Knowing the writer

I feels exciting when you start discovering this humans with their own routines in writers. And you can even find their practical advices. I think even when i see a writers portrait picture on the back of the book I don’t really connect that I’m reading this persons thoughts or that he is talking to you. Its more like this accidental person from somewhere happened to be on this book who’s writer I know because i am reading him today.

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A quote from Brain Pickings blog post about future of reading, written 60 years ago.

For me, when you read a book  it is more that you have this interesting channel that is higher and different that any other channel you can have with living people and in that channel you hear the only thoughts you understand of that creator and you don’t hear the ones you can’t observe, basically it reminds the message and noise effect in communication theory. So in that channel you have a tone of voice and thoughts. Once it happened to me that at school I adored one book by one young philosopher, I thought he speaks exactly what interests me now and I get him. When I grew up and met him he completely hated that book, but i forced him to sign it to me because we became friends.  After a while I took it to read again and it seamed to be distant, but familiar only as a memory of me reading that book before and having that connection with the person who was writing that book before and about that old channel we had. So it is a story about four people in different time who where connected by one book once and can’t have this happened again. I wonder how does writers children feel when they read their parents book, I mean adult children reading their parents books about different life subjects, philosophical books. Do they feel like they connect with some different person that is projected by their parents?


Writing routines and writers shelter.

My Mother has recommended me to read Brain Pickings three times last year. She linked me it on Facebook, on email and said it by the phone. So when it was recommended by our tutor I was not freshly excited about this new reading source.

It is my problem and it happens with anything that my family recommends me to read or watch. Few years ago my Mother was following me with invitation to watch one TV show and i was running to the opposite direction all the time. Later, when I started to binge watch Mad Men, she told me, – “I told you”.

Anyway, I forced myself to give Brain Pickings blog another try and then I discovered a new book about Susan Sontag (It is fully written hourly long interview with her by Jonathan Cott). I have read her writings on photography and art when I was studying Art history but it was mandatory, it was translated into Lithuanian, and it seemed distant for me at that time.

However after two years I discovered her interviews on Youtube that introduces her position and worldview that really catches me. After reading her interview book I feel impressed by her temper and satiated by freestyle intelligent conversation of two people. In my next post I will show best parts of this book.

Next thing that got my interest on this great blog is writing routines by famous people. You can read about their daily routines.

For example that Ray Bradbury have used public typewriting machine that is powered by coins and gives you thirty minutes to write your text or that Joan Didion would sleep with the book she is writing in the same room or that Susan Sontag loves the slowness of writing with hand. And I completely hate it, if i would have to write with only my hands all my life i would never do it, i would choose drawing.

How Susan’s routine looks like:

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Imagine you would answer emails only on Friday and maybe Facebook too. And would use your phone only once a week ether. In her conversation with Jonathan Cott they continue to talk about writing routines. Especially about being not antisocial loner. They remember how Proust calls all that opposite artistic boheme – cafe society. Susan and Jonathan call this isolation decision  – ‘choosing work over life’.


My writing routine would be:

-Closing all tabs. Restarting computer. Connecting it to the adapter.

-Preparing a teapot or cup of tea that I will refill with boiling water during the process. Because then you wont think about doing this later and loose concentration.

-Make sure that you did not forgot to put on the heat in your room because when you work and suddenly find that you are freezing – you will have to warm up in the bath and will loose hour of work.

-Water flowers. This will make you feel like you did something about cleaning the house and you wont distract yourself about  housewife’s stuff later.

-Wear a sweater or hoodie. Anything loose and covering your skin. Or have a blanket next to you because if you will feel chilli you will go to your closet and might start organising stuff and loose your concentration.

– Don’t make any phone calls, don’t chat with anybody before you have your writing session. It will change your attitude to work.

– Don’t go out for the inspirational walk.

– Don’t take food around and don’t eat during writing process. Writers used to smoke or drink, but they usually are dead now too, so my advice would be to avoid anything except tea or water. Or coffee, but only a smart dose because if your heart will go crazy you will not be able to concentrate and soon you will feel discomfort of being shaky or sleepy.

What is your advice for writing routine?

Good words in a movie

Today I had opportunity to remember Synecdoche New York film.

It was minus thirty degrees and my bedroom window was slightly broken. I watched it alone few winters ago. In any kinds of text I love surrealism. Also I often like stories where somebody mishears somebody. That second when person widens his eyes and repeats misheard word. For that second he believes that world is so unexpected and adventurous. Like in childhood when once in a week you would believe that Sun is going to burn Earth and in that case your mother wont be able to take you home from kindergarden.

Here is link to the movie and my favourite dialog from it. Also It sounds different for me now after discovering that, for example, Susan Sontag started reading when she was four.

This movie has many different fragments that you can interpret separate or together, so if you have attention deficit problems it will still work for you.

Caden Cotard: I wanted to ask you, how old are kids when they start to write?

Madeleine Gravis: Listen, there’s an absolutely brilliant novel written by a four year old.

Caden Cotard: Really?

Madeleine Gravis: ‘Little Winky” by Horace Azpiazu.

Caden Cotard: That’s cute.

Madeleine Gravis: Hardly, Litty Winky is a virulent anti-Semite. The story follows his initiation into the klan, his immersion in the pornographic snuff industry, and his ultimate degradation at the hands of a black ex-convict named Eric Washington Jackson Jones Johnson…

Caden Cotard: -Written by a four year old?

Madeleine Gravis: -Jefferson.

Caden Cotard: Wow, written by a four year old.

Madeleine Gravis: Well Azpiazu killed himself when he was five.

Caden Cotard: Why did he kill himself?

Madeleine Gravis: I don’t know, why did you?

Caden Cotard: What?

Madeleine Gravis: I said, ‘Why would you?’

Essay plan update

After sleeping with idea of what to write about eyeglasses that I would like to share with my soul mates of cultural subjects, I settle with three subtopics.

Also I am leaving myself space for improvisation.



This would be a person who empathies how people feel with glasses physically – psychologically. How it effects communicating and other behavior. Maybe what your choices on glasses tells about you.



If a personality would be needed it would be a philosopher who is interested in esthetics, youth culture, modern culture values and occasionally is writing scripts for movies or columns for magazines.



It would be a coldhearted sociology scientist who would identify the role of glasses between different genders, regions, social statuses and how it changes in centuries.   




I expect to find most information on international Universities data bases with works of certain field students. Also I would like product design students to give me some advices how to look at this object.

Face furniture

First, I wanted to write about convertible dressing-writing table and connect it with todays multitasking culture. Later I felt like reading about furniture design and specifically tables is not so interesting for me. After ignoring tutors recommendation to write about eyeglasses I decided to give it a try since I think this is most important accessory on your head.

My essay will analyse vision glasses not in fashion design way. Im not interested in fashion history or what brands are selling. Firstly, it will touch psychological and human behaviour aspects. Like when people feel they can hide behind glasses or when it makes keeping an eye contact more difficult. Also Im interested in sociological aspect of this item – it used to be rich people item, what it means today? Also it is interesting in medical perception – do we still need them since we have vision correcting operations. But most of all I hope I will find philosophical writings about glasses and this will help me build a deeper understanding.

This is my and my boyfriends eyeglasses collection. I have more back at home in Lithuania. We both have same opinion about poor selection of eye glasses in Vilnius so time to time we like to hunt for something more special.

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