Elements of Safety and Coziness

January 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm (In So Many Words)

I am trying to be more conscientious of italicizing titles.  I pretty much never do it, even though I know it is grammatically incorrect not to do so.  It’s just a little button, so why am I so lazy?  Who knows, but it seems as of late I’ve been accused of all kinds of laziness, and I do not want my writing to be one of those things.

Unrelated, (but also an exercise of habitually italicizing titles I share) I want to catalog cozy lines… my favorite bits of words and phrases and sentences and paragraphs that come to me in books that relate how I want to feel about the world.  Things like this:

“It was one of those moments when you know the world is as it should be, believe everything is good, and trust you will always be safe.” – from Voltaire’s Calligrapher, pg. 86

And of course John Banville’s The Sea, which I have mentioned before:

“Life, authentic life, is supposed to be all struggle, unflagging action and affirmation, the will butting its blunt head against the world’s wall, suchlike, but when I look back I see that the greater part of my energies was always given over to the simple search for shelter, for comfort, for, yes, I admit it, for cosiness.” – pg. 44

This line of thinking actually began as I was reading Pablo de Santis’ Voltaire’s Calligrapher, and while prepping to write a review I came across the above mentioned quote.  Add to the fact that I’ve had Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” playing on repeat half the morning while I read and clean the house, and, well, it’s just one of those days.

It’s too cold outside.  It’s too cold outside and it’s not warm enough inside to make up for it.

I was reading through the reviews of my novella as I prep a second edition to release roughly around the same time as the sequel and there’s mention of the story being too easy.  The characters have too much ease in erecting the Bookshop, they don’t encounter any dilemmas or properly struggle as you would in real life.  I agree.  As a storyteller I failed in that regard.  Wondering how I could have done such a thing without a second thought, I realized – this isn’t the book I intended to write.  I’ve been working on a sci-fi piece for years, but necessity required I scoop something together and try to make a buck.  I wanted it to be easy.  I needed it to be easy.  Life has been too damn hard the last few years and I needed something simple to bury myself.  Perhaps I shortchanged my readers, something I hope to remedy with a second edition and a sequel, but honestly, it was exactly what I needed.  Minus the loads of money it’s NOT making.  Seriously, if you want to feed my family for a whole day, buy my book.

The problem is, I don’t think half as many people read these posts as pretend to.  If everyone purchased my book that followed this blog, I’d be able to pay all my bills for a month.  It’s a dream.  Things being easy is a dream.  I suppose that’s why I wrote my novella the way I did.  I just wanted to live in a dream for 130 pages.  The one liners weren’t doing it for me that month.

And as I say every morning when I wake up, “I’ll do better next time.”

So I’m here summoning all my best to offer you guys for book two.  I’m here writing all over my novella, trying to edit out all the typos the editors missed.  I’m here wanting things to be cozy and warm – desperately missing the sunshine and every cozy moment I’ve ever had with anyone ever.  Because the world is not safe.  Things are not cozy.  Bills don’t get paid on time, foraging is just as much a necessity as a neat thing to teach my kid, and every day and every moment is a struggle to continue to exist.


  1. Meb Bryant said,

    I read your blog (almost) daily. I’m familiar with the expectations and the actual reality of being a writer. Gonna get off my soap box before I fall off. Downloaded your story and look forward to the read, especially since your blog is inspiring, touching, and riddled with emotion.

    THE BOOKSHOP HOTEL is on my iPad, waiting for me to finish a Lisa Jackson thriller. Please keep in mind that I’m a s l o w reader.

    • Anakalian Whims said,

      Awww. I didn’t mean this as a guilt trip or as a complaint to the people who actually read! I had a bad day and I let that out. I’m sorry!

      • Meb Bryant said,

        You make me laugh! The main reason that I don’t write a blog is for fear I will “let it all hang out” which would be damaging to humanity. Wishing you satisfaction on your next story. For me, it’s unobtainable, but I still plod along, delete button at the reach.

  2. Anakalian Whims said,

    My generation has a serious problem with letting it all hang out. I think it’s the 80’s child specialty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: