ISSUE SIX-[R]evolving Research: The 103-Year-Old Singing Groups

This week brought our first real snow of the season, more reading (lots of it), and a new tidbit about J’s husband that should open the floodgates to a considerable amount of fresh information. All in all, it’s been a relaxing and productive period.

RESEARCH NOTES WEEK 8:

  • VICTORY: Reading at a pace that actually satisfies me.
  • HAPPY DISCOVERY: I discovered not one, but two “new” musical groups that J’s husband, R, produced. Both pretty prominent in their day.
  • FRUSTRATION: Directly contradicting point one: not being able to read 24/7.
  • CURRENTLY READING: Babbits & Bohemians: The American 1920s by Elizabeth Stevenson (see here).
  • HOURS SPENT ON RESEARCH: 10

Until next time!

ISSUE FOUR-[R]evolving Research: The 110-Year-Old Magazine Spread

Researching J also means researching her husband, R, and his career. Being twenty-one years older, his advent as an entertainer and theatrical manager nearly coincided with his future wife’s birth. Later, their showbiz careers were inextricably connected for the two decades preceding his death.

Going down all of these necessary by-roads and highways is one of the reasons I expect my research to take around five years.

RESEARCH NOTES WEEK 6:

  • VICTORY: Once again carving out “enough” time for my research.
  • HAPPY DISCOVERY: A three-page spread about R and his various theatrical and musical companies, in a 1910 issue of Lyceumite & Talent.
  • FRUSTRATION: Not being able to read all the things all at once.
  • CURRENTLY READING: Frommer’s Nashville & Memphis
  • HOURS SPENT ON RESEARCH: 7

Until next time!

[Book Nerd Links] Newspaper Row, Diane di Prima, Black Playwrights, and The Go-Go’s

[Book Nerd Links] Wanda Coleman, Robin DiAngelo, Movies About Authors, Queer Poets, Caspar David Friedrich

[Book Nerd Links] Vita Sackville-West, J.J. Phillips, Gerda Taro and Natasja Sadi

Vita Sackville-West (circa 1926)

Daily Diversion #446: Emily Dickinson’s Coconut Cake

My momma’s birthday is today! We celebrated it last night with a tasty meal at home. I try to make those I love a special dessert for their special day. Our resources and mobility are limited these days, obviously. Because of this, I needed to make something with ingredients I had at home. I decided that it was finally time to make Emily Dickinson’s coconut cake. It’s been on my radar for at least 12 years. No joke. 

Emily’s handwritten recipe

I used this post as my guide. Like that blogger, I mixed the cake by hand. 

Since this was for my mom’s birthday, I embellished the cake a bit by adding a blueberry glaze* before topping it with walnuts and confectioners’ sugar. 

Birthday cake

The cake itself is moist, flavorful, and not overly sweet. Perfect with a cup of tea. 

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*For the glaze, I added approximately 3/4 cup blueberries and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar to a blender and mixed it until it was smooth. 

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“Hold dear to your parents for it is a scary and confusing world without them.”–Emily Dickinson

Happy birthday, mom! I love you.

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I hope you are all well during these difficult, uncertain times. Have a great weekend.

[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Ngaio Marsh

“Elegance is elimination.”–Balenciaga

Ngaio Marsh by Henry Herbert Clifford (1935).

This 85-year-old photograph of New Zealand writer Ngaio Marsh proves that elegance, coziness, and individuality can be as stylish as anything out of the pages of a 21st-century fashion magazine.

Embellishments are minimal: an eccentric shoulder, a few buttons, an indifferently tilted hat, a bit of pattern and texture here or there. 

Clean lines. Confidence. 

She is, more than anything, mysterious.

How appropriate.

[Book Nerd Links] Welty, Beckett, Heaney, Wharton, and Lefteri

Eudora Welty