No Great Illusion

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My writing here.

Send me a letter: nogreatillusion [at] gmail [dot] com

“And then there is my Little House on the Prairie Dress. It is my favorite thing, my favorite dress, then and now. My aunt made me an apron to go with it, and even a bonnet. I wear it every day. I wear it so frequently that my teacher tells my mother I fit in very well with all the children, that I am well-adjusted, especially for a child of my religion.”

—   In My Clothes by Claudia Smith (via therumpus)

(via therumpus)

food52:

Baking bread is easier than you think.

Read more: How to Make Grilled Flatbread on Food52

“There are violet hills,
there is the covenant of duskbirds.
The moon comes over the mountain
like a big peach, and I want to tell you
what I couldn’t say the night we rushed
North, how I love the seriousness of your fingers
and the way you go into yourself,
calling my half-name like a secret.”

—   Stacie Cassarino, from “Summer Solstice,” Zero at the Bone (New Issues Press, 2009)

(Source: apoetreflects, via softwair)

what-id-wear:

What I’d Wear : The Outfit Database
(source : Lust For Life )

“Summer for prose and lemons, for nakedness and languor,
for the eternal idleness of the imagined return…”

—   Derek Walcott, from "Bleecker Street, Summer" (via weissewiese)

(Source: fluttering-slips, via redheadbouquet)

texturism:

librarian leather tote | via  womanbythesea: agentlewoman

“And now we’re supposed to go back to our normal lives. That’s what people do. They have these amazing experiences with another person, and then they just go home and clean the bathroom or whatever.”

—   Susane Colasanti, When It Happens  (via larmoyante)

Walk a Careful Circle

My most recent advice column is up at SpliceLit.

gvmma:

An original “zine” / mini sketchbook in indigo blue notebook. 

Kept as a mini sketchbook over a few days, this is a collection of six unique drawings done with graphite. Each book also comes with a polaroid, various pieces of ephemera, and a mini zine made especially for the project. First book of a very limited edition of ten. 

More details / available for purchase here — http://gemmatopliss.bigcartel.com/product/document-original-artwork-number-one

On Weddings

Two trips to Canada for two beautiful weddings in the past six weeks.

It’s fascinating and marvelous to watch my friends get married. I can’t even describe to you how beautiful they looked - Laura beaming and sparkling through the whole ceremony, and Eva calm and regal and effortless. They both got married under wide blue skies on sunny summer Saturdays, both carried wildflower bouquets. Both weddings made me want to throw my arms around all of it, everything, the grass and the cornfields, the china teacups, the maple syrup favors, the parents giving speeches about their babies growing up.

Laura hand painted wooden signs and made centerpieces. I sipped on blueberry wine from Eva’s winery, and we danced to rollicking banjo played by her dad’s band. Laura handed out sparklers, Eva strung up homemade piñatas. I could see their work and their love in every detail. How lucky, how amazing to be allowed to be a part of it.

I lived with Laura for two years, Eva for three - or four if you count all the time we spent in each other’s dorm rooms. It’s been five years since I graduated and moved back to the US. Anything I could say about the quick passage of time would sound trite. I’ll say it’s unbelievable though, the way we grow up and into new lives we never imagined. Weddings make me feel astonished and in love. In love with Ben, yes, but also in love with the idea of honoring our choices, our changes, our brave steps down an aisle or a dance floor or big city street. In love with the idea of being fearless, of saying yes, I do, I will to whatever is coming for us, whatever will be.

“This land like a mirror turns you inward
And you become a forest in a furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines.

Explorer, you tell yourself, this is not what you came for
Although it is good here, and green;
You had meant to move with a kind of largeness,
You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished dream.

But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.”

—   Gwendolyn MacEwen, “Dark Pines Under Water,” The Shadow-Maker  (Macmillan, 1972)

(Source: a-pair-of-ragged-claws, via aeide-thea)

Emma Stone attends the Opening Ceremony and ‘Birdman’ premiere during the 71st Venice Film Festival on August 27, 2014 in Venice, Italy.

(Source: emstonesdaily, via atbrutepoint)

“You always get exaggerated notions of things you don’t know anything about.”

—   Albert Camus, from The Stranger (via violentwavesofemotion)

Two suggestions I made to friends lately in connection with writer’s block and a third I like to tell myself.

jamiatt:

1. If you feel like there are things in the way of you getting your writing done, make a list of those things. Then see which of them are physically tangible (a family member who needs your help, for example, or long hours at your day job) and which of those things are emotional or ego-related. Which is to say this: Which of your stressors are real, and which are imagined? Then start crossing off the things that are imagined from your list. You will find you have more room to write.

2. Write a letter to yourself about what your writing means to you so that you can remember why you do it and why you need it in your life.

3. Remember that you are privileged to live in a country that allows you to express yourself privately and publicly, and that you are privileged to have money to purchase writing utensils, pens, paper, a computer, and you are privileged to have any amount of spare time to worry about your bullshit so why don’t you just use that time to write instead?