All posts filed under: writing

The best quote (ever)

The other day I was reading Elephant Journal, one of my favourite online journals (do check it out), when I came across this article by Jennifer S. White who claimed that the following passage from The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are was the best quote she ever heard. After reading it several times over, I’m going to agree that it’s up there with the best of them! Go on, give it a slow read: “As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simple being.  If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an …

Photos of writers

Now, I know I’m being slightly bias, but writers are truly fascinating creatures, aren’t they?  They allow us to venture into worlds that don’t exist, make us fall in love with characters that aren’t real, and skillfully connect us to experience an array of human emotions in the truest sense — with nothing more than words … sigh. Check out this amazing blog collection of black and white photos of famous writers. After perusing the collection a few times, it hit me that I knew more famous male writers than female. What a shame! I’m going to make a conscious effort to get to know a few of these amazingly talented and often overlooked ladies. Charles Bukowski Ernest Hemingway Harper Lee Joan Didion The full collection, in all its glory, can be found here. Enjoy, S.

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 …

A note on writing

“When my head is in the typewriter the last thing on my mind is some imaginary reader. I don’t have an audience; I have a set of standards. But when I think of my work out in the world, written and published, I like to imagine it’s being read by some stranger somewhere who doesn’t have anyone around him to talk to about books and writing—maybe a would-be writer, maybe a little lonely, who depends on a certain kind of writing to make him feel more comfortable in the world.” —Don DeLillo, the Art of Fiction No. 135

All my exes live in texts

Every once in awhile, I come across a really, really  good article — the kind that gets me so worked up that I actually have to pause in-between paragraphs to gather myself. The kind where I’m smiling and nodding in agreement with the author and only afterwards hope that no stranger has witnessed my goofy grin. All My Exes Live in Texts: Why the Social Media Generation Never Really Breaks Up, by Maureen O’Connor is one of those articles. (I’ve read it 3x now) It is absolutely fabulous and oh, so true! A little taste for you, “There was also a time, I am told, when staying in touch was difficult. Exes were characters from a foreclosed past, symbols from former and forgone lives. Now they are part of the permanent present. I was a college freshman when Facebook launched. All my exes live online, and so do their exes, and so do their exes, too. I carry the population of a metaphorical Texas in a cell phone on my person at all times….It’s a …

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 — …

5 Fantasy Exit Strategies

I stumbled upon this fun little article written by Courtney Preiss while hanging out on my Tumblr last night and I fell in love! Enjoy! PS: #2 sounds the best! S. 1. Run away to Brooklyn. Rent an apartment with a claw footed bathtub. Commute to Manhattan during the week and put in hours at a menial publishing job. Drive home to New Jersey on weekends to swim in the pool and cry to your mother. Smoke Gauloises on the fire escape. Let yellowing issues of Rolling Stone and Vogue pile into a protective fortress around your bed. Listen to Cat Power. Fall asleep mostly naked beneath the duvet watching Sportscenter and drinking earl grey. Date a Yankees fan and kiss his hands on the 4 Train into the Bronx. 2. Run away to Barcelona. Eat milk chocolate magnum bars and drink cheap champagne. Burst into charming fits of laughter whenever you get embarrassed about butchering the Catalan language. Wear denim cutoffs, Dr. Pepper chapstick, and very little else. Go dancing at 3 a.m. Whiten your …

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 …