Archive for August, 2011

Back To School

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That first day of school is almost here!  Get your poetry fix AND make hitting the books fun with’s jazzy alternative to boring bookmarks.

Size and Substance

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My friend Cristina recently launched an awesome new blog, Size and Substance:  Smart Women Speaking Out About Body Image.  She does author interviews, event coverage, book reviews, news commentary–good stuff!  Check it out!

Election Day


My friend Jen–aka Fern Ronay, lawyer and CPA turned writer/reporter/blogger–has been nominated for Chicago’s Most Valuable Blogger Award.  Take ten seconds or less and vote for her here!

“We bare our souls and tell the most appalling secrets.”


One of my teacher friends spent part of the summer in Massachusetts, where she visited Orchard House, home to Little Women author Louisa May Alcott.  My friend told me that Alcott, known to her family as May, would write for fourteen hours a day in the little room given to her by her parents as a writing studio.  Because everything was written by hand, May trained herself to write with her left and right hands.  Being ambidextrous meant that she could write for hours on end without experiencing the pain of writer’s cramp.  If you look at samples from her writing notebook, you’ll see the difference in her handwriting when she switched hands.

Talk about dedication.  It’s so easy to forget how lucky we are to have technology at our fingertips–we can save multiple drafts, type, delete, email work to friends instantly, e-query… could we be living in a golden era without even appreciating it like we should?

Related to Alcott, Orchard House is having a 5K in September that runs through historic Concord, Massachusetts right when the leaves are changing colors.  Beautiful nature, running, and literature… what could be better?

Happy Belated National Book Lovers Day

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So apparently yesterday was National Book Lovers Day (found this out from fellow writer friend Sherri Phillips–check out her awesome blog). I just missed it.  That’s okay, though; you can still love books year-round!  To celebrate,, albeit somewhat ironically, ran a feature on Ten Great Movies for Book Lovers.  As a huge fan of English-y, teacher-y, book-y films, I fully intend to flesh out my Netflix queue with some of these titles… and to continue (belatedly) loving books.  This week’s picks are The Kite Runner, The Wednesday Sisters, and Two Girls, Fat and Thin.  I also never realized how enchanting the haiku can be.

July Isn’t Over Yet

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How awesome is Miranda July?  Seriously.  A writer, actress, and visual artist, she rivals James Franco as the Renaissance Artist of our time.  I was perusing her website when this stuck out to me.  Essentially, July had an evening at the 92nd Y where she had audience members exchange names.  Then, she filmed each audience member delivering a compliment to that specific person–a compliment that the person always wanted to receive herself.  You’d think such a compliment would seem insincere, but I think it encompasses a larger element of humanity–the desire to connect and be understood.  I’m totally inspired after watching this… check it out!

For someone named after one of the hottest summer months, Miranda July is super cool.