The 2014 Man Booker Longlist Has Been Announced f

Source: flavorpill


Crosswalk, Catwalk

I had a new outfit. I had beautiful new outfit. And as I approached the crosswalk, I knew: this was my moment. I felt the onlookers settling into their places on either side of the street. The cross traffic light flicked from green to yellow and I took a deep breath, apprehensive as a runway model at her first show.

On Sunday Grandmother, who otherwise usually forgot me, took a car into town to “have a day” with me. I thought that her visit was over when she folded her napkin at the French brunch place on the Bowery, but as the handsome waiters whisked away our saucers and butter dishes and stemmed juice glasses, she looked me over and said, “I believe we need a visit to the dressmaker.”

It seemed that Grandmother had momentarily forgotten that one now “shopped” instead of having garments made to fit, but nonetheless her driver swept us around to the big B department stores and called ahead to book fitting rooms. There, attractive middle aged stylists (were they not really just floor saleswomen?) brought hanger after hanger of designer trousers and blouses and cocktail dresses. Grandmother would never buy anything piecemeal, and therefore everything I liked had to be completed with an “outfit”, down to the clutch and shoes. The women clucked and fussed and complimented my figure—”slender in all the right places!”—and asked me to turn this way and that on a dais before a trifold mirror. All the while Grandmother sat on a chaise or a sofa, sipping her Earl Grey and smirking.

The payment exchange was discreet: with a flick of her wrist Grandmother handed off her card, then acted as though nothing had happened until the receipt was returned on a silver tray. She signed with another wrist flick, eyes hooded and mouth tensed, as if she was doing something distasteful. We only purchased about five percent of what I tried on, but I estimated that she spent about 3 times what I paid in rent. I briefly considered whether I could sell the garments, or return them, to help ebb the cost of said rent. But no—I was a young woman, struggling to get by in New York City; I needed—no, I deserved—some proper, fashionable clothes.

They were delivered a few days later, after some slight tailoring, by a foreign man who helped me make room in my pathetic armoire. My room had no proper closet.

I decided that the next day I would wear the simple silk dress and one of the 2 killer pairs of shoes. Mindy at work had a husband in finance and she always dressed to the nines; I always felt like I’d just fallen out of the Goodwill when I was standing next to her. And then there was beautiful Viola from Bushwick, who was closer to my age and likely did shop at the Goodwill. She wore such tattered, mismatched, ratty clothes that they passed as fashionable and excused their cheapness. Next to her I seemed frumpy, like someone who shopped at the Banana Republic outlet. Well, this outfit would show them. I topped it off with my big new hat.

And now here I was, waiting to cross 5th Avenue, finally feeling like one of those Manhattan sidewalk women whose photo could get snapped for a fashion blog at any moment. They were the women of establishment scenes in movies about New York, who worked in tall towers at fashion houses and magazines, whose apartments were made of glass and granite and had skyline views. They were models and they dated models and they only got bottle service. I wasn’t there yet, but finally, at least, I was dressed the part.

The avenue light turned red, and the crosswalk flicked to white. I began.

I could feel the eyes on me, the men hanging on the back of the garbage truck, the sunglassed woman trying to hail a cab, the teenage girls in cutoffs who were crossing the other way, the commuters in the bike lane, the homeless man leaning against the scaffolding—they were all looking at me! Me! Me!

Then, all at once, the buttery bottom of my new shoe slid forward on the slick white stripe of crosswalk paint, and I collapsed into a pile of silk and leather and street grime, right in the middle of 5th Avenue.

I’ve started writing stories on my phone while I walk to the subway in the morning. Here’s today’s. Haha can you tell I’ve been reading a lot of Edith Wharton?

For more tidbits I’ve written, check out livianelson.tumblr.com :)

Source: livianelson

6livia, prose, medium, this is based on an actual event where i felt like i looked really fly and then tripped in the middle of the road, but the rest is fiction haha,

Nikon D90
Focal Length

"…she didn’t talk to me for a week, and that was the worst week of…"
“…I mean like if you look at Bill Gates right…”
“…mostly in a parking lot screaming…”
“…like it had one [unintelligible] in my body…”
“…did you not notice the NOT WALK sign!?”
“…[language I do not speak, likely Spanish]…”
“…text meee… I’m around this weekend and next week… Oh my god I love yooooou…”
“…I’m so like effing tired…”
“…I got this stuff called Beyond Beef… But it’s vegetables!”
“…the bag ripped!”
“You liked the chicken better.”
“…especially Christmas!”

6things overheard on my walk home through the, East Village, mostly said by 20-somethings, writing exercise, dialogue, is it eavesdropping thoooough?,

Focal Length

When you read, do you stop seeing the words and the story plays like a movie in your head?

That’s how it works for me, and I think that’s why I find no experiential difference between reading on my (e-ink) Kindle or from a printed book. But someone I was talking to said he paid so much attention to the words and the sentence structure and so on that it was really distracting for him to read anything but a pbook. I didn’t know that anyone experienced reading differently from my “watching a movie in my head” way. How is it when you read?

[Edit: I’m not asking whether you prefer pbooks or ebooks, just what the experience of “reading” is like for you. For example, I never understand why people say they prefer the feel/smell of print books, because when I read I get so into a story that I don’t even notice what medium the story is coming from. Like the experience of reading a book, for me, is not even that different from watching a movie.

I also think that’s why things have to be well written—not because I notice the wording, but because if the picture isn’t painted well enough, the “movie” in my head is boring and sparse.

Edit 2: I also write this way. More than one workshopper has called me a “cinematic writer”. This is all so interesting to me!]

6question, reading, ebooks, pbooks, kindle,


Typewriters by Vilmos Varga

Typewriters by Vilmos Varga

Typewriters by Vilmos Varga

Typewriters by Vilmos Varga


Beginning today and lasting to the end of the summer, the New Yorker website is free — and includes its complete archive. Our humble suggestions of where to begin your reading frenzy.

WHHAAAAAAT!? How much can I read by then???

(via booksandpublishing)

Source: millionsmillions

6the new yorker,

"The truth is, everyone likes to look down on someone. If your favorites are all avant-garde writers who throw in Sanskrit and German, you can look down on everyone. If your favorites are all Oprah Book Club books, you can at least look down on mystery readers. Mystery readers have sci-fi readers. Sci-fi can look down on fantasy. And yes, fantasy readers have their own snobbishness. I’ll bet this, though: in a hundred years, people will be writing a lot more dissertations on Harry Potter than on John Updike. Look, Charles Dickens wrote popular fiction. Shakespeare wrote popular fiction - until he wrote his sonnets, desperate to show the literati of his day that he was real artist. Edgar Allan Poe tied himself in knots because no one realized he was a genius. The core of the problem is how we want to define “literature”. The Latin root simply means “letters”. Those letters are either delivered - they connect with an audience - or they don’t. For some, that audience is a few thousand college professors and some critics. For others, its twenty million women desperate for romance in their lives. Those connections happen because the books successfully communicate something real about the human experience. Sure, there are trashy books that do really well, but that’s because there are trashy facets of humanity. What people value in their books - and thus what they count as literature - really tells you more about them than it does about the book."

Brent Weeks (via victoriousvocabulary)


(via fixyourwritinghabits)

"For a few months when I was eighteen I was having sex with someone who had faded scars all up and down his arms, small short scars from a knife, maybe a razor blade. I would look at them when he wore t-shirts and I would look at them when we were naked and I wanted to run my fingers along every single one. I touched them a few times, but always lightly, like I didn’t mean it. I don’t know, I thought I’d embarrass him. For a few months when I was nineteen I was having sex with someone with little stretch marks all over his shoulders and chest and stomach and I wanted to stare at them but I tried not to; I wanted to touch them but I was scared to make him feel strange in his body. Later that same year I had sex just once with someone who I met on the bus back home from school, who had straight blond hair and tattoos on his calves and no scars at all on his body. He bought me some beers at the bar out past the mall, then brought me back to his place where he put his hand around my throat and laughed and laughed. I stayed the night anyway, then left his house early in the morning and walked all the way home down Loudon Road and over the river, wondering how close I’d just come to dying, making a list in my head of what the pros and cons would’ve been."

Ungrateful Skin by Claire Comstock-Gay | Two Serious Ladies

A very important melty, hurty, yearnful story by our own Claire Comstock-Gay, who you may better know as Madame Clairevoyant. This is her first published piece of fiction!

(via therumpus)

This is sooooo gooooood I’m so glad I read it. 

(via therumpus)

"Sometimes setting details – like a jungle on fire, or moonlight sparkling on a lake – are so important to plot or character development that it’s appropriate to include visual setting at the launch of a scene. This is often the case in books set in unusual, exotic or challenging locations such as snowy Himalayan mountains, lush inlands or brutal desert climates. If the setting is going to bear dramatically on the characters and the plot, then there is every reason to let it lead into the scene that will follow."

Jordan E. Rosenfeld (via writingquotes)

Ohh this is a good one, I’m writing something really setting-centric right meow.

Happy 115th Birthday, Ernest Hemingway!

Fun fact: My great grandparents were friends with Ernest and Pauline Hemingway, and would vacation with them on Bimini Island in the 1930s. My grandmother, now 90, was a little girl and would play with their son, Jack “Bumby” Hemingway (above).

She told me some funny stories about Ernest, and I wrote them down here!

6ernest hemingway, hemingway, medium,

Ugh writing is so HARD

I’ve been working on this short story thing for like a week. I’ve got about 880 words of “manuscript” and then another 2500 of “slush” (stuff I’ve written as part of this that won’t be included in the final version, old drafts of paragraphs, etc.). Sometimes I can sit down and spit out a fully formed story, but this is not one of those times. It is a hacking away time. 

6livia, sigh,