Browsing Tag

Writing

Monday Muse

Anias Nin

Anias Nin at work in Los Angeles, 1963

Anias Nin at work in Los Angeles, 1963

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anias Nin

I’m not gonna lie, I first heard of Anias Nin through a Jewel song. Yeah, that’s right, I actually still have a soft spot for Jewel, but that’s a story for another time… Right now, let’s talk about the iconoclastic Ms. Nin. A prolific diarist, novelist, and writer of erotica, Nin’s self-reflective, deeply honest prose is remarkable for the way it all at once captures the essence of her era and the influential literary circles she ran in while remaining timeless. I mean, isn’t it uncanny how her words above ring so true today and yet you could probably imagine them having been written back in the Elizabethen Era as well?

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Monday Muse

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling mixing prints and birds like the pro she is

When I think about the kind of woman I want to be as I move into the next stages of my career, lots of amazing role models in television come to mind, but no one quite inspires me like Mindy Kaling. Not only is “The Mindy Project” one of the most watchable shows out there right now, but Kaling is a bona fide #girlboss who unabashedly demands competence from everyone she works with and never apologizes for what she wants. As someone who spends a bit too much time making sure the people around me are happy and feel heard, I could certainly afford to channel Kaling more often. As she puts it: “I love women who don’t ask, ‘Is that okay?’ after everything they say.” You know what I’m getting at, right..? Is that okay?

On a purely creative level, I must also note that Kaling inspires me because her writing manages to all at once keep it real and make me feel good about the world I live in…

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Inspiring Tidbits, Monday Muse

Eyes Off You

Maya Angelou photographed by Taylor Jewell

Maya Angelou photographed by Taylor Jewell

I was not a fan of Maya Angelou when I first read her work as a persnickety pre-teen who had an inexplicable distaste for memoirs, but in the years since her words have often touched me in moments when I’ve been in need of inspiration and reassurance. Upon second reading, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings became one of my favorite books, and what woman amongst us has not somehow been moved by her poem Phenomenal Woman? Of the many Maya Angelou quotes filling the interwebs today, the one I find most moving right now is…

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”

-Maya Angelou

In fond (albeit sometimes fickle) remembrance, I am feeling very grateful for Maya Angelou’s turns of phrase on this day. I hope she inspires you in a similar way as well.

Image source: Pinterest.

You might also like:

Inspiring Tidbits

Languid Language Loveliness

On a good day, writing feels as magical as screaming into a blasting fan on a sticky linoleum floor in the dead of summer

As I wade through a sea of deadlines, very little pay, and the labyrinthine bank of escalators that may or may not one day lead me to a successful career as a writer, I find it’s vital to take a step back every now and then to remind myself why it is I do what I do in the first place. It can be so easy to forget and to get caught up in the stresses (and, heck, even to toy with quitting because of those stresses), but when I give myself a moment’s pause I’m always reminded it’s love, innocence, and dreams that are at the core of what I do, not what’s waiting at the top of this pesky elevator bank. Since it’s such a good exercise to think about this kind of stuff, I figured I’d share just a few more of the reasons why I write…

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Inspiring Tidbits

Trouble for Women

Stack of Nora Ephron books photographed by Shelly Gross

It still boggles my mind that one of the most inspiring and influential female voices of our time, Nora Ephron, died last week. Not so long ago I would have quickly deleted that word “female,” thinking it was an insult to any artist to qualify her/his greatness by a gender, but now that I’ve spent a good deal of time pondering what Ephron’s work has meant to me, I realize celebrating the femaleness of all she leaves behind is actually a great compliment. After all, Ephron spent her career fighting her way to the top of some very male industries just so she could tell stories about women, for women, and by women. The femaleness of her blockbuster movies, such as “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “Julie & Julia” has in fact drawn women and their dates to theaters for decades, and these stories hold a very prominent place in the romantic ideals of me and almost every other gal I know. As an adolescent, teenager, and young woman, Nora Ephron’s flicks taught me to demand more for myself out of life and love, and I would dare to say her rom coms stirred something far greater in me than any art-house film ever has.

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Inspiring Tidbits

Be So Good

“Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You” print

Do you ever find yourself searching for shortcuts along a journey you actually love, or looking for really simple answers to the most complex, important questions of your life? I know I’m guilty of this manic scouring/doubting/short-cutting far more often than I would like…As a writer, I am constantly trying to figure out how to “make it” and wondering, “Am I giving myself the best shot at success by doing this project, or should I work on that other one, or that other-other one that just might exponentially up my odds?” These daunting questions are all based on the idea that there is some secret to success – that if we get all our ducks in a row in exactly the right way, we will find an audience and a steady income for our lives’ works. And, this assumption is in some ways true – making solid connections in our fields and putting our work out there definitely positions us for success – but unless there’s substance, talent, and a whole lot of hard work to back up all our networking and scheming, it’s unlikely we’ll go very far. In fact, I think the following piece of advice expresses this better than I ever could…

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Sweet Nothings

LARKSTORM Cover Reveal

“Larkstorm” by Dawn Rae Miller, cover art by Sarah Marino

You are now one of the first people on the planet to see the cover of Dawn Rae Miller’s debut young-adult novel “Larkstorm.” When the characters and epic love stories of this book are famous, you’ll be able to say you saw this glimpse of the cover first – yeah, that’s right, you saw it even before this hauntingly beautiful image hit the presses. Pretty rad, eh?

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Inspiring Tidbits

First Drafts

Remington typewriter and a powder-pink carnation by Karin A Photography

“The first draft of anything is shit.”

-Ernest Hemingway

There is so much beauty and poetry in the creative process, but most of what makes a piece of artwork truly shine is quite ugly. There are the dark eye circles from sleepless nights, the paint-stained floors, the shower-deprived bodies, the uncontrollable twitches of over caffeination, and – of course – the cold sweats we all break into when we realize a project we’ve just spent months on is nothing short of abysmal. What’s worse is, when we all get to this point – and, yes, we all get here – we think we are alone. We think we are the only ones incapable of taking a brilliant idea and transforming it into a stunning work of art on the very first try (or at least we think we’re the only ones incapable of making it into a passable first draft that has some flaws but still sparkles with undeniable potential). The truth is, however, very few first drafts of anything capture the passion that went into creating them; or, as Ernest Hemingway once said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in the knowledge that I’m not alone in this and that even Ernie is right here with me.

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Inspiring Tidbits

Finding Beauty

Doesn’t this whimsical image of a girl blowing glitter from the palms of her hands just make you love life?

Each Tuesday I share a new snippet of inspiration with you, and – even though this is often the highlight of my week – I sometimes worry that I sound like a broken record. For this reason, I began writing a very personal post a while back that attempts to explain why all these minutely different pieces of inspiration are so important to me, but every Tuesday I run into a minor snag (a.k.a., my fingers refuse to hit that pesky little “publish” button). Sharing painful, embarrassing, and deeply personal things with the entire interwebosphere is scary after all, and this is my admission to you that I get very scared at times. Despite the fact that my personal (and likely overwrought) post will remain unpublished on my desktop until the day when I muster up enough courage to share it, I simply can’t let another week go by without talking to you about how much the pursuit of beauty and inspiration really does matter in my life.

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Inspiring Tidbits, Monday Muse

Dolly Does It

Dolly Parton performing with her guitar back in the day

“You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”

-Dolly Parton

Have I ever told you how much I adore Dolly Parton? Embarrassingly enough, this infatuation started while watching an episode of American Idol several years back in which the contestants performed only songs that Ms. Parton wrote. As a Yankee, I was astounded by how many of the songs I actually knew and was further blown away when I learned Dolly has written more than 350 songs over the course of her career. The more I found out about this iconic singer/songwriter, the more I yearned to be as prolific as her in my own work and emulate the quality of poetry she has brought into the world (albeit through my own art form). Whenever I ask myself the million-dollar question of how exactly one goes about doing this, I recall one of my favorite Dolly quotes: “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”

Continue Reading

You might also like: