Wordy Type

Writing Environments…what’s yours?

Interesting little column in LitReactor last week that asks writers to Tweet or Facebook pictures of their writing environments. As the columnist, Rob Hart, points out, one’s writing environment is one of the most personal and unique spaces we create. For some people, it works best with massive piles of paper; other folks prefer a spare, clean desk. Some people use a mobile laptop in a coffee shop; others bury themselves in a small room.

I’m still working on my ideal writing environment. For now, it’s a laptop…and wherever I can settle Mr. Griffin long enough to peck out a few words. My husband prefers a laptop on the kitchen table with the tv on in the background and piles of paper spread out around him.

Longterm, I dream of a space – not too big – where I can pin up some inspiration items on a wall and have some shelves with handy reference books at hand. It would be nice to have a window, but not essential. Unlike my husband, I prefer to work in a low stimulus environment.

Sooo, what does your writing environment look like? Have you already shared on LitReactor? If not, follow this link and snap a pic.

Cheers, Amy

PS – the absolutely gorgeous dream writing space above can be found here

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Bodoni Girl

Check out this tribute to Bodoni – a gorgeous font and one of my favorites. Poster designer Andreas Xenoulis used actual parts of the font – ascenders, descenders, letterforms – to create a Medusa-like, mysterious image:

You can read more about his creation process (and see in-progress pictures!) in this article on Visual News.

Cheers, Amy

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Well Behaved Women…

You may have heard of a book (or at least the title phrase) called “Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History.” It’s an interesting study by Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich on various women who are well known throughout history. Her pervasive theme is that…well…the title of her book says it all.

I recently added the book to my wish list and plan to read it soon. I’m late to the game – it was originally published in 2007. Here’s a book review from the NYTimes. And here’s another from the Deseret News.

Has anyone else out there read it? What did you think?

Cheers, Amy

You may also be interested in:

Beauty and Post Partum Bodies

Gabourey Sidibe on Beauty and Confidence

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Book Igloo

It’s a book igloo. By Miler Lagos. I want one. Happy Monday.

Cheers, Amy

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Favorite Links

Wood type lovers, lend a hand! The Hamilton Type Museum got flooded last night. According to them” Four inches of rain in northeastern Wisconsin last night has left us with an inch of standing water in the museum (it’s bad). The 800 gallons of water we’ve sucked off the floor looks like beer (we’re calling it Hamilton Stout). We need your help raising funds to repair the roof, clean off type and buy more paper towels. Consider a donation today, any amount helps.

Cool literary detective work – a book conservator at Brown University uncovered a Paul Revere engraving stuffed into a medical text that once belonged to a member of the university’s class of 1773. Full NYTimes story here.

Also, what?! Snoop Dogg published a “smokeable book” titled Rolling Words.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Cheers, Amy

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Book Review: Bringing Up Bebe

Just finished reading an interesting book called Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. The author, Pamela Druckerman, is a native New Yorker who marries a British sports journalist and relocates to Paris. As they start a family, she has the opportunity to contrast French and American parenting styles.

The basic premise of the book is that French children are generally well- behaved, model children, whereas Americans regularly produce child tyrants who rule the family. This is accomplished via a culture of parenting that is simultaneously stricter and more relaxed than the typical American household. Some pretty broad stereotypes, but interesting to read.

I may not agree with everything she advocates, but some concepts really resonated. Two of my favorite ideas are:

The concept of cadre, or order, that permeates the French approach to family. The idea is that children do best with a fairly rigid structure, but within that structure, parents can (and should) be flexible. So, for example, bedtimes are set and children are expected to stay inside their rooms. But, within their rooms, the child has the ability to choose what they do. They aren’t punished for choosing to read or play, as long as they stay within their room.

Also, there is the concept of a bêtise, or naughty. In France, transgressions fall into two categories…serious violations and minor bêtises…and the parental response is gauged accordingly. Children need to have some level of bêtises as they grow up.

Definitely an interesting book – I enjoyed reading it and discussing with my husband as we contemplate our approach to raising Griffin.

What do you think?

Cheers, Amy

Image via the Wall Street Journal book review.

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Wordy Type:Handwritten Letter Project

Have you heard of the Handwritten Letter Project?

It’s not uncommon among word-loving types to bemoan the death of language and the impersonal nature of modern correspondence. Well, a guy named Craig Oldham actually decided to turn this sentiment into a project by inviting a number of creative minds to send him a handwritten letter with their thoughts on the subject.

The collected results can be seen on his website and through this book. If you’re in England, you can catch the traveling exhibit.

Totally cool.

Cheers, Amy

Other posts you may like

Word Nerd: Nifty Lettering Projects

Interview with Font Designer Jellyka Nerevan

Bonefolder: e-journal for book artists

History of French Typefaces…swoon



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Wordy Type: Nifty Lettering Projects

Have you seen the blog of artist Lisa Congdon? She has an awesome project where she posts a new piece of hand lettering every day in 2012. I’m impressed by her dedication, but also fascinated by her creativity. This “A” from day 90 is one of my favorites so far…


Another artist doing a handwritten letter each day is Mary Kate McDevitt from Portland, OR. Check out her work via the Tumblr account YourHandwrittenLetters. You can sign up to receive one of her letters…just fill out a form on her website. All of McDevitt’s work has a slightly vintage, ink-washed look, but the style ranges from modern superhero to vintage font.

Another cool lettering project that I can’t get enough of is 50 and 50, a curated display where fifty different artists were invited to illustrate the motto of their home state. Check out this one from Colorado, by Justin Fuller of Pencil + Paper. The motto is odd, but I love the design.



Cheers, Amy

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Word Nerd: Little Free Library

How. Cool. Is. This… Have you heard of the Little Free Library project? The idea is that you can stick a book sharing station – they look like birdhouses – in your front lawn to start a community exchange. They claim current locations in 30+ states and 20+ countries. I love it.

Read about the project in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Listen to interviews with some of the founders on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Cheers, Amy

Image Source: Little Free Library

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Word Nerd: Wildwood Chronicles

I’m reading a completely gorgeous book. Wildwood was set in Portland, OR and targeted to a youth audience, the book is part urban fantasy and part coming-of-age wilderness adventure.

Written by Colin Meloy, the lead singer of the Decemberists, the book has an awesome heroine and a witty style to it. For those of you familiar with Portland, Meloy reimagines Forest Park as a forbidden wasteland called Wildwood…that is actually home to a completely separate society that happens to be caught in a civil war. When our heroine, Prue, travels into the forest to rescue her brother, she runs into all sorts of adventures.

I tend to geek out over books – full disclosure, I have a BA in English and a MS in Book Publishing – but this one is truly a splendid, worthwhile addition to the library. It’s hardbound, with deckled pages, and is substantially thick. Also, it was illustrated by Meloy’s wife, award-winning illustrator Carson Ellis. There are separate color plates and random black/white illustrations scattered throughout the pages.

Here’s a link to the book’s website and also a link to some videos of the husband and wife team.

I cannot wait to read this book with Griffin in a few years.

Cheers, Amy

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