Sparks & Beauties: A Story About Perfume by Jeanette Winterson, Eleanor Whitney’s Book on DIY Business, and My Own Personal Feelings About Generational Limbo

Hello lovelies! I’m writing this in midst of a summer heat wave and it is basically round-the-clock “ugh” in my world right now. But there are wondrous things of beauty to note and fun to be had, and small victories to notch. Anabela at Fieldguided gave a shout-out to my book, and I’m excited that it’s making its slow, poky yet intrepid way around the world. I’ve been heading into Chicago these past few weekends, which has been inspiring (and I’ll probably write about it later.) I’m also putting finishing touches on a mini-zine and drafting a newsletter for early

Sparks: The Humble Importance of Water, Bijoux to Lift the Spirits and Jackie Kennedy’s Funeral Poem

My intention for the year 2013 is to cultivate a spirit of radiance and sunlight and champagne and all things sparkly. Sure, that might make me seem like a glitterberry-obsessed pre-teen, but being in touch with that inner sparklepony might be a good thing for me these days — and something fun to think about in the middle of winter. I did a semi-regular Sparks column before chronicling what I was reading and inspired by, but I’m skewing it a bit now to keep track of what’s bringing forth the love and light in my life. + I made a

Currently: The Eternal Girlishness of Gwen Stefani, Tavi Gevinson and Other Golden Girls

Listening: I found a bunch of old cassettes I had in high school and it has been super-fun listening to all them: Hole’s Pretty on the Inside, lots of Sonic Youth’s Sister and EVOL, Chapterhouse, Ride, the Sundays, R.E.M., the Replacements. In terms of newer stuff, Royal Headache and No Doubt’s new song. I’m really fascinating by Gwen Stefani’s aging process, or seeming lack of one. I kind of have this love-hate thing going on with her sometimes, where I respect her empire building and her youthful energy but all that maintenance to look toned all the time seems exhausting.

Currently: Female Voices, Disquieting Fictions, Cute Bicycles

Listening: I am really into lovely powerful female voices lately: Ella Fitzgerald, Kimbra, Fiona Apple, Nina Simone, Joan Baez, stuff like that. Watching: Martha Marcy May Marlene, which was pretty whoa. I really liked it, and I thought Elizabeth Olsen was great. I loved the silence, the performances (esp. by John Hawkes), the writing, the directing. It’s not a joyride of a film, for sure, but it captures your attention. Also: the Spiderman movie, which is what I expected, though Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are a pretty appealing movie couple. I also watched Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, which I