Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves

This week’s three selections address some of our favorite topics: reading and writing. If you’re looking for inspiring and thought-provoking posts, you’re in luck. From the hunger that develops when a reader can’t find the time to read, to the power of the dictionary and your own memories, we’ve got something for everyone.

We are all travelers here

I miss the feel of bound paper between my fingers.

At daybreak, my quiet commute, punctuated by the flipflipflip of pages, chapters, worlds.

At nightfall, crisp, cool sheets, and the sweet scent of sleep. My heavy eyelids and my frantic panic to read just one more (just one more) paragraph, before giving in to rest.

After a hectic month cut into her reading time, Vanessa at Rant and Roll succinctly and beautifully describes longing for the written word. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Occupied with our other pursuits, some of them creative, some likely not, we often find ourselves unable to carve out time to settle into a good book. Vanessa’s post will inspire you to do so. (And as an added bonus, she includes a short video of the incomparable, funny, and always charmingly self-effacing Ray Bradbury that is well worth your time.)

Rediscovering the dictionary

… as far as a conventional desk dictionary is concerned, I haven’t used one in a long time. My vocabulary is more than adequate for the kind of fiction I’m writing, and whenever I have to check a definition just to be on the safe side, there are plenty of online resources that I can consult with ease. So although I have plenty of other reference books, I just never saw the need for Webster’s.

But I was wrong.

If you’re a writer (and there’s a good chance you are, after all), this is a must-read post. Author Alec Nevala-Lee, on his blog of the same name, explores the power of dictionaries in the writing process. Using a New Yorker article by creative nonfiction pioneer John McPhee as a jumping-off point, Alec dives into his own dictionary-related history. He comes out changed, with a new appreciation for that most dependable of reference books. Check out his post and we bet the same happens to you.

Writing, Time Machines, and Memory

Our time machines can exist in many forms, the memories of others, books, video, and the landscapes in which we live. We take all of this data, and what exists within our own minds, and put these fragments together like a puzzle, negotiating the connections and determining their importance. What results is a narrative we can repeat, a story that is much less about the past than it is about the future.

We are constantly creating and recreating our narratives of identity, cultivating a sense of who we are and where we fit within our cultural contexts. We want to understand ourselves, and perhaps even more so, to be understood by others. I suspect our compulsion to record and save and archive everything arises from this keen desire to narrate our story to others, and find connection.

In this thoughtful post, Michelle from the blog Play looks at how our memories interact with and help create our art. Touching on everything from writing to psychology to pop culture, Michelle explores the hard questions that plague those trying to accurately portray their own realities. What is the absolute truth about your past? Just how reliable are those memories you’re writing about? Michelle tackles all this and more here, in an excellent example of long-form writing.

Did you read something in the Reader that you think is Freshly Pressed material? Feel free to leave us a link, or tweet us @freshly_pressed.

For more inspiration, check out our writing challenges, photo challenges, and other blogging tips at The Daily Post; visit our Recommended Blogs; and browse the most popular topics in the Reader. For editorial guidelines for Freshly Pressed, read: So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.

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  1. shalilah2002

    I still find the need for the dictionary but find that a word book is more helpful. My blogs help me to express myself to the world and connect.


  2. neverending1

    I cannot exist without a dictionary.


  3. August McLaughlin

    The power of dictionaries? I am all over that! Thanks for another round of intriguing picks. 🙂


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