New Intern Thinks About Vampires

July 2nd, 2014

Hello all. I’m Joy, one of the multiple new Beaufort interns, and I’ve chosen BigRedBeau as my pseudonym for the summer.

So I love YA. And I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. The hosts of Pop Culture Happy Hour—an NPR podcast—put it best when they stated in one of their live shows, “That’s not guilt it’s shame, and shame is external.” Basically I’m saying I dig YA and I’m trying not to be ashamed of it.

Cited podcast is linked if you click through.

And there’s something I’ve noticed, sitting over here and loving YA. A trend, if you will. These days, one thing you get with YA is vampires. Vampires everywhere. Heck, if you’re a human being during this time in world history, you’re going to encounter vampires. In their many and varying media forms, from your Trueblood to your Twilight, vampires just can’t seem to leave us alone.

Recently, the primary media form I’ve been experiencing Vampires in is The Vampire Diaries.

Perhaps worth noting that most visual media reincarnations of vampires presently running were in fact initially literary.

I started watching it one morning over my bowl of cereal when I realized I was in the mood for something that wouldn’t engage my emotions or my intelligence.

Way back (not that far) when I was in middle school, one of my friends who had previously recommended the Twilight series suggested the Vampire Diaries as a follow up; at the time, I wasn’t interested because I felt the covers of the books were silly. Not to mention I was two kinds of done with Twilight and vampires; literally done, as in I had finished the published books, and emotionally done, as in I wasn’t really into any further exposure to vampires. I’ve had one or two friends ask me never to call them again as they have no desire to further associate with me (jokingly, I think), but so far it’s been pretty good. It’s a much smarter show than I was anticipating. I think it made me cry once? As of now I am almost finished with Season 1.

So obviously vampires are currently one sweeping cultural trend. They’re kind of the thing, the hot topic (I hate this phrase, this joke, but it fits: you can’t deny that). They show up in all kinds of media, and they are seemingly most prevalent in YA books (not to mention books aimed at young girls, but that’s a different discussion). We thought for awhile that maybe werewolves would replace them (you’ve got your Teen Wolf, you’ve got your Liar), then it was—for a cultural blink, if you will—ghosts, with the advent of Being Human. Then it was zombies (with your The Walking Dead) and those terrifying—in a way that zombies really shouldn’t be—attempts to make the undead romantic and sexy somehow (with your Warm Bodies, and I can’t recall the name but there was that series of books about dead kids coming back to life in high school that was popular for, like, a heartbeat). But nothing really comes close to the popularity of vampires

Features high schoolers inexplicably coming back to life and inexplicably still being attractive to their peers somehow?

If you’re looking for a book that will stress you out and lie to your face, pick this one.

I can’t say that I particularly care about vampires, personally. I went through that phase. I’ve done my time. But what I’ve been thinking about is our fascination with them as a society. Why do we care? What is so consistently interesting about vampires that media keeps looping back to them again and again? Why have they become such a stereotypical inclusion in our culture?

Well, I’ve got a theory about that:

Vampires are social short cuts. Vampires are ways to discuss intense human desires in an unfettered context. I’m thinking Lolita levels of desire and intensity, here.

Let me explain.

The central dogma of the vampire myth is that they drink blood. Further, by far the most popular thing in current cultural recreations of vampires is, you know, that one broody dude vampire who is so tortured and doesn’t want to drink human blood because “it’s wrong” and he’s so conflicted and his nature so disgusts him, god, isn’t he tortured.

You know the type.

That guy is what, potentially, makes vampires interesting.

Because you’ve got this undeniable desire for something (in this case, blood). No one can deny that you’ve got that desire when you’re a vampire. That’s your food. It’s what you survive on. But vampires don’t crave blood the way we crave, say, Oreos. I wouldn’t kill a guy for my Oreos (at the very least it’s unlikely). With vampires, this thing they live on, the thing they crave, comes with this stipulation that, probably, you’re going to have to kill someone. And inevitably that desire isn’t just a normal desire; in our media, it manifests as this undeniable need. Vampire blood cravings in most cultural interpretations surpass simple cravings: they go straight into the areas of lust and greed. And you watch every vampire-character struggle with that. Depending on the character, it has differing effects. Depending on the author/creater, it’s more or less relevant to the plot.

Further, vampires skip over these laborious discussions of, “Well, why do you want that thing?” and creaters can go straight into what effect this want has on their individual. I could have the most powerful craving in the world for Oreos. To me, this craving could be life or death, this thing that I want. But people would always ask why I wanted that thing, and question whether I particularly needed that thing. This is where Lolita comes in; you watch a desire twist and morph a character (characters, some would argue). Vampires skip right over the process of having their desires justified. This question isn’t even on the board for vampires. But their desires are automatically vilified. Many forms of vampire literature attempt to find ways to soften this vilification (Twilight with its vegetarian vampires, for example; True Blood with its… Trueblood).

In a way, making a character a vampire is kind of like making a character an orphan; it’s a prevalent social trend and it’s an automatic internal struggle that constantly has the potential to become an external struggle, pre-loaded in your character. It’s a stuggle-in-a-box, an automatic Tragic Past TM.

Everyone’s favorite YA orphan.

So many characters that are vampires go through this struggle with their own nature, and it’s handled by different artists in a variety of ways. But one thing you always return to is this moral struggle: I want this thing, but I shouldn’t be able to have it. That’s the central plot of every vampire-based piece of media I can think of at the moment. That’s the drama.

I think this is an area of human psyche rarely accessed. Part of us that know we can have things we desire but won’t take because of a certain moral standard. I desire Oreos, and I could probably develop an elaborate plan to obtain my Oreos sans a monetary transaction. But the guilt I would feel for this would be too overwhelming for me personally to handle, plus I like to try to make the world around me operate under laws of fairness, so I don’t steal my Oreos. Vampire-characters are this struggle blown up, with increased desire added for drama.

What I’m saying is creating a character that’s a vampire but has an issue with being a vampire is potentially a way to study to severe conflict in the human soul.

And this is sexy somehow?

I’m not sure. I’m still figuring it out.

Until next time…

-BigRedBeau

 

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It’s all in the name… or is it?

July 2nd, 2014

Having just finished The Silkworm, the second novel in Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series, I find myself thinking a lot about pseudonyms. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that Robert Gablraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy. Rowling assumed the pen name last year when she wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first novel in the Cormoran Strike series.

Now, being the successful writer that she is, why would J.K Rowling want to write under a pen name? In Rowling’s case, the answer is simple. After seven little books featuring a well-known character by the name of Harry Potter, it’s no surprise that Rowling might’ve wanted some anonymity. The Harry Potter series is arguably one of the most successful in history, spawning a hit film series and a huge fan base. The series’ popularity also made Rowling a literary star. After the series ended, Rowling wrote The Casual Vacancy, a well reviewed fiction novel that sold pretty well because, let’s face it, it was written by J.K. Rowling (I myself purchased, read, and loved this book, but I’m not so sure I would’ve picked up if it were written by an unknown author). So, after more than a couple of literary hits, it’s not surprising that Rowling might have wanted some literary obscurity. And so, Robert Galbraith was born.

Rowling is not the first successful author to adopt a pen name. Celebrated writers like Anne Rice, Stephen King, and Michael Crichton have assumed pen names during their literary careers. In Rowling’s case, her pen name has given the world a new crime/detective series featuring Detective Cormoran Strike, an Afghanistan war veteran turned private detective. As Rowling herself explains, the reason why she wanted to write under a pseudonym was because she wanted to revert to simpler times: “I was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer.” Alas, Rowling’s anonymity was short-lived, because she’s simply too good. Critics and reviewers quickly noticed that The Cuckoo’s Calling was too good to have been written by a rookie, and after some speculation the news finally broke that Rowling was in fact behind this new series.

The fact that Rowling’s secret was revealed so quickly supports my main argument: when you’re a good writer, that will shine through no matter what name you’re using. I believe that when an author publishes under a pseudonym they are looking for reassurance that they are actually good writers, regardless of their celebrity. Through Galbraith, Rowling has proved that she’s more than capable of writing a really good book, wizards and witches set aside.

Until next time,

Simply Beautanical

101641530.jpg.rendition.largest.ss

Blanket Flower

written by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

The Silkworm, written by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

 

Sources

http://robert-galbraith.com/about/

http://www.vulture.com/2013/07/how-jk-rowlings-pseudonym-was-uncovered.html

http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/07/15/famous-authors-with-secret-pseudonyms/slide/ruth-rendell-barbara-vine/

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Hello from SWS

June 20th, 2014

Hello there!

I’m Emily, one of Beaufort’s new summer interns. For the sake of this blog, however, I will be known as SWS, or Septimus Warren Smith, inspired by one of my favorite books of all time, Mrs. Dalloway. Just recently, Ripe Time – an organization that adapts literature for the stage (check ‘em out! – http://ripetime.org/clarissa-dalloday/) – put on a marathon reading of Mrs. Dalloway at several locations throughout Brooklyn. I stopped in just as Septimus was being introduced into the narrative, gazing up at a passing aeroplane. A World War I veteran suffering from PTSD, Septimus’ speech throughout the novel is often garbled and paranoid; and yet several monologues of his are of the most resonant and insightful comments Mrs. Dalloway has to offer.

“So, thought Septimus, looking up, they are signaling to me. Not indeed in actual words; that is, he could not read the language yet; but it was plain enough, this beauty, this exquisite beauty, and tears filled his eyes as he looked at the smoke words languishing and melting in the sky and bestowing upon him in their inexhaustible charity and laughing goodness one shape after another of unimaginable beauty and signaling their intention to provide him, for nothing, forever, for looking merely, with beauty, more beauty!”

For all of you kick starting your summer reading lists, Mrs. Dalloway is a must. I’ll recommend two others as well –

The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner: Ms. Kushner’s most recent book, The Flamethrowers, draws upon an eclectic conglomerate of topics, including motorcycle racing, land art, Minimalism, and the underground political movement in 1970s Italy. Intrigued? Check out this clip from the National Book Award readings and you will surely be convinced: http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2013_f_kushner.html#.U6RkivmTXTp

Giovanni’s Room, by James Baldwin: Possibly my #1 book if I am forced to choose. I have come back to this book again and again and am continually touched by what Baldwin has to say. The story follows American expatriate David as he travels to Paris and engages in an unconventional romance with Italian bartender Giovanni, taboo for many reasons, not the least of which is his engagement to Hella. I was saddened to discover Baldwin’s absence from the list of books suggested for Common Core standards, and now feel a personal responsibility to promote him. So, read Giovanni’s Room! You won’t regret it.

That’s all for now. Make sure to stay tuned for future blog posts from yours truly, SWS.

__________

logo_SWS

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Hello to All This

June 12th, 2014

Hello there book lovers (and others as well). I’m Alex and I’m going to be an intern for the summer here at Beaufort Books. I’m a Communications and English Literature major, and as you can probably tell from my current workplace, I love books and reading. The one thing I love almost as much as books (aside from friends and family and loved ones…) are flowers. I think there’s nothing better than being in a room where there’s fresh flowers, the more colorful the better. For this reason I’ve decided to make my blogger name Simply Beautanical (I wouldn’t dare break with the ‘beau’ tradition started by past interns eons ago). Because I adore flowers and they bring a smile to my face, I’ve decided to share a photo of a different flower with every blog post. It’s my hope that this will brighten your day, dear reader, the same way it brightens mine.

However, since this is a publishing internship I can’t forego the opportunity to share some books as well. Recently I’ve found myself reading a million books at the same time, but one book that is particularly relevant to me right now is Goodbye to All That, a collection of essays written by accomplished writers about loving and leaving New York. Considering that I am a recent transplant to New York City I find this book endearing and interesting. These pages are filled with anecdotes and adventures from writers such as Dani Shapiro, Ann Hood, Sari Botton, Valerie Eagle, and many more. Reading these essays transports me back to the New York of five, ten, even fifteen years ago. One thing I’ve learned from reading this book is that New York City is a place that is constantly changing, and while you might love it today you might tire of it next week, or next month, or in twenty years. You can’t really know for sure. For now, I’m enamored by New York City and everything it has to offer; I can’t imagine spending my summer anywhere else. I can’t wait to see where this internship will take me and what it’ll teach me, which I’m sure will be a lot. I’ve already had such great experiences here at Beaufort, including working at Book Expo America and meeting various authors as well as reading manuscripts at the office. I’m excited to see what’s next!

Until next time,

Simply Beautanical

 

The Alexandra Rose (yes, that’s the flower’s name. Fitting, I know)

Goodbye to All That

Goodbye to All That

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Au revoir, Beaufort

May 22nd, 2014

It feels very strange to be writing my last blog post for Beaufort.  I have spent the last five months working here, and it feels as though I’ve only been here for a few weeks at most.   I am, however, incredibly excited to experience BEA, which is happening next weekend at the Javits Center. I’ve been to conventions before, and even to conventions at the Javits Center before, but those were comic conventions-BEA promises to be a whole different beast, with different panels on publishing, rows upon rows of booths housing different publishing houses, and, of course, a whole lot of books.  I can’t wait to work with Beaufort at their booth, go through the dealer’s room and talk to different people in the business, and just soak up the atmosphere.  It’s going to be amazing!

My enthusiasm for BEA, however,  is tempered by the fact that I’m leaving Beaufort in two weeks.  Working at Beaufort has been an experience I will never forget.  This was my first foray into the world of publishing, and I could not ask for better guides than Megan, Michael, and Felicia.  They have been absolutely wonderful and kind, and I am so happy to have had them as coworkers and supervisors.  Beaufort is a wonderful place, where an intern can grow and flourish, and where their ideas are taken into consideration.  I will be very sad to leave it behind.

I’m not quite sure how to end this, mostly because I don’t really want to.  However, as Game of Thrones as taught me, all men must die, and so must this post (however ungendered it might be).  I will wrap up with a simple goodbye, and the hope that the next group of interns have a wonderful time at Beaufort as I have.

Much love,

Beausenberry Pie

My final recipe is a simple one, but in times of bittersweet farewells simplicity is the best.  Plus, it’s perfect for summer.

Cherry Pie

Crust:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water

Filling:

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole pitted sour cherries or dark sweet cherries (about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (if using sour cherries) or 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (if using dark sweet cherries)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon (about) milk

How to Make:

For crust:
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small pea-size clumps form. Add 5 tablespoons ice water; mix lightly with fork until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough together; divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.

For filling:
Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla; set aside.

Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Using large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips from dough round. Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter. Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

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Ta-ta for now, Beaufort!

May 14th, 2014

I can hardly believe that the time has come for me to say goodbye to the Beaufort office. My last week here has crept up on me, along with my last round of college finals and my graduation from NYU next week. Change can be overwhelming, but I feel as though I have truly grown in my time at Beaufort and am more ready than ever to enter the world of publishing. I have learned so much from my various projects, from proofreading manuscripts, to sitting in on production meets, and managing the social media sites. I have gained a thorough understanding of the process of a book’s publication and all that it takes to get a book ready for the eyes of readers, from the editorial stages through to publicity. However, I am most grateful for my time working so closely with my supervisors Megan, Michael, and Felicia. The Beaufort office is warm and welcoming and it allows for ideas to grow, including those of an intern. So in the spirit of growth and with a tinge of sadness, I will attempt to embrace change and leave my wonderful internship here at Beaufort and the comfort of college to see what the future will bring. But before I get too teary eyed, I will say that I will be joining the Beaufort team one last time at the Book Expo of America in a few weeks! So, I’ll simply leave with a “Ta-ta for now!” and a fleeting hope that the future is as nice to me as everyone at Beaufort has been. Sigh.

Yours truly,

Violet Beauregarde

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A is for Attitude, P is for Publishing

April 23rd, 2014

In my time at Beaufort, I’ve become increasingly tuned into just how important an author’s attitude is toward the success of a book. While it may seem obvious that a good attitude is beneficial to success in any endeavor, I’ve never really thought of writers that way. If anything, the opposite seemed true. Popular culture taught me the best writers were degenerate, alcoholic Bukowskis or shrewish, reclusive Salingers, who had no desire or need to please anyone. College taught me about degrees of distance, that proper literary study requires the observance of theoretical boundaries that eliminate authors, or treat them as shrouded abstractions, irrelevant to the analysis of the text they produced. My imagination told me that publishers would not really care how an author behaved, as long as his or her writing was good enough to sell books.

Yet months spent observing how a publisher functions has illuminated the ways in which a bad attitude can do a disservice to authors themselves, the publishers who believe in them, and the sizes of their prospective readerships. The authors with the best attitudes are the ones who take a proactive approach to their book’s success. They take the initiative to aggressively market, including self-organized book tours with signings and readings. There are authors who expect their books to become best-sellers with little to no effort on their part, and they are limiting their book’s potential. Furthermore, a default positive attitude can reap unexpected benefits in many aspects of life, and publishing is again no different. It’s much easier for publishers to go the extra mile for somebody who is kind and pleasant.

And despite what I learned in my English classes, I feel it’s impossible to fully distance ourselves from an author. Try as we may to be objective, any knowledge about an author affects us, even if it’s only subconsciously. For instance, even though I adore Bret Easton Ellis’s writing, I know many people feel alienated by his polarizing public condemnations of the likes of David Foster Wallace and Alice Munro, and therefore don’t take him as seriously. Or there’s Tao Lin—I was a fan of his poetry, so I went to a reading of his novel Taipei a few months ago. When it came to the Q&A portion of the evening, he gave terse answers with little care or thought to them. He came across as flippant and disdainful, and it made me lose a lot of respect for him. Even if he does not really care for doing readings, and answering the accompanying (sometimes inane) questions from the audience, making no effort to mask these sentiments is just downright foolish. These people came out of their way to see him, and they are the ones buying his books. While I still see merit in reading his books because he’s an incredibly talented writer, there are many books by great writers I have not read yet. That reading singlehandedly made Tao Lin less of a priority for me. Compare him to somebody like Neil Gaiman, who makes a noticeable effort to reach out to his fans on social media platforms, and is generally just an incredibly nice guy. Back when Turntable.fm was still in business, Gaiman ran Neilhimself’s House of Poetry, a digital room where he and other users would play recordings of any poems they wanted. When I would take my turn at the decks, he would praise my selections, even though he’s a very busy celebrity author, and I was just an anonymous internet stranger. When it comes down to it, people are spoiled for choice when deciding what to read, and it’s much easier to sell books if your attitude makes it easy for people to respect you.

- Beauchamp Bagenal

NeilGaiman

Neil Gaiman. Source: http://ht.ly/w3mBC

turntablefm

One of Neil’s rooms on Turntable.fm. Source: http://bit.ly/1mz0t7

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Adventure is out there!

April 11th, 2014

As an English major, I’m required to read a lot of books in a very short period of time.  As someone who’staking a lot of medieval literature classes, a lot of what I read is either in a language I don’t understand or long-winded histories of saints.  Sometimes, it’s both.  A lot of the time, I read them because I have to, although I don’t particularly enjoy them.

I am, however, in the process of reading something that I genuinely love for one of my classes.  Most people know about Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales; that poem, however, is certainly not the only thing he ever wrote.  He composed the five volume poem Troilus and Criseyde in Middle English, and many scholars consider it to be his finest work.   The poem is set during the Trojan War, and tells the love story between Troilus, the second son of the Trojan king, and Criseyde, the high-born daughter of a traitor.  Their story ends tragically, with Criseyde returning to Greece alone and Troilus being left in Troy.

When I first started Troilus and Criseyde, I had low expectations.  Middle English is a difficult language to read, because it looks just off enough from English that one has to go very slowly; I also have never been a huge fan of romances, and reading an entire poem centered around one seemed daunting.  But as I became more and more immersed in the story, I started to fall in love with the setting, the constant mythological references and asides, and with the characters: the pragmatic yet still romantic Criseyde, the manipulative yet well-intentioned uncle Pandarus, and the warlike Troilus who is timid in love.  I had found something I didn’t expect to love at all, and now I’m devouring the poem every free second I have.

I feel like this happens a lot–we find a book that we’re not particularly excited about, and find that it’s everything we never knew we wanted.  It makes me excited to hit the library this summer–there are so many things to discover!  Adventure is out there!

-Beausenberry Pie

Recipe: This is a 14th century recipe for a pork pie.  I’ve never tried it, but I figure it’s appropriate given the subject matter for today.  Source: http://medievalcookery.com/recipes/mylates.html

 

2 – 3 lbs. cooked pork
4 eggs
1 cup mozzarella, grated
1 1/2 tsp. powder fort
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch saffron

pastry for a double-crust pie

Cut pork into approximately 1 inch pieces. Combine with eggs, cheese, pine nuts and spices in a large bowl. Mix well and place into bottom crust. Cover with top crust and bake at 350° until golden brown – about 30 minutes. Serve either hot or cold.

Source [Forme of Cury, S. Pegge (ed.)]: MYLATES OF PORK. XX.VII. XV. Hewe Pork al to pecys and medle it with ayrenn & chese igrated. do þerto powdour fort safroun & pyneres with salt, make a crust in a trape, bake it wel þerinne, and serue it forth.

 

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Shameless Self Promotion?

March 26th, 2014

I spent this past week in California where I had a lovely time, apart from missing the Beaufort office, of course. On my plane ride back to New York, I slept soundly throughout most of the flight. I didn’t exchange words with the woman sitting next me until we landed and I awoke to the jolt of the plane hitting the pavement and the sound of her voice asking me, “Do you like to read?” This seemed like an odd question. Of course, I love to read! However, in that moment I couldn’t imagine what her motive was in asking me this question. I stuttered “Yes, um, very much so.” She handed me a card with a book cover on it, and explained, “Shameless self promotion! My book is coming out next week.” I was both surprised and impressed, and I told her that I would check it out. After all, we book-lovers are rare these days and we ought to stick together, right? It turns out she had not only self-promoted her book, but self-published her book as well, and there should certainly be no shame in that either. So, if you are read this, Susie Orman Schall, props to you, because getting a book published, either here at Beaufort or all on your own, is a grand feat.  Susie recommended her book On Grace to me on the airplane, and in turn I will recommend Beaufort’s The Insider’s Guide to Book Publishing Success by Eric Kampmann and Margot Atwell to Susie and to anyone else with a passion for writing. This book is the guide for anyone who has ever dreamed of holding their own book in their hands, and even for those who have already done so. It gives invaluable advice from the experts here at Beaufort on everything from self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, to the question of whether or not to hire a publicist. I hope that Susie reads it, and is inspired to continue writing, publishing and promoting her books to strangers on airplanes.on graceThe Insider's Guide to Book Publishing Success Cover

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Where is Spring???

March 6th, 2014

As Spring limps its way closer, I am continually drawn to the outdoors.  Although I live, study and work in the city, I love the woods and outdoor activities, such as hiking and camping.  I love the feeling of freedom I get in the woods, from electronics, responsibilities, and the bustle of New York.  My favorite place to go is the woods by my house.  I can go and walk up to the top of a small mountain that is one of the state parks and just sit there for hours, looking out over the landscape.  I always bring a book with me, too, to read while I eat a lunch or relax.

At Beaufort there are all sorts of books about hiking.  Jennifer Pharr Davis has written two books on hiking in the Appalachian Mountains; she once hiked it in 46 days, an almost impossible number to imagine for someone who takes a day to hike up and down a small mountain.  There is a new book by author and hiker Kev Reynolds entitled A Walk in the Clouds, a story of hiking, meeting people, and exploring the world.

When the leaves come back on the trees, I’m going to start going to upstate New York and doing day hikes.  I’ll definitely be bringing some books with me–some old classics and some new ones.  And I will definitely be picking up A Walk in the Clouds, coming out on April 21st.

Desperate for spring,

Beausenberry Pie

 

Today’s Recipe: Organic Fruit Roll-Ups.  From An Organic Wife:

http://www.anorganicwife.com/2013/05/recipe-homemade-fruit-roll-ups.html

 

Take strawberries, or any other fruit, and cook them down in a saucepan.  Make sure to mash them, and try and boil some of the water Move them to a blender and puree them, to make sure there are no chunks in the mixture.  Take a cookie tray and cut out a piece of parchment paper to put on the bottom.  Pour the mixture evenly over the parchment paper, making sure it is not too thin.

Set your oven to the lowest possible setting, and put the trays in.  Make sure to check them often so they don’t burn.  Once they are out, you can cut them into all different shapes and sizes.

 

 

 

 

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