All posts filed under: story

Motherhood forgotten

A couple of months ago, Ken Heyman, an 83 year-old photographer, received a call from his former agent, Woodfin Camp. Camp informed Heyman that he had old photographs in a storage facility that was closing and he needed to retrieve them. Buried amongst dozens of old boxes were hundreds of prints that Heyman had shot throughout his career. In one box was a long-lost folder marked, “Mothers”. More than 50 years old, the photos documented the diversity and parallel of motherhood in over 60 countries. Many of the photographs were done for a book Heyman created with anthropologist Margaret Mead in 1965 entitled Family which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize that same year. The resurfacing of these photographs have made quite an impression on the web in the last few months. Many of which are being viewed by the public for the very first time. Great story, eh? You can check out more of Heyman’s beautiful photos at BoredPanda.com Enjoy! S.

What I’m reading — The Fault in Our Stars

I recently finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The book was OK at best. The writing was a little immature for my liking and although there is this youthful conversational overtone to the book, it all felt a little forced to me. A little empty. There was though some really good lines in the book! Bookmarked passages: I missed the future. Obviously I knew even before his recurrence that I’d never grow old with Augustus Waters. But thinking about Lidewij and her boyfriend, I felt robbed. I would probably never again see the ocean from thirty thousand feet above, so far up that you can’t make out the waves or any boats, so that the ocean is a great and endless monolith. I could imagine it. I could remember it. But I couldn’t see it again, and it occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again. On the flight home, twenty …

Lyrics write my world

Lyrics mean everything to me. It’s my poetry, and the soundtrack for 75% of my day. When I was little, my parents controlled the car radio. No form of begging would sway them from switching the station or ejecting that Roy Orbison tape (I truly despise his voice to this day). My yellow Sony walkman, hiply decorated with Super Mario Brother stickers, was my saviour half the time  – I had to share with my brother. Driving in the car, my parents would join forces, mocking our 90’s musical taste. From the front seat they exercised their parental power, laughing while mimicking the incoherent lyrics. “The music you kids listen to nowadays is just dreadful” says my father. “Ya, I mean, it’s all just rap crap!” my mother would cheerfully chirp in, “They just mumble through the lyrics! I have no idea what they are saying!” And so my musical taste has been greatly swayed not by the vibe, or the beat — but the words. The story. The poetry flowin’ through the tune. well, Grace …

Blue is the warmest color

Have you seen Blue is the Warmest Colour yet? I saw it last month with a friend  and I was blown away by the delicate depth of the storytelling!  I think it’s such a riveting story about love that is told so truthfully it hurts.  The movie was based on a graphic novel by Julie Maroh  which I didn’t know until I came home from watching the film and obsessively Googled the project (couldn’t help myself). While Googling, I came across this wonderful quote by Maroh: “…you asked me if i believed in eternal love. Love is something way too abstract and indefinable. It depends on what we perceive and what we experience. If we don’t exist, it doesn’t exist. And we change so much; love must change as well. Love catches fire, it trespasses, it breaks, we break, it comes back to life… we come back to life. Love may not be eternal, but it can make us eternal. Beyond death, the love that we shared continues to live.” –  Blue is the Warmest Color,  …

The Adventures of Guille and Belinda

My entire childhood was documented on video by my aunt. Captured soundlessly on a vintage camcorder are those first years where I’m wobbling around on shaky legs in a big world without sound. Years 4-6 still make me cringe when I’m forced to listen back to my mini self and her slurred and screechy speech. The really awkward moments still live on with a push of a button. On any given day, it’s the early 90’s and my prepubescent self sits perched on my grandparent’s back porch, the sun is out and I’m wearing my pink and green neon BodyGear bathing suit. My lanky limbs, looking too big for my tiny torso, speak of boredom with my sulky body language. When I first came across Alessandra Sanguinetti‘s photography series The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of their Dreams, it reminded me a lot of my own evolving, fragmented moments that can still be visited. The series captures the playful and imaginative lives of two Argentine cousins over the course of a decade. The series has been captured into two …

What I’m reading – The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

I read a lot. My books are riddled with notes and my favourite lines can be found underlined with pencil. I recently got a Kobo and have been reading like crazy but the biggest issue I have with my new convenient reading companion is that I can no longer take part in this beloved reading ritual (The highlighting tool is just not the same). I’m going to start posting my favourite passages from the book that I’m currently reading (minus the really embarrassing books). I finally got around to reading Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle — and I’m lovin’ it! It reminds me a lot of Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy. Bookmarked passages: “Which is better” I asked, out of simple curiosity. “Above or below.” “It’s not that either one is better,” he said. “It’s not a question of better or worse. The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re suppose to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re suppose to go up, find the …

An interview with Alice Munro

The Paris Review is one of my favourite literary sites — they have a fabulous section of interviews with famous writers and if you haven’t yet checked it out, you must (and I mean, must!) put it at the top of your list of things to do. Last night, I came across a 1994 interview with Alice Munro. Halfway through the article I thought to myself, my god this is a lengthy article! But when I finished the last line, my mind was exhausted and all over the place. Tangled with thoughts regarding the painful process of writing and the fear of possibility losing “it”; the excitement and thrill of story  —  all I wanted to do was start from the beginning and enjoy it all over again. Here is one of my favourite parts of the interview: INTERVIEWER When you start writing a story do you already know what the story will be? Is it already plotted out? MUNRO Not altogether. Any story that’s going to be any good is usually going to change. Right now …

The best missed connection you’ll ever read.

I am a big fan of missed connection ads! I just love reading about the lives of odd people and there is plenty of it on Craigslist!  But this missed connection truly takes the cake — it is so well written that it had me on the edge of my seat! Enjoy, S. “I saw you on the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn Q train. I was wearing a blue-striped t-shirt and a pair of maroon pants. You were wearing a vintage red skirt and a smart white blouse. We both wore glasses. I guess we still do. You got on at DeKalb and sat across from me and we made eye contact, briefly. I fell in love with you a little bit, in that stupid way where you completely make up a fictional version of the person you’re looking at and fall in love with that person. But still I think there was something there. Several times we looked at each other and then looked away. I tried to think of something to say to you — …

An open invitation to all storytellers — tell me something great!

A Solo Affair wants to share your stories! Nothing beats a really good story, eh?  Do you have a uniquely authentic story that you’d be interested in sharing with us? Then get to it and shoot me off an email at Stephanie.payne@gmail.com Some ideas for you: childhood, memories, dating, relationships, goodbyes, new beginnings  — I’m all ears! This is going to be great! I can’t wait to hear from you, Xo. S.

You’ll never be this young again

“Sometimes you’re 23 and standing in the kitchen of your house making breakfast and brewing coffee and listening to music that for some reason is really getting to your heart. You’re just standing there thinking about going to work and picking up your dry cleaning. And also more exciting things like books you’re reading and trips you plan on taking and relationships that are springing into existence. Or fading from your memory, which is far less exciting. And suddenly you just don’t feel at home in your skin or in your house and you just want home but “mum and dad’s” probably wouldn’t feel like home anymore either. There used to be the comfort of a number in your phone and ears that listened everyday and arms that were never for anyone else. But just to calm you down when you started feeling trapped in a five-minute period where nostalgia is too much and thoughts of this person you are feel foreign. When you realize that you’ll never be this young again but this is …