Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Novel Journal

I found these über-cool notebooks called Novel Journals in a cute little Miami bookstore in March. Not only are they pretty, with a suede-feeling cover on which different literary quotes are printed, but the lines on which you can write inside are actually the text of the classic novel quoted!

Basically, you can jot down notes or your own stories in between the lines of a full-length novel!

I couldn't pass this up - what writer / scribbler / wordsmith could? The question remained, which one to buy. They had such greats as Emma by Jane Austen, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. In the end, I went with Bram Stoker's Dracula, just because it's the closest to the genre that I like to write in, and the quote on the front fits my current work-in-progress so well, it's a little uncanny.

Of course, the notebook has been sitting on my shelf since I bought it, looking pretty and untouched in its original wrapping. I recently liberated it from the plastic, my fingers itching to write in it. Something this cool shouldn't go unused. But it shouldn't be squandered on hastily-scribbled revision notes that nobody, including myself, will ever read after the book is finished, either. And I'm not the diary-writing type of gal. But I want to write something in this notebook that will last, that I'll want to come back to from time to time. So what could that possibly be?

I felt at a loss until I read a great line in the book I'm currently reading. It was such an amazing line that I simply had to write it down (since I always forget the exact wording of it by the time I read two pages further). That's when it hit me! I'll write my favorite quotes out of the books I read into this notebook that basically quotes an entire novel. I've been meaning to start such a quote-book for a while, anyway. Turns out, this idea was simply waiting for the right medium for me to find for it.

But I'm still wondering what other sort of notes aside from diary entries and quotes such a cool notebook could be used for... Any thoughts?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

On Being Clear, The Difficulty Of

This weekend, we went to a wine festival in the vineyards surrounding the beautiful city of Würzburg. We were a group of about sixteen people. Four of us went there a little earlier to reserve a table. 

The four of us got lucky and nabbed an empty beer table in the perfect location: in between the vines, with a nice view over the Main river and the Altstadt (old town) of Würzburg, close enough to the funk band to hear the songs they played, but far enough away to be able to talk with each other. 

25 Jahre Hoffest am Stein

Now, a German beer table holds eight people comfortably and ten people with restricted elbow-room. Twelve begin to pose a challenge if you're trying to keep all butt cheeks on the benches. Fourteen is possible if partners sit on each others' laps. Sixteen... maybe if everybody's a size-zero super model, but we didn't have a single one of those among us that night. 

Anyway, the vanguard of four had to defend our table for quite some time before the rest of the group made an appearance. Because a wine festival in Southern Germany fills up faster than the service personnel can chill the wine, we got a lot of requests from strangers, whether a few more people could squeeze in with us at our table. 

One of those requests became a sort of running gag throughout the night. It went something like this:

A couple approaches the Vanguard of Four, who are trying to appear as wide and bench-filling as possible. 

Wife: Do you guys have room for two more people at your table?

We: Sorry, we're expecting at least twelve more ourselves.

Husband and wife: Ha ha! 

Husband (already moving on): That's going to be tight.

Wife (still looking at us expectantly): So do you guys have room for two more people at your table?

We: O_o ???? Only if by 'people' you mean wine bottles...