Working in Seattle

Hello everyone! Hope your Tuesday/Wednesday is going well.

Lately I have been reading blogs that have “Wordless Wednesdays.” Have you ever heard of that? It’s when blogs have a series of pictures, or one picture instead of a prose post.

I do not think I’ll start doing Wordless Wednesdays, but I did want to share some fun pics I took of writing in Seattle yesterday with you. Nothing serious today- just fun Seattle sunshine and latte art from a place you should definitely check out- Zoka coffee shop.

The Space Needle with sun in Seattle

Love it when the sun comes out in Seattle!

With the flash!

Different angle- no flash.

Love the new pattern.

about 1/2 the way through

Ah, I love my coffee while writing. It makes me more productive, although I usually don’t order lattes. Just regular black coffee. I am also very glad to have finally found a few places that serve delicious lattes (although coffee is everywhere here, truly great coffee shops are bizarrely difficult to find in Seattle, which shocks me). Zoka definitely makes one of the best lattes I’ve ever had in my lifetime.

In other good news, these pictures were all taken with my cell phone camera, as are many of the ones I post here. If you have a larger screen, you might be grossed out by the poor image quality/ pixels. However, my wonderful friend gave me an old Nikon digital camera yesterday. As you might have guessed, I will use it to take pictures, and will then post those (way better than cell phone quality) pictures to the blog! I’m very excited about it, and hope that it will make your reading experience better.

Do you drink coffee while writing?  Something else? Nothing at all?

Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Cheers,

Miss E

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Writer’s March, a Recap

Hello readers,

As you may remember, I had entered a challenge for the event Writer’s March (discussed in this previous post).  My challenge to myself was to write at least a page a day of personal writing every day for the entire month of March. I am here to give you a recap of my experience.

So, I may or may not have written sporadically, as I always do. At first, I tried to write my page every night before bed, but that only worked for about 10 days. Then, I started writing my page (or less, or more) in the mornings and while waiting for my tutoring students. I did not necessarily accomplish my goal, but I also wouldn’t call the challenge an unmet failure either. There wasn’t a page of personal writing every day, but some days I wrote thousands of words of personal writing, including the start of a fiction story that might become something interesting.

I did write a lot more in my journal for the month of March than I have been. Even if it was only a few sentences some days, I think it was quite productive. I did think about it practically every day, although some days I actually just forgot. Oops.

So, at the end of this month what were my creative gains?

  1. Learning more about my writing needs. I didn’t realize how that daily practice of writing non-fiction articles had really shifted my writing tone, until I started trying to write fiction again. It was a pretty startling change. I think I need to keep following other writers’ blogs, and keep challenging myself to write for myself even if I am tired.
  2. I started singing, more cell phone pictures, and oil painting again. Oddly enough, thinking of what I needed to do in terms of writing opened up a lot of other creative outlets for me. I have also been more inspired lately to dream big, and have decided to create a list of creative goals for myself to enrich my life.

    Typing for Pemberley (and many other projects)

  3. Despite the fact that I was partaking in a challenge for Writer’s March, I also seemed to keep encountering facts and information about NaNoWriMo, the writer’s month in November that challenges people to write an entire novel in a month. Information about this event kept popping up this month, in books and on the internet. I think it’s a sign I need to write a longer work soon, a thousand words (ish) a day.
  4. I have learned that I need to be more kind to my wrists, and to write with pen and paper as often as possible. I am also going to start stockpiling money for a new computer. The tiny netbook was great for riding my bike around, but it is a little cramped for being a professional writer and working on it all day, every day. Nope, pen and paper are my friend I also think more clearly when I write with pen and paper as well.

4.5. My reading increased pretty dramatically, although I keep losing my books (so not sure I can count this as a whole gain). Really, losing books is quite a nuisance, and has never happened to me as much as it has this month. I am starting Ulysses, am reading short stories from Jane Austen Made Me Do It, was almost done with the Happiness Project (before I lost it), reading another Jane Austen continuation, The God of Animals, and a few other novels currently.  (I promise to have a book review for you in the coming weeks!) I am very close to the end in a few, if only I could find them.

I highly recommend checking out the Writer’s March site for helpful writing discussion and writing tips. Even though I may not have reached my goal in the traditional way, I did it in my roundabout way, which is really generally the way I do things, and has worked for me so far. It has been rewarding. Thanks to the creators of Writer’s March for their support, and thanks to my readers as well.

Cheers,

Miss E

Blog Update

Hi everyone,

Miss E here.

I did not fall off the face of the planet or anything, but I have actually been on the blog every day doing background work. P.S. I finally figured out the Pinterest button! (should be to your right at the top of the page 😀 )  I have actually been on Pinterest for a long time- it has to be my favorite social media site.

Lake Washington in the Winter

I have been trying to figure out a few secrets to blogging, setting up a host, and other bloggish things that I am still mostly in the dark about. I am adding more every week, but it is slow going many days!

Even though I have not posted, I have been logging in to read your fabulous comments! Yay! Thank you 🙂 and I also had my first “Troll” experience on the blog. Someone left some pretty negative comments to other readers, and to myself, that were just not productive or appropriate, actually.

I didn’t “accept” them because they would have been a waste of space, but they were a great reminder that I need to keep doing what I’m doing, and trying to create conversation (polite conversation, not the textual equivalent of yelling).

Usually, I accept every comment and respond to as many as possible, and I actually enjoy engaging with those who agree and disagree with my viewpoints. I am not cool with people attacking my other commenters or being just plain ignorant, however. Nope, not cool with it.  Looking For Pemberley is a safe space, and none of you should feel attacked here.

How do you handle “trolls?”

I will have another post for you soon, and hope you are all having an amazing weekend.

Regards,

Miss E

 

Art of Writing

This will be a short post, but happy Saturday/ Sunday depending on your location!

I just saw this quote, and wanted to share it with you because I thought it was beautiful:

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” ― Gustave Flaubert

Do you agree with Flaubert?

This has been true in my experience. That is one of the reasons I have wanted to get back to writing for myself (see post about Writer’s March). For example, I had no idea I was so interested in gender until I had an imperative to write hundreds of pages, and the topic kept coming up as one of my main focuses.

For those of you who voted to see more movie and book reviews here, just rented quite a few literary movies from Scarecrow Video, and also that I have purchased the book, “Jane Austen Made Me Do It,” since Austenprose Blogger Laurel Ann Nattress edited it, and I keep seeing it on every Austen inspired book blog I encounter. I’ll review it here someday in the future.

I also wanted to alert you to the Looking for Pemberley Facebook page. If you “like” the page, you can get updates as to articles of interest, and I often post “writing songs of the day” there as well.

Here is a photo that makes my heart happy, and that has inspired one of my personal writing goals for the night:

That was a good day 🙂

Talk soon,
Miss E

Writer’s March

It can be a great thing to set goals for yourself in any area you want to improve in. Goals can give us direction and purpose, but also help us become more aware of our own needs.

I joined Writer’s March last night, and my resolution was to write at least 1 page a day for myself. It goes during the entire month of March, so you totally have time to join!

As stated on their goals page, I am a freelance writer, so I am writing all day, every day. I also write on the weekends and at night. One of the reasons I am a writer by profession is that I just very much enjoy writing.

However, I would also like to spend more time writing interesting posts for Looking For Pemberley. I also think that to continue being passionate about my writing, I need to write for myself.

Pretty! Maybe this can inspire your writing?!

What falls into my definition of writing for myself?

  • journal entries
  • short stories
  • personal blogging
  • writing for fun
  • poetry
  • cathartic writing

What does not count as writing for myself?

  • professional e-mails
  • e-mails of any kind, for that matter
  • articles for clients
  • comments on blog posts
  • typing search terms into Google 😉
  • letters of recommendation for former students
  • anything written with the intention of selling, advertising, or distributing to mass audiences via social media or blogging

1 page a day might seem like a tiny goal, but for me it feels pretty challenging. I currently don’t write for myself most days, not even a few words. Hopefully my goal will help revitalize my personal writing life, and improve my writing in other areas, including Looking for Pemberley. I would love to write more often here, and to write posts that you enjoy.

If you haven’t heard of Writer’s March yet, check it out! The talented writers working on that site have great insights into the life of writers, professional, student writers, and casual writers.

All the best,

Miss E

What is Queer Theory?

Hello dear readers!

I have had a few questions recently about some of the terms that we use here often at Looking For Pemberley. Although many of the terms that I use range from academic to very informal, made-up words, there area  few that I think you should know about when you are reading posts here. I don’t want anyone to feel left out.

So, I’ve decided that I will start a “definitions” post series, so you can familiarize yourself with some potentially unfamiliar terms.

In the future, look under the “defined” category to find the posts in this vein.

__________________________________

Let’s start with the term Queer Theory, as I have had a few questions about that.

For many people who grew up when the word “queer” was pejorative, this term may seem a little alarming. Really, queer is not a bad word.

Queer theory came out of gender studies, which derived from feminism, and is used as a lens or framework to view different media or texts, such as works of art or books, for example.

It is a type of theory that challenges binary constructions like “male” and ‘female,” but is not at all limited to gender. One of the reasons many people may be confused about what queer theory actually is, is because it has so many applications. Scholars and others often use the ideas from “queer theorists” such as Judith Butler and Jack Halberstam and Chandan Reddy (as mentioned previously here) to understand and question any given text, ideology, simplistic construction, or social situation.

Queer theory can be a very freeing tool, and remains politically important, because it also allows for personal identity to fluctuate, and resists definition of who we are as people, what makes us the way we are, and what we can or should prescribe to.

I myself am very interested in queer theory and studied it in school, so if you have questions about it, feel free to continue asking!

Also, if you have anything to add, please pitch in through the comment section or e-mail me from the “about” page! I would love to hear your personal definitions.

I also have some resources that I think will help you understand the purpose and goals of Queer Theory listed below that might help.

Queer Theory

Theory Org

Queer by Choice link database

GLBTQ

Have a great weekend!

Miss E

Blue Eyed Boy

I have a happy announcement to share!

Because of the incredible amount of encouragement that Looking for Pemberley has received lately, I finally decided to take a step forward with it.

This morning, I bought the domain for this site!

Posting here and developing my writing has been a dream come true!

I have been considering it for a while, but was not sure that many people would be interested in what we talk about here, or that I would have the stamina to continue posting on a regular basis.

Honestly, this blog was kind of an experiment at first, to see if I could really do it. I’ve made it this far, but I would love to continue this journey.

Your support and feedback really have inspired me, and I feel like I’ve been inducted into a community here on WordPress.

I have enjoyed my blogging experience here, and feel that even though I do not post as frequently as I’d like, I do have something that interests me in the finished posts. Usually, I have a hard time getting to 30 site views per day.

Yesterday was pretty amazing though. I had over 200 site views (Looking for Pemberley Record)! Plus, I got over 300 more followers!

Thanks to you all!

This is how I feel right now- hyperbolic joy explosion.

I feel a renewed sense of purpose in writing, and a revitalized dedication to not only making more regular posts, but also to seeking out new and interesting contributors so that we can produce dynamic and interesting points of view.

Today I am celebrating! Probably with a bottle of one of my favorite wines, Molly Dooker’s Blue Eyed Boy.

A photo I took of this incredible wine (and also one of my favorite labels).

Happily Yours,

Miss E