Dear Followers:

Thank you for sticking by me for nearly 3 years.

I realize I’ve let you down for the past year because I’ve hardly posted. My blog is about writing and its many benefits, but I can honestly say I never fully understood them until I wrote my novel.

Now in the editing stages, it is a whopping 57,684 words. It took me every bit of the past year to complete it.

I’m moving forward with my writing career and I invite you to follow me at my new blog, where I write under a pseudonym.

http://amandawhitewrites.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/my-pseudo-pseudonym/

Thank you for your support and I hope you’ll continue to follow me on this journey.

Dear Followers:

Thank you for sticking by me for nearly 3 years.

I realize I’ve let you down for the past year because I’ve hardly posted. My blog is about writing and its many benefits, but I can honestly say I never fully understood them until I wrote my novel.

Now in the editing stages, it is a whopping 57,684 words. It took me every bit of the past year to complete it.

I’m moving forward with my writing career and I invite you to follow me at my new blog, where I write under a pseudonym.

http://amandawhitewrites.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/my-pseudo-pseudonym/

Thank you for your support and I hope you’ll continue to follow me on this journey.

"My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky."
Alan Moore

Good talk, Perez.: Literary Cat Names →

killitlionjesus:

confessionsofthediarist:

I’ve been toying with the idea of literary cat names for a while. Here’s what I’ve come up with, and I’d love for you to submit your own to be featured on the blog!

  • Louisa May Alcat
  • F. Scat Fitzgerald
  • The Great Catsby
  • Oscat Wilde
  • Gabriel Garcia Marcatz
  • Lewis Cattol
  • Truman Catpote
  • Jonacat Swift
  • John Catsham
  • Acatha Christie
  • Aldous Catsley
  • Cormac McCathy
  • David Baldcatci
  • Edcat Allen Poe
  • Ernest Cattingway
  • Flannery O’Catter
  • Franz Catka
  • Holden Catfield
  • J. D. Catinger
  • Zora Neal Catston
  • Nicholcat Sparks
  • Mitch Catbom
  • Maurice Sendcat
  • Margarcat Mitchell
  • Joseph Catrad


I can’t believe she forgot the great

  • Margaret Catwood
  • Suzanne Catlins
  • J.K. Meowling
  • Douglas Catams
  • Meowchal Crichton
  • George Bernard Claw
  • Ray Catbury
  • Emeowly Dickinson
  • Herman Mewville

    and
     
  • Jack Keroucat 

Nice additions!!

Literary Cat Names

I’ve been toying with the idea of literary cat names for a while. Here’s what I’ve come up with, and I’d love for you to submit your own to be featured on the blog!

  • Louisa May Alcat
  • F. Scat Fitzgerald
  • The Great Catsby
  • Oscat Wilde
  • Gabriel Garcia Marcatz
  • Lewis Cattol
  • Truman Catpote
  • Jonacat Swift
  • John Catsham
  • Acatha Christie
  • Aldous Catsley
  • Cormac McCathy
  • David Baldcatci
  • Edcat Allen Poe
  • Ernest Cattingway
  • Flannery O’Catter
  • Franz Catka
  • Holden Catfield
  • J. D. Catinger
  • Zora Neal Catston
  • Nicholcat Sparks
  • Mitch Catbom
  • Maurice Sendcat
  • Margarcat Mitchell
  • Joseph Catrad

I have no idea why I do it, haha. But if you were looking for something literary to name your cat… Well, you’re welcome.

I can’t decide if I think this journal is a wonderful or ludicrous idea. 
Symbolically, Jack Kerouac’s On The Road is quite apropos for a journal.
What happens when I start writing in it could go one of two ways… Either prying eyes will not be suspicious because they’ll think it’s a novel. Or I’ll just so happen to meet someone who loves Kerouac and will insist on reading me a favorite passage, only to find it’s not On The Road at all.
What do you fine literary folks think?

I can’t decide if I think this journal is a wonderful or ludicrous idea.

Symbolically, Jack Kerouac’s On The Road is quite apropos for a journal.

What happens when I start writing in it could go one of two ways… Either prying eyes will not be suspicious because they’ll think it’s a novel. Or I’ll just so happen to meet someone who loves Kerouac and will insist on reading me a favorite passage, only to find it’s not On The Road at all.

What do you fine literary folks think?

Facebook Stories, memories, dementia, and another reason why I write

I’ve always been interested in various storytelling projects—Arc Light Stories, PostSecret, One Hello World, and others—but I’ve recently found another that is just fascinating…

It’s fairly easy to see the connection between keeping a diary and these storytelling projects. I like to think of these projects as a different kind of diary. However, this new storytelling project is different… And I aim to offer both praise and critique of the method.

The new storytelling project is Facebook Stories. Before I begin, it’s necessary to watch this video to see what I’ll be addressing…

First, I want to commend Facebook Stories for seeing the great storytelling opportunity that Facebook provides. I personally think it’s brilliant. Social media has helped start revolutions in the Middle East, connect old friends one might have otherwise lost touch, get Betty White on SNL, among other feats, and Facebook has not been excluded from this list.

While I certainly agree that Facebook can and is being used in extraordinary ways, I worry about the guy in the video and him reconstructing his memory with it. It’s wonderful that he has Facebook as a resource, but I’m concerned if he’s relying heavily upon it.

Here’s why… When you keep a diary, those are YOUR memories of your life. If he asks people “Do I know you?” and they relay their memories of him back to him, those are THEIR memories of him. When I go back and read my diary, I relish in the ponderings I wrote that I honestly just never thought to share with another person. They’re not anything secret, they’re not anything I have to hide. To anyone else, these thoughts might be so mundane they’d wonder why I bothered to write them. But they’re important to me.

No one could ever remember your experience of an event the way you do. No one could possibly know the depth of your thoughts at any particular moment, especially those moments where you are spellbound by the majesty of life. While other people might be able to help you remember the inside jokes, the parties, the concerts, the school days, the vacations… They can never tell you how you felt or what you were thinking while creating these memories.

I can honestly say that one of my worst fears in life is losing my memory. But if I do, I feel confident in the fact that I’ve kept journals for long enough and written enough in depth that I’ll be able to fill in the gaps if anything should happen.

It’s interesting that I just now found this video and Facebook Stories. A few months ago I found out that my great-grandmother, who will soon be 94, is suffering from severe dementia. Things are getting worse. She saw a photo of me as a child and didn’t realize it was me even though I was sitting in front of her holding the picture. She calls me by my mother’s name and asks me if I remember going bowling with her in the ’60s. She tirelessly repeats the story (like it just happened) of the day I was born—her own 72nd birthday—and how she hobbled to the delivery room because she had a swollen sprained ankle. A few weeks ago she had some cancerous places cut off her face and was instructed to keep a medicated cream on the spots… She can’t remember that she had the places removed and thinks the cream is for her feet…

I can’t help but wonder if things would be different for her if she’d kept diaries her whole life. She is still able to read—in fact, last time I visited I found her reading an antiquated medical reference book. She said she was reviewing for her nursing certification exams. Needless to say, it’s been over half a century since she was a nurse. I wonder what, if anything, would change if she could look back on her life, through her own eyes and remember things as she lived them instead as we constantly repeat to her.

Dementia is genetic and I can’t help but wonder if that will be me one day—pouring over a novel, studying it as if preparing for an exam; writing a story I’d already written and published decades before; forgetting the names and ages of those who love me; being the last living among my friends; wondering where my late husband is…

Some may think my great-grandmother’s existence now is a sad, unfortunate, or pitiful one. But I don’t think so. I think she led a full life. I only wish she could remember just how full it was.

Life decision made…

While it has always been my dream to write a novel, and I will, I’ve officially decided to dedicate my career primarily to being a journalist.

I was able to make the decision for good yesterday. I got an email from my boss early in the morning saying I didn’t have to come in to work—a rarity for a Monday. So I thought about all the ways I could be spending my day…

At some point or another, I thought,I should write another chapter of my novel!But I never managed to get around to it. Instead, I spent the day reading journalism blogs, Googling journalism terms (pica pole, Storify, Klout Score, etc.), and worrying about how things were going at work.

I heard a quote a while back that went something like this…

If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.

I don’t know who said it, but it stuck with me. I realize that my mind goes to journalism when it wanders and I do creative writing when I feel like it. I still love creative writing and at my core I know I will fulfill my dream of finishing my novel and ranking on the NYT best-seller list. But having now worked regularly in journalism for the past 3.5 months (essentially a semester), I’ve realized that journalism is what I truly love to do.

This decision was further corroborated today when I realized I’ve found my journalistic niche… I really like community politics. Not who’s running against who and what his or her platform is, but the politics around education, street art, local business rights, and other things that affect the day to day community living of an area.

Here’s the article I wrote today. I always have great days at work, but today was really, really great.

Read the article here. Can you tell there’s passion behind it?

Favorite Used Bookstore (revised)

At the time I wrote my last “favorite used bookstore” post, I hadn’t yet met my real favorite used bookstore.

Bookstores, like books, contain all sorts of mysteries, they’re hiding in unsuspecting places, and just when you think you’ve seen them all, there’s one that surprises you.

I was quite surprised when I found Reed Books. My editor sent me to interview the owner, Jim, on historical preservation in Birmingham.

I was enraptured after merely opening the door. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall books, books, magazines, newspapers, sheet music, and more books. My eyes were immediately drawn upward to classic movie posters, cartoon masks, past presidential candidate signs, and art deco statues.

When he greeted us (“us” being me and my co-worker, Lauren-Michael), it took several seconds and few double takes to find Jim amidst the waves of treasures from times bygone.

I thought I might have difficulty holding my attention because I’m an avid reader and I was surrounded by books while I was supposed to be listening to Jim. But I quickly realized this wasn’t going to be my average type of interview.

He’s had a bookshop downtown for the past 32 years. And if being in the same place making a living off something you’re invested in wholeheartedly in a city you love for that long doesn’t give you magnificent insight, I don’t know what does.

I won’t go into too much detail, but you can read the article if you like.

In a matter of moments, Reed Books became my favorite bookstore. Its allure of the store is not only the wide selection of unique books, but also Jim’s inviting spirit.

So if you’re ever in Birmingham, Alabama, drop by Reed Books. You might find me there shopping or updating the store’s social media sites.

Favorite Used Bookstore (revised)

At the time I wrote my last “favorite used bookstore” post, I hadn’t yet met my real favorite used bookstore.

Bookstores, like books, contain all sorts of mysteries, they’re hiding in unsuspecting places, and just when you think you’ve seen them all, there’s one that surprises you.

I was quite surprised when I found Reed Books. My editor sent me to interview the owner, Jim, on historical preservation in Birmingham.

I was enraptured after merely opening the door. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall books, books, magazines, newspapers, sheet music, and more books. My eyes were immediately drawn upward to classic movie posters, cartoon masks, past presidential candidate signs, and art deco statues.

When he greeted us (“us” being me and my co-worker, Lauren-Michael), it took several seconds and few double takes to find Jim amidst the waves of treasures from times bygone.

I thought I might have difficulty holding my attention because I’m an avid reader and I was surrounded by books while I was supposed to be listening to Jim. But I quickly realized this wasn’t going to be my average type of interview.

He’s had a bookshop downtown for the past 32 years. And if being in the same place making a living off something you’re invested in wholeheartedly in a city you love for that long doesn’t give you magnificent insight, I don’t know what does.

I won’t go into too much detail, but you can read the article if you like.

In a matter of moments, Reed Books became my favorite bookstore. Its allure of the store is not only the wide selection of unique books, but also Jim’s inviting spirit.

So if you’re ever in Birmingham, Alabama, drop by Reed Books. You might find me there shopping or updating the store’s social media sites.