A stunning example of the power of the spoken word. Speaking out against sexism and a really brave personal perspective.
A friend posted this on facebook, and it struck a few major chords with me: both as a woman and as a poet.
As a poet, I have been away from the culture of poetry for some time, sucked away by the everyday. As a woman, there is such tragedy and truth in the words, not necessarily for every woman, but definitely for more than enough to be acceptable in contemporary western society.
A few of Lily’s words as follows:
“She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.
Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional.
As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast.
She wanes while my father waxes. His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry. A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”
A full transcript can be found here.
The ever excellent Buzzfeed has sent published some awesome examples of book cover clichés for our entertainment. The range covers both self-published and traditionally published titles. Rather embarrassingly, quite a few are from the publisher I currently work for (*hangs head in shame*).
I am particularly tickled by the ones that use exactly the same image (case and point above). Just thought I’d share
It has been a long while since I last posted, many apologies to all. Especially to those who had begun to make reading my blog a habit. I had a cold that dragged on and on, and by the time it was done, I had completely fallen out of the blogging habit. And so followed the usual pattern of good habits being hard to make, and especially hard to remake, so here I go…
But on the front of the procrastination station of non-blog writing on my writing (which by the way has been moving steadily forward, like an iceberg into the Titanic, but more on that later), my beloved BF sent me this inspiring article in Slate on how Kafka was one of the truly great procrastinators, and it has given me a spark of hope. Procrastination may not be all bad… alternatively, I could try getting the BF to tie me to my writing chair akin to Italian author Vittorio Alfieri, pictured above. I have not yet ruled that one out entirely.
This week, we spotted a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad book cover for Stephen King’s The Shining over at the Guardian. It seems especially unfair for such a modern classic to be saddled with such an ugly cover, and so we were inspired to search the Internet for the worst covers to ever sully the faces of great books, whether at home or abroad. Peek through your fingers at a selection of them after the jump, and if we missed your (least) favorite, add it to our collection in the comments.
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In furtherance of another article I wrote on Writing Routines, a friend recently sent me an article with several different author’s writing routines. It’s always nice to see that everyone has the same struggles and tribulations with writing.
“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”
I think that it’s a mistake I often make: to write until I run out of ideas on where my current scene is going. Although this is a natural break, it does mean that when I sit down again to continue, I have no idea of where to go. It may be time for me to start on some Hemmingway pragmatism.
(From her diary in 1977)
“Starting tomorrow — if not today:
I will get up every morning no later than eight. (Can break this rule once a week.)
I will have lunch only with Roger [Straus]. (‘No, I don’t go out for lunch.’ Can break this rule once every two weeks.)
I will write in the Notebook every day. (Model: Lichtenberg’s Waste Books.)
I will tell people not to call in the morning, or not answer the phone.
I will try to confine my reading to the evening. (I read too much — as an escape from writing.)
I will answer letters once a week. (Friday? — I have to go to the hospital anyway.)”
This diary entry really struck home, because it looks like it could be an extract from my diary (subject, of course, to revisions for things like “letters” (What are they again?)). Nonetheless, I saw my own struggles in Susan’s. Writing is a very solitary pursuit, and it’s good to feel that you’re not actually alone in it. The blog helps of course, but so do these lovely little snippets.
As I was driving on my way home from Wales last weekend, I came across a rather romantic sounding name on the map – Wolfscastle. A tiny place in Pembrokeshire, Wales that sadly doesn’t quite correspond to this photo. I looked at the map and then at this stunning view and realised that Wolfscastle is actually the name of a nearby town, not the picturesque pile of rocks that I was looking at.
I really enjoyed the blissfully short while was convinced that this amazing, hauntingly beautiful and wild rocky tor was so aptly named. It’s situated upon an isolated hilltop, surrounded by moss and lichen-covered stones, brambles and heather. Faeries live here, I’m sure of it.
Seeing it, I felt like I had stumbled across a place in Rhye in my book Four and Twenty Blackbirds. My photographic skills sadly does not do the place justice. I’m still not entirely sure what the name of this wonderful faeire spot is. In my mind it will always be Wolfscastle. Colour me inspired. I’m just itching to write.
I even received a credit in their sidebar (thank’s guys!) – check it out.
Haruki Murakami isn’t everyone’s fitness guru, but Moshin Hamid, the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and more recently How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (great title btw) advocates Murakami as the man who inspired him to exercise first, write second.
In an interview with The Paris Review, Murakami said:
“writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.”
The Atlantic Article where this was highlighted to me informs that “Murakami… transformed himself from nicotine-stained wastrel to marathoning meganovelist, [and] urges writers to prepare for novels like contestants gearing up for the Hunger Games.” Moshin has said that it was following Murakami’s advocation that gave him the drive and energy to move forward with his writing.
This really struck a cord with me, as I find that exercise really does help my mind to work better, so Mr Murakami really does have a point. I have linked the two activities together, but perhaps I should dualise my exercise and writing routines. This reminds me that I really need to get on the case with exercising my body as well as my mind. I only have two weeks left to train for the Where’s Wally 10km fun run, and I am way behind.
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