[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Dressing for the Four Seasons with Sylvia Plath


Reposting in honor of Sylvia’s birthday!

Originally posted on A Small Press Life:

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”-Orson Welles

Sylvia Plath is best remembered for the sharp-edged precision of her poetry: word-vessels that are hard, clear, and passionate examples of literature’s trickiest form. Her style, although of minor importance to both literary historians and laypersons, remains fresh and appealing fifty years after her death. The timeless quality of Sylvia’s wardrobe is easy to emulate, and personalize.

Four Seasons, Five Photographs, Forever Stylish:

Sylvia Plath: Spring

Sylvia Plath: Spring

 A crisp white tee, corset belt, and floaty high-waisted skirt is the perfect outfit for the windy days of spring. She finishes it off simply with lipstick and a hairpin. Typewriter: optional. [This is my favourite photograph of a writer caught in the act of writing. I've always envied the imagined comforts of working in a garden setting. Sun-on-skin; light, earth-tainted breeze; a lounge chair to…

View original 834 more words

Shopping for the Bookworm: A Literary Halloween, Second Edition

“I want you to believe…to believe in things that you cannot.”-Bram Stoker, Dracula

Continue reading

[R]evolving Incarnations: A Questionnaire for Passionate Readers-Laura A. Lord from History of a Woman

[R]evolving Incarnations: A Questionnaire For Passionate Readers is an interview series done in classic Q&A format. Each entry features one intrepid writer/blogger/artist/creative mastermind as they take on the same 40 reading-themed questions and scenarios. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section!


Laura is the writer behind the fantastic blog, History of a Woman. Please stop by and say hello!

  • What book have you always wanted to read, but haven’t? Why? I’ve had a huge volume of Ernest Hemingway’s stories on my shelf for entirely too long. I keep staring at it, thinking, Today, I will read that book. And then I grab something far less intimidating and settle in for a bubble bath.
  • What is your favourite line or passage from a book? “It was a fine cry – loud and long – but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”-Toni Morrison, Sula. The first time I read that line, I had to stop and read it again. And then again. Then I sat back and wished I had written it.
  • Who do you think is the most underrated author? Me. No, but seriously, I love Brian Jacques and am constantly surprised when someone says they don’t know who he is. He’s brilliant. Go read his work.
  • What is your pick for the most underrated book? Mattimeo by Brian Jacques. Certainly not the first in his Redwall series, but my favorite of the whole.
  • If you could make everyone in the world read one book, what would it be? The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby. One, because it was an amazing read, but mostly, because it shows what someone can accomplish with true determination.
  • Is there a book you wish you had written? The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve. I threw the book across the room at the end of it. I want to write something that makes my readers feel so strongly.
  • What are you currently reading? The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve. I’ve been on a kick with her work lately.
  • How many books do you have in rotation at any one time? Two. One fiction and one of poetry.
  • What is the funniest book you’ve read? Janet Evanovich’s books are still some of the funniest I’ve ever read.
  • What is the saddest book you’ve read? The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne broke my heart. I couldn’t make myself watch the movie.
  • What is the last book you couldn’t put down? Bodysurfing by Anita Shreve. Third time I’ve mentioned her, but she is a captivating author.
  • When you are reading a great book, do you read it all of the way through as fast as possible or hoard it for as long as you can? I don’t mean to, but I read fast. I can’t help it. If it is well written and has a firm hold on me, I’ll forfeit sleep to finish it (and people, sometimes food…rarely food).
  • What book have you re-read the most? Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. My children adore this book.
  • Who is your pick for sexiest character in fiction? I’ll take any romance that involves a man in kilt. Kilt yeah.
  • Approximately how many books do you read in a year? Twelve to fifteen, depending on the size of the books. I read far more poetry, but rarely entire books of poetry.
  • Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? Fiction. I really love historical fiction, especially if the author manages to keep the story very close to the truth. I want the non-fiction…with the emotion of fiction.
  • If you could swap places with your favourite fictional character, would you? Explain your choice. No. Any character I have ever considered a favorite has dealt with such heartbreak and agony. I’d rather avoid it and let them deal with the situations.
  • What is your favourite literary food or meal? I bought the companion cookbook for the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. Nothing beats that Meadowcream recipe.
  • Where is your favourite place to read? The bathtub…preferably when the children are in bed and I can lock the door and pretend I am not in my house.
  • What is your favourite bookstore? Amazon! But I’m out in the country. I’d have to travel an hour away to get to a bookstore.
  • Name six writers, living or dead, you would want as companions on a non-stop, cross-country road trip. Brian Jacques, Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, and my two friends, Tamara Woods and Hasty Words. However, looking at that list of my favorites, I realize this would be a very odd trip and most of these people either wouldn’t get along, or would make terrible traveling companions. 
  • Do you have a favourite and a least favourite genre? I read just about everything. I’ve never been much on Westerns or hardcore Sci-Fi, so they are probably my least favorite.
  • What is the longest period you have gone without reading a book? A week? Maybe?
  • Name three literary characters you would want as roommates. Khal Drogo, because…well what woman wouldn’t? Miss Havisham, because I found her extremely entertaining, and one of the cooks from the Redwall books. I’m not picky on who, I just want someone else to handle kitchen duty.
  • What was your favourite book as a child? The Velveteen Rabbit [ed. note-by Margery Williams]
  • What is your favourite literary city? I think my favorites in any book are the ones based in reality. I loved James Patterson simply because he wrote books that took place in my home state.
  • Name your favourite Brontë. I don’t have a favorite. In fact, I don’t really like any of them. Don’t stone me.
  • What is your favourite e-commerce site for books? Again, Amazon.
  • What is your favourite pen name? For myself? My pen name is Ashlyn Kingsley.
  • What is your favourite closing line in a book? “He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Do you prefer owls or elephants? Owls.
  • Do you have any reading rituals? Not really. I read anywhere and everywhere. It’s the only thing I like about eBooks, though I’ll always want an actual book in my hands.
  • Who is your favourite literary couple? Florentino and Fermina from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  • Who is your favourite poet? Sylvia Plath
  • What is your favourite poem? Lady Lazarus [ed. note-by Sylvia Plath]
  • Do you have a favourite film adaptation? I loved The Help in its movie version. [ed. note-by Kathryn Stockett]
  • What book title would make a great band name? Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…bwahahahaha. [ed. note-by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith]
  • What is your favourite quote? “Out of the ash/ I rise with my red hair/and I eat men like air.” – Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath
  • What is your favourite book series? Redwall by Brian Jacques
  • Finish this sentence. People who read books are…Infinitely better company than those who don’t.


If you’d like to participate, please email us at: onetrackmuse@gmail.com.

Go here to check out previous entries in the series.