Summer Reading

IT’S HOT. Not only that, but I am officially done with college and soon moving from NYC to Los Angeles, California where my immediate plans including laying on the beach until my skin is leather. In order to stave off the inevitable existential dread that comes with any newly-printed degree, I am focusing less on the “career” path and more on the “reading all the books you have put off for the last four years” path. 

My dad has an amazing habit of sending me books he reads about in the New Yorker e-mail newsletter (classy guy!). But as a result, I have amounted a vast collection of books that I’ve been forced to watch gather dust while I drag myself through The Canterbury Tales for the fourth time (no ouffense, Chaucer). 

This summer, I want to read books that will make me a more curious and adventurous reader and writer. Of course I want to get hip to the likes of Elena Ferrante and Yanagihara, but I can’t wait to dig into Uprooted, which has been recommended to me more times than I can count; or On Writing which is the concrete source of 99% of literary advice I’ve ever received. I’m also eager to dig into some Raymond Chandler, who Murakami regularly cites as one of his greatest influences. Plus new Roxane Gay? See y’all in the fall. 

What are you reading this summer?

 

 

 

Writing As Of Late

Happy Halloween/November/Thanksgiving/Fall/Everything Else I’ve Missed as I’ve been busy writing every day. I’m currently penning prose for The Pulp Zine, Bustle, and NYU Local. As hectic as things have been, I’ve written a few articles I’m quite proud of. 

  • I Asked My Dad If He’s A Feminist” – via Bustle. I was thrilled to receive this assignment from my editor, and slightly more nervous in its actual creation. The reaction to this piece from friends, family, and random strangers on the internet has been really spectacular. I’d be honored if you read it yourself. 
  • Once Upon A Time, I Was A Lolita” – via The Pulp Zine. In which I recount the dramatic tale of my middle school life devoted to the style of fashion known as Elegant Gothic Lolita. Just writing this article made me so tempted to buy myself something from Angelic Pretty…
  • An Open Love Letter To The Power And Magic Of Grimes” – via NYU Local. So, Grimes was in town last week and naturally I had to write something about it. I genuinely can’t believe my editors let me get away with publishing something that is essentially ruminations on why she is the most perfect human being of all time. I also don’t think I’ve ever written anything faster in my entire life?
  • NaNoWriMo – Yep, I’m doing it this year. Amidst organizing my first essay collection and wrapping up my first novel, I decided to indulge and start an entirely new novel on November 1st (err…it was more like November 3rd, honestly). The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Currently, I’m at approximately 20,000 words. It’s become pretty evident I won’t meet the goal, but I’ve quite fallen in love with what I’m writing and hopefully it will be complete sometime in December (maybe NaNoWriMo should make “runner up” t-shirts for novels completed by Christmas?)

That’s just the highlights of pieces from the past few weeks. I’m sure you wouldn’t be as interested in the “X Pictures Of Puppies In Leaves!” filler I get paid to create. Or would you? 

On another note, I hope your ~*holiday season*~ is off to a fabulous and relaxing start. I’m heading home this Wednesday myself (keep me in your travel prayers plz) for a few days of maximum chilling. In knitting news, I hope to have a new free pattern posted within the next week, and I am currently designing a surprise holiday D.I.Y. that I’m mucho excited for. 

I love you all! 

xoxo

 

 

Call for Artists, Photographers, Writers, Crafters…!

Image: Vogue.com

Hey there!

My boyfriend and I are currently putting together a magazine featuring the creative work of our friends and family and we want you to be a part of it! We need writers, illustrators, artists, photographers, chefs, crafters, comic artists…basically anyone whose work can be displayed on the pages of a magazine. 

There are no restrictions on what we are looking for, besides it being awesome and important to you. If you are looking for an opportunity to have your work published, send it over! If we choos to include your work, we will contact you ASAP. Everyone featured in the magazine will receive a free copy and be featured on an upcoming website.

Use THIS FORM to submit. All submissions are due by September 15th, 2015. 

Submission Guidelines:

Visual Art + Photography: Photos should be in .jpg or .png format. At least 1500 x 1500 pixels.

Prose + Poetry: .pdf or .doc format. Up to 7,500 words total (can be multiple pieces).

E-mail me with any questions: katiestich@gmail.com

Life Updates: Brioche, Blume and A Mystery Novel

Hey all! Life is good! It’s summer, I’m happy, and I am currently eating a garlic knot! There’s so much going on in my world that I thought I’d share:

This morning, I just finished reading Judy Blume’s latest novel In the Unlikely Event. It’s one of her few novels “for adults,” centering around three plane crashes in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the early 1950’s. The novel has garnered mixed reviews–but I am on the side of praise. The novel follows a large, complex cast of characters and is incredible in its capacity to evoke time and place both mentally and physically. Just as a side note: this isn’t good airport reading.

So, after years of considering myself a semi-pro knitter, I finally learned to brioche. It only took about 50 different YouTube videos and online walkthroughts, but I think I finally got the hang of it. I’m currently working with some Rowan Silky Tweed to create a two-tone scarf.

I recently went home for a long weekend to visit my family, and needless to say it was swell. The real surprise was coming home to find my boyfriend had purchased me a vintage Remington Tab Master typewriter! It’s absolutely beautiful, if not delightfully noisy. I’ve been using it nearly everyday, which brings me to my next point:

I am currently halfway through writing my first novella. I plan on self-publishing by the end of the year (so yes that means you should get the eBook for all of your friends and family this holiday season). I’ve *attempted* many an extended work in the past, but I have such a great feeling about this one.

This week, my best friend forever is coming to stay with me for a few days! We have sensational plans that include, but are not limited to, seeing Ken Wantanabe in the living, breathing flesh on Broadway.

Speaking of said friend…we are going to Rhinebeck this year. Which reminds me…I better start knitting that sweater.

I love you all!

xoxo

How to be a New Yorker

I spent the past week visiting my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s a medium-sized city known for it’s closely-knit, slightly more Appalachian than advertised community. There is a general attitude of friendliness that permeates even the grumpiest of rednecks. Often, a trip home is a welcome refreshment from New York City, but is quick to grow stale.

Yesterday, I was meeting with my sister and niece at a bookstore. I arrived almost 20 minutes early and decided to get coffee at the cafe next door. Two women were ahead of me in line for my medium soy iced latte. No one involved was in a particular rush. Customers were making small talk with the barista about a sign announcing the imminent Donut Day.

Though I could be counted among those in no particular hurry, I found myself growing impatient with every second the woman in front of me spent digging through her Polyurethane purse in search of a possible gift card. The whole scenario began and ended in the space of five minutes, and yet before it was over I had mentally huffed myself ragged.

I returned to the bookstore, stood in front of a display showcasing coloring books for adults, and reflected on the fact that I had officially become someone I would mock.

When did this happen, I wonder? How did I transform into a bitchy Manhattan werewolf without realizing it? Is this the official indoctrination into becoming a real New Yorker? Being an insufferable wombat of a human?

I have since returned to New York, and I am now sitting at a cafe on the Lower East Side, surrounded by others who all surely received their coffee in a timely manner, albeit without much discussion of the fact that today is now officially Donut Day.

Perhaps at one time I would have been delighted to fit in among this crowd, all typing aggressively on Mac Books or looking down at Instagram with heads tilted to take a bite of a croissant held in the other hand. To sit unnoticed among the calm, cool, Zara-wearing population is not a task mastered without time and practice.

Yet, today I feel like standing up and screaming, if only to be an individual among individuals. I resent the affected manner in which I drink my coffee and cross my legs. I wish I didn’t know the words to the Bon Iver song currently playing, and yet I am mentally singing along. How cruel that two other people in here are wearing the same shoes as me.

I never thought I’d hear myself publicly declare that I no longer wish to be a New Yorker. But upon further consideration, if it means retaining the capacity to breathe, I am content to remain a stranger in a strange land.

xoxo

How To: Start and Keep a Diary

The act of journaling can be an insanely awesome experience. Beyond the obvious egocentric pleasure of reveling in your own existence, a diary or journal is a tool of emotional expression, self-awareness, and creativity.

I began keeping a diary around the age of seven years old, upon the receipt of a mermaid-scale notebook. I filled it with doodles of Spongebob, fantasies about marrying the best dodgeball player in gym, and the occasional quip about art class. Since then, my diary has been an integral part of who I am (and needless to say, the content has hardly changed).

People seem so surprised when I tell them the majority of my existence has been documented by my own hand. “I always start a journal,” they say. “But then I just lose interest and forget to write.”

It’s always the same story. Yet, five seconds on the internet will reveal no one loses interest in talking about themselves. And this certainly isn’t a bad thing! Three cheers for self-discovery! It seems to me that the real problem is people thinking there is a set of rules and standards one must uphold in the diary-writing world. Fun fact: your diary is a private experience for a reason. Whether it looks like a carefully-curated catalog or an explosion of words and ideas is amazing either way! It’s all about finding what feels most fulfilling and cathartic. So let’s get started!

journals

CHOOSING YOUR JOURNAL

Picking out a brand-new diary is the second most fun aspect of keeping one (the first being re-reading it three years later and questioning all of your life choices).

Your journal can be anything from anywhere: a composition book from the dollar store, a fancy shmancy Moleskine, a sketchbook, or a handcrafted leather book from Etsy. You’ll know when something speaks to you. My only rule is: make sure it’s something you can carry everywhere.

There are also books like “Wreck This Journal” that provide a bit more of a guided experience. Each page has a different prompt or activity, and you’re encouraged to transform them as you see fit. These can be awesome for breaking out of a creative rut, or sharing with a friend.

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SPILLING YOUR GUTS

As previously stated, there are absolutely no rules when it comes to writing in your journal, though many find it preferable to avoid animal sacrifices. If this is your first diary entry, start with how you’re feeling today. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Let your ideas evolve as they come!

Here are some things you can put in your journal:

Dreams, lists, your day, sketches, people watching, letters to people you don’t know, letters to people you do know, opinions on books movies and music, rants and vents, stories, poems, pressed flowers, collages and cut-outs, quotes, things you learned today, recipes, receipts, jokes, how-tos, news, plans, outfit ideas…

…And that really is just a fraction of the magic little world you can create between two pages.

MAINTENANCE

Incorporating a diary into your daily/weekly/monthly routine shouldn’t be a chore. If you find yourself with little to say, try writing at a different time of day or in a different place. Most importantly, don’t force your thoughts. If your day warrants a sentence and a half accompanied by a sketch of a shoe, so be it! Excellent job! Gold star!

I tend to write earlier in the day–I get up at least an hour before my boyfriend and sit at my desk, considering the previous day and planning for the one ahead. It’s both relaxing and energizing. Some days, I find myself recording events in minute detail, while other entries say nothing more than “Klaus won’t stop licking my face.” Both are equally perfect usages of ink and paper.

If you let your journal interact with you in a way that feels natural and cathartic, it will soon become an essential part of your routine, and you can begin building a record of your beautiful self!

JOURNAL INSPIRATION

These resources might help get those creative juices feeling extra-juicy!

Gala Darling’s Radical Self Love Bible is an ongoing journaling project that has created some serious loveliness.

The diaries of Anais Nin are widely-regarded as some of the most important published journals of all time. Beautifully written, inspirational, and relatable all at the same time. Essential reading.

Journaling Junkie and F-Yeah Journals are both tumblr blogs for sharing journal pictures and pages. Always too cool to see how others interpret their lives on paper.

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Now, go forth all and create beautiful and magical little books of your lives! Tell me your grand plans and ideas! Document your internal and external self!

Long live diaries!

xoxo

Kate