Emily Dickinson: In a Library.

book store with antique books

My daughter gave me a book of poems of Emily Dickinson. This morning I decided to read one. It just so happens that it was a good one for other writers.

In a Library. 

A PRECIOUS, mouldering pleasure ‘t is

To meet an antique book,

In just the dress his century wore;

A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,

And warming in our own,

A passage back, or two, to make

To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,

His knowledge to unfold

On what concerns our mutual mind,

The literature of old;

What interested scholors most,

What competitions ran

When Plato was a certainty,

And Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,

And Beatrice wore

The gown that Dante deified.

Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,

As one should come to town

And tell you all your dreams were true:

He lived where dreams were sown.

His presence is enchantment,

You beg him not to go;

Old volumes shake their vellum heads

And tantalize, just so.

The truth is I don’t spend any time in a library anymore. If I do, it’s to go to the kid’s section. When I read her description, I picture the library at Hogwarts, frankly, which is a far cry from any library I have had the pleasure of frequenting.

I have to wonder if libraries like this even exist in the real world anymore. They do, of course, but they are likely to be private. The public library in New York is pretty nice, I guess. On the Sex and the City Movie (the first one, otherwise known as the “good” one), Carrie Bradshaw loved the library, described the smell of the books, and even scheduled her ill-fated nuptials there. From what I saw of the library in the movie, it looked more like what Dickinson described.

Now that I think about it, Dickinson likely was talking about a private library anyway. In her time, public libraries were likely few and far between. I’m not a historian and am even too lazy to look it up on Google, but my gut tells me her description was of a wealthy friend or colleague’s private collection.

However, the idea of charming libraries isn’t what spoke to me in this poem. What drew me to the poem was the idea she traveled to the time of the authors she mentions as she read. In that way, I relate. Stephen King in his book “On Writing” talks about the way we can communicate through time and space with our writing. I couldn’t agree more;  this communication is one of the many reasons I love to read and to write.

As writers, it is our duty to transcend the now and reach forward to tell our stories to the future audience. What is on your screen today could grace the pages (or tablet screens) of your audience in the future. Ask yourself what you want to say to those readers. What is the picture you wish to paint for our time today, or the time of which you are writing? We paint these images with our words as only we can, with our unique perspective and interpretation. These images are our responsibility as artists.

We have a responsibility as writers to recreate the images of our time with our words, to transcend time and space with our readers.

We have a responsibility as writers to recreate the images of our time with our words, to transcend time and space with our readers.

May you communicate through time and space today with your audience, who may or may not be walking the Earth as we speak.

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Things You Never Knew about The Little House on the Prairie Books

la-la-ca-1124-laura-ingalls-wilder-018-jpg-20141126

I read “The Little House on the Prairie” books voraciously when I was a young girl. Camped out on my red patchwork bedspread in leg warmers under my Michael Jackson’s Thriller poster, I poured through the series, my eyes starved for the next fascinating anecdote about roughing it in the untamed midwest. This series of books is as much a part of my childhood as the Muppets or the Atari 2600.

So when I read this article on latimes.com, I was surprised to learn some of the interesting backstory about this important series. First of all, I was surprised to learn her daughter edited the series (or maybe wrote it, although Rose Wilder Lane said she just “edited” her mother’s work). Then I was surprised to learn the Ingalls had been in Iowa for a time. Even more surprised to hear half-pint stood up to a drunk uncle and fended off lecherous and criminal advances…I am a little thankful that part was left out of the books!

For more fascinating and eye-opening facts about The Little House series, read the article for yourself.

“The Reality Behind Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ‘Little House’ Books.

Life Lessons from Shel Silverstein

Everything on it

I have always been a fan of Shel Silverstein. Since my first read of, “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” I have admired his work. I learned many of life’s lessons on his stark and gritty pages.

Last night, while reading with the kids, I came across this beautiful poem, a jewel amongst the snarky rhyming couplets and occasional illustrated bottom:

Happy Ending?

There are no happy endings.

Endings are the saddest part,

So just give me a happy middle

And a very happy start.

From: Every Thing On It

You can chalk this up to another life lesson learned from Silverstein. It’s not the end that we look forward to when it comes to life. It’s this part here in the middle that matters, warts and all. I am thankful for my middle…and all the people that give it joy.

May you have a very happy middle and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Storytellers Restore Order

“They will rejoice. They will sing. In movie houses all over the world, in the eyes and hearts of my kids and other kids, mothers, fathers for generations to come, George Banks will be honored. George Banks will be redeemed. George Banks and all he stands for will be saved. Maybe not in real life, but in imagination.

“This is what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.”

 

— Walt Disney, from Saving Mr. Banks

by  Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith

 

 

Being Alive is a Grand Thing

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly despairing, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to BE alive is a grand thing.”

 

— Agatha Christie, from “An Autobiography”

 

 

Why You Need to Hire a Writer

Woman working online

Everyone thinks they can write. Chances are if you went to school or read a book every couple of weeks you probably can.

But the time it takes you to write is another story. That time you spend trying to remember the rules of grammar that are as dusty as the AP Style Guide you bought in college that’s still lurking on your shelf is time you could be using running your business or doing what it is the that you do best.

I am a writer. That’s what I do best. Whether it’s fiction, a blog post about something technical or a marketing piece about how great a widget you have when compared to the competition, telling stories is an area where I excel. Yeah, I know, bragging is tacky…but modesty isn’t really what gets you noticed when you freelance.

For the past four years, I have written about everything from infertility treatment to marketing for funeral homes to how to organize a garage. I’ve written brochures about Pilates, Printing Services, and Online Banking services, to name a few. One thing that all of these projects have in common is that my clients, who were perfectly capable and qualified to write these things themselves hired me to do it for them so they could go on about their business.

Your time is valuable. Each day that you spend doing activities for your business or your employer’s business earns you an hourly wage, whether you are paid by the hour or not. When you spend 2 hours writing a web page or a blog post, you spend that money whether you bill yourself or not. That’s two whole hours that you could have been calling that lead, researching that new supplier, or developing the next latest and greatest widget that the world has ever known.

So the reason you need a writer is simple: Your time is too valuable to spend writing your marketing, fiction or blog post. Outsource it.

There are a number of ways to outsource. You can contact me, of course (and I hope you do). But there is also Elance.com, where you have your pick of writers all over the world who are just waiting by their keyboards, ready to go. Also, you can just Type in Google, “Hire a Freelance Writer” and you will get pages and pages of writers available to free up your time so you can get back to work on your business.

Chances are that you can write your own project. Chances are it will probably be pretty good. But at what cost? Don’t waste your valuable time when there are a number of professional and affordable outsourcing options that are just a call or click away.

What will you do with the time you free up by outsourcing?

 

cropped-2013_0109_006-1.jpgTerri Lively is a career marketing professional that has unique experience in the areas of messaging and client relations. She helps professionals that want to grow their influence and enhance their content for publication. For the past 15 years, she has been helping her clients create marketing materials that effectively communicate their message and get results, across all types of media. More about Terri can be discovered at http://www.terrilively.com.

 

 

Being a Writer: Expectations Vs. Reality by Lenora Epstein, Buzzfeed.com

 

Being a Writer: Expectations Vs. Reality by Lenora Epstein on Buzzfeed.com

 

Just a little levity in the form of humor a little too close to truth to be entirely comfortable to get our weekends started off right!