"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

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Letter #12

Dear October,
        I’m sorry I didn’t write you a letter yesterday. I did however write this e-mail to my friend Indigo. Hopefully it will serve as enough of an explanation (Note: If you don’t want to read my crazed, late night ramblings just skip this part and scroll down to the regular post):

I don't know what to do with myself! I just finished reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. And… oh my god. OH. MY. GOD. WHAT JUST HAPPENED? AHHHHHGGGGGHHHHH!

Okay, sorry. Trying to calm down. My brain is swimming. This has never happened to me before. Like, WHAT?! *deep breath*

Basically I can't tell you what I thought of it because I DON'T KNOW WHAT I THOUGHT OF IT! I went to goodreads after finishing it, and I COULD NOT decide whether to give it five stars or two. (I figure if I'm having this reaction it at least deserves two) I guess I'm just writing this to work out my thoughts…but I don't know what my thoughts are!

Okay, here's what I DO know:
3. The romance was soooo "You complete me" (gag) and the love interest had cliche bad-boy-with-a-british-accent-who-also-happens-to-be-super-rich-and-somehow-madly-in-love-with-the-herioine-after-like-three-days? written all over him. (But… I think I liked him anyway? O_O)
4. I'm still not sure I completely buy into the paranormal stuff
5. I'm REALLY trying hard not to give anything away
6. THE ENDING!!!!! NEED SECOND BOOK NOW! (Or do I??? Would I be content breaking it off here? Can I sit through more "You complete me" nonsense to FIND OUT THE ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS!)

Basically, I do not know what to do with myself right now. It's after 11pm, I still have not written my letter to October (My brain can only barely spout complete sentences), and my entire evening just DISAPPEARED. I PICKED IT UP (I was already at the halfway point, mind you) AT 7:00 AND WHEN I LOOKED UP IT WAS 10:30. O_O

What should I do? Please send help.*


*She did send help, and it was very helpful. Thanks Indigo!!

So, yeah, I wasn’t exactly in an ideal state of mind (judging by my complete abuse of capslock) to be writing heartfelt letters about my trip to Iowa City yesterday. Luckily, I am today! Here is the letter that The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer unjustly robbed from you:

Going back to Iowa City since spending two weeks there in the summer of 2012 has always been a somewhat surreal experience. Every street corner oozes with memories from those two weeks. It’s tempting to see the city as a time capsule, a place where I can re-live those summer days, and for a while I coveted the delusion that it would always be summer in Iowa City. But this time the wind whipped the sleeves of my jacket and my favorite thrift shop was stocked with tacky Christmas sweaters rather than thin floral dresses.  Once again I was in the city for a literary themed event, the Iowa City Book Festival. I attended some really interesting panels, including one called Fact in Faction and one about the fate of independent bookstores. The latter was very encouraging: Even with Amazon offering books at crazily discounted prices, people still crave the very tangible atmosphere that can only be found in bookstores. Afterwards I spent a full two hours in Prairie Lights, browsing the seemingly endless shelves, and reading the thoughtful notes from employees about their favorite books. I ended up buying a copy of Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, which was prominently on display in several places around the store, so I figured it must be good. I think my favorite part of Prairie Lights is the café. It has a different feel than the rest of the store: hardwood floors instead of carpet, sleek glass counters instead of white wooden shelves, and streaming through the high windows, shafts of yellow light that make the room seem to glow from the inside out. It’s also a place brimming with memories from the Iowa Young Writer’s Studio. I can remember sitting at table near a window, sipping chai tea and typing the last few paragraphs of a short story that would later be workshopped. I remember eating cookies with friends and skimming the interesting (and often hand-bound) publications that crowd the counter on one side of the café. Once I read poetry while sipping coffee by myself and it was perfect. I only spent a few moments in the café yesterday, but it was enough. As much as I want to remember Iowa City for those two weeks that felt like a lifetime, I’m also glad I have the opportunity to make new memories there. All cities are living, breathing, changing entities, with the tendency to move on without us even noticing until it’s too late. Luckily, I’m nearby enough that I can keep tabs on it, and go back for the occasional literary festival.


Song of the day: "Her Hands Were Leaves" by Alexi Murdoch


  1. That was so beautiful! Wow. Your letters are so filled with feelings and moments, like the parts with the light that makes the room seem to glow inside out (LOVE) and just the word "streaming" was so nice there and chai tea and cities and the christmas sweaters with the floral thin dresses. It's all such good imagery! Oh and the wind after the always-summer. Love love that too. It's really fun reading your letters. I love getting that sense of where you are and what it's like to be there in those quiet moments! I feel like you're in this wonderful honey bubble in Iowa, and it's always sunny and pretty there like in your photos, and things are so bright outside that it makes you squint but there's still a sense of happiness like the kind you have before entering a bookstore, or before walking into a cafe with a friend on a morning when you have a lot of time and many things you can do before you have to do other things. It seems so tranquil there! Also I can't remember if we mentioned this, but we could put some or all of our letters into our book. I was just about to say that you should compile all your letters into a book but then I realized we already had one sort of, hehe.

    1. Thank you so much! And I love that you use words like "wonderful honey bubble." :D It would be so cool to put some of these into our book! Or maybe we could make it its own book, with both yours and mine in it! Idk. It would be so cool to see both of our days side by side in book form!