Jumpstart the thought process…

Graphic courtesy of facebook.com/friesenpress
Graphic courtesy of facebook.com/friesenpress

I hate the word “flow,” I really do. But sometimes when you follow the above advice, the words just flow onto the page. There’s a good chance you’ll delete most of those words later on, but you’re in a much better position than simply staring at the screen, trying to force a vision that won’t come.

Famous writers on writing

“You don’t write because you want to say something. You write because you have something to say.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

SOURCE: http://10cities10years.com/

“Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them.  Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.” ~ Truman Capote

SOURCE: http://www.harrysbarvenezia.com/truman_capote.htm

“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”   ~ Anais Nin

SOURCE: http://summeranne.tumblr.com/

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

SOURCE: http://www.listal.com

“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org


I stumbled across this Tumblr during my daily traversing through the  Internet, and was caught by the bright colors and the interesting blog title, “Bookfessions.” I love blogs that combine good, simple design with a really clear purpose. This blog is  all about “confessions and/or thoughts of a book lover, bibliophile, book addict, reader, lover of literature, nerd.” The author also accepts submissions from readers.

Below are a few of the “bookfessions” I can particularly relate to. Which are your favorite?

Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition


Remember this post?

(Actually, I’ll be seriously impressed if you do.) “Classics & Cocktails” was one of my first, written shortly after I turned 21 in Toledo, Ohio last summer. I was bored and lonely in my apartment one day, flipping through some classic literature I’d taken out of the library. I felt like going out, but my fellow interns were working the night shift (we often had opposite schedules) and I had no one to have a drink with.

So naturally, I decided to Google my favorite authors’ favorite drinks and write a post about it.

Classic literature and classic cocktails: what a perfect combination.

Well over a year later, at a book sale at work the other week, I found this gem. Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition by Lesley M. M. Blume, a journalist and author based in New York City. The cover drew me in initially (isn’t it preettyy?) but the content pushed me to buy it. It’s basically an entire book of classic cocktail recipes, along with humorous anecdotes about each one, bits of history, quotes and poems.

The Chicago Tribune called it “a charming slip of a book…that quite deliciously and convincingly has the romantics among us pining for the ways of the dearly held past.”

Definitely my kind of thing.

My favorite page. Poets Dream: for a “literary” slumber.

In Ms. Blume’s introduction to the book, she writes:

“It’s great fun not only to revisit the stories behind the creation of these cocktails, but also to imagine the millions of narratives caused by drinking them. The following libations caused faces to be slapped, tears to be shed, babies to be made, fox trots and the Twist to be danced, marriage proposals to be uttered (and perhaps rescinded,) and so on.”

She continues, more seriously:

“The people who drank these drinks during the heights of their popularity did so for the same reasons we guzzle today’s trendy cocktails: to celebrate, to escape, to drown sorrows, to feel bigger, to feel glamorous–or feel nothing at all.”

As tongue in cheek as most of the book is, it also touches on the deeper theme of why people drink, why socializing over alcohol has persisted so strongly throughout history.

For now, Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition is tucked neatly into my bookshelf. But as soon as I have my own apartment in a city, I’m going to make use of this book and hold an epic throwback cocktail party, unapologetically artsy and decidedly literary.

Either that, or I’ll go find a way back to go back to the grandeur of 20s nightlife, Owen Wilson style.

Fictional Cheers, Hemingway.


Summer reading that isn’t ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

As of last Wednesday, I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey. Took me all of about a day, ish. I couldn’t get my hands on a copy for awhile (I’d been on the local library’s waiting list for forever) and finally one of my good friends who loves the series was kind enough to buy  me the first novel.

I’m not going to take a stand for or against the series, whether it’s too explicit etc. etc., simply because I don’t feel strongly either way. It was definitely an entertaining read, and I flew through it. What I find really fascinating though is that the trilogy is “poised to become one of the fastest-selling series in recent years, with 20 million copies sold in the United States and 31 million worldwide since March,” according to an article by CNN a few weeks ago. It’s hard to sell books. That’s a lot of books.

Still, I probably won’t go out of my way to read the rest. I do think a summer reading list should be more substantial than just Fifty Shades maybe topped with The Hunger Games— if you’re interested in beefing up your bookshelf, this diagram from Teach.com is great for pointing you in that direction.

SOURCE: Teach.com

Small finds: Pickwick Book Shop

Searching through the stacks at Pickwick Book Shop.

I took a short ride with my family to Nyack, New York yesterday and was pleased to find there a used bookstore called “Pickwick Book Shop.” This place was literally OVERFLOWING with books– stacks upon stacks upon stacks, some so high they were out of reach. And lots of nooks and crannies everywhere, the way I imagine a book shop should be.

Nyack-Piermont Patch calls Pickwick Book Shop “one of the last great used bookstores.” According to Patch, the owner, Jack Dunnigan, used to shop at the store as a child, and bought the place in 1975. It has been open since the 50s.

I really loved looking through the book shop, especially trying to pick out the older books from the piles. I ended up buying a 1963 edition of “Prefaces to Shakespeare: Antony & Cleopatra and Coriolanus,” as well as a few vintage-looking cards with images of New York City. The place actually reminded me a lot of the famous Shakespeare and Company in Paris, except I have the sense Pickwick is much less organized. I wonder how (and, frankly, if) the owner keeps track of all this inventory!

If you’re ever in the area, or on the hunt for first editions, I’d suggest you check this place out. Just make sure to leave yourself an hour or two!