Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
A few days ago, while organizing paperwork and whatnot, I came across my writing journals from college. It’s interesting to revisit oneself after 20 years. It felt familiar, but not so much that I recognized the author. I could remember writing the words, but the fact that I had done so struck me as bizarre. For the most part, I didn’t like the person who had written those poems and fragments and notes. He seemed silly, immature, and at times overly serious. I wish I could go back and tell him the things I have learned on my journey.
That said, I haven’t been writing much lately. I haven’t even journaled this summer for obvious reasons. But I’m very much feeling the words gathering into lines in my head, and I am eager to write more poetry. I’d been in a dry spell on poetry, but mostly that was due to the lack of quiet I had been dealing with. Quiet seems easier to achieve recently. That should help.
When I was studying literature, it was easy to fall for specific authors who I just connected with. It wasn’t always clear why those connections happened, but it was this that introduced me to Galway Kinnell, Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, Geoffrey Chaucer, & Tim O’Brien. I latched on to these, and to others, quickly and they helped guide the type of writer I would be. I was also discovering contemporary authors at that time in my life and their words would guide me as well — Jim Grimsley, Bob Smith, Gary Reed. Gertrude Stein was one of the authors I discovered in class, having been aware of her for most of my life. It’s odd how little one can know about someone who has such a well-known name.
Gertrude Stein wrote in several different styles, but all of it was filled with her characteristic repetition and rhythm. I was especially interested in added that to my own work, and I gave it a try many times. It’s something that still comes up. A nod to Stein is a very common practice for me, and I thank her for being one of my muses.
Lauren Harries (1978-)
I remember Lauren Harries when she was making the rounds as a child prodigy in antiques. I didn’t think about her at all for years, but then she re-emerged on my radar as a panelist on Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit On the Side, and then as a contestant on season 12 of Celebrity Big Brother. She is fantastic! I just want to watch a talk show with her as the host. She’s so quirky, and completely unaware of her surroundings. I love how much she clearly loves being herself. That said, I’m not sure how I feel about the music she has released!
Hannah Howlett (1986-)
Hannah Howlett, known in the vegan community as High Carb Hannah, is a bit of a YouTube superstar. Her videos were extremely helpful for me when I had first gone vegan. What I appreciate about her approach is that it isn’t terribly aggressive and she includes a lot of information about what she eats and how that has affected her.
I’ve been a little bit torn about talking about Hannah, but I’m not sure what to do with my feelings on it. You know how someone will say something in passing that doesn’t sit well with you, something that you can’t get out of your head? That happened in one of her videos. It was a seemingly small thing said by her husband, Derek Howlett, who is also a YouTuber. It had nothing to do with veganism, but it made me question his judgment, and I’ve somewhat held that against Hannah as well. That probably isn’t fair, but I do have to push back against people who intentionally bring hatred into their brains, which I think was happening. It’s really been a distraction though. High Carb Hannah is an incredibly wonderful YouTube channel and well worth checking out.
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