Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Confession Tuesday: New Year's Resolutions Edition

Wishing you a passionate year...

Dear Reader, 

It's the last day of 2013.  

I was just telling my daughter that 1995 seems as if it were just 10 years ago.  She looked at me oddly and said, "What do you mean, Mom?"

I confess I lost a decade somewhere.  I was writing poetry, or raising a daughter, or writing a book, cleaning the house, editing, or mountain biking and I somehow misplaced about ten years.

In certain ways, ten years feels as if it were such a long time ago.  When I think that my first book, Small Knots, came out in 2004, I can hardly remember it.

But I'm also realizing my best poet friends have been my friends for over a decade now.  I've lived in the same house for 17 years.  Things I thought were choices (such as my daily breakfast of coffee and raisin bran) are actually habits.  

Which makes me consider my life, and my life passing: Am I living deliberately or what I think are choices are actually habits?  Am I paying attention to what matters to me?  

Or more visually, like the photo above-- Am I being kissed or am I the onlooker?  


I confess, I am a Capricorn, so I make lists--To Do lists, books to read lists, goal lists, shopping lists, and of course, resolutions falls in this category.  

So today's Confessions are less confessions and more of my resolutions for 2014... And this is just a guide for living my life, not an instruction manual I need to follow perfectly.  I'm nowhere near perfect, so I tend not to worry too much if I'm not hitting every resolution, not eating organic, not always exercising. I enjoy my vices actually.  

So maybe these are more guidelines for 2014, or suggestions I hope to incorporate into my life. 


What I want to do is this year is:  to continue to live fully with experiences, with others, with poetry and writing, deepen relationships, push boundaries, share generously, be compassionate, extend love, support others, write with an openness, a vulnerability, and continue to stretch myself as a writer.

What I don't want to do:  feel pressured to participate in things I don't want to, show up out of obligation and not want, let others control my time, feel judged.

Either way, this is what I'm thinking about on the last day of 2013 as I clean up my office, toss out the old and make room for the new--

2014 Guidelines  (aka "Resolutions") 

1)  Read more longer content, less shorter content 

     (Basically less Facebooks, more book-books).

2)  Consider the opposite.  Question more.  

     Be wary of what the media and people are trying to sell me.

3)  Read email less. Write more paper letters.

4)  Always discover the beauty.

5)  Find myself on more balconies.

6)  More walks with Buddy Holly.

7)  Less work, more play, less work.

8)  ___________________________ (always include space for spontaneity)

9)  Say yes to experiences I feel would add to my life as an writer and artist.  

     Say no to things and people that don't.

10)  Be a little more Anais Nin:

I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. 
I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits.


I confess, mostly I want to make sure I am participating fully, actively, and passionately in my life. 

“Never miss a party...good for the nerves--like celery.” 
―  F. Scott Fitzgerald

~ Kells

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Finishing Up the New Year: How Do You Want To Live Your One Wild and Precious Life?

I plan on making New Year's Resolutions.
I also plan on cleaning up my home, which is Christmas madness.


I came across this article and thought it was a good one for anyone examining their life this time of year.

Yes, it's A LOT of questions the writer is having you ask yourself. I got overwhelmed at 7 and had to start again.  But they are important.

And I think it's a good way to look at things.  We forget we only get one life.

Here's the article: 30 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Die


Here are some things I'm asking myself as the year ends--

1)  What am I doing that I can be doing better or differently?  What is holding me back, bringing me down?

2)  Who do I want to keep in my life, and who do I need to let fade away?

3)  How do I want to spend my mornings before the day begins?

4)  How can I be more present in the world?

5)  What am I afraid of and is it serving me well?

6)  What do I want to focus on in 2014?

7)  How can I make the world a better place in small ways?

8)  How can I be of service to others?  How can I help improve others' lives?

9)  How do I want to spend my time?


For me, one of the most important questions I ask myself every year is who I choose to keep in my life.

I make a circle and fill in the names of friends and family I can trust with everything--all my flaws, struggles, goals, dreams, etc.  These are the people who I will turn to in 2014 when I need support or when I have good news to share.  This is my tribe.  These are my people.

I make a circle around that.  These are my second group of friends.  They are friends I love and I tell them most everything, but not everything.  They are people I still love and want to be in touch with, but I hold a little back with them.  Just a little.

Another circle.  The circle around this group.  More good friends, but less details.  Less of the vulnerable stuff.

One more circle.  Friends I love, but I'm more guarded with them.

The first two groups will get most of my time and attention for the year.  The third group of friends will either be moved up to a more trusted position or fade into the background.  Same with group 4.

It's a little literal, a little formal, but it helps me when I am sharing information so I don't get hurt or overshare, or my writing projects stay safe (meaning, they are at their infant stage, I can't have negativity early on...) or say something that later makes me feel uncomfortable.

Most of my friends fall in the center circle or circle 2.  Honestly, if I can't trust people or they aren't adding anything positive to my life (or vice versa), why stay connected?

But sometimes there are people you have to interact with because they are parents that have kids at your child's school, or someone in your book group, or neighbor, who you need to be ready for.  You need to remember not to share your good poetry news with someone who makes you feel weird or worthless.

This little bullseye helps me remember who I want to give my time and energy too.

It also helps me not share the right news or stories with the wrong people.


So, what are your resolutions?  Do you make any?

And the end of a poem--

From Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day"

Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~ Kells

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Being a Writer in a Family of "Normals"

The holidays have a beautiful and uneasiness of bringing families back together.

Though you are now 44, a writer, and living your life, you may still be seen as the lazy entitled twelve-year-old who never helped with chores or the perhaps, when they look at you, they see what you’ve become and well, aren’t 100% comfortable with it.  Mostly because it doesn’t fit their idea of “what is normal.”  They are regular folks just trying to live their lives and your poems about death are freaking them out.

Here are a few things that my family (and some friends) have said to me over the years:

“Why do all your poems have to be dark?  Why can’t you just write a poem about flowers and happy stuff?”

“I don’t understand why you have to leave your family to write?”

“It’s so great that your husband let’s you leave for a week just to write.”

“I don’t think you should write about that.”

“Billy just dropped grease and started an oven fire. You should write a poem about that!”

“It’s nice your husband is so understanding about your writing.”

“What does ____________ (fill in the blank) think about that poem?!”

“All you asked for were books? Why does one person need so many books?”

“You know what you should do?  You should write a bestselling novel.”

Other things writers and friends of mine have heard—

“You were always kind of the odd duck/black sheep/weirdo in the family.”

“Why do you have to dress/look like that?

“Shouldn’t you be home more with the kids? Why do you have to do all that writing/poetry/memoir stuff?

“Maybe you should find a real job.  One with a secure paycheck.”

“I think it’s weird you like being alone so much.  Normal people like spending time with their families.” 


It can get tiring.  It can feel as if you’re always being judged.  Or not accepted.  Or that they want you to be someone else.  Or maybe they want you to be who you were when you were five—Remember how you used to love wearing dresses to kindergarten?  You should wear more dresses.

Sometimes you fit in.  They notice you have a Kate Spade purse.  Or compliment your hairstyle.  You talk about easy subjects—funny memories of holidays past, the kids growing up, everyone’s iPhone.  You hope the subject doesn’t move to “what’s your next book about” or your art, especially any new projects, or the topics you’re writing about.  You hope the subject doesn’t move into your plans for the year, how you may be spending your time and with whom with/doing what.

The family always has an opinion about what’s appropriate and how what you are doing is just a little off. 

The family doesn’t want you walking close to the dark side—Come over here, sister.  Let’s listen to some Michael BublĂ©.

The family is concerned you aren’t 1) making enough money  2) aren’t worried enough about money  3) aren’t being a good enough mom or dad  4) so interested in “unnormal” things (shopping, TV, etc.)  5) aren’t normal enough.

They worry your weirdness will reflect poorly on the family.

They worry you’re so strange and you write about such strange things (and in first person!) 

They read everything you write as truth about you.  There are no such things as “persona poems” in their minds. 

They love you, but oh how they worry about you. 

They love you, but want you to be more like them.


The truth is, families are families and they like similarities.  If you’re "normal" in a family of artists, you can be judged/criticized/concerned about just as much. 

It’s just that usually there are more normal types in families than artistic types.  This is just our culture.  Go to school.  Go to college.  Get a good job.  Get married.  Have kids.  Live your life as others do.  Die. 

Anything that sways out of the normal path, can make people uncomfortable.  But remember, they are not uncomfortable with you, they are uncomfortable with themselves.   Their comments have nothing to do with you or what you’re doing. 

Sometimes you can see how proud they are of you.  They have never heard of Prairie Schooner, but can tell it's a big deal that you were published in it.

They love that you publish books.  They can tell their friends that their son/daughter is a writer!  A published author!  
They love that weird sense of famousness you bring to the family.  

But sometimes they say things that make you feel a little weird yourself.

Many times their thoughts, feelings, and actions reflect a time in their life when they were happier.  When things were more under their control, when you were more under their control.

Sometimes they judge who they are by what you are.

Sometimes as big or small or medium of a as a success you are in the writing world, does not equal the doctor/lawyer/_________fill-in-the-blank they wished you became. 

Because they want to believe their decisions are right in their life, your opposing decisions seem wrong.  They don’t realize there is more than one way to live a life.


We can love our families without changing our own passions.

We can exist with our families without feeling as if we aren’t enough or that we’ve disappointed someone. . .again.

We can walk into our families understanding that we’re not the only ones who are broken, everyone’s broken, we just happen to write about our brokenness a little more, or maybe sometimes we hold hands with it, or aren’t afraid of it, or don’t push it into our Kate Spade purse, or maybe sometimes we do. 

Sometimes we take out our brokenness and we put it on the bookshelf.  That’s okay.

Holidays and family can also remind us of who we were and not who we are.  And that can be uncomfortable too.

Mostly, when I feel a little uneasy about the writing stuff at holidays, I focus on the good things.  For my family, they are hilarious, laugh a lot, they love me, they will always be there for me, they are tough, strong, and full of mama bears, and they would take down the world for me. 

They don’t always understand me.  But that’s okay.  (I don’t always understand myself.)


I hope you each found a little love during your holiday season, whenever and wherever that was.

And I hope you find love and compassionate in even the most ridiculous comments or moments. And that you realize you are being the person you are and they are being the person they are, and sometimes that means you’re wandering off to Bora Bora and they’re traveling to a sale at Target.  And that’s okay.  Different goals, different directions.  

I hope you realize there are other people like you out in the world and dealing with the same things you dealt with.

And that you keep writing into 2014 and throughout.

Cheers to a new year!

Merry Everything.

~ Kells

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Support Women Poets: No More Measuring Bathing Suits

See this photo above?  It's about women in the 1920's being judged whether they were too sexy in their extra fabric one-piece bathing suits.  If they were, they had to pay a fine.  Now it's 2013 and some people still question if women are showing "too much skin" or dressing too sexy.

Pull out your one-piece bathing suits, ladies.  We're heading back to 1920... well, kind of.


The NY Daily News wrote this story about poets.

Young women poets like Camille Rankine, Trisha Low and Lisa Marie Basile bring new

 energy to world of words: 

In the article features a photo of each poet, a short sample of her work, and her age.

I started seeing this story show up in my newsfeed, first with praise "Look at these featured poets!" and "Congrats!" then with concern "Why do these women have to undress?"  

Conversations began. 

So I went back to look at the photos.  No one is naked.  Some women are in jeans, a tanktop, a crewtop t-shirt.  All the parts of a woman's body that might be censored are covered up.  It's tame.  It's summer attire or cocktail party attire or I-want-to-wear-this-today attire.  There are no nipples, no bare butts, no bellybuttons even. All vaginas are safely hidden from view. 

I kept reading responses to this article-- There was disgust, concern for these women "selling sex," being in their underwear (they aren't, in my opinion), using their sexuality to get noticed, making other women (maybe some men too? I'm not sure) uncomfortable.   

One man wrote: "pretty freaking lame. Just write your damn poems, ladies and save the dĂ©colletage for your love lives."

(This is me making my "yikes" face.)


Sometimes as women, we say, It shouldn't be about the way we look, but about our minds!  Then we trash women for not dressing the way we would.

My first thought when I read the article?  -- Oh, I wish they would have had some poets over 40 in there. Though I do realize "young" was in the headline, but 40 is young.  So is 50, 60, in my eyes.

My thoughts were "Am I old? Am I an old poet?"  The oldest poet is 36.  I wasn't even thinking about what they were wearing.  

Here were my thoughts as I looked at the photos:

Where do you get a blow-up clear plastic couch? Bizarre. I've never seen one.
Cute red rain jacket with plaid.  I could use a red rain jacket.
Oh, I know her.
She looks like her Facebook photo.

In all the comments, no one mentioned this quote by Lisa Marie Basile: 

      I'm inspired by everyday women: their loves, beliefs, fears, pain, their secrets...

Or Monica McClure's

    Women are writing the most interesting work,

People were having a hard time getting past the photos.

Women have it hard enough as poets without people bashing them for what they are wearing (or not wearing).

Are they too pretty?  Not pretty enough?  Too revealing?  Not revealing enough?  Photos aren't good enough?  Are too good?  Are they trying to hard?  Not hard enough?  Can they be taken seriously?  Are they too serious? Too sexual?  Are they wearing too much make-up?  Is their lipstick too red?  What are they suggesting?  Maybe they're not edgy enough? Hair is too frizzy? Hair is too big or too long? Too old for that hair or that outfit? Too much cleavage?  She shouldn't wear that. 
And we wonder why one in four women are taking anti-depressants or drinking a couple glasses of wine at night just to feel at ease.

We wonder why women hold back, are fearful in sharing themselves.

      I'm inspired by everyday women: their loves, beliefs, fears, pain, their secrets... 

I return to this.


Here's a comic from a young 20-year-old artist named Katarzyna Babis, which shows what women face in their lives:

Babis writes: 
[I wanted to start a] discussion about the problem with the way women are perceived by the society, about huge and often contradictory expectations that are put on their shoulders," Babis told the Huffington Post in an email. "In this reality, a woman’s body doesn’t belong to her –- it is either a public property, intended only to be admired, or a source of sin, shame and guilt."

It bothers me when I see poets knocking down other poets.
It bothers me when I see poets judging poets on what they are wearing, their bodies, or on images of them.

Yes, you may disagree with their choice of attire.  Yes, you may choose not to wear a bustier.  Yes, you may feel someone is in their underwear (or halter top, as I saw it) and it's not appropriate. 
Cool.  All fantastic opinions. 

I respect your opinions and your right to have them.  In fact, I love that you are passionate about them.

So don't dress that way.

And maybe, don't believe because you feel something in "inappropriate" for you that it's inappropriate for others.  Or that others are judging them as harshly for it. . .some of us may not care.  Or even notice.  

Some of us may have focused on the poems.  Or the ages.  Some of us may have been wondering who made that cute red raincoat.  Or noticing how much we love red shoes.  Or thinking what's for lunch.  Some of us are writing a blog post eating a tin of homemade toffee.


These women are smart and they are writers.  Let's focus on that.  And that an article was written about them.  Let's not bring down the women.  

Women have it tough.  So let's have conversations about our culture, acceptance, changing things in positive ways for our daughters and our sons, but leave the women alone. (And for the record, I did see some very good conversations about this happening, where individual feelings were discussed, but the women poets were not slammed.  These were the conversations I appreciated.) 

When it comes to poets-- read their poems and decide if they are someone you want to read more from.  Read their thoughts and opinions.  Knocking down another woman (and for what she is wearing) helps no one. Change the culture, not the women who are just trying to do their best in it.  

Your choices may not be my choices.  My choice may not be yours.  But I will support you as women and as artists.  Yes, sometimes it may be hard (or confusing, or complex, and we may not always understand each other or our choices), but it's worth it for all of us in the end.  Extend love, not judgment.

And everyone, poets, non-poets: please don't tell them (tell us) what to do, what to write, or what to wear.  It's sort of like grade school, "Focus on what you're doing, not what your neighbor is . . ."  It works in life too. 

For me, here's what it comes down to-- I don't care what you are wearing (male or female). Show up to a poetry reading in a giraffe suit, jeans & a blazer, a formal gown, a bowtie and boxers, or lingerie.  Just bring good poems.

And be kind.

You know the quote: 

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

~ Kells

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Interview with Esther Altshul Helfgott: Dear Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's Diary & Poems

      Two Sylvias Press has now released Esther Altshul Helfgott's book: 

Dear Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's Diary & Poems for the Kindle

Dear Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's Diary & Poems:

A poet's chronology of caregiving for her spouse who struggled with Alzheimer's. An intimate recording of how the disease acts as a slow moving wedge to separate us from the ones we love. A powerful testament to all who love, care give and ultimately say goodbye.


Esther's book explores her years of caregiving for her husband, Abe, after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  I interviewed about a few questions I had about writing the book, what advice or thoughts she had for other caregivers as well as her new projects, here's what she had to say--

      KRA:  Your book is about your husband, Abe, who passed away from Alzheimer's disease a few years ago. Tell us a favorite memory you have of Abe that isn't included in the book.

EAH: I love the way he loved my mother. He called her Anna. For Mother’s Day he bought her Birds of Paradise. He looked her in the eye when they spoke, sometimes into the night. He admired her politics and spunk. He took her seriously. She loved him back. “A good man,” she said. “A mensch.”  She died in 1996, the year he retired. A huge loss for both of us—mother’s death and his retirement— in many ways. I wish he would have known my father. They would have played chess together.

KRA:   What do you want to tell someone who is currently a caregiver to a spouse with Alzheimer's disease? 

EAH:  Keep a diary of your caregiving experience, not for the purpose of publishing necessarily, but to remember what you were doing all those years of caregiving. For me, eight years was like one long day. If I had not recorded the events of those days, they would have run into each other and I would have lost a big part of my history. Recording the days’ events will include conversations you had, or wished you’d had, with your loved one. Take selfy pictures with your LO, no matter how you guys look—tired, sad, doesn’t matter—and place them in your diary. You will have even more to write about once you see yourselves together on the page. Most of all, be in the moment with your LO, in his reality. Listen to what she’s saying. Don’t ask questions about the past. Hold his hand.

       KRA:  What has been the most difficult struggle you've had in writing this book? 

      EAH: Writing can be at once healing and debilitating. It relieves stress and anguish. But revising and editing can keep the anguish alive. People have said “move on.” Some can. I will, but my writing buries me into the moment I’m writing about. It keeps me within the experience, all the while it eventually helps me understand the experience more. Moreover, the results of organizing my scribblings into a work that people can hold in their hands and I can do readings from. Well, I’d say that’s an honor I’ve been given. The hard work is worth it.

      KRA:  Tell us about your life now and what you working on...

EAH:  After “Dear Alzheimer’s” I began writing notes to Abe which turned into short poems, many of them tanka. I didn’t know I was writing love letters to him but that’s, in effect, what they turned out to be. These evolved into “Listening to Mozart: Poems of Alzheimer’s” which will be out from Cave Moon Press in 2014.

Now I‘m working on “My Two Dead Sisters: Autobiography in Verse,” which is about my family-of-origin and the shadows that followed us during the McCarthy Era. It’s a painful story to write. If I’m lucky I’ll finish it 2015. That’s what I’m shooting for.

Simultaneously, I’m working on and intend to complete by the time I’m 80 – that’s only eight years away – a book I started researching in the 1990s, “She Led with Her Mind: Edith Buxbaum and Psychoanalytic Pedagogy.” it’s about Viennese-born and trained Seattle child psychoanalyst, Edith Buxbaum (1902-1982) who sought to promote psychoanalysis as an educational tool for the purpose of building a healthier society.

Then, when I I finish the Buxbaum project, I’ll apply to an MFA program in poetry. That should take me till about age 90, which should leave me about a decade or so to write a few more poems, God willing!

KRA:  Thank you, Esther and wishing you the best in all your projects!

Esther's book is available both in print and eBook version:  

Dear Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's Diary & Poems.

~ Kells

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Confession Tuesday

Dear Reader,

I missed last Tuesday's confession, what can I say? I almost missed today.

I don't have a lot to confess or perhaps, I'm a bit wrapped up in the tinsel, or maybe a bit of both.  I'm kind of bored with myself these days and I don't want to subject you to my intense blahness... of course, maybe I can spice things up.

Let's see...


I confess tomorrow I'm putting on my most comfortable clothes and going to a friend's house to write the entire day with a few good friends.  We each are bringing writing prompts, favorite lines from poems.

I'm bringing white bean hummus, roasted red pepper dip, milk chocolate, bottles of red & white wine, and I'm going to disappear for the day.

I know, as writers we want to publish, be successful, submit our work, seek a larger audience, but honestly, I am most happy when I'm writing.

I'm most happy when I'm connecting with another writer or having a nice dinner.

The publishing stuff, it's nice, but it's not what I dream about.

Seriously, most of my dreams take place at writer's retreats.  I'm in a cabin, an apartment, a room and I'm writing.  I'm unpacking my suitcase and falling in love with a new room.

Really, I'm a simple girl. I don't need much--- books, a place to write, my laptop, a some quality time / connection with another human, but more than that, is excess.

My favorite places are:  in bed, the shower, writing, sitting on my deck and watching the world go by. I'm easy.  I'll take a pass on the business cards, on the fast-track career.

Give me my golden retriever and some inspiration.  Give me a day in bed.  Give me some warm socks, a space heater.  Give me hours to get lost in my writing or another person.

Let's buy a few albums at Goodwill and sit on the couch with a glass of red wine.


I confess I hate driving.  I must have been royal in a previous life.


I confess I like frosting a lot.

from gingerbread house decorating.
I wore more frosting than what was on my house.


I confess it's Tuesday, but I'm listening to The Cure's "Friday I'm in Love." And maybe I am.


~ Kells

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Monday, December 09, 2013

Favorite Poetry & Nonfiction Books of 2013 (An Incomplete List...)

Here's a list of some of the books I read in 2013 and that had an impact on me, that I loved, that I will read again, or that became my favorites.

I'm sure there are other books I read, probably earlier in 2013 that I've forgotten.  I'm sorry about that. I'm especially sorry about it if it's your book I forgot.

So apologies to the unmentioned book and applause to the books below (organized in no particular order...)--


Unexplained Fevers by Jeannine Hall Gailey

*****One of my favorite books from JHG!

Our Andromeda by Brenda Shaunnessey

****I'm in love with everything Brenda has written.  Sadder poems compared to Human Dark with Sugar (another book I recommend), but incredible writing.

Vow by Rebecca Hazelton

****Discovered this book of poems this year and found a new poet I love.

Young Tambling by Kate Greenstreet

****Creative.  Smart.  Interesting.  And physically a beautiful book by a talented poet.

Search For a Velvet-Lined Cape by Marjorie Manwaring

****I've always been a fan of Marjorie and was SO happy that she has a full collection of poems!  What a smart poet, witty, entertaining, and interesting poems.

A Commonplace Book of Pie by Kate Lebo

****This book is sold in Whole Foods too.  Pie, poetry, what's not to love.  And another physically beautiful book you can give to non-poetry readers.

Pacific Walkers by Nance Van Winckel

****Nance is an amazing writer.  Another great collection from her.

The Boss by Victoria Chang

***Have been a fan of Victoria's from the wayback.  Happy to see this new book out with more great poems...

Burn This House by Kelly Davio

***Kelly's first book, though I'm sure there are many to come.

All The Odes by Pablo Neruda (HUGE book!)

***If you love Pablo, here's the book you need.


The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp

***Beautiful and sad, made me appreciate the details of my life.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

***Interesting ideas of why certain things catch on and others don't.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

****Smart book and recommend for the introverts of the world.

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris

****Some people didn't like this book, but I felt it was David back to his old self after the talking animal book mishap.  There is one story where he talked to a telemarketer that had me laughing hard.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

*** Good storytelling.  And being made into a movie.


Again, apologies for all the books I forgot and didn't mention--

Feel free to leave me your favorites of 2013 in the comment section or mention any great book I forgot.

~ Kells

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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Gift Guide for Poets & Writers: My Favorite Things

Oprah does her Favorite Things List, here's mine (specifically for poets, writers, authors, and the creative types...)

Sylvia Plath Literary flats (Shoes made to order):  $50
Just crazy cool.  She also have Batman, Edgar Allan Poe, and To Kill a Mockingbird too.


The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice 
by Martha Silano & Kelli Russell Agodon

Had to mention this -- 366 writing prompts so you can write a poem a day! 


Moby Dick iPhone 5 Case (book case) $14.99
This is my iPhone case.  It looks like a book (or a Bible).  There's a hole in the back for the camera which is perfect!  They also have War & Peace covers in black.  Good quality for a lower price than BookBook.


Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Everyday by Todd Henry

Todd does the Accidental Creative Podcasts.  Also has the book Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant At a Moment's Notice, which I recommend as well!


The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
A friend bought me this and I was amazed at the quality.  It looked as if the actual letter/poem in her writing is on the page.  This book makes me want to cry when I open it because it's that beautiful.


Mark Twain Tie Tack $13.71
For the Huck Finns and Tom Sawyers in our lives...


Tommy Hilfiger Books Shirt Dress $89 Macy's

For the Ladies--
I have this dress and love it.  But I wear it with leggings because I'm tall and it's short.  Runs a tad small in the shoulders (I'm a 5' 8"& a size 6-8 in dresses, but got size L because of my giant back and monkey arms).  I think it would okay on someone who isn't built like a billboard (as I am).


Aqua Notes:
These are in my shower and I love them.  Only $7.95 too.  Mine have lasted a long time.


Beauty is Embarrassing: The Wayne White Story $18.50

My favorite documentary this year.  LOVED it.
Incredible creative person/artist who worked on PeeWee's Playhouse and does these incredible paintings with words...  Lots of F-bombs for anyone who may be offended, but another inspiring film.


Who Does She Think She Is?  DVD Documentary $14
I watch this 2-3 times a year.  For the creative woman/mother in your life.  It's all about the struggle to create and be a mom.  Fantastic and inspiring.


Midnight in Paris DVD $7.49
Woody Allen's best movie ever.  I've watched it into the double-digits.  Love the literary cameos.


Oliver Wendell Holmes Book Purse ($60 lots of other books too)


Glassybaby "Imagine" $44

This is a good gift for anyone who is hard to shop for because they are handmade and beautiful by a Seattle woman who used these to help keep her calm and centered during cancer.


This is what I use.  Help your writer friends avoid carpal tunnel.  Not a sexy gift, but useful.


Typewriter iPhone 5 Case:
Also cases for iPhone 4 & others, just search...

Retro & cute


RayBan Classic Wayfarers:
For the cool hipster writer.
But do not get New Wayfarers, as they are way too big on everyone.  Tortoise is my favorite.

~ Kells

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