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27 Jan Intentionality

There aren’t really any unbreakable “rules” for writing—or for that matter, for life. But this is a good one:

Intend every word you write.

Its corollary for life-in-general, of course, would be intend every thing you do.

Harder than it sounds.

The blog post by Eric Cummings on intentionality (yes, there really is such a word) in writing that got me started thinking about this is here, on one of my favorite blogs, Write to Done.

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03 May The Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood

My beloved Pre-Raphs are usually referred to as “The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood,” even though there were women peripherally associated with the group—the poet Christina Rossetti; the model, poet and artist Elizabeth Siddal; the model Jane Morris, the artist Marie Spartali Stillman; the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron come to mind. Here, however, is a way-cool website that turns the whole concept around:

The Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood

…and focuses primarily on the women involved in, and inspired by, the Pre-Raphaelite movement. The site is full of tidbits (a “Lady of Shalott” film!) and dozens and dozens of gorgeous images. I often call myself a Post-Pre-Raphaelite, and this site is definitely going on my must-read list. When I “see” scenes from my writing, I almost always see them as intricately detailed, color-saturated, intensely romantic Pre-Raph-style images.

I suppose you could say (as Alec Baldwin does in those funny Hulu commercials) it’s just the way I roll.

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01 May Support Your Local Indie!

Indie Bound!Today is Buy Indie Day, and if you want to play, go out and buy a book—or two or three—at an independent bookstore near you. If you can’t make it today, well, according to the delightful Shrinking Violets, the whole month of May is Independent Booksellers Month. So you’ve got plenty of time. Write it on your calendar.

I have a couple of nearby independent bookstores I like to browse. One is Legacy Books in Plano, kind of the mother ship of independent bookstores, where one can easily spend the day and never notice the time passing. Another is The Book Carriage in Roanoke, which has a cozier vibe, a lot of local events going on, art by local artists displayed for sale, and fabulous espresso. Not quite a book store per se but still a member of the ABA and a breathtaking place to visit: the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. There is a book store in the museum, and I am presently lusting after Art and Love in Renaissance Italy, the magnificent catalogue of the exhibition of the same name, presently mounted at the Kimbell.

More later this week on The Book Carriage, and more later this month from Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. Stay tuned!

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24 Apr May It Please the Court…

No, not that kind of court. A law-and-lawyers kind of court. I found this linked this morning in a Twitter tweet by Karen Essex, author of the wonderful Leonardo’s Swans, and it absolutely made my day.

“May It Please the Court” by Maira Kalman.

When something has delightful, quirky drawings and starts out with “In ancient Mesopotamia…” I’m hooked. Now I have to find a copy of the version of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style that Kalman illustrated. It has a basset hound on the cover. Clearly it was meant to belong to me.