I watched the pilot of The Carrie Diaries last night and realized that I have been meaning to blog more, but I have just enjoyed this month long break too much. This, as well as the article, “The Best Beginning: Clarity” from the Wall Street Journal, sent a spark back up to my brain convincing me that I must continue to write.
I will post the article here, but first I wanted to share a few quotes that I loved from The Carrie Diaries; which, if you are not aware explores Carrie Bradshaw’s life before she moved to the big apple to become a writer as well as fashionista.The show starts off with this quote, “They say the key to being a writer is figuring out who you are… finding your own voice”
I think this is true for anyone who is an aspiring writer. Writing and finding your own voice takes practice. It’s not simply something that happens over night. It is a journey that you go through with yourself, and on the way through the exploration you, hopefully, find your voice so that you can share it with millions, or simply a few, readers.
“To tell the truth or create a life for myself I’ve always wanted to live”
The best part about writing is that you can create any fantasy or version of yourself you like. Whether it be the truth or not, it simply doesn’t matter.
“Love is something we wait for, we imagine our first sex, our first kiss, our first I love you, but we never imagine our first heartbreak. Maybe because its too painful to even imagine but in a way the pain of love truly changes us its the losing of love that makes us who we are. Life gets more complicated but also filled with promise and the possibility of opening hearts to new beginnings, new dreams and new places. Things are no longer a fantasy. I’m searching for me: who I was and who I wanted to be.”
I think this one is pretty self explanatory.
WORD CRAFT: TRACY KIDDER AND RICHARD TODD, AUTHORS
The Best Beginning: Clarity
To write is to talk to strangers. You want them to trust you. You might well begin by trusting them. No doubt you know some things that the reader does not—why else presume to write?—but it helps to grant that the reader has knowledge unavailable to you. This isn’t generosity; it is realism.
Good writing creates a dialogue between writer and reader, with the imagined reader at moments questioning, criticizing, and sometimes, you hope, assenting. What you “know” isn’t something you can pull from a shelf and deliver. What you know in prose is often what you discover in the course of writing it, as in the best of conversations with a friend—as if you and the reader do the discovering together.
Writers are told that they must “grab” or “hook” or “capture” the reader. But think about these metaphors. Their theme is violence and compulsion. They suggest the relationship you might want to have with a criminal, not a reader.
Beginnings are an exercise in limits. You can’t make the reader love you in the first sentence or paragraph, but you can lose the reader right away. You don’t expect the doctor to cure you at once, but the doctor can surely alienate you at once, with brusqueness or bravado or indifference or confusion. There is a lot to be said for the quiet beginning.
Consider the most memorable first line in American literature: “Call me Ishmael.” Three words. Cited out of context, it can be taken as a magisterial command. It’s more properly heard as an invitation, almost casual, and, given the complexity that follows, marvelously simple. If you try it aloud, you will probably say it rather softly, conversationally.
Meek or bold, a good beginning achieves clarity. A sensible line threads through the prose; things follow one another with literal logic or with the logic of feeling. Clarity isn’t an exciting virtue, but it’s a virtue always, and especially at the beginning of a piece of prose. Some writers seem to resist clarity, even to write confusingly on purpose. Not many would admit to this.
One who did was the wonderful-though-not-to-be-imitated Gertrude Stein: “My writing is clear as mud, but mud settles and clear streams run on and disappear.” Oddly, it’s one of the clearest sentences she ever wrote.For many other writers, clarity simply falls victim to a desire to achieve other things, to dazzle with style or to bombard with information. It’s one thing for the reader to take pleasure in the writer’s achievements, another when the writer’s own pleasure is apparent. Skill, talent, inventiveness, all can become overbearing and intrusive. The image that calls attention to itself is often the image you can do without.
The writer works in service of story and idea and always in service of the reader. Sometimes the writer who overloads an opening passage is simply afraid of boring the reader. A respectable anxiety, but nothing is more boring than confusion.You can’t tell it all at once. A lot of the art of beginnings is deciding what to withhold until later, or never to say at all. Take one thing at a time. Prepare your readers, tell everything they need to know in order to read on, and tell no more.
Journalists are instructed not to “bury the lead”—instructed, that is, to make sure they tell the most important facts of the story first. This translates poorly to longer forms of writing. The heart of the story is usually a place to arrive at, not a place to begin. Of course the reader needs a reason to continue, but the best reason is simply confidence that the writer is going some place interesting.
I think its safe to say summer is over in Austin, Texas. With the temperature decreasing more everyday, it’s time to break out the pants, boots and jackets. If you’re anything like me you love high-end fashion, just not at the extremely high price only the 1% can afford. I love finding less expensive things on sites like Hautelook and Giltgroupe. If you are a woman and haven’t checked out either site, I highly suggest you do so STAT. Online boutiques selling designer and brand name items at a discounted price, you can find anything from baby clothing to kitchen china.
Posting new items everyday and taking them off after about a week, finding something you are happy with is either a hit or miss. I tend to find the best things as each season comes to an end. Last winter I bought an Andrew Marc leather and fur jacket for $150, originally a $900 value. Other times the picture on the screen is far from what you receive. So you see, its not something for everyday use, as some customers might complain about. However, when you find something great, the feeling you get when you open that package in the mail is like no other. Now that winter is approaching, I would suggest that you sign up (at no cost) and start searching for great finds for the winter season!
This Saturday, November 10, Zink is having their Grand Opening in the Jefferson Square. Zink is a luxury handbag company, creating timeless pieces that have been meticulously crafted. From classic everyday handbags to exotic snakeskin clutches, you can count on Zink to have a bag that will surely accompany you on any adventure. Grab a friend and journey over to enjoy bites from Olive & June and Orange + Basil Skinny Tea Cocktails.
Young & Fabulous celebrated it’s grand opening tonight with a sip and shop social. Austin Lifestyle Magazine hosted this fun night where dozens of females showed up ready to shop while sipping on some of Austin’s local cocktails. The first 25 people to show up received a goody bag filled with gift cards, special offers and other small prizes. The wonderful Culinary DJ provided music and Jordan Jiminez was the lucky winner of Bobby Schandra’s iPad messenger bag, a $245 value. Shoppers also enjoyed cocktails by Leprechaun Cider and Orange Basil Skinny Tea by Firefly Vodka. All Star Burger provided mini burgers and mini cupcakes and cookies, by Hill Country Cakery, were a crowd favorite.
Located in The Hill Country Galleria, this fabulous boutique specializes in trendsetting women’s fashion. Providing exclusive designs that can’t be found in a typical Austin boutique, Young & Fabulous carries one of a kind couture, shoes, handbags, and accessories, many of which have been spotted on Hollywood’s iconic celebrities. Although Young & Fabulous has only just opened, it has already created a buzz throughout the Austin community as a fabulous, upscale boutique where fashionista’s can go to expand their closets at a great price.
TOUCH OF SASS
500 North Lamar Suite. 140
Austin, TX 78703
Photography by Kelly Wendt Photography
The Touch of Sass boutique, located in Austin, TX, offers something many other boutiques don’t: an accessory-only place where women can go to find anything from purses to jewelry to pair with their latest fashion statements.
Centrally located in Austin since 2006, Touch of Sass has filled women’s closets with accessories for any occasion. Recent owner Angela Hampton believes, “this is a go to place for beautiful things.” From as little as $35, women of any age can find unique accessories for personal use or gifts.
After pitching the idea to her husband a few years ago, Hampton finally became the new owner of Touch of Sass on September 1, 2012. For the six years before she became the owner, Hampton always relied on Touch of Sass as a go-to place for accessories. Having never owned a boutique, Hampton admits the work has been a hectic, stressful learning process but states that, “She would never have bought the place if she didn’t love it”. With new products arriving at the boutique almost daily, Hampton is excited for this new adventure, as she hopes to bring in a more diverse crowd.
Never considering herself a “fashionista”, Hampton grew to enjoy fashion and all things beautiful. Despite having a “conservative” style as a mother of two, she is always known for adding bold shoes to dress up any simple outfit. Discovering her love for Austin and its boutiques since 1998, she firmly believes that, “you can make more of a statement with jewelry than clothes”. However, she realizes that Austin is filled with different people and styles, where not everyone accessorizes, and intends to bring in clothing after her first year of ownership.
In the upcoming months and as more inventory comes in, Hampton hopes to host events at Touch of Sass. Anticipate a “new owner reopening” and, closer to December, an event where women can pair jewelry and handbags with their “little black dress”, all while getting their makeup done.
The city of Austin has much to look forward to with Touch of Sass, as Angela Hampton seems to be adding a little “sass” to anyone who walks through the doors.
I can’t seem to help myself when I walk past a boutique. How they really get you is when there are sales and you think to yourself, “Oh, I’m just going to spend $30”, but in reality you end up spending $30 at 5 different places; so, you really don’t save yourself any money… story of my life.
Living with two other girls, especially ones you like, is really awesome. I mean it’s pretty much like I acquired two more closets, not like mine wasn’t big enough to begin with. Honestly, though, whenever I feel like I have nothing to wear, or want a change in my style, I know I can rely on my roommates’ closets to never let me down. What’s even better, though, is when one has the same foot size as me. * winning *. It really just benefits all parties. I get a new look, I don’t go shopping… which I already have a problem with… and my parents don’t lose money. It’s really just a win win situation in my opinion.
However, when it comes to shopping for Halloween costumes, it is always an exciting but hectic experience for me. I mean there are just so many options to choose from, not to mention stressing out about coming up with an eccentric costume so that 50 other people wont have the same one as you… no fun.
Now that Halloween is just around the corner, I can’t seem to think of a better place to shop for a costume than Lucy In Disguise. Originally starting out in 1984 as two stores located next to each other on South Congress, you can find anything you need while trying not to get lost within their 8,000 sq. foot labyrinth. Whether you want to buy a costume or simply rent one, Lucy In Disguise’s extensive variety of costumes and accessories are sure to help you construct whatever you need to express your idiosyncratic individuality… plus, their prices are great!
As most austenites know by now, this weekend is ACL. We’ve pretty much memorized all our favorite bands’ lyrics into our heads that we can by now; and, we’ve also planned out, to the minute, how we are going to try to be at two stages at once. ACL, here we come. We’re set.
There’s just one little detail we’ve missed… WHAT TO WEAR!
I can’t believe we forgot that one. How could we?
Not to worry. If Austin is good for one thing, it’s finding something to wear last minute. With all the boutiques up and down SOCO and 2nd street district, we’re sure to find something for the ever-famous ACL-runway.
Here is a list of some of my favorite boutiques, where you’re sure to create three looks that will make this weekend that much better.
Located at 436 W. 2nd Street
Here you can find Jacknboots vintage collection, cutoffs, tees, skirts, dresses and handbags that are sure to get you in the mood to see Florence and The Machine.
Stop by Solid Gold
Located at 1601 E 5th #102
In case it’s a little chilly this weekend, which it might be considering how the weather’s been the past few weeks, you can get your maxi skirt or dress fix in here. Or you can pair this dress and sweater with tights that you can easily put on or take off, just in case.
To top off your outfit and pull it together, don’t forget to go to Touch Of Sass
Located at 500 North Lamar #104
You will find any accessory you need here. Whether you want to pair that burnt orange sweater from Solid Gold with any of these UT color handbags or add a horn necklace to your crop top, your look will be sure to make anyone envious.
If you are the type who would rather do your shopping online, go to Electric Frenchie.
Austin-based, it is an online collection filled with boho chic/indie vintage looks. Be sure to stop by this site tonight to check out their DIY accessory that will fit perfectly with any ACL outfit. They are giving a step-by-step tutorial on how to make this celeb-inspired wrap cuff.
Now that you’ve got the clothing situation figured out, all you have to do now is figure out how to try all the different foods they have this year without stuffing yourself into a food coma…
Fall is just around the corner, as those warm summer days turn into sweater worthy nights. For most of us, its time for our summer styles to make their way back to the darkest corners of our closets in order to make room for the chic trends that come with the winter season.
Before you toss your whites and brights, lets take a closer look at the collections New York fashion week’s designers produced. When paired correctly, some of summer’s essentials take those dark and neutral tones, we so deeply adore, to the next level.
In February 2012, jumpsuits, dramatic collars and leather galore turned the runways of New York Fashion Week from conservative into ultra-liberal.
Whoever said to never mix navy and black has clearly never met Upper East Side designers. Head-to-toe black is out… almost. Paired with navy or burgundy, bleak turned chic.
The winter season brings us not only navy, burgundy and black, but also, dark greens and, dare I say, WHITE…winter white to be exact. Accessorizing with a dark shoe appears to be the perfect mix, where sweet meets sexy… No one will ever question the fact that its after Labor Day, trust me on this one.
If you’re willing to be a little more daring, don’t be afraid to mix and match textures. Grab an oversized knit sweater that falls perfectly over a chiffon or silk skirt, and you’ve got “the look”. Just remember, this pairing only works if all items are within the same color tone family.
Black Leather + Black Jumpsuit = Black Leather Dress is ‘out’. Add an asymmetrical blazer or double breasted jacket to your wardrobe, just make sure it has an overly dramatic collar, and you are set for the 2012-2013 winter season.
Conveniently located in Central Austin, TOUCH OF SASS, recently featured in Austin Fashion Report, has Jewelry to FALL For. This fabulous boutique has anything one would ever want in their closet. Whether you’re looking for game-day gear, a new purse or a statement piece, Touch of Sass offers a variety of accessories that are sure to sass up any fall wardrobe. CC SKYE, Manic Trout, Urban Posh and Leighelena are only a few featured labels that are carried here. Be sure to stop by 500 North Lamar and grab these hand-picked fashion favorites while they last!