Robin Black’s collection of short stories, If I loved you, I would tell you this, was released in March 2010 and earned critical praise and acclaim. It was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor Short Story International Award. And yet Black’s success was, for her, overshadowed by the anxiety that she hadn’t published a novel.
I have a photo of myself on a bed with six other girls; we’re all lying on our sides, kicking our legs in the air like reclining Rockettes and laughing wildly. The photo was taken sometime during our senior year in college, after we’d spent many vacation and summer days together. I don’t display it, but I’ll never discard it, either.
I have a friend who is a professional archivist. Her master’s in library science has led her to a career she loves in helping clients (mostly corporate ones, but the occasional rich person, too) sort, categorize, and store their materials, which can vary from a few sheets of paper to thousands of books.
What I knew deep down and can articulate now is that the danger to anyone’s writing does not come from living in comfort, but from believing you might have nothing to say because you live in comfort. The danger to your writing comes from thinking you are trapped when in reality even the caged bird sings.
Over the past few decades, I’ve watched the increase in women going sleeveless, strapless, and backless in all sorts of situations, including conference rooms and boardrooms—places in which men would never consider baring their upper arms (or p [...]
Jessica Brown-Findlay as Lady Sybil Crawley and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley Photo: ITV
Editor’s note: We are very happy to announce that Bethanne Patrick (@thebookmaven) will be joining VQR on a monthly basis. Lo [...]
U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus gives the thumbs up with his wife Holly at his retirement ceremony and Armed Forces Farewell, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., August 31, 2011. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad [...]