Filed under Gallery

Goodbye, Gallery

Drinking pints on the corner in Dublin, Ireland
There's more to life...

I've reached the point of oversaturation. My mind is so outrageously full that I really can't take any more in—nor do I want to. If you're in a state like this, you might know what I'm talking about. Advice articles. Productivity tips. The over-foisted "don't compare yourself to others" flag that's being flown all over the internet. Discussion about how to write/paint/photograph/sing/becomeaperfectbeing! I can't read any more of that. I really can't.

I've been feeling this for a while now, but it hit me last night, as I prepared to round up my favorite articles for today's gallery post. I've got news for you: there's not gonna be one today. It's become clear to me that the types of articles that I've become, in a way, addicted to are actually keeping me from everything I want to do. I want to be more creative in my life in many ways. So I've been reading about how to do that. And taking instruction from others. I want to write more and better. So I've been reading about how to do that. You see the problem here, right? I'm reading about how to do these things instead of doing them! I know I'm bringing up a point that probably many other people have been talking about (gadgets and the internet are being bemoaned and have been for quite some time), but this is the first time it's really hit me. I've thought about it in the past and agreed that I'd like to spend more time doing and less time reading about it, but this is the first time it's hit me like this. I'm done with all the internet rifling, the bored crawl from link to link. This is not how I want to run my life any more.

That being said, these gallery posts are going to be fewer and further between. I'll continue to mark things that truly interest me and share them when I gather enough, but I'm no longer going to hunt these out. If lovely web pages come to me so I can share them with you, fantastic! But I don't think it's serving either of our times well to read article after article on how to do the things we want to do, when we should just be out there doing them. This is my personal decision, but I encourage you to try a bit of this and see how you like it. I'm hoping that in recapturing the time these articles rob us of, we can begin to create our lives. 

Love and creative vibes,

Gallery: Self-Publishing Need-to-Knows, Sassy Margaret Atwood, and Writing Contests!

Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland
Trinity College!

There's something in the air that's giving me a hunger for moar books. I cannot get enough right now. Do you go through that from time to time? I've been through one book and then another, and I've had to have the logic-talk with myself about why it doesn't really make sense for me to start a whole new library here in Dublin. Sigh!It might be the crisp September air, or maybe all that back-to-school jazz that we're swimming in at the moment, but I'm on a reading bender, and there's no end in sight!

★ Would you ever self-publish? It seems like it might take a certain personality to really embrace that route—a personality much different than the stereotypical "writer" we think about. Read about these things to know before you self publish if you don't believe me!

★ Where have you been stashing all your fairytales?! These folks want all the magical tales you can conjur.

★ Margaret Atwood gets sassy when talking genres.

Horror/terror and “literature” are not mutually exclusive. In fact, tales of this kind may be among the most “literary” that there are, being both very ancient, and – unlike, say, social realism, in which a real tour of a real meat-packing factory may be involved – derived entirely from other tales.

★ And speaking of Margaret Atwood, I missed her in Dún Laoghaire on Tuesday! THE HORROR. It turns out they've got quite a nice literary festival that I had no idea about, called the Mountains to Sea Book Festival. It's still going on, but I've missed all the events I'm interested in. DRAT.

★ A coterie of contests. (Writing ones, that is!)

Devouring books like,

Gallery: Absurdity for Increased Intelligence, Dream-Building, and New Salinger Books!

Latte at 3FE in Dublin Ireland
Autumn = more coffee, right?

Here we are, slip-sliding into that glorious transitional phase between summer and autumn! Can you feel it? That wonderful hum in the air? Do you smell the wood smoke and the turning leaves? Fall is coming for us, and I hope you're as excited as I am! Per usual, I've already started listening to my autumn playlists which, if I'm honest, aren't playlists at all but are more like Frank Sinatra and Vince Guaraldi on repeat. I actually do try to hold off, but it's hard to resist a favorite time of year, isn't it? And really, I can't be the only one who's starting to check out literary halloween costumes, can I? Come on!

★ If absurdity increases learning, this might be the reason why I love Alice in Wonderland so much!

★ YAY! Salinger fans, rejoice!

★ Language has always seemed to hold magical properties, and many cultures around the world have known this for ages. We're now proving the power of language with good ole science.

The study demonstrates a deeper connection between language and simple sensory perception than previously thought, and one that makes Lupyan wonder about the extent of language's power. The influence of language may extend to other senses as well.

★ Would you send books to prisoners?

★ This type of advice is never lacking, but these particular writing-tip lists are good, and some good for a laugh.

★ I love to hear about people chasing and creating their dreams! The moral of the story? When tackling your big dream, take it one room at a time.

Even if you're still in a summer kind of feeling, I hope you're enjoying whatever weather you've got. Get out there this weekend! Soak it up!

Gallery: Bookless Libraries, Astronomical Van Gogh, and Hating on Strong Female Characters

Dalkey Ireland hike near the Obelisk
Last weekend's hike near Dalkey was *gorgeous*. I want to live on a hill by the ocean!

It might be official:the sun has gone and we've plunged into Joyce's Dublin! Today is the first gloomy day we've had here in Dublin, and I'm ready for the cool edge of autumn to come on. It's such a great time of year to start getting involved in readings, lectures, and full-on reading sessions, and I can't wait! I've been holding back on my fall traditions, but sooner or later, my madness will return and I'll be deep into the likes of For Whom the Bell Tolls, Anna Karenina, or another of my autumn favorites!

★ Read Salinger's first story featuring Holden Caulfield. New Yorker, I love you for your archives!

Texas is opening a bookless library?

Starry Night is such a classic, but this version of Van Gogh's famous painting made of photos taken from the Hubble Space Telescope is amazing!

★ Gender in fiction (and elsewhere) is always huge topic, and this article on hating strong female characters has an incredible amount of insight. Not kidding!

★ I hate to admit it, but I have read only three of these seven books that (supposedly) will inspire you to be a better writer. How many have you read?

If you're still living it up in the warm summer weather, enjoy it! Autumn can wait, no matter how much I love it.

Happy weekend!

Gallery: Literary Fashions, Kinesthetic Communication, and Hitchcock Statistics

Foggy downtown San Francisco, California
Foggy San Francisco

Some surprises can be so amusing.I rarely look at analytics or tracking for Keep It Lit, but out of curiosity, I checked into some of the more standard metrics yesterday and actually laughed out loud at what I found. Among the other search terms that lead people here, someone has been finding Keep It Lit by searching things like like napkin, shark week puns,and mad libs shipwreck. Hah! I love you guys!

★ A bit old, but check out these literary fashions! I like that Middle Earth map-dress. Yes, I do!

★ Louise Androlia has something to say about waking up:

What makes you happy? live inside it, work at it, mould it into your dreams, people will be drawn to your ideas and your ways YOUR WAYS, you don’t need to be understood by the whole world if you can work out how to see yourself.

★ Fascinating how our gestures can reveal or fill in gaps in comprehension.

★ It's been a bit of a rough week (sleep-wise) for me, so these ten ways to get happy are right on the money. More sleep? Don't mind if I do!

★ 25 Steps to Being a Traditionally Published Author cracks me up, but beware: cursing!

★ Murder, he wrote? Alfred Hitchcock would've been a whopping 114, and here's a load of murderous info-stats on his work. After that, maybe check out Hulu for Alfred Hitchcock Presents. (I'm completely addicted.)

★ I completely agree with this article: You Don't Need to Go Back to School. There are so many resources in the world to teach you what you need. Don't get into crushing debt just to learn something you can get elsewhere, for a better price! (I say this as someone who adored school. Don't hate!)

★ Check out these haunting illustrations of Irish myths. I love them!

I have just a few words in closing: Villa Bamba, Arctic cloudberry, nixie pixie party. Oh, and dirndl.

Happy weekend!

Gallery: Hotel Libraries, Wanting to Write a Book, and History's Forgotten Women

Pints on the corner in Dublin, Ireland
The weather remains good but occasionally rainy. Weather has never featured so heavily in my daily conversation. Hah!

What happened to July?! Wasn't it just here? I really can't believe that it's August, mainly because that means I've been in Dublin for a month. Unbelieveable. And just as we're beginning to feel at home here, we'll be whizzing back to the States this weekend and then boomeranging back to Dublin seven days later. Long flights aren't my favorite thing, but I'll be checking out a few new ebooks from the library so I have plenty of selection without the heaviness factor. Maybe this time, instead of watching Game of Thrones for eight hours straight, I'll get some reading done!

★ I'm thrilled that after 10 years of hard work, one of my favorite writers and human beings, Courtney Maum, will be published soon with Simon & Schuster. YES.

Collaborate in real-time with your writing partner? I don't have any co-creating projects at the moment, but this is worth checking out!

★ " “It’s a new luxury item,” she [Jenny McKibben] said of books." Um, yeah they are, when books are appearing in your five-star hotel!

★ Philippa Gregory kept me up to all hours the other night. I can't get enough of her works and her focus on history's forgotten women is fascinating.

★ Best productivity hack ever: READ MORE.

★ Smush your face up toward some Van Gogh paintings. Appreciate a zoomed-in look at these famous paintings.

★ The hulabaloo about JK Rowling's outing as crime novelist Robert Galbraith is dying down, but here's a great take on what Rowling's pseudonymous experiment might mean for publishing.

★ A few bad words, but an on-the-money statement of what writing a book is.

It’s for this reason that “wanting” to write a book is not enough. It’s not therapy. It’s not an “experience.” It’s hard f***ing work.

★ How do you feel about self-publishing? Would you do it? What if self-publishing means a best-seller?

There's something about the newsstand magazines in an airport that just mesmerize me. Do they do that to you, too? I'm always so tempted to snap up a bunch of them, despite the fact that they bore me to sleep once I read them. I'm more of a book person, but what about you? What reading material gets you through hours of flight?

Gallery: Abandoned Books, Nocturnal Creativity, and 130 Years of the Brothers Grimm

Gorgeous architecture and flower boxes in Dublin, Ireland
Oh, it's grand!

This week, I'm pret-ty happy about ★ writing schedules and french pressed coffee ★ smartphone note-taking on the fly ★ sunshine in Dublin! ★ visitors from overseas midday cafe excursion along the canal ★ Grimes ★ upcoming travel plans ★ ubiquitous flower boxes ★ taking on my goals list ★ Gelly roll pens that leave sparkles everywhere ★ online ebook checkout from my local SF library (love!) ★ blogstalking my sister ★ an abundance of chèvre!

★ Did you read all the Brothers Grimm fairytales when you were younger? I loved them, and these "best illustrations from 130 years of The Brothers Grimm" definitely do the stories justice.

★ Art galore! Get inspired by Jennifer Davis' paintings, and then submit your 500-word short story to Paper Darts for publication.

★ I have a really hard time not finishing a book. (I think we've talked about this...) Maybe that's why this infographic of the top books people abandon (and why) is so interesting to me!

★ Watch out, Ireland: there's a new press in town.

★ Do you pretend to have read books you feel like you should have read but never got around to? You're not alone. Yikes! Hah!

★ This is an interesting take on why we tend to be more creative at night.

What are you happy about?


Gallery: Book Prescriptions, Nature's Love Letters, and Digital Dementia

Fresh organic strawberries
Strawberries from last weekend. Because why not?

Oh, hi Friday. It's you. After last week's shenanigans, I haven't been up to much of note, but I've kept up with my new writing schedule (more or less) and have high hopes of getting into the Long Room this weekend, to gape at the gorgeous architecture and books galore! (We also might go to the Guinness Storehouse, but that's not very literary, so pretend you didn't hear that.) 

★ I love that some pediatricians are prescribing books to their patients

★ And on that note, digital dementia might be a thing... and that's scary.

★ Gender in writing (and life) fascinates me. What do we accept as the norm? It's usually the male perspective, but hey, it's not personal. Is it?

Thus the “I” in a woman’s writing has the alchemical effect of converting it into traditional women’s work–personal essay, memoir–whereas the “I” in a man’s work is a rhetorical device, a detached or quirky or “gutsy” narrative decision. It’s a wily craft choice for men, a solipsistic indulgence for women.

★ I may have posted this before—I can't remember!—but it's so nice let's check it twice: Diagon Alley via Google Street View. YEAH.

★ Nature's love letters. ❤!

The only other majorly exciting weekend plans I have are: playing around with my Bamboo and buying a new coffee grinder. (Due to the differences in US/EU electrical, ours looks like we keep a tiny, nuclear-mad scientist in the bottom every time we use it. He's about to explode.) Fancy plans, eh?

Happy weekend!

Gallery: Managing Creative Life, Mystical Graphology, and the Unseen Sea

Christ Church archway in Dublin, Ireland
Oh, it's grand. Hee!

Weather: still lovely.Weekend: to include a road trip, a 1970's caravan, bog ponies, and something called the Ring of Dingle. (Try saying that one without giggling.) Yes, we're off this weekend to explore that fabled Irish countryside, and I'm excited! We've managed to find a rad-looking place to stay, and the woman hosting us offers free breakfast (with vegetarian options!) and many opportunities to pet the farm animals she has, including the bog ponies. Yes! If this gallery seems sparse, I'll tell you a secret: I've cut myself from social media, except on Saturdays, and have been writing in the mornings and afternoons. It's wonderful.

★ I've been eyeing this book about managing your creative life for a while now. The lineup of contributors is intriguing!

★ The word mayonaissehas always been one that I say a bit oddly. Apparently, I say it more like someone from Texas and less like someone from Montana! How about you? Check your pronunciation against this linguistic map of the US and tell me where you land on the map!

★ Graphology is interesting, but this infographic of handwriting sort of makes it out to be more mystical, like reading palms or something!

★ If there's one thing I learned about in San Francisco, it's fog. This timelapse of the "Unseen Sea" is amazing. 

I'll be sure to take plenty of photos of our excursion, since Ryan will be the one driving (a stick shift on the left side of the road—send us all the good vibes you have), and I'm also packing my notebook because I hear that there are some characters to be found in the pubs out there. I can only imagine the words I'll be adding to my vocabulary. Hah!

Have a great weekend!

Gallery: Self-Publishing Promotions, Thinking Like a Writer, and NYC Type

Collage of San Francisco California
San Francisco... I'm gonna miss you!

Two days to takeoff! Can you believe it? I can't! I've got my lit-kit packed up, my to-do list checked off, and am prepping to say my farewells. (Sad!) The past few days have been the standard mix of excitement, sadness, anticipatory nostalgia, and happiness. You know how that goes. We had a fantastic send-off party on Tuesday, with all of our San Francisco friends, a photo booth, some drinks, and an ice cream bar, and this Saturday will be a farewell to the city itself. For the next week or so, I'm going to be focusing on traveling—and recovering from jet lag! I'll be taking the next week off from the blog, but expect a full update on Dublin soon!

★ I love this look at type in NYC. It never ends. 

★ You've heard me talk about the merits and drawbacks of e-readers before, and now, this researcher is finding that e-readers might thwart learning.

★ Considering self-publishing? There are a ton of things to keep in mind when promoting your self-published book. This is fantastic.

★ An interesting discussion of the rise and fall of the English major. Yes.

. . . writing well isn’t merely a utilitarian skill. It is about developing a rational grace and energy in your conversation with the world around you.

★ Who wants to get their summer school on with me? Learn how to think like a writer!

★ Kids reading to shelter animals. I knew I loved Montana for a reason.

★ I do love me some Maureen Johnson. Listen to her.

The lit-love might go quiet here for a few days, but if you'd like to keep up with what's happening, let's be Twitter buddies or Instagram friends. 

Back soon, on Dublin time!