Under the big umbrella.

Thoughts & sundry on writing, books, and other kinds of comfort food.
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September 13, 2013 at 2:28pm
4 notes

Writing & travel.

I always feel like a writer—a real writer—should be well-traveled. Should have been to Paris at some point, or sipped tea in Morocco. Or whatever.

But I’ve never traveled. Being relatively poor, I haven’t had the opportunity. I’ve never felt like a real writer. (Shh. That’s a secret.)

BUT. Now I get my chance.

Tomorrow, I leave for a service project in Jamaica, where I’ll be working with tiny deaf children. I don’t know quite how to feel about it yet—some part of me is quite certain it will be a Milestone, but I don’t know what that necessarily means.

However, everyone I’ve talked to who’s been on a trip like this says it changes you. 

But will it change my writing?

August 14, 2013 at 8:03pm
3 notes

Cormac McCarthy’s Three Punctuation Rules →

"McCarthy stresses that his minimalist approach works in the interest of maximum clarity."

May 6, 2013 at 9:37pm
1 note

Don’t be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.

— 

George Saunders

Is this good writing advice?

April 30, 2013 at 8:30am
0 notes

What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.

— 

Kobayashi Issa

It’s spring. Breathe it in.

April 23, 2013 at 10:11am
4 notes

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome.

— 

Derek Walcott

That day will come.

April 8, 2013 at 10:17am
2 notes

When one is striding bravely into the future, one cannot watch one’s footing.

— Elizabeth Peters, in the voice of Amelia P. Emerson, who might just be my favorite literary character ever.

March 10, 2013 at 9:30am
19 notes

They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild beast has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”

— The Bible; Genesis 37:19-20 (NSV)

February 22, 2013 at 10:55am
0 notes

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”

— 

"In the Desert" by Stephen Crane.

It’s Friday, y’all. Who’s writing this weekend?

February 20, 2013 at 8:23am
3 notes

I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.

— 

Jorge Luis Borges

What has made you who you are, as a writer or simply as a human being?

February 14, 2013 at 8:53am
0 notes

You will never forget… the light leaking in, widening—light like a quilt of gold foil flung out so it will drape all of this, will keep and keep it well—and it is so bright now, you can hardly bear it as it fills the door, this immense glacier of light coming on, and still you do not know who you are, but here it is, try to remember, it is all beginning:

— 

B.H. Fairchild, “The Memory Palace”

Happy Valentine’s Day. :)

February 12, 2013 at 8:30am
2 notes

For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.

— 

John Milton

Write a book. Live forever!

February 8, 2013 at 8:46am
1 note

In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.

— 

John Grisham (whose birthday is today).

Have you found your voice?

January 7, 2013 at 2:02pm
5 notes

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.

— C.S. Lewis, of course.

December 26, 2012 at 9:08am
1 note

Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.

— 

Gustave Flaubert

I’ve felt it a few times in my life—those rare sweet times when your writing is pure inspiration, fusing light and dark and pulsing past anything that has ever been written before.

It’s like a runner’s high for writers, and the hopes of attaining such a state is one of the reasons I continue to write. 

Have you ever melted the stars with your writing?

December 13, 2012 at 9:01am
0 notes

bucket list reading.

Hey there friends.

OK. I don’t know a lot of people who read poetry for fun. And honestly, now that I’m no longer a college student majoring in poetry… I really don’t either.

But I want to. I still love poetry. And I feel like I should be reading it. As writers, we all should. Pulitzer Prize winning writer Amy Lowell sums it up beautifully:

We should read poetry because only in that way can we know man in all his moods — in the most beautiful thoughts of his heart, in his farthest reaches of imagination, in the tenderness of his love, in the nakedness and awe of his soul confronted with the terror and wonder of the Universe.

So. In pretty much the opposite of Farenheit 451, the government (well, the Library of Congress, to be fair) has compiled a pretty fantastic list of poems—and links to read them.

Give one or two a try. Some of my favorites are on there. Maybe yours, too.

It’ll make you feel better. And think better. And write better. Promise.

Image via mil8.

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