I Read a Lot of Books in 2016, But Still Didn’t Reach My Goal…

I read 82 books in 2016, but fell 28 short of my (rather ambitious) goal of 110. My year was way too busy to read as much as I would have liked. I finished the majority of the books during the first half of the year, as life obligations slowed my pace after summer. On the bright side, 2017 will get off to a good start reading-wise, as I am close to finishing half a dozen books.

Here’s a list of every book that I finished in 2016, with some very loose ratings.

KEY:

*=Read as research for my novella

**=This designation means that I liked the book in spite of myself, but as such find it too hard to assign a fair grade

1=You are my enemy

2=We’ll stay acquaintances, thanks

3=I like you, but I don’t like you like you

4=You are my friend, but not my best friend

5=You are my love match, but don’t expect fidelity Continue reading

[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: The Sharp Dressing Nancy Cunard

Nancy Cunard-poet, publisher, and activist-was famously fashion-forward. In this photo, she looks like she could step out of the current issue of any high fashion magazine.

Nancy Cunard

Nancy Cunard, looking quite editorial.

That sleek belted-jacket is everything, with the statement necklace and her signature piled-on bracelets both coming in a close second.

Perfection.

The Miriam Hopkins Blogathon Was Quite the Success/Introducing Font and Frock

The Miriam Hopkins Blogathon, which I co-hosted with Ruth of Silver Screenings, was a roaring success! If you’d like to learn more about this fabulous actress or her films, please follow the links to the daily post round-ups.

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

As many of you know, the blogathon coincided with the official launch of my new blog, Font and Frock. Our review of Miriam’s film Design for Living is a great introduction to the blog’s eccentric concept. Each film we review will be done in the same, four-part manner. One classic film=four segments, covering film, fashion, flash fiction, and feminism. Check out the links below to see it in action.

Design for Living: Intro

Design for Living:  Part One-There’s Just Something About Miriam

Design for Living: Part Two-Gilda’s Tips for Dressing Like a Successful Commercial Artist

Design for Living: Part Three-“To Let: One Cheap, Roomy, Salubrious Flat”

Design for Living: Part Four-Not Your Average Rom Com Heroine

Thank you!

[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Dressing Like a Work of Art with Djuna Barnes

“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.”-Oscar Wilde

Our dear Djuna, who wasn’t always so dear, encompassed both of Wilde’s dictates.

Why wouldn’t she?

Djuna Barnes was not afraid to overstep the accepted boundaries of writing, art, behaviour, or fashion. She knew that, sometimes, too much wasn’t nearly enough.

Our favourite tetchy lady knew what she was doing. Here’s why.

Lessons in How to Dress, Djuna Barnes-style:

Tip #1-It’s okay to wear too many layers and accessories, as long as it is artfully done:

Djuna Barnes

Djuna, daring you to find her anything short of magnificent.

A lesser woman would be weighed down by all those layers and accessories, but not our Djuna. She looks resplendent. The open collar, delicate jewelry, and commandingly vibrant lipstick pull everything together.

Tip #2-The key to wearing a bold print is to conquer it by the pure force of your personality:

Djuna Barnes, circa 1921

Djuna Barnes taking charge of some giant dots,  circa 1921.

Clothes smell fear. If you’re scared to wear something, you probably shouldn’t. Otherwise, don it with the conviction that no one else on earth could ever pull it off like you can.

Surrounding a huge pattern with solids never hurts, either.

Tip #3-Shoes and Hats! Shoes and Hats!

Solita Solano and Djuna Barnes

Solita Solano and Djuna Barnes were exceptionally chic in Paris, 1922.

Shoes and hats are all you need to be stylish and memorable. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing a ball gown or a T-shirt dress, as long as you are shod and topped with wit or taste, or even creative vulgarity. Swap those gorgeous 1920s frocks for  modern minis and logo shirts, and Solita and Djuna would still look phenomenal.

Think about that.

Now go out there and face the world with confidence and a bit of writerly style!