in love with the Black/White Swan feel to these garments. Also, I find it so interesting how both models are wearing completely different pieces yet at the same time the looks are coherent.
Ok sorry for not writing for a while, but I have been busy moving to France. I will now proceed to tell you about how that has been. Holy moly. I have no other words to describe my feelings right now. Holy moly. Everything is just ever so exciting and it is so beautiful here. After meeting my new classmates in Boston, I flew to France and moved into my new host family’s house. My family is so kind and they made me crepes on Saturday with lemon juice and sugar, so I mean what’s not to love.
This past week its been all orientation at my American school and guess what I made a friend today. Her name is Sydney and she lives in New York. I want to live there one day, so its nice to hear about it. After school, we walked to the bakery down the street from our school and ate croissants. It was a pretty good day. I also ran by the canal by my house. There are lily pads and flowers and trees everywhere its the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. My life is temporarily perfect. And it will be until Thursday because that’s when classes actually start and I will have to do homework bleh. I also forgot to mention that a lot of my classmates are interested in fashion. I’m kind of scared to tell them about this blog though because I’m worried they might think its strange or something. I know I shouldn’t care what other people think about me but I do. I’ll tell them all eventually and maybe some people would want to take pictures with me who knows. Ok wow I just reread this article and it sounds like some sort of awkward diary entry. I’m aware. I’m a nerd.
Je T’aime, The Girl in the Little Black Dress
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the news. the views. the juice.
When a Delhi journo joins New Yorker, it’s news
10 October 2013
India’s bankrupt politicians routinely detect a “foreign hand” behind every disaster that befalls the nation. The Indian media, on the other hand, has been somewhat blessed to benefit from foreign hands on the deck.
Caravan the defunct-fortnightly from the Delhi Press group which was reborn as The Caravan of longform journalism three years ago was particularly lucky to have Jonathan Shainin on its ranks early on.
Below is the full text of the email shot off by Caravan‘s executive editor Vinod K. Jose, announcing Shainin’s exit.
This coming week, our dear colleague, Jonathan Shainin is moving back to New York. Jonathan joined by the end of the first year of relaunched Caravan, and is heading home after a very memorable, and extremely productive 3 years with us. The time and attention that he has given to the stories he edited is remarkable, and if anyone ever pays attention to the institutional history of Caravan, Jonathan’s role will be remembered and celebrated with reverence.
In 2009 and 2010, from the period I call the “guerrilla operation phase,” the staff whose strength was in single digits, we have today come a long way with the magazine/brand becoming the outcome of a massive amount of collective editorial energy of 25 people.
The number of editors, and staff writers have gone up, and the family of freelancers and contributing editors have grown as well.
With Jonathan’s impending departure, more associate editors had joined close to a year in advance, and we are right now in the process of hiring more editors to increase the level and quality of attention a piece/writer gets. The more the torch-bearers of the particular Caravan editing and writing philosophy we produce, the more stable the space of longform narrative journalism in India becomes.
In the same vein, I also wanted to celebrate the small, but meaningful flame of good ethical journalism that Caravan was instrumental in doing, which to me worked hand-in-hand with the longform identity we created in the craft space; here again, Jonathan was such an uncompromising editor, and I wish everyone who comes and joins us/after us always build on the hard work/careful walking we have managed all these years, and between us, right now, we shall remind each other how we need to help each other in making the flame retain its virility, and get bigger and bigger if possible in the years to come.
I wish Jonathan a wonderful future ahead, both professionally and personally.
Vinod K. Jose
[Terry: Feel free to disagree but over these long years since my parents bought me my first subscription at age 16, I’ve
come to realize that all the news you really need to survive is in The New Yorker and WIRED magazines.]
[Terry: This guy is fascinating. Every blog item is a new story. Plus he’s a bit chubby and wears Hawaiian shirts–what’s not to like?]
I’m heading to Kansas in a couple days, and am remembering something that I often discover about the red states: that there are political differences between them and my native California.
I’m not just talking about the obvious factors, such as people looking askance at men holding hands with each other, or at women dressing more skimpily, or people in general looking older, even though they may not be. I’m talking about looking up the bus fares for Hutchinson and discovering to my shock that it costs $4 compared to the $1.50 fare in Los Angeles. Not only that, but I’ll have to walk 1.2 miles just to get to the bus stop. Kansans don’t believe in tax money being spent on frivolous things like poor people’s transportation needs. They believe in what they call “self-sufficiency”–that is, every man for himself, period.
I’ll be doing some genealogical research while I’m in Hutch, and discovered another red-blue split: The state government doesn’t believe in transparency. While birth and death records are public in California and many other states, they aren’t in Kansas. They are available only to immediate family and “anyone who can prove a direct interest.” The red-state mentality is authoritarian rather than transparent, as explained in the fine book, Don’t Think of an Elephant, by George Lakoff.
I’ve run into this in other red states, too. While I was in the Carolinas in the late 1990s, I noticed that their state and local governments don’t spend much money on infrastructure. I tried to bicycle in Charleston, for example, and discovered that there were virtually no bikepaths, few sidewalks, and very little or crumbling road shoulder. Get out of historic Charleston and it was dangerous just to walk down the street, with cars whizzing by so close to you. You had to trudge through the weeds and brambles just to keep from getting hit. The city is designed, it seems, for the convenience of those in Cadillacs and limousines, and not for those who have to walk to their destinations.
While driving from Charleston to Raleigh, too, I noticed a definite red-state complexion. I wanted to stop along the way and walk onto the beach, take off my shoes, squish my toes in the sand, feel the salt air on my face. But in the Carolinas, there are miles upon miles upon miles of seaside mansion estates that preclude any public use. In 1971, California passed The Coastal Initiative that codified into law the idea that the beach (such as Carmel Beach, above) belongs to the public, and that no more private or commercial building would be allowed there. Obviously, that is too radical an idea for the Carolinas.
People often throw up their hands at politics, saying their vote makes no difference. But here, that concept is disproven. Not only does politics have an impact on the large issues, such as war and who’s going to chair the Fed, but also, on the issues that affect us every day, such as sidewalks, streets, and beaches. And so I head off towards a red state, hoping for the best.
Last August, I performed street magic for two weeks on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey. I had a good time and polished my Linking Rings routine. When summer ended, I left. Last week, I returned. Within the first ten minutes, a homeless guy called over to me.
“Hey, I know you! Welcome back!”
He was big and smiley and had wild hair and a booming voice that filled the waterfront.
Then another homeless guy called over a big hello, too, even repeating some of my joke lines back to me, saying that he had appropriated them for his own show.
“Reach into your pockets and take out a 5-dollar bill. Keep that for yourself and give the rest to me!”
I didn’t begrudge him stealing the line from me; I had stolen it myself.
Playing the street is an on and off thing for me. I started busking in 1994, when I was trying to get good at stage magic. In 1998, I published a book called Be a Street Magician!: A How-To Guide (Aha! Press, http://www.amazon.com/Be-Street-Magician-David-Groves/dp/0966814703/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214804689&sr=1-1), which made me semifamous in a niche audience, magicians.
These days, the vast majority of my business consists of big-paying inside gigs. But when business is slow, I like to road-test my new material by performing on the street for an endless stream of new audiences. Last week, I happened to get hired to perform for a couple of fancy parties at the classic-car show in Carmel, so while I was up here, I decided to play the wharf.
My first day back on the wharf, I did well. I was even approached by a couple who saw my show and wanted me to come to their 6-year-old daughter Jasmine’s birthday party the next evening. We negotiated on the spot. They wanted me to go down $50 on the price. I said I would do that if they bought my newly published enovel, What Happens to Us, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DSSN5SU, and got five of their friends to do so, as well. I didn’t tell them that I hadn’t brought all my best kids’ show props–the die box, for example (see video).
The next day, a Sunday, I went back out to the wharf to get in a couple hours of busking before the party. A man walked up to me with his kid.
“I’m glad you’re here!” he said. “I saw you yesterday, and I liked it so much that I brought my boy to see you!”
It was strange to make such an imprint on this community without even trying much. I felt like I was becoming accidentally famous.
In one of my audiences was an 18-year-old guy with the wild hair of an intellectual. He said his name was Forrest.
“Man, you must get all the damn Gump jokes,” I said.
“Stupid is as stupid does,” he said, grinning.
During the show, I ended up casting aspersions on Forrest’s wealth because he lived in Seaside. Everybody laughed. Later, when I held out my hat for tips, Forrest came up and dropped in a $20 bill.
“Not all people in Seaside are poor,” he said.
I couldn’t believe I had benefited financially by making Forrest feel insecure. It seemed to be against my philosophy of life, which is that being relentlessly positive is the way to happiness and wealth. Still, I didn’t give him the twenty back.
Come evening, I did the kids’ show at the park and kicked ass. Afterwards, two separate guys came up and asked me if they could have my card.
“I live in Los Angeles,” I said, handing it over, but then warned him. “I’d have to charge a lot more for the show.”
“Like $1,200 at least.”
- I Had a Dream (whathappenstous.wordpress.com)
- The No Trespassing No Sidewalk No Road Shoulder Blues (whathappenstous.wordpress.com)
Bipolar, asexual, vegetarian, poststructuralist, pantheist nihilist. Professional poet and french toast connoisseur.|Welcome to a new friend: Ian Stewart Black
[Terry: Now, Mr. Black clearly knows his iambs from his pentams. This is like reading Tennyson. I bow to his incredible endurance. I couldn’t write one of these damn poems and Ian seems to have an endless supply.]
Ian Stewart Black
Bipolar, asexual, vegetarian, poststructuralist, pantheist nihilist. Professional poet and french toast connoisseur.
General penhandler, Sonneteer, Philosopher, Haijin, Writer and byronic hero… with a penchant for waistcoats.
I have readers from the UK, Washington, Ontario, Ireland, Australia, Wisconsin, Maryland, Singapore, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Minesota, Korea, Illinois, British Columbia, Maine, Michigan, California, France, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Thailand, Macedonia, Austria, Pakistan, Brazil, Norway, Serbia, Turkey, Spain, South Africa, The United Arab Emirates, Nevada & beyond.
A legion’s worth held mastery of death:
Immortal warriors and prophet kings
Arose from tragedy with sword in hand,
Divinely sheltered from the cold embrace;
In vanity, their legacies were sealed,
In monuments to glorify their names:
Each mortal soul became a deity,
Eternity was theirs alone to claim.
As decades burned away to cinders, ash
Descending from beneath immortal crowns,
The arrogance of those who cheated death
Belied the sunken eyes of mortal age:
Defiant in the hands of destiny,
Appointed gods and sons of Narcissus
May conquer all that rules the land or sea,
But never Death: for none shall master me.
For none shall master me thus many serve,
And countless beg before the tide of fate:
As they implore the ocean to recall
Its pitiless advance – they perish, all.
The silver-tongued and taciturn contend
Voracious waves that billow overhead,
Descending to the reaper’s murky depths:
The darkness from wherein no light returns.
As lovers, friends and worshippers beseech
An act of mercy from the stoic sea:
So too the bonds of man petition Death,
And neither care nor mercy find in me.
With such an act of love our tale begins,
And how it ends is yet a mystery;
By way of counsel, I have only this:
Your guide is Death himself – abandon hope!
With this renunciation of the love
The sundered pair had cherished all their lives,
The murky ghost of Beatrice dissolved
Once more amid the endless mist of Death;
The smoke in spirals wrapped its way around
The loathsome raider of our ancient realm:
Constricting him and seeping through his flesh
To work its rightful poison from within;
His frame began to wither, and his skin
Became as pale as drifting clouds that veil
A waning moon: a century befell
His body in an instant of decay;
As if to vindicate his wickedness
And justify his evils, he announced
“A life without a love is living death”,
And dissipated through Oblivion.
No gloried soul that walks upon the earth,
Nor gods and monsters live eternally:
For any fool may rule the land or sea,
But never Death – for none shall master me!
We wayward heirs
Are each an ember,
From the ashes of
A better world.
Cast over oceans,
At the mercy
Of the winds of fate;
And if we fall,
We fall together.
I’m Summer. I’m a Tar Heel and a fangirl. More importantly, I’m a Christian and a singer. Obviously, I write. I’m obsessed with languages, I’m learning Italian and German, and I would probably go mental without punk rock music.
“The great religious struggle is not fought on a spectacular battleground, but within the ordinary human heart, when every morning we awake and feel the pressures of the day crowding in on us, and we must decide what sort of immortals we wish to be.” – Kathleen Norris
Check out my professional website: winkler.web.unc.edu
I have some articles at dailytarheel.com.
Coming soon: Blog post for She Has Worth. Just waiting on the website to get back running.
To never travel is to never live.
Places to go, things to see.
ACL Music Festival- Austin, Texas
Bonnaroo Music Festival- Manchester, Tennessee
Disney World- Orlando, Florida
Lollapalooza Music Festival- Chicago, Illinois
Peanut Butter and Company Sandwich Shop and Store- New York
A concert in Madison Square Gardens- New York, New York
Universal Studios and Harry Potter World- Orlando, Florida
Times Square on New Year’s Eve- New York, New York
Los Angeles, California
Georgetown Cupcake- NYC, DC, & LA
New York City
A cruise to the islands- Grand Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico
A cruise to Alaska
Everywhere in Italy
Disneyland- Anaheim, California
Busch Gardens- Williamsburg, Virginia
To see the Northern Lights
Coachella- Indio, CA
Kanrocksas Music Festival- Kansas
Voodoo Fest- New Orleans, LA
NEW YORK CITY.
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HELPED ME GET TO NYC.
I met awesome people. I made lifelong friends. I’ll never forget what I learned here.
And I’m absolutely going back.
- It’s finally New York week!!!! Five more full days, six more nights until we head to the city. Getting so excited. Asking for prayers tonight for the following: I pack the correct things, I get enough sleep this week to be FULLY ready to serve, and I’ll have a sufficient amount of caffeine in me for the next two weeks to properly survive. ❤ all of you
- We’re two days away! I couldn’t be more excited. I made a packing list today and if I remember everything, I’ll be ready to go bright and early Saturday morning! Three cheers for Manhattan.
- All packed and ready to go. 6:45 am wake up. 8 am departure.
Recently, your ad interrupted by viewing of Pretty Little Liars. Yes, it’s a secret addiction. I guess it’s not a secret anymore.
So. There was this pretty blonde girl with flowing, perfectly wavy strands.
Also she had a pillow.
Also she was in her underwear.
I guess it’s a “cute” ad? Maybe guys would like it.
As for me, I laughed. There were just a few things wrong with your ad, and I’d like to address those right now.
If I were to sit at home alone on my bed with no pants, I guarantee my hair wouldn’t look like that. Also, my abs would not be visible because, dude, dessert. I mean, duh. Also, no makeup, whaddup lazy.
Do people really match their bra and undies? If I were to do that, I’d feel like I had life perfectly figured out and it’s super obvious that I don’t. I find it an accomplish just to put on a bra, let alone make it match my other underclothes. (Is underclothes an actual word? I was unaware until this moment.)
[Yes, cats, “underclothes” is a word but only applies to women in the 15th Century and before.]
- Ryan Gosling: ‘Only God Forgives’ NYC Screening! (justjared.com)
- Ryan Gosling Gives His Best Smolder At ‘Only God Forgives’ Premiere (socialitelife.com)
- Ryan Gosling Is Handsome Even in a Heat Wave (celebuzz.com)
- Happy Ryan-Day! (socialmediaservants.wordpress.com)
- Eva Mendes Wearing Ryan Gosling Out (starmagazine.com)
- Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling pair up in ‘How to Catch a Monster’ (voxxi.com)
- Gangster Squad Review: Ryan Gosling Exposed (coolreviewsrule.com)
- Let Ryan Gosling Whisper Sweet Nothings Into Your Ears (jezebel.com)
Deus Ex Malcontent:
First of all, the kid’s going to grow up in Gracie Mansion. So I’m going to say, ‘Kid, don’t complain.'”–
[Terry: I really hate to say this but this guy might be the perfect candidate for Mayor of New York. After all, shamelessness is a large part of the job.]
Sofar Sounds: An ‘Underground’ Musical Experience
The following excerpts are from my article on underground musical organization, Sofar Sounds. The photography and video are from two separate performances I was lucky enough to attend in NYC and Philly. Head to Butlerway to read the article in full and if you’re a music lover definitely check out Sofar Sounds to see if there’s a group in your area! It’s an experience not to be missed!!
It’s happening. You’re going to see your favorite band perform live! All the necessary arrangements have been made. The babysitter’s been scheduled and the tailgate cooler’s packed. You’re so excited to see “Band X” until you arrive at the sold out venue to find it’s wall to wall packed and you’re now stuck between the seven foot tall guy and hordes of screaming teenagers. Suddenly the music experience you’ve been hoping for isn’t going according to plan.
Enter- Songs From A Room. The global movement, dubbed Sofar Sounds, takes the live music experience and eliminates the outside noise and glitzy components, stripping it to the core and bridging the gap between artist and fan, musician and listener.
Co-founders David Alexander, Rafe Offer and Rocky Start were tired of attending shows with unappreciative or disinterests audiences. Looking for an alternative in which they could support fellow musicians while sharing their love and passion for music, the three friends created an acoustic setting in their living room. Sofar Sounds was born.
The idea behind the innovative project is to share new music between enthusiasts, artists and industry professionals in an “unplugged, intimate, unusual space or venue.” Performances typically consist of 50 people or less in a “living room setting,” revealed only two days prior to the show; while the lineup remains a mystery until arrival.
Guests are requested to sit upon scattered pillows and cushions, silence all phones and respect the no talking policy while artists perform. In between acts, the room returns to its social atmosphere of chatter, networking, or taking advantage of the BYOB policy to freshen up a drink.
Although the emphasis is placed primarily on music, it’s an overall explosion of art, incorporating painting, photography, poetry, videography, dance, and spoken word. New artistic blends are constantly infused as Sofar grows from a passion project to a music business.
Indie folk-rockers, Seryn, are one of the most talented bands currently making music. Watch the following snippet of them performing “Beach Song” at Sofar Sounds NYC.
- Sofar Sounds: Growing A House Party Network (plutonicgroup.com)
- Sofar Sounds NY – May 21st, 2013 (nycsofar.wordpress.com)
- Sofar Sounds DFW ( Sounds From A Room) (bohemianbeats.org)
- You’re Gonna Love This (natemaingard.com)
- Day 2 – Live Music in a Living room (my365daysof30.wordpress.com)
[Terry: It’s not every day you have someone show you the birth of a new communal experience. ]
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HELLO! Welcome to Spotlight.
This is The Review Sister but you can call me Felicia.
Now, if you’ve been here for awhile, you know that there have been some major changes, so, let’s go through them. In this blog, I will be reviewing and talking about books, beauty, and movies (and TV). While reviews will be part of the equation, I will also be talking about these topics; I have decided that I would like to do much more than just reviews on this blog and would love to have discussions about these topics.
I would love to have all of your comments and/or feedback on how to better myself on topics such as these or even new topics. So, suggestions are appreciated!
Looking for something in particular? Please visit categories (at the side).
~ Yours Truly,
The Review Sister
Today is the last day of the “lipstick series” before the wrap-up! I have no lip liner or anything of the sort aside from the lipstick.
Ruby 305 is also from the $0.99 Wet N’ Wild’s NYC collection found at CVS. This color is a couple shades darker than Blossom reviewed yesterday; it seems like it should be a dark red but resembles a strange closeness to Blossom. Let’s look at the pictures again.
Of Of course, the lighting does play a part in this but after closer observation, this is, in fact, a red. It has sparkles in it and is not a vibrant red but is DEFINETLY a red with a pink undertone (and a bad lighting- explain the similarity?).
I wouldn’t pick this as an everyday look and, to be honest, I’m not sure if I would even buy this again. I’m not quite sure which skin tone this would fit best in but it looks okay on me.
So, this concludes the lipstick series and tomorrow I will put all the colors together to wrap it up!
Felicia (aka The Review Sister)
So, What’s it All About?
Hayley is a teenager living in Santa Monica, California. She’s close to the beach, has excellent weather, and has a good best friend,what could be wrong? Well, Hayley happens to be fat in body image-obsessed Southern California where have plastic surgeons numbers in their back pocket. So you can bet that the only compliments Hayley hears is that she’s smart, funny, and (the dreaded) has a pretty face. She doesn’t feel normal and her health-obsessed mom is always nagging her to lose weight. To make things worse, she has a MAJOR crush on Drew Wyler (which she knows is impossible) but when the unthinkable happens, she begins to feel worse about herself. Just as she begins to think she will be fat forever, her parents offer her a trip to Italy where her life will change forever. Join Haley in a story of love, life, and decisions in “Pretty Face.”
What do I Think?
For some reason, I always seem to enjoy books that include weight struggles and this one was no different. I liked this book because it did have a little bit of suspense. It’s a great light read with a valuable lesson, never let anyone define you. However, I did not like the teenage sex deal.
The Good: It’s a nice light- read with a good moral.
The Bad: It’s a little too happy-go-lucky
The Ugly: Teenage sex is apart of it
I would rate “Pretty Face” a two out of five stars (2/5) because it was a light read (nothing to really think about) and it involved teenage sex. However, I did like the simplicity of the moral of the story.
First of all, let me say that I have never EVER been a fan of Superman; I have always thought that the creators made him TOO invincible and just plain 0% realistic. BUT Man of Steel has completely changed my mind.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
As you probably know, Clark Kent comes from Planet Krypton and was shipped to Earth before his original planet was destroyed. His “adoptive” parents (the one’s that found him on Earth) have raised and cared for him but not without picking up on his special “abilities.” While Clark’s “father” has raised him not to expose his powers because of the world’s lack of preparedness, a chain of events begin to make Clark reconsider, including the constant appearances and conversations with his real father. Eventually, Earth’s existence is in jeopardy because General Zod (Michael Shannon) ( a man pre-destined to protect Krypton) has come to wipe out Earth’s citizens in order to rebuild Krypton. Clark has to decide between saving Earth or saving Krypton. Who is behind him? Is Earth behind his mission or will they call this stranger the enemy? On the other hand, will saving Krypton bring him more of a sense of normalcy or will their values of pre-destination over choice be too much to handle? Only one can exist on Earth, which will it be? And how will Clark Kent play a role in it?
Watch Superman, Man of Steel to join Clark Kent in his battle of finding out who he really is and determining which side he will be on.
WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT IT?
Well, as I said before, I have never been a Superman fan until I saw this movie. Man of Steel is full of action and suspense; it is not the “I am the superhero and you will never be close to beating me” type of movie. There are odd twists and turns while using flashbacks to explain the movie further. So, you’re probably thinking “I’ve never seen a Superman movie in my life, I can’t just jump into this one!” YES YOU CAN! I’ve only seen about one Superman movie (other than this one and I don’t even remember it). This movie clearly explains the existence of the characters and their circumstances while not boring me to death! SO, NO PREREQUISITES ARE NECESSARY! I also liked that there was no perfectly good or bad guy; throughout the story, both sides were told and the viewer could empathize with either side.
I really enjoyed the fact that while the whole romance factor with Lois Lane (Amy Adams) was definitely there, it did not overwhelm the movie like so many other superhero movies (*ahh-hem* Transformers *ahh-hem*)
I, honestly, have nothing bad to say about this movie but other people did. For instance, some have said that there was little humor and fun in it and while I would have to agree, I DO NOT think that it makes the movie any worse. I do not feel that Man of Steel is too intense at all; I think that it had enough pauses and breaks between heavy scenes to take a little bit of load off of the audience. However, if you are looking for a movie full of make-out scenes and jokes then, please, do not see this movie!
Man of Steel is definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen this year! It’s storyline and it’s actor’s are on point. Man of Steel will be a hard movie to beat!
Marisa D. Lyon
Daydreamer. Passionate Writer. Music Lover. Photography Taker. Spirituality seeker. Sarcasm Master. Travel enthusiast.
Blocks from the sand, yet only a short car ride from both NYC and Philly, I’m provided with the best of both worlds. I have a background in business, advertising, marketing, hospitality and real estate/mortgages, but none of this even begins to accurately describe who I am.
I have sense of humor. I show my emotions. A song, or even single note, can bring me to tears. I can put on my most professional face when needed, but I’d rather be my silly, corny, sometimes outrageous self any day.
My love of inspirational and thought-provoking words lead me to pursue my career in writing. To see and hear others beautiful work is inspiring, and to be able to experience that which they have generously contributed to this world is a privilege.
I enjoy portraying stories and evoking emotions with words. I especially love to combine my passions for music and writing. For me, both are as essential as breathing. All I want from life is to be moved by people, places, things and experiences. That’s what music and writing do for me. Since I’m not exactly next in line for American Idol, nor can I currently play any instruments (although piano lessons are in the near future!), my contribution to music is celebrating it through written word.
In addition to writing and music, I love to travel, explore and capture moments through photographs. I’m happiest when I can feel the sun shine, hear the waves crash and have a pen in my hand. Although, the pen is interchangeable for a cold beer or margarita. During the summer months I can most likely be found at the beach or an outdoor music festival.
This blog is to showcase a collection of my work, as well as serve as a creative outlet. I write because I have a lot to say. I write because I want to share my thoughts and feelings with others. I write for the release of creative energy. When it comes to things I’m passionate about and that interest me, I could write endlessly. My hope is that I can reach others through my words. Even if only one other person has an emotional reaction or connection, it feels like a success. And writing makes me feel alive. It makes me happy. So either way, it already is.
To contact me about freelance opportunities, or just for a quick hello, please complete the online form located here. Alternatively, you can email me directly at lyon.marisa12 (at) yahoo.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!
I was recently approached my Murmurations, an online arts and creative writing magazine, to join their team of talented writers. I’m excited to share this piece not only because it’s my first contribution, but also because it’s the first I’ve written about my own writing. A short excerpt from this piece is below, but my full article is available here- The Truth Behind My Writing. Definitely check out their blog and website, and if you’re a writer or artist, submissions are currently open for the upcoming issue!
Without the ability to sing, paint, draw, design or craft well, if at all, I accepted the fact that I was not blessed with the artistic gene. I spent most of my life thinking analytically, pursuing careers and goals within the realm of business and practicality. But that lifestyle and mindset left me unfulfilled. After the initial satisfaction of completing a goal wore off, I was left feeling empty.
I’ve always been able to write. After all, this is one of the first things we’re taught in school. Out of habit, I approached writing logically and systematically. I focused on structure and grammar, rather than emotion or imagination. With regards to art, my mind was stuck in one dimension, blind to the colorful paths that lead off course.
Yet there was always an elusively faint glow in the distance. A dim light that shined brighter as I methodically made my way down the a straight and narrow path, until it’s magnetic force grabbed hold and inescapably pulled me in….
Some inspirations to kick off a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy!! Design Your Own Life Model – Thought Catalog This article is everything I believe about our current (and past) society […]
This Week’s Internet Inspirations 1. Cover of Home (Phillip Phillips) by The Piano Guys – Wow. These guys continue to impress me with every song they release. The music is intricate, […]
For photography purposes, the photo below is my favorite I’ve taken. It may look familiar as I’ve posted it before. When actually reading the lyrics of October’s Storm by The […]
It’s Friday! And I wanted to celebrate it by sharing some things I hope will make others smile, the same way they made me. The amazingly inspiring, Kristen McKee has a […]
Some words of advice…. Quit that job you hate. Stop putting every penny into savings. Get out of that dead-end relationship. Don’t wait to start living. You can’t sacrifice now […]
I am beyond thrilled to have the amazingly talented, Ashley Sapp, as a guest blogger today. I was privileged enough to stumble upon her work and was immediately drawn to the depth […]
[Terry: Wow, what a professional website! Makes Hey Sweetheart look like a part-time thing. Oh, wait, Hey Sweetheart IS a part-time thing.]
History For Free
A great place to learn about history, government, and economics brought to you by educators.
Erik Randall is a Social Studies teacher and Department Chair at SLHS in San Luis, AZ. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in American History at American Public University.
AP World History Teacher, Cambridge American History Teacher, Education Consultant, & Contributing Author
June 19, 2013 is the 167th anniversary of the first organized and recorded baseball game (1846) as well as Lou Gehrig’s 110th birthday. Over the next few days, I will be publishing posts that analyze the importance of Baseball and Lou Gehrig in particular on American Culture. This is Part One.
In 1845, a group of middle class New Yorkers known as the Knickerbockers began organizing and standardizing the rules to a sport that would become baseball. Shortly thereafter, amateur baseball clubs and organization sprang up around the greater New York area. The outbreak of the Civil War and troop movements furthered the spread of the game, and by the 1870s professional teams and organizations were promoting baseball as a spectator sport.
As baseball spread in popularity, the game itself became a representation of American values. Promoters of the sport hailed it as a democratic institution where players act “like a gentleman on all occasions” never taking “an ungenerous advantage of his opponents.” Baseball’s sensibility and reputation was opined by enthusiasts as uniquely American, and immigrants soon adopted the game through acculturation. Its impact was felt across both class and racial lines (although leagues segregated very early on to reflect the sensibilities of society) as the sport spread through the stadiums and sandlots of America.
In times of both calm and crisis the American public has turned to baseball for entertainment. Its star players have become household names, and baseball’s imagery and language has become part of our national culture. American biographer Gerald Early once remarked, “I enjoy the game… principally because it makes me feel American. And I think there are only three things that America will be known for 2,000 yeas from now… the Constitution, jazz music, and baseball.” While baseball’s rules and scope have changed over the years, its cultural impact has remanded a constant.
Long before baseball became an organized sport in the 19th century, ball and bat games were played throughout the American Colonies. As early as 1773, Southern African Americans began playing ball games on Sundays, although participation in such games could lead to punishment. More commonly played in the North however, these games, referred to as “trap,” “townball,” or “base,” were largely informal with rules that varied depending on where they were played. Teams usually played on a square field and all batted balls were considered in play (even balls that went backward). The English game of Cricket was also frequently played in the United States throughout the Nineteenth Century. While baseball has many similarities to cricket, early baseball has much more in common with the aforementioned games. However, many of the skills transferred between both games, and often skilled players could excel at both. Historical drawings and accounts show these games continued throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries.
The year 1861 divided the nation and a great many men were forced to make the incredibly difficult choice as to which allegiance was strongest in their hearts. Men across the country made their choices for numerous reasons such as devotion to the Union, belief in the Constitution, defense of their State, the support of the peculiar institution, among others. As we look at Jubal A. Early, he represents such a man torn between two allegiances. A man who in 1860-1 argued vehemently against secession in the state of Virginia, yet ended up forsaking his military oaths of defense of the country.1 Here was a man who twice left his comfortable civilian life to take up arms for the Republic; the epitome of the American citizen-soldier so glorified during the Revolutionary War, turning his back on the flag he bravely defended only to raise the flag of the newly founded Confederacy.2 What could make a man trade flags by resigning from one military to join another?
Early was raised in the state of Virginia and therefore exposed to slavery throughout his life. Although there is no record of Early himself owning slaves (other than perhaps a servant) his extended family owned numerous slaves as part of their holdings throughout Virginia. He held that the blacks were property and that there could be no abolition of slavery because the Constitution guaranteed to protect an individuals property. “He believed the government established by the Constitution protected liberty and the sanctity of private property, allowing Americans, whether above or below the Mason and Dixon’s Line, to prosper.”3 Along this line of argument he believed that every state had decided for itself whether to be “slave” or “free” at the time of its inception and at the signing of the Constitution there didn’t appear to be any obstinate hurdles regarding the issue of slavery. “Slavery was a domestic institution and should not be subject to interference from the North in the form of ‘moral suasion, legislative enactment, or physical force’.”4 Despite being a centralist in regards to slavery, equally disliking fire-eaters and abolitionists, Early felt that the institution of slavery should not be touched by meddling Northerners.
A West Point graduate from the class of 1837, Jubal A. Early did not strike many as a commanding battlefield figure. Seeing no future in the military, Early resigned from the United States Army just a year after graduating. However short and unrewarding his early military career, Early experienced some fighting against the Seminoles in Florida.5 After his short military service, Early spent the better part of the next 15 years practicing law in his home state of Virginia. This time was broken with another short return to military action during the Mexican-American War from 1847-1848. “Impelled by his sense of patriotic submission, he accepted a commission as major of the First Regiment of Virginia Volunteers” to fight against a Mexican foe who sought to deprive the Texans of their rights.6
As leader of the Third Reich, it is commonly known Adolf Hilter advocated for Lebensreform (life reform). Chief among this belief was that members of the Aryan Race should abstain from drug and alcohol use in order to create a pure and strong race. However, at the same time Lebensreform was being advocated by Hilter and party officials like Heinrich Himmler, Nazi military men were nonetheless being fed the methamphetamine Pervitin in massive quantities during World War II.
Referred to as “pilot’s salt” or “tank chocolate” by members of the Wehrmacht (German armed forces), Pervitin was seen as a wonder drug by officials who freely distributed it to military men. The drug increased German soldiers’ alertness and endurance, and gave them confidence and euphoric feelings No member of the Wehrmacht was immune from the drugs effects: pilots, infantrymen, and civil defense soldiers, were consuming large quantities of methamphetamine by order of the Nazi high command.
The use of amphetamine was not uncommon throughout industrialized countries during the 1930s and 40s. Indeed, Dexedrine and other amphetamines would be given to allied pilots during the War to maintain alertness. However, in the 1938, German paramedical company Temmler Werke began working on Pervitin, a new drug that was structurally different then previous “pep” pills on the market. The Academy of Military Medicine in Berlin, decided to study methamphetamine to determine if it could be beneficial in combat situations. In tests, the academy noticed that subjects dosed with Pervitin were able to perform better in mathematical and memory tests in a controlled environment. As a result, 3 mg tablets of Pervitin were included in medical supplies for German military units during the invasion of Poland in 1939.
The success of the Polish invasion furthered Pervitin’s reputation as a military performance enhancer and consumption of the drug skyrocketed. As Nicholas Rasmussen notes, “In the Blitzkreig’s opening months… the German military consumed 35 million methamphetamine tablets” between April-June 1940. The use of Pervitin was not only restricted to enlisted men. Hilter, who suffered from numerous health symptoms, used cocaine and methamphetamine under a doctor’s watchful eye. On the homefront, non-military personal began taking the drug as part of the civilian effort. News of the new German wonder drug caused both wonder and concern among the Allies.
While Pervitin did produce positive effects, there was considerable concern about its effectiveness. Allied nations testing Pervitin on their own pilots, noticed that it caused agitation, restless, and impaired judgment. A widely circulated rumor told of an entire Germany infantry company surrendering to Russian forces in Leningrad after it wasted all its bullets during a methamphetamine-induced psychosis. In addition, Luftwaffe soldiers were also deemed as less effective and distracted by senior officials after methamphetamine-fueled missions garnered mixed results. It was widely documented that Pervitin produced restlessness, delusions, and insomnia for the soldiers. Withdrawal, unavoidable due to the heavy demand for Pervitin, was also painful for soldiers and may have been linked to poor military decision making and suicides by SS soldiers.
[Terry: I will add to the story of General Early by mentioning that the ferry at White’s Ferry–the only point that you can cross the Potomac between the Beltway and Point of Rocks is the General Jubal A. Early–the second of it’s name to my knowledge. It’s a proud ship even if a rather simple one. There is a cable anchored on either side of the river, the main deck of the ferry holds to the cable by pulleys and is pushed across the river by the small motorboat on the side. At the other side, they simply pivot the motorboat and head back. ]
[Terry: Also interesting is this article in the 2003 WIRED]
The U.S. Military Needs Its Speed
Recalling the American airborne invasion of Normandy during World War II in his 1962 book Night Drop, Army colonel and combat historian S.L.A. Marshall wrote: “The United States Army is indifferent toward common-sense rules by which the energy of men may be conserved in combat.”
Pilots from the Air Force 183rd Fighter Wing felt the reverberations of Marshall’s assessment — which is cited on page 3 of the Navy’s official guide for managing fatigue — last April. According to reports published in Canada, they misidentified a target during a bombing run over Iraq. Meeting with their commanders, they complained they were exhausted, that the “common-sense” rule of 12 hours of rest between missions was being ignored.
In return they got two pieces of advice: Stop whining and visit the flight surgeon for some “go/no-go” pills.
About a week later, two members of the 183rd, Majs. Harry Schmidt and William Umbach, launched a laser-guided bomb on a Canadian training force, killing four and injuring eight.
At a recently concluded Article 32 hearing to determine if the pilots should be court-martialed for manslaughter, assault and dereliction of duty, Schmidt and Umbach’s attorneys claimed it was the Air Force’s dextro-amphetamine (trade name, Dexedrine) tablets, aka speed, that killed the Canadians, not Schmidt and Umbach.
Originally used to treat asthma and other breathing disorders, amphetamines were discovered in the late 19th century. By the 1930s, their ability to stimulate the central nervous system had made them very popular as pep and diet pills. Today they are mostly used to treat narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder in children and, rarely, depression.
Military commanders, football coaches and students have turned to amphetamines for similar reasons: They can keep you fighting long after your body would otherwise give in to sleep.
However, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, serious potential side effects include psychotic behavior, depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression, violent behavior, confusion, insomnia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances and delusions. Such side effects long ago banished punch bowls full of Dexedrine from pre-game training tables in football clubhouses.
And those wonderfully accommodating university doctors, who distributed 30 “uppers” to even the most anorexic students for their exam-week “weight problem,” are likewise long gone from the dispensaries.
But the Defense Department, which distributed millions of amphetamine tablets to troops during World War II, Vietnam and the Gulf War, soldiers on, insisting that they are not only harmless but beneficial.
[One final interesting fact–one of the generic forms of Ritalin is Dexedrine and of course, Adderal (“Don’t Go To School Without It”) is a combination of amphetamine and dextro-amphetamine. but it’s always listed as “amphetamine salts” I suspect in order to make it sound a bit less dangerous]
- The History of Baseball (experiencebaseball.org)
- Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging 70’s (theopnation.com)
- A young Puerto Rican baseball player gets to see his dream team (nbclatino.com)
- Babe Ruth, THEN Lou Gehrig (bergonsports.wordpress.com)
Women should not endure Abuse
Diana Bellerose is born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria Europe, but she lives with her husband, daughter and their two dogs and cat in Seattle, WA. She has finished College in her thirties and found passion for writing about relationships obstacles later on. That is how she decided to write her first fiction novel to help woman cope in their marriage and recognize what is acceptable in a relationship and what is not.
She enjoys gardening, photography, drawing, exploring other cultures, visiting interesting places, Languages, and yoga in her free time. She is currently working on her second fiction novel.
Every Thursday 4 pm Eastern/3 CT/ 2CT/ 1pm PTLearn to Change your Perceptions and your Life by the Woman who understands better than most about Transitions, Rachel Love!Join Rachel Love and her Co-Host Dianna Bellerose Author of the Novel “Fire and Ice” every Thursday at 4 pm eastern on A2Zen.fm.Rachel and Dianna interviews some of the most interesting New Thought Leaders available. Everything from Activism- 2- ZEN, The Rachel Love Show Has It All!
Publishers in the United States have been slow to embrace augmented reality (AR), technology that lets people hold smartphones or tablets up to their newspapers and magazines and view exclusive video and other editorial and advertising content. Brands, on the other hand, have been quick to jump on the augmented reality bandwagon, according to a report by Juniper Research, which expects AR mobile apps to generate almost $300 million in revenue this year.
In recent months, at least three newspapers in Europe and Asia have signed on to augmented reality. In March, the Guardian announced that readers will be able to view its content through “a pair of web-connected ‘augmented reality’ spectacles that will beam its journalism directly into the wearer’s visual field, enabling users to see the world through the Guardian’s eyes at all times,” similar to Google Glass. The Phillipine Star, a daily English-language newspaper in the Philippines, launched an AR app on April 29 that will provide readers with exclusive videos, audio and movie trailers. In addition, The Independent in Britain, which has a daily circulation of upwards of 80,000, has launched an augmented reality app to provide photo galleries, audio, and video.
On this side of the pond, last month, Metro, which publishes free daily commuter newspapers in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia, announced that it has partnered with Blippar, a mobile AR technology company, to bring videos, coupons, online shopping and more to its readers and advertisers. I recently interviewed Robert Edmunds, director of digital for Metro U.S., about how and why it is using AR (from Blippar) on both the advertising and editorial fronts, what news value it provides to readers and advertisers, and how the company used augmented reality with its annual Sex issue. Here are edited excerpts from that conversation:
MediaShift: When did Metro start considering augmented reality, and why?
Robert Edmunds: Metro relaunched its website, metro.us, back in mid-February, and we obviously see digital media as a very, very important part of our future, as do most newspapers. We saw augmented reality and Blippar specifically as a great way to potentially drive readership from our print version to our online version, as well as it being a great tool to open the door to advertisers who we haven’t been able to see, and to grow revenue from current advertisers.
When you were doing research, did you look at other media companies that have used it?
Edmunds: They [Blippar] gave us several examples of media companies, primarily European, as well as some clients who have used it direct in the States. Once they gave us a demonstration, it was pretty clear it was something we could sell to our advertisers, and something that would also enhance our editorial product as well. What’s interesting is over a decade ago I worked for a company called Digimarc, which does something fairly similar in a way. They used digital watermarks. Back then people didn’t have smartphones; they just had regular cell phones. What you had to do was hold an ad up or a magazine story in front of your webcam on your laptop, and it would initiate some reaction or launch a URL. I’ve always been a big proponent of linking print and online.
- Augmented Reality: Coming to a Museum Near You! (edtechinten.wordpress.com)
- Augmented Reality Might Be Futuristic-the Next Big Thing (techinformat.wordpress.com)
- Anyone Can Be a Mechanic With This Brilliant Augmented Reality App (gizmodo.com)
- The next big thing in tech: Augmented Reality (news.cnet.com)
- Augmented Reality + 3D Made Easy: Rajawali + Vuforia Integration (rozengain.com)
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” ― Robert Frost
My privileges and joys are many. In the grand scheme of things, I am grateful for them all. But, in the immediacy of challenges, I’m interested in proactive approaches to solving, dealing, and perhaps even relishing in the unknown. I admittedly do not know what this blog will eventually be shaped into, but for now, it is here to hold my reflections on life as a 25-year-old in ongoing states of transformation.
Dolphin-assisted birth is a thing (and probably my most favorite thing, if I’m going to be completely honest).
Look it up. Take it in. Ponder the future deliveries in your life and how you may or may not have to jump in on this trend before it takes off. Select the pod of dolphins with whom you feel metaphysically connected. Get on the waiting list early (I hear its about as tough to snag a spot as it is to weasel your 5-year-old into uppity NYC kindergarten).
The process of dolphin-assisted birth itself could be construed as pre-emptive endangerment of your child, but if you skim over that little detail, there are some fun advantages:
1. This is a two-in-one scenario, really. Not only do you have a water birth, which is apparently a steller experience, but you simultaneously get to introduce your infant to species diversity from day one. Can you imagine what a world this would be, had Michael Vick been welcomed with open fins and dolphin cackles?
2. Dolphins embraced alternative lifestyles long before our contemporary debates on homosexuality. So, not only will your child’s first earthly encounter be the face of an aquatic creature, it very well may be the face of a gay aquatic creature, immediately normalizing same-sex attraction in the eyes of your tiny tot. Props to you for essentially abolishing the possibility that your kid will, 50 years down the line, turn into Pat Robertson.
3. You have the opportunity for some prime disney reenactments right here. Watch this video:
Posted on June 4, 2013
A cross between a bucket list and post-secret, this tumblr is my new favorite thing on the internet. An offshoot of Lean In, “What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?” is full of heart & honesty, and resonates strongly for me as a young female professional. Go check it out and submit your own! Then, go conquer those fears, girl.
[Terry: OK, first of all, having been at least in the room during a birth, I think that a dolphin would have been a distraction from all the screaming and cursing going on and very possibly have resulted in permanent psychological damage to the dolphin. Also, when I watched the video that came with the Dolphin-Assisted Birth story, I naturally though it was a video of a birth. Now, with that in mind, go back and watch that video.
Now, THAT’S what I call a delivery! ]
Official Site of Riverwood: Book 1 of The Walled City Series
J.S. Martel was born in America’s coldest populated city in the midst of a July heat wave. Fantastical creatures and noir imaginings filled her mind as a child, possibly because she is the great-grandaughter of Karl Freund, a classic horror director and the German Expressionist cinematographer of Metropolis. Her first move was to New York City where she worked at Def Jam Records in downtown Manhattan. She then worked in finance and organizational development. She spent the better part of a decade in New York City with some months spent living in Spain, Venezuela, and San Francisco before the icy siren of the North called her home. There she completed a BA from the University of Minnesota in English Literature and an MA in Art History from the University of St. Thomas. In her master’s work she focused generally on race and ethnicity, working specifically with Haitian Vodou and medieval marginal art. She currently resides in Minneapolis with her daughter and ferocious dachshund, Sam Hall.
I’ve heard that the writing process is different for each book written, and perhaps this is true. I wouldn’t know, as I’ve only written one and have sworn repeatedly to never write the second in the method of madness that characterized the first.
I started with lots and lots of character notes. I envisioned the Walled City (which, after everything, ended up not featured prominently in the first book). I thought about it a lot. I made maps and drawings and I might add that an MA in Art History does not an artist make. I ripped out many pages of magazines, anything that captured the aesthetic of Riverwood. I collaged my wall divided by different settings in my world; rolling corn fields with aging red barns and wildflowers, dramatic river valleys and vineyards, storms on the shores of Lake Superior, night in a dense coniferous forest–all those things that served as the inspiration for my fictional universe. This phase went on for months.
Then I played with a standard three-act structure, slotting in the scenes I knew I wanted to write. I had dreams, scenes and dialogue; a giant wall collage and a shaky three act structure. After a few weeks of this it was time to begin.
I started writing slowly, but soon began writing ten hours a day. I made myself read each night to keep my literary brain working and thinking like a reader. I wrote from 5:30AM to 10:30AM, I took care of my young daughter during the day and then I wrote again from 5:30 to 10:30. Then I read for a minimum of two hours. The obsession increased as the end of the book neared. Some days I wrote twelve hours or more, especially on the weekends.
Then guess what I did? Yep, slept.
I did this for seven weeks and I had a book. Or so I thought. I had a nearly 300 page draft that I circulated to readers and edited. Then I copyedited and it was done, right? I’m embarrassed to say that I did attempt to get an agent at this juncture when I clearly wasn’t ready to query. I received some interest from some great agents and I’m pretty sure they didn’t get too far before they realized that they were reading a draft, and not a final manuscript.
I spent the next year rewriting.
I deleted and added characters. I deleted all of my favorite scenes. I added new scenes I loved that didn’t match the tone of the old scenes I loved so I re-wrote for tone. I lost the continuity of the original draft. I tried to add it back in. I deleted all (some?) of those embarrassing writing quirks and that awkward way one’s hidden prejudices and thoughts tend to emerge in 300 pages of prose.
Then I did that again. And again. I estimate I’ve produced close to 1000 pages of edited writing to get to the 275 I currently have.
Finally, this past autumn I felt I was ready to query again and contacted an agent who had pulled Riverwood from the slush pile a year earlier. He agreed to look at my book again, but he then left the agency. When I wrote the agency about his departure last month they agreed to take a look at the full manuscript again.
And that is where I am today.
With RIVERWOOD out on submission I thought this would be a good time to think back through my writing process from it’s seminal moment to some of the larger themes in the book. RIVERWOOD was first conceived a few years ago during my master’s work in the art history program at the University of St. Thomas. I was lucky enough to have Dr. Nortorp-Madson as a professor and advisor during my graduate career, and not only is she an intelligent and active member of the medieval world in academia—she is also, I daresay, a not-so-closet fan of the small ribald images that were the subject of my MA thesis.
More on these later. You can find more about Dr. Nordtorp-Madson and her work here: http://www.stthomas.edu/arthistory/facultystaff/bios/nordtorpmadsonShelly.htm And her book about medieval garments, here: http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Garments-Reconstructed-Clothing-Patterns/dp/8779342981/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358730505&sr=1-1 At any rate, I credit Dr. Nordtorp-Madson with spreading the highly contagious “medieval bug.” Upon infection the imagination is seized, overtaken really, with thoughts of a beautiful and strange universe unencumbered by the cages that develop around the modern mind. Then of course, the only logical anecdote to the medieval bug (not to be confused with the black plague, red plague, bloody flux, St. Anthony’s fire, or the ague) is to spend a good deal of time letting the imagination run free—and what better way to do this than to write a novel?
Many, indeed most fantasy novels borrow liberally from an imagined and highly romanticized medieval Europe, (mostly England). There are swords, there are shields, there are princesses—the monarchy is loosely feudal, there are references to European folklore and magic, with just a hint of paganism. This is the fertile soil from which many-a fantasy novel springs. And I love this genre! But I also love the idea that authors might use additional tropes in fantasy, perhaps better reflecting our multicultural universe. This (somewhat outdated) blog post lists a few multicultural authors and books that write science fiction and fantasy from other geographic and cultural perspectives, and there are certainly a few here that I’ll add to my reading list: http://www.stacylwhitman.com/2009/07/21/book-lists-multicultural-sff-for-mg-and-ya/ Please let me know of others!
Sometimes, however, an author digs a bit deeper into the ancient world and strays slightly from Anglo-Saxon territory. The Volsunga Saga, for example, is a Scandinavian tale written in the 13th century in Icelandic prose. It draws from epic poetry and the tale itself originated in the Migration Period (about 400-800CE). This story was the foundation for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings as well as Wagner’s opera tetralogy The Ring. This finally brings us to that clever instrument pictured above called a Lur. The Lur is more than an intriguing little device nudging the imagination towards fiction. It’s a wind instrument that has been found deposited in pairs into bogs from the early first millennium, and the bronze version above was found from 1500-500 BCE. Fifty-six pairs have been found (mainly in peat bogs) in Scandinavia. There are cave drawings of people playing this captivating instrument!
This brings me to a most exciting topic about the first millennium—the Viking Expansion! More on this in the next post as it re
lates directly to my first thoughts about RIVERWOOD a looooong four years ago.
[Terry–Cool. My Dad was a professor of Old English which meant we had all the same stuff around the house: Runes, Vikings, Tolkien, Etc.
He left a recording of a bit of Beowulf in Old English, http://creativeworks.byu.edu/chaucer/ViewItem.aspx?id=OR039
as well as some Chaucer, Rude Rood, etc.
Hmm. That used to be Dad’s voice but I guess now you have to buy it.
His grave (in Nether Providence, PA) is actually a runestone, courtesy of his wife, Judith Moffett.
Also, oddly enough, one of my old college classmates was/is the only vodun priest in training in the US http://www.haverford.edu/publications/Spring01/Spring.pdf page 25
Brooklyn Museum | Phillip Jones Griffiths
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Times Square at 11 PM on a Friday night is how I imagine it will be during the apocalypse. A gross slice of humanity confined to a small, brightly lit area. Everyone’s releasing the panic pheromones that we’d only previously associated with farm animals moved toward slaughter on a conveyor belt.
After navigating street-level and making it on to an N train, here’s how the scene looked:
There was a 3-some of Georgie moms speaking loudly about leaning to walk in New York City, then shoving people shouting “getting off!” as they exited.
An interracial shouting match that contained a lot of words like “respect” and “rude.” The other passengers watched the zingers fly back and forth like a tennis match.
A family with a gaggle of dirty children literally screaming with sugar-induced excitement.
A goth changing her piercing with [presumably] newly purchased hardware.
One other normal couple grasping each other’s hands waiting for the end to come.
- #80: 77th St 6 Train & The Histrionics | Last 100 Swipes (getmerewrite.me)
- Welcome to a new friend: Last 100 Swipes (getmerewrite.me)
- #91: Herald Sq & Double Rainbow (getmerewrite.me)
- Amazing Adirondacks! (sherrconsultingblog.com)
- The Adirondacks | 10 Surprising Facts & One Bully Video (unofficialnetworks.com)
- Moose in the Adirondacks (essexonlakechamplain.com)
here and there
Here I am in Perth writing about why I love this city. There I am, exploring the world
Hi there! My name is Gemma. I like scratching the surface and finding places that are a bit unique. I am notoriously haphazard which makes life pretty interesting. I love cosy bars in winter and open skies in summer.
When I am not blogging I work in Marketing Communications.
About the blog
For lack of a better definition, let’s call it lifestyle and travel. The ‘here’ part is all about the great things happening in my home town of Perth, Western Australia and the ‘there’ part is tales from my travels.
I have spent a fair amount of time overseas with the majority of the travel posts from my 2008 backpacking trip through Europe, 2011 sojourn in New York City, 2011 Rotary exchange to Portugal and 2011 Mediterranean adventure.
I hope this blog will help anyone who is looking scratch the surface and uncover something a little different on their travels.
It is hard to miss the giant ancient wall that surrounds the Croatian city of Dubrovnik and the longer I spent in this breathtaking city the more I realised of its role in shaping the city to what it is today.
My trip to Croatia was a sporadic one, I literally booked my flights and accommodation the day before I arrived and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had booked an awesome hostel in a prime location in the old part of the city (inside the wall).
Most people will recommend home stay accommodation when visiting Croatia as they are cheaper and can be more culturally authentic but as I was travelling solo I was a bit more safety conscious and looking to meet some travel buddies.
My hostel was called Fresh* Sheets and can be tricky to find but the instructions on their website are spot on. Upon arrival I was greeted with a smiling face and a shot of locally made pear schnapps, this was my sort of place!
Well I’m brunette and I’m a little obsessed with caffeine. What can I say? I’m addicted. I also love hopping into little cafes, the atmosphere mostly draws me in. That’s where A Caffeinated Brunette came in.
My grandfather came over from Sicily and opened two restaurants in Hartford which were featured in the New York Times and other places. There, my mom learned how to become an amazing Italian cook. Growing up, my parents loved going out to dinner and still do. I guess you could say my love for good food, wine and travel is in my blood. As an only child, I was always around adults and learned to try everything set in front of me. This has now followed me to my twenties with a love of food, travel, and trying different restaurants, cuisines, and new experiences whenever I can.
I am finishing up my senior year in college as a PR major and Marketing minor. This past summer I worked for a wonderful airline in New York City where I was able to travel almost every weekend to a new place with a new experience. I am that person that takes pictures of my food and I love to write about my experiences and share them in hopes someone else will find a love of traveling and trying new things like I do.
Welcome to A Caffeinated Brunette, feel free to share your experiences with me, I love to get recommendations. If you’re looking for a specific place, head on over to my categories on the side of my page or send me an email.
The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are -Samuel Johnson
Through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey my Beautiful and Handsome readers, As some of you know it’s about that time for me to graduate from college and I’ve been running around as madly as the mad hatter lately. It’s also been lovely out and I … Continue reading
Welcome to MMCC, Inc.
Let’s strengthen your future! Together we can make a difference in the future of your business.
Mary Arlington helps clients achieve upscale service and creative marketing to strengthen their future and exceed the expectations of today’s customers. Today is also the best day to start drawing in tomorrow’s customers.
Mary assists companies improve the cohesiveness of their teams, whether your ‘team’ is employed staff, family members, dues-paying members, or a volunteer board of directors.
Mary brings energy, hope and encouragement to those who seek it.
Let Mary show you how to use true and tried means of yesteryear with today’s tools and tomorrow’s opportunities. Begin now to strengthen your future!
She offers one-on-one or group training, she embraces the roles of moderator, motivator, evaluator, and much more. Her services are further explained on the Assisting Your Business page.
Mary cares about your growth, easing your load, and getting the word to the right audience about your programs, services, and products! You can read more about Mary’s motives on the About Mary page.
Hi, it’s Mary writing this, and I’m so pleased you stopped by this page to learn a bit more about me.
I bring to you the skills, talents, knowledge, motivation, networks, connections, drive and passion to take you to rewarding levels.
My faith motivates me. I believe we should help one another on the journey we’re each walking, so if a gift of mine (or lessons from my journey) can help you, then let’s team up and work together! Inside of me is a little light, and I’m here to let it shine!
Prior to the business consultant chapter in life, I owned and operated an overnight camping facility in rural Kansas. When I started that chapter of life, the place was an older and poorly-rated RV park, but in time my team and I were able to turn it into an upscale facility with ratings among the top 8% of all parks in the country.
I catered to about 10,000 people each year, helping them rejuvenate their weary selves for the next day of travel. Travelers from all over the country (and beyond) found a safe haven at my place after long hours driving RVs (well, some were in cars or on motorcycle or even bicycle!).
Over the years I have been an executive director for a non-profit organization, sat on local, regional and national boards for non-profit organizations, and participated in and chaired numerous committees.
Although I am rural by choice, I am city born & bred! I was born in New York City and graduated from high school near Washington D.C. My career has had me living in Seattle, San Diego, Cleveland, and in suburbs of Dayton and Cincinnati. I’ve been a avid tourist much of my life, and I understand city, urban, and rural lifestyles.
Having sold the campground, I’m now offering my gifts from above to help you with your business. It is true; no man is an island. Too, the wheel doesn’t need to be invented again and again. What I carry within me from my business life, if it can be of assistance to you, then let’s make something of it.
Business is business. Although mine was a campground, much of it is applicable to all small businesses. I’m passionate about helping small businesses:
- Connect with their audience,
- Link with proper industry connections,
- Feel unity among their employees,
- Market their products, and
- Grow in ways pleasing to all.
77th stOn Saturday, I accidentally cut the top off my third knuckle, which I questionably treated at home. By Sunday, I called a friend, “Would you mind stopping over to look at this cut on my hand to tell me if you think I should go to the hospital?” His response was great, “If you’re even asking me that question, you should go to the hospital.”
I took the 6 train to 77th on the Upper East Side for a trip to the Lenox Hill ER. UES, you are a caricature of your own worst stereotype. It was like all the NYC hypochondriacs and histrionics got together for an attention-fest at Lenox.
The one woman who I thought was dying, turns out just had a sore shoulder. Three more people came and went on my other side. When I overheard / eavesdropped, they were each treated with 2 Advil and an afternoon’s rest.
My bloody hand and two stitches were the most dramatic thing to happen all day. I could have sold tickets to the suturing as an afternoon matinée.
- #79: Union Sq & Break It Down (last100swipes.wordpress.com)
WRESTLING with my newspaper on the subway recently, I noticed the woman next to me reading a book on her smartphone. “That has to hurt your eyes,” I commented. Not missing a beat, she replied, in true New York style, “My font is bigger than yours.” She was right.
We have every interest in seeing that publishers remain sustainable enterprises and that authors are paid fairly for their work. But those economic imperatives must be considered alongside the role of libraries in a democratic society. The challenge is to ensure that the information revolution provides more, not less, access for the public — including that subway rider.
- 8 Things You Don’t Know About Great Gatsby – Thanks Phylis F. Johnson (getmerewrite.me)
- E-Books, Democracy, Groucho (librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com)
I created The Reporter and The Girl blog to journey among life’s most uncertain and abysmal path when forming love-lust-hate relationships.
I’m in my mid–twenties and have moved back to New York City after 6 years of term papers, tailgate parties, and three day weekends, on all 4 corners of the United States and abroad. Now that I am semi-permanently stationed in the Empire State and in my white-collar/blue jeans career; I thought that I could venture out and make a romantic connection.
I’m a 28-year-old Photographer living in Baltimore Maryland. I have love and hunger for life and its unexpected joys. I spend most of my free time if not all, going blind trying to capture the beauty of the Sun and the Sky that holds it. I love to uplift friends and family with positive messages of inspiration. There’s so much hate and evil in the world, that sometimes we may doubt if there is enough love within humanity. That’s why I wanted to make Cloud Lounge. A safe, calm, peaceful and positive place, where any and everyone is welcome. A place of hope and perseverance for us all. I myself first hand know how it is to be told I can’t, won’t or that I’m not good enough. So lets start looking at life as we can ,we will and we can’t be stopped.
Welcome to the Lounge