words kill, words give life

twitter + literature = ?

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 11, 2010

twitter, literature, twitterature, twiterature, author, writer, university of chicago, alexander aciman, alex, alexandre, alesander, aceman, acimen, acemen, akimen, akiman, akemen, akeman, emmet rensin, emmett, emett, emet resin, rensen, nineteen, college students, book, cover

twitter, literature, twitterature, twiterature, author, writer, university of chicago, alexander aciman, alex, alexandre, alesander, aceman, acimen, acemen, akimen, akiman, akemen, akeman, emmet rensin, emmett, emett, emet resin, rensen, nineteen, college students, book, cover

“Twitterature” is a new book by nineteen-year-old University of Chicago students Alexander Aciman (left) and Emmett Rensin (right) with the goal of reducing more than eighty pieces of literature into less than twenty tweets, “to its purest, pithiest essence.”

You may doubt the purity of its abridgments, but “Twitterature” is undeniably pithy. My only complaint is that I didn’t think of it first.

Advertisements

the dark altar of Charles Addams

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on October 28, 2009

Charles Addams is freaking awesome. He created the Addams family and drew over a 1000 cartoons for The New Yorker. Unfortunately he died in 1988.

I just bought a collection of his cartoons – “Happily Ever After: A Collection of Cartoons to Chill the Heart of Your Loved One.” It’s a must buy if you have a macabre sense of humor.

EMERGENCY This Book Will Save Your Life

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on September 6, 2009

I picked EMERGENCY up because it had an interesting cover (and because it was on the “buy 1, get 1 50% off ” table at Borders). After flipping through, I found its sections interspersed with comic-style illustrations explaining things like how to make a knife from a credit card or a bow and arrow from PVC pipe.

So I bought it. And I got far more than I bargained for.

Not just instructions for surviving chemical attack, treating snakebites, etc., EMERGENCY is also an autobiographical tale of Neil Strauss’ personal preparation for the End of the World as We Know It (that’s EOTWAWKI, in survival speak). He takes us along on his adventures as he searches for safety with guns,  goats and gas-masks.

This book will either make you laugh at the crazy fringe who believes the apocalypse is around the corner or it will make you paranoid enough to run and join them. If you’re anything like the author, it’ll make you a little of both. Like Strauss said, “We make fun of those we’re most scared of becoming.”

The Pretty & the Plain

Posted in art, etc. by Kaitlin on September 1, 2009

If you’re a JJ Heller fan, then you know how terribly behind I am on this. I just discovered her a few days ago when the cover art on her 2007 cd “The Pretty & the Plain” caught my eye.

I know, I know – don’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes I can be so superficial.This time my superficiality was a good thing. Her voice has the folksie kind of quality I love and the lyrics are really powerful.

Give the video a listen for one of my favorite songs of hers.

The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on August 19, 2009

This book is utterly un-put-down-able. I read it straight through in one sitting. It is a collection of stories from Laurie Notaro’s crazy life. And the best part? It’s all true.

When reading this book, it is impossible to not fall in love with Laurie. With nothing held back, Notaro brings us her life in all it’s rebellious clumsy glory. If you have ever been embarrassed, if you have ever walked the edge for fun, if you have ever been able to count your coins on one hand, then you will relate to her stories.

So gather all your girlfriends and have a wondrous time Idiot Girls style and don’t worry if you don’t remember all of it the next day – that just adds to the fun.

It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on July 2, 2009

I picked this book up at Anthropologie a few weeks ago and just now got around to reading it. As I’m taking a creative copywriting class this summer, it seems especially relevant. It’s written by the late Paul Arden, a leader in advertising design. This doesn’t mean the book’s just helpful for art design. It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be. espouses a philsophy anyone can take advantage of.

5189NZY4TAL._SS500_Arden emphasizes the importance of being willing to fail. He said to see criticism instead of praise and to claim responsibility even when it means taking the blame. Being right means avoiding risks and that is no way to succeed.

At just over a hundred pages, the book is also worth looking at for its  elegant design by Roger Kennedy who was involved with the entire writing process.

book cover dos – valentine’s day

Posted in art, etc., books and stories by Kaitlin on May 27, 2009
imaginary book cover for a one page short story

imaginary book cover for a one page short story

This is another pseudo cover. This story was a short exercise I wrote for a fiction writing class a while ago:

St. Valentine’s Day

It was their fourth date. Fifth in Evan’s mind, counting the half-hour spent at a coffee shop after class. One date too many in Natalie’s mind as she stared at the strips of rare steak covering his salad.

His fork carried a chunk of red meat to his mouth, dripping dressing down his chin. She drank from her water glass, two slices of lemon, no ice.

“You were right,” Evan said with his mouth full. His eyes were Oreos with the cream squished out.

Natalie pointed to the corner of her mouth.

“About what?”

He wiped his mouth.

“Salads can be good sometimes.”

She looked at the crushed crouton dropped on the table. Evan swished Dr. Pepper around his teeth.

“Yes.”

She tore a piece of lettuce with her soupspoon.

“You aren’t eating. Don’t you feel good?”

Natalie swallowed the tortured leaf. He took another mouthful.

Evan’s eyes were chocolate-iced custard-filled doughnuts. She looked back at the crouton.

“You know what I was thinking.” He flicked the crouton in her lap. “Natalie?”

“Hmm.”

“I was thinking this Friday we could go to – ”

“Evan.”

“What?”

Natalie picked up the crouton and dropped it in her water glass. He followed her actions. Their eyes met.

“I don’t want to see you.”

She inhaled three times. Evan breathed once.

“What?”

“I don’t want to go out with you.”

“On Friday?” His eyes were espresso with a ring of foam. Evan inhaled three times. Natalie breathed once.

“Yes.” The soggy crouton sank. “Saturday would be better.”

He raised a piece of red meat to his mouth, dripping dressing down his chin.

imaginary book cover

Posted in art, etc., books and stories by Kaitlin on May 26, 2009

After admiring the design of many a dust jacket, I’ve decided to make imaginary book covers for some of my short stories. This cover is for a story titled “Myrtle and Clayton” about my grandmother and her brother when they were kids. If you are tempted to be a Judgey McJudgerson, consider I only spent a couple hours on it and used images found on google.myrtle and clayton