It’s been a quiet week on the homestead. After two weekends of city adventures, I’ve laid low, cleaned house and wrote and read like the Cancerian introvert that I am. There’s all sorts of astrological craziness happening: beautiful things like Grand Sextiles, but crazy oppositions between key planets happening in my house of partnerships. There’s definitely manifestations of it, so I’m kind of just hiding out till I can get through the rest of July. (Is anyone else in this phase of “let’s just hide until this damn month is over”?) But, y’know, I’m good, life is good and my book is meandering in the world, making friends, which I am so happy about. Lovely Keight Bergmann wrote it up in her booklog at Uncapitalized, and I was stoked beyond stoked when Grow author Eleanor Whitney in NYC! Excited to see my book back in its spiritual home, you know? Anyway, these are the beautiful things I’ve squirreled away to read in my little Midwestern refuge.
+ Haifaa al-Mansour is Saudi Arabia’s first woman feature film director — a remarkable achievement in a country where cinemas are banned. “Wadjda” is about a rebellious 11-year-old girl who wants to buy a bike in a country where women aren’t even supposed to drive. Needless to say, her own country isn’t showing the movie, but it’s being screened at fests around the world, and is getting award attention. This one’s on my radar! The Economist has a great little Q&A with her.
+ File this under “ravishing visual beauty” — Open Culture did a post on Salvador Dali’s illustrations of “Alice in Wonderland.” You can see the full slate of Dali’s work over at Retronaut — they’re gorgeous and hallucinatory.
+ I’ve had my eye on adding the new novel to my list of summer must-reads; Sarah McCarry at superb blog The Rejectionist has a Q&A with the author Stephanie Kuehn, and it’s a great one. (I also can’t wait for Sarah’s own book as well!)
+ Writerly types, Esme Wang (a former nogoodforme.com intern!) did a great post on winning writing grants. I’m not a grant-applier myself (I just don’t see anyone wanting to give grants about nutty books about 19th-century perfume makers or teen skater werewolves, you know?) but I know a lot of people who read this blog write literary fiction, and this could be up your alley!
+ I always read big-picture touchy-feeling stuff and one of the pieces of advice is usually “MAKE A VISION BOARD!” whether it’s for money, career, love, whatever. But sometimes you’re just basically vision-boarded out, you know? They take a long time to assemble and put together, and sometimes, if you’re like me, you just end up with lots of pictures of clouds and shoes. Anyway, Smart Cookies did a post on making a targeted, focused vision board that does its job and gets down to business.
+ Finally, I have to shout out my own Tumblr, because, you guys:
Don’t want to click? Okay: