Words of Sylvia Plath

“Should I be worried about my penchant for enjoying and relating to Sylvia Plath?”

Though I have never read any of her work (that is soon to change), I am always struck by the beauty and accuracy of Plath’s words. Here are a few of my favorite.

 

sylviaplath1

 

sylviaplath2

The following quotes often get stuck in my head at various points throughout my day:

SylviaPlath3

 

SylviaPlath4

Now excuse me as I look into purchasing the works of Sylvia Plath who, despite (or perhaps because of) her tragic death and  history of depression, wrote words of such significance and beauty that I can’t help but be struck by her genius.

 

“We gave the Future to the winds…”

I just wanted to take a quick moment to share one of my favorite sentences in the entire existence of the human language.

It’s from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Mystery of Marie Roget (I went on a bit of a Poe kick this past summer. No regrets.).

“We gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams.”

When I came across this sentence during my reading, I immediately stopped to write it down. Something about it caught my attention– possibly a mix of the meaning (of serenely living in the present) and the way the words felt on my tongue. Go ahead, say it out loud to yourself.

Okay, so I have officially sealed my reputation as a geek with that last bit, but as I’ve mentioned in the past: I absolutely love quotes. They hold a lot of meaning for me and I collect them like one might collect baseball cards.

So, I have to ask: What are some of your favorite quotes? Care to share?

Collecting Quotes

I recently realized that it has been a while since I last posted a quote. I decided it was about time to add a new one. But first, I want to explain something: When I do post quotes, they are more than just space fillers or a way for me to compensate for not having written an actual post in a while. I can say this because, honestly, when I first started blogging, those were the exact reasons why I did post quotes. Now, however, I’ve come to enjoy simply sharing these quotations.

Since I was about 12, I’ve collected quotes. From books, from family, from things I’ve heard in TV or on the radio. My room is littered with little notebooks filled with these collections. Needless to say, I have a wide variety to choose from. But more than that, when I share a quote from my collection, I regard it as personal. I am sharing part of what makes me who I am, in hopes of finding other people who will take equal inspiration/humour/hope/knowledge away from these words.

Today, the quote I’m sharing seems all to relevant to my current situation. As I look for jobs in the real world, I need to remember that the “risk” or staying still is just as “painful” as moving on. Please enjoy and feel free to share some of your favorite quotes with me. I’m always looking to add to my collection!

 

 

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

-Anais Nin

On Amazon, E-Books have the Edge

July 1995:

Amazon.com opens its virtual doors and begins selling hardcover and paperback books.

November 2007:

With the introduction of Amazon’s revolutionary e-book reader, The Kindle, the website also began selling corresponding e-books.

July 2010:

Kindle e-books sales surpass hardcover book sales on the website.

And now, customers are purchasing more Kindle e-books than both hardcover and paperback books combined.

A mere four years after its introduction, the Kindle has become such a popular format that its book sales have surpassed a traditional medium whose popularity lasted thousands of years.

With over 950,000 books to choose from, 790,00 of which are $9.99 or less, users have embraced this new technology. In addition, there are millions of free, out-of-copyright books available for download. The Kindle’s success continues to show rapid expansion, with more than 175,000 books added to the Kindle Store within just the last 5 months.

In response to the Kindle’s swift success, Jeff Bezos, the Founder and CEO of Amazon.com said:

“Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly – we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.”

Marketing under the mantra “Buy Once, Read Everywhere,” millions have turned to Kindle’s and other e-book readers as their primary source of Literature. Realizing the success within the market, and understanding the need to compete with these tech-savvy inventions, bookstores such as Barnes & Noble have introduced their own e-book readers. In November 2009, Barnes and Noble introduced the Nook in an attempt to counter Amazon’s Kindle success.

Other tablet devices, such as Apple’s iPad and multiple smart-phone devices, have also hit the market providing similar services.

There is no denying the convenience of e-readers: they allow you to take a multitude of books with you without all the hassle of carrying/lugging, the books are less expensive, they’re light weight, text can be magnified, and numerous other positive attributes. And yet, there remains a niche loyal to the traditional paper and ink method of reading (myself included). After all, no matter how technologically advanced these machines become, it’s impossible to completely replicate the experience of reading a good old-fashion book.

Here are a few more Kindle milestones:

  • Since April 1, 2011, for every 100 print books sold by Amazon, 105 Kindle e-books have been sold (not including the free Kindle books, either).
  • So far in 2011, Amazon has sold more than 3x as many Kindle books as they did during the same period of the previous year.
  • Less than a year after the introduction of the UK Kindle, Amazon.co.uk is selling more Kindle books than hardcover at a rat of more than 2 to 1.

And here are some Amazon.com Fun Facts:

  • The first book sold on Amazon.com was Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.
  • Amazon.com opened their DVD/Video store in November 1998.
  • In 1999, Time Magazine names Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos “Person of the Year.”
  • In October 2001, Amazon introduces the “Look inside the book” feature on their website.
  • Amazon.com is also responsible for the operation of imdb.com.

Ode to a Typewriter: Childhood Memories

My own emotional and rambling response to the news that the last typewriter manufacturer had closed its doors for good (though, apparently, this was later revealed to be untrue).

I remember our first family computer. It was a hand-me-down from our neighbors, and thus antiquated even by 1997 standards. Clunky and boxy, I’m sure the old Macintosh computer had some useful quality that, in my youth, I was unable to grasp. Instead, I fondly recall the floppy disks that accompanied our inheritance of this radical feat of modern technology. My brother and I would spend hours playing a highly pixellated, 4-bit Godzilla-rip-off computer game. I don’t remember the actual point of the game, nor am I even sure there was one, but we were entranced nonetheless.


And yet, despite having grown up inundated with computers and advancing technology, I was lucky enough to have a dorky father who went through a phase in his life where he decided to collect typewriters. In my desire to have my own obsolete piece of technology in my room, I one day ventured into the attic to find the coolest looking typewriter (it was blue). I then proceeded to literally drag the machine down the stairs, having been initially unaware that such an outdated mechanism wouldn’t have first been perfected into lighter model, at least not one that my father owned.

After calling the attention of every single person in the house thanks to the thump, thump, thump downstairs, I finally made it back to my room with my prize in tow. I think I spent the rest of the day, sitting at my little fisher-price table, typing away. I don’t remember what I wrote, though since I was only 6 or 7, I assume it was mostly nonsense. I do, however, remember feeling as if I had discovered some great treasure–I wondered why we needed the silly computer when we had this really cool machine that, when you pressed the keys, made fun noises (I still love the sound of typewriters). Granted, I couldn’t play Godzilla on it, but it still kept me amused for hours.

I fondly remember my experimentation with that typewriter. Eventually the ancient ribbon of ink ceased to work and, unsure of how to proceed, I abandoned my brief career as a child stenographer. The typewriter remained in my room for a couple of months after that, untouched and abandoned for newer, more technologically advanced toys. Perhaps this was around the time I got my first boombox, a purple number, just as clunky by today’s standards as that old Apple computer. I don’t know when my mom finally removed the typewriter from my room. I don’t know if I even noticed. Eventually we bought a new computer, and then another one, and then another one. Quickly, each machine became outdated and we moved on to the next big thing, though technically speaking they got small in size. Meanwhile, the typewriters continued to sit in the attic.

One day, about 6 or 7 years ago, my family had a tag sale. It was a miserable day– rainy and gross. We ended up having to move all of our knickknacks inside the garage. Few people showed up, and even fewer people bought anything. It was perhaps halfway through our unsuccessful sale that my mom, who was eager to get rid of just about anything and everything to anyone willing to pay a dime, decided to bring a couple of the old typewriters out of the attic. Dusted free of cobwebs, she placed them on the garage floor and almost immediately we had an interested customer.

That day I saw my clunky blue typewriter sold away. I don’t think I was overly emotional about it at the time. I was more concerned that my old barbies were going to a happy home. I don’t even remember what the man paid for the typewriter, or why he wanted it. While I’ve certainly thought about the my typewriting phase since then, as I have all my childhood memories, it was only today that a great wave of nostalgia seemed to hit.

The news was initially reported that the last manufacturer of typewriters had closed its doors. Updates since have confirmed that there are still minor international companies that produce typewriters, but the initial shock was enough to get me thinking. I guess it makes sense– why would we need typewriters? No matter the advancements made on those antiquated machines, they remain obsolete. With our tablets and iPods, laptops and blackberries– what possible need is there for a typewriter? In many ways, I’m surprised the industry hadn’t been shut down long ago, but I’m relieved it wasn’t.

Someday I hope to own a typewriter again. Sure, it will probably sit right next to my MacBook Pro on a desk cluttered with modern mechanisms of hyperconnectivity, but it will be there nonetheless. I think I’ll use it for writing letters, or just for fun. Just to listen to the clatter of the keys and the ringing of the machine as it hits the end of a row. I won’t be particular about the model of typewriter, I’m not in the antique business. I do, however, hope it will be blue.

The Trouble with Cover Letters…

…is that they’re hard to write.

As I go through the tedious process of applying for job after job, never hearing back from any of them, and then worrying that something is wrong with my email inbox, I’ve found that one of the most difficult parts is the cover letter.

How do I make myself appealing to a company?

How do I simultaneously express my uniqueness without sacrificing professionalism?

How do I properly convey my enthusiasm?

And, above all else, how do I hide my desperation?

Okay, the last one I’ve managed pretty well, but nevertheless the whole process is daunting.

With each new job possibility comes a new cover letter, or at least a new draft of the original. Right now, looking at my Documents folder, you would find at least 11 files with the words “cover letter” somewhere in the title. Many are just variations of each other, others are failed attempts at me being witty, none are, as of yet, successful.

When you google search “cover letter,” an abundance of websites pop up to assist in helping you write the perfect cover letter. The so-called experts and all of their knowledge is a bit overwhelming, causing me to take each suggestion with a grain of salt. I have, however, discovered that there are a few constants in masses:

1. Absolutly, Positivly, Unconditoinaly NO mispellings or grammatic erors.

(see what I did there?)

2. Take this opportunity to go into greater depth and detail involving your specific skills in relation to the job you are applying for.

3. Individualize it.

4. Highlight how you would be an asset to the company.

5. Each Cover Letter should be Company specific.

(this one might require researching the company, which is always a good idea if you’re applying to work there!)

Am I missing anything? Or is there, quite simply, no perfect recipe. No guarantees. No promises.

Each resume I send seems like a shot in the dark, I guess I’m just hoping one of them will get noticed.