"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." -Vladimir Nobokov

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

From a Writer's Notebook (New Orleans) + The #ThankAWriter Project

Unfortunately the surprise giveaway items are not quite ready, so that will have to wait until my next post, but in the meantime I thought I'd share a few more thoughts from my trip to New Orleans. Here, in case you are interested, are excerpts from my notebook:

"We started the day with beignets. Cafe Du Monde was understandably crowded, people jostling for space at the tiny round tables on the sprawling patio. The beignets themselves were buried under snowy mountains of powdered sugar. We sipped coffee quietly, trying not to breathe when we bit into them, for fear of blowing powdered sugar at each other."

"Faulkner House Books is almost unnoticeable from the outside. It blends in to the alleyway, and has only a small sign and a historical marker as advertisement. Inside the books go all the way up to the ceiling. On the walls that aren't covered in bookshelves there are autographed portraits and letters from writers like Hemingway,  Flannery O'Connor, even Harper Lee. Standing here, where William Faulkner lived for ten months while he wrote his first novel, feels a little like standing on sacred ground. I try to imagine the French Quarter of the 1920's, and my mind can almost conjure the image. But then I step back out onto the street, into the chilly shade of the alleyway, and I am once again faced with the New Orleans of today."

I hope you enjoyed those! The next thing I want to talk about is Nathan Bransford's #ThankAWriter project, in which you write a hand-written letter to the author (or authors) who made a difference in your life. I've always been a huge proponent of thanking the authors who inspired you in some way, which is why I absolutely LOVE this idea. And the thing is, it's not a new concept. People have been writing letters to their favorite authors for as long as books and hand-written communication have been a prominent part of society. These days conventional fan mail is dying out and being replaced by quick  notes on author's twitter or Facebook accounts. While electronic methods are convenient, they don't begin to match the weight that receiving a real letter has. Authors deserve to recognized for their hard work, and even more, they deserve to know that they've touched someone in some way. Over the next few weeks I hope to write several letters to authors who have inspired me, and I hope you will, too. Details on the project can be found by clicking here.

If you've written your own letters I'd love it if you would share them in the comments, or simply spread the word about this initiative. Also, stay tuned for more giveaway news!


  1. Your notebook excerpts are so great! I remember reading them a while ago and wanting to comment on how inspiring they were but I never did. I came across them again yesterday and the same thing happened. Anyway they are really powerful/evocative descriptions, which was obvious to me since I was inspired immediately after reading your post both times. They instantly made me want to write too! Or maybe describe the surroundings of an imaginary setting, to try to conjure some of that same kind of magic that is in your notebook/journal writing. The excerpts are just so nice and fresh and place-evoking even for being so short and I’m amazed at how wonderfully they capture a feeling of a place when they are just being jotted down (at least somewhat) spontaneously in a journal. You should post more! :D

  2. Thank you so much Indigo! Wow, it makes me feel so good to know that my words (even those jotted down in a notebook at the end of the day) inspire others. I mean, that's pretty much the highest compliment a writer can get. I hope you do write something and that it goes well and that you have fun doing it- because I had fun writing these. Reading your comment also reminded me that I have notes from New York that I've been meaning to post, so keep an eye out for those! Thanks again. Your comment really made my day :D