Michaeline: A Meeting of Minds and Hearts

a couple embrace passionately on the streets

A meeting of mind and hearts is more than first attraction and admiration of one’s beloved. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

So, tomorrow is the big day! St. Valentine’s Day, when we can indulge in all sorts of sentiment about love and loving: soppy poetry, vinegary commentary, a wistful look at what was or could have been, and a belly-laugh about what silly old things we humans can be when under the domination of love.

I met up with a friend this week for tea, and she pointed me to “The Ideal Marriage According to Novels” by Adelle Waldman in The New Yorker which talks about the different ways men and women write about romance. Basically, Waldman says that women like Jane Austen or Elena Ferrante have an ideal partner in mind who is the woman’s match in intellect and feeling towards the world. And men tend to describe romance as a mysterious thing, and the ideal partner provokes feelings in the male breast. She’s pretty, and her intelligence is a crowning glory (but what she says isn’t really the point; it’s her fitness to be his partner that is the important thing). Continue reading

Nancy: Links, Learning, and Laughs

Surfer's View

While Jilly’s been building her TBR list for her staycation later this summer, I’ve been out surfing. Sadly (or on second thought, happily), this hasn’t involved a longboard or bitchin’ waves. I’ve been surfing the web from the safety of my own home, and I’ve run across some great writing- and story-related inspiration. Here are links to a few of the sites I’ve enjoyed the most this past week. If you’ve run across a must-see website for hopeless procrastinators writers, please share in the comments!

A different kind of writing book. First up is a link to a book. I’ve known about and been anticipating this release for months. No, it’s not a sweeping romance, a cozy mystery, or a great women’s fiction read. Continue reading

Michaeline: Commencement

Black and white photo from 1937 showing three women in graduation caps and lab coats mixing up a science experiment while riding on a flower-bedecked car.

Go ahead! Mix a metaphor and get ready to ride! It’s graduation weekend!!
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Ah, the end of spring, and the glorious beginning of summer. It’s commencement season in the US, a time when people graduate, and begin the next steps of building their lives. And every year, commencement speakers are invited to institutions large and small to impart words of wisdom to guide those steps.

One of my favorite commencement speeches is one given by Neil Gaiman for the students graduating from the University of the Arts in 2012. The self-educated Gaiman, who never graduated from an institution but has a romantic fondness and idealization of them (he says), talks a little bit about his journey. He mused about Continue reading

Michaeline: All I want for Christmas

Santa from The Graphics Fairy

Santa’s got a lot of stories to tell.

Everyone knows that no matter what religion a writer follows, all she wants for Christmas is a goddamn breakthrough in the story, and six to 12 hours of perfect flow in which to write it. Good luck wrapping that and getting it under the Christmas tree.

I took a look at several “Christmas gifts for writers” lists, and found some interesting results. Nobody seems to recommend fancy stuff like writing programs. I don’t know if those are too personal to be given as gifts, or if they are too expensive. Continue reading