Welcome to this Saturday Edition of What We’re Writing and Reading.
We’re taking a little detour on the weekends now to share some of what we’re up to with our writing (when we’re not here) and what we’re into with our reading (around the web). We’ll also pull back the curtain a little to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what went into a piece.
We hope you enjoy this little diversion and encourage you to share your own posts and picks in the comments.
Happy writing! Happy reading!
Jamie Wallace: Between the Labor Day holiday, my daughter’s return to school, and an intense (in all the best ways) discovery meeting with a branding client, this week was pretty darn busy. In fact, I’m shocked that it’s Saturday again already! (How does that happen?!?)
Happily (for a change) the weekend ahead is free of client deadlines. The only writing I’ll be working on is a couple of blog posts and my local column. I’m torn between writing about the change in the seasons and the mommy mosh pit that is the parent pick-up line at my daughter’s school. Other than that, I’m hoping for some quality reading time and some down time with my beau. (My daughter is with her dad, conquering a local corn maze.)
Before I hunker down at the coffee shop to write or curl up on the couch with a book, here are a few random thoughts and items from my week of literary work & wandering.
What I’m Writing:
The column I shared this week is about one of my favorite fall activities – walking the beach. I’ve never been much of a bathing beauty in the traditional sense. I’m not drawn to the beach in the summer – all those people, all that heat. It’s just not appealing to me. But, give me a beautiful autumn day at the shore and I’m a happy girl. In Finally – fall. Beach season is here, I muse on what makes off-season at the ocean such a magical place.
I also had a feature piece published in my local paper. It won’t have much relevance beyond town borders unless you are a history buff or an architect, but if you fit either of those descriptions you may find it of interest. I live in a small town just north of Boston. We are famous for fried clams, our gorgeous beach (ten miles of pristine white sand), and first period homes. There are more first period homes in my little hometown than in any other town in the country. My daughter and I currently live in a three hundred year-old antique that is a living piece of history.
Friends of mine have formed a non-profit group to rescue and renovate endangered buildings of architectural or cultural value. The feature I wrote is about their first project, relocating and restoring the Glover’s mill building from the 1800s.
On the business side of things, I completed the first draft of copy for a high-concept sales booklet about an industrial energy management product and did the discovery and prep work for a creative brief and messaging framework for a finance client. Both projects were a lot of fun – creative and full of new possibilities.
What I’m Reading:
While I didn’t have much time for long-form reading, I am still chipping away at a couple of novels (which I’ll share later). In the meantime, I’m indebted to my writerly friend Tracy Mayor (fabulous and funny and on Twitter @mommyprayers) for turning me onto a great new site called Full Grown People (The Other Awkward Age). The site just launched this week, and if the first few essays are any indication, it’s going to be a keeper.
The project comes from writer and editor Jennifer Niesslein. Niesslein and her business partner Stephanie Wilkinson were partners on the wonderful parenting magazine, Brain, Child (the smartest parenting magazine I’ve ever read) until they sold it last year. With this new project, Niesslein explores the stories of “full grown” people. From the about page:
I founded Full Grown People because I find comfort, empathy, and intellectual stimulation in reading other people’s stories.
The topics here run the whole gamut: romance, family, health, career, dealing with aging loved ones, and more. But what draws everything together is the sense that we’re all feeling our way along. There are a gazillion how-to books on all of these subjects, but I’ve always been interested in the how-come.
If, like me, you often find yourself with only a few minutes to read, you may enjoy tapping into these essays. I particularly enjoyed Katy Read’s piece about running off to Europe with her two sons. Her writing in My Best Stupid Decision is the kind of writing I love to read, even though it can also make me want to give up writing because it’s so damn good.
Oh, and by the way, the site accepts submissions.
And let’s not forget the blogs. Here are a few of my favorite writerly posts from this week:
- Joan Didion on keeping a notebook via @brainpicker – I love keeping notebooks, but I’m not always sure why. Didion’s thoughtful and honest exploration of the practice was very interesting to me.
- Dutch Treat: Ten rules of writing by P.J. Parrish via The Kill Zone – Great tips.
- Twitter Profile Picture Hall of Shame by @FeldmanCreative via @MarketingProfs – Even if you’re not on Twitter, this is a very funny read. Seriously, some people haven’t got a clue.
- ‘Click to Tweet’ for Authors: Create Tweetable Quotes on Your Blog by Molly King via @BookBaby – Handy tip to make it easy for readers to share your best quotes
- Stunning, Tiny Paintings Found on Vintage Books via the Huffington Post – Just because my bookish heart loved these hidden treasures.
Finally, a quote for the week:
And that’s all for now.
Happy writing & reading. Have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you on the other side!