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RANDOM THINGS OR WANDERLUST ANYONE?

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Hi lovelies. I’m Brenda St John Brown, coming to you from my tiny village in North West England. I’m the author of Swimming to Tokyo, and the Castle Calder series, and I thought it would be fitting to focus my random things around one of my absolute favorite things—travel!

I’m one of those people who would rather save for a trip than spend on a sweater, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a few travel-heavy jobs (thank you, frequent flier miles!) and a husband whose job moved us to the UK where cheap flights are cheap (Our first trip abroad when we moved here was to Verona, Italy and our flights were £58 round trip. For all three of us!) and Europe is right on the doorstep. But, I’m rambling. Let’s get random and talk wanderlust!

  1. Swimming to Tokyo was inspired by a real-life adventure! I taught English in Tokyo for almost two years. I have a million stories about my time there, but one of the funniest is about the one time I tried to buy a bra. The saleswoman brought her measuring tape out to the middle of the department store and started shouting my measurements across the floor. Needless to say, that was the first and last time I did THAT.
  2. I hated fish pre-Tokyo—like, absolutely would not choke it down if even it were the only thing available and I was starving. Needless to say, I learned to eat it because there’s really no avoiding sushi in Japan. Now I like most fish, but I’m still wary of sushi.
  3. There’s Domino’s Pizza in Japan and mayonnaise is a standard topping! When you call Domino’s like I did—in very halting Japanese—and don’t know a) that mayo is a standard topping or b) how to request to leave it off, it’s shockingly bad when you find out.
  4. I went to Melbourne, Australia for 3 weeks for work and one weekend my coworker and I rented a car to go see the Twelve Apostles (which are gorgeous). While driving, we hit a kangaroo! Awful, right? We called the police because we weren’t sure what to do and the police officer came and broke its neck so it wouldn’t suffer. Apparently hitting a kangaroo is kind of the equivalent of hitting a deer. I wouldn’t recommend either if you can possibly help it.
  5. Eleven years ago, my husband was asked to move to the UK for a year to 18 months…and here we are. We lived in London for several years and then moved to The North and live in the quintessential English countryside with a pub down the street.
  6. Living in London, the Eurostar is incredibly convenient and the company runs sales where you can go round-trip to Paris for about £40 ($60?) as long as your dates are flexible. Before The Boy was in “proper” school, we took of advantage of this every year and it was pretty fab. I still really really want to write a book set in Paris.
  7. The whole Europe-on-the-doorstep thing means when American friends are coming to Europe, we can sometimes plan to meet them. Italy’s been a firm favorite and Tuscany is as gorgeous as I thought it would be. Also, the wine! My husband—who’s a pretty particular eater due to food allergies—also highly recommends the wild boar. I’ll take his word for it.
  8. Speaking of food, if you’re ever in Hong Kong, the pigeon is really good. Ask for the dish that the chef recommends, but don’t ask what it is until after. I’m 100% positive I enjoyed my pigeon because I didn’t know it was pigeon.
  9. All that traveling and I’m still a nervous flier, which means I’m absolutely NOT falling asleep mid-flight. I might doze for an hour or two, but mostly no. Which is a bit of a bummer when I get home and realize I’ve been awake for over thirty hours, BUT it also means plenty of time for reading. Besides my passport(s), my other must-pack item is my Kindle. Fully stocked, of course.

And that’s me in a nutshell. Thanks for hanging out with me on the Spencer Hill blog today and I’d love to see you over on my website at http://brendastjohnbrown.com.

 

 

It’s All About The Process

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Hello again readers!

The summer is winding down and so, in turn, is my internship with Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. My last day will be bittersweet, as I leave behind the excitement of the summer for the hustle bustle of the school year. Nevertheless, I have come to really appreciate change while living in a city as lively as New York and working in a field as dynamic as publishing.

I had the opportunity this summer to read quite a few manuscripts, both fiction and non-fiction, at all different stages of writing. While evaluating manuscripts is only one of many steps in the editorial process, I found that it gave me insight into the publishing world as an industry that is constantly evolving, much like the way in which a manuscript grows into a book. Although most people only see the finished product with every detail in place down to the last period, I have learned that the beauty of publishing is truly all about the process – the process of artistic development, but more notably the process of seeing an idea become something tangible for the author and the readers.

From the acquisition of a manuscript to the publication date, agents, editors, sales teams, and endorsers think (and rethink) critically about an idea with not only the author’s vision in mind, but also the ever-changing market of readers. It doesn’t matter whether the writing is good or bad from the start, because a book will never be perfect in the eyes of every single person who encounters it and will inevitably shift in some way or another (even if it is just a matter of adding a serial comma). When a book moves from one stage to the next – whether it be a contract signed or a proofread cover design – it is one step closer to taking creative shape.

When the publication date finally rolls around, the words and illustrations on the page will remain the same, but the book itself will continue to evolve as the writing style, edits, endorsements, and press releases, impact each reader in a different way. The audience never sees the nitty gritty workings of the publishing process, but they do get to undergo their own process of engaging with the ideas, words, and production of a book, in a way that is significant to them.

A book is never just as it appears with all the different gears working behind it to make it a whole, and you have to embrace the process to understand what the book truly holds.

Happy reading,

Aphra Beauhn

 

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

In The Name of Summer Reading

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Whenever I tell others that I’m an English major, I always get questions about either my favorite book or what genre I like to read most. I have a hard time answering these questions because, during the school year, my reading consists primarily of class assignments, everything from James Joyce to literary theory. I spend my time amidst great books, both classics and contemporaries, but rarely get to indulge in my personal reading list.

When the summer finally rolls around, I face the difficult challenge of picking out a pile of new books at Oblong, my hometown local bookstore, to keep me occupied over the following months. My collection is always an eclectic one, consisting of quite a few contemporary novels, one or two memoirs, and usually several random picks from the staff recommendations table (the best place, in my opinion, to discover new books).  Since I have a hard time pinpointing my reading taste, I figured I would share with you all the books that have been getting me through my daily subway commute this summer and let the list speak for itself.

Below are some of the highlights:

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

After diving into Parks and Recreation this summer, I was excited to read Poehler’s memoir, full of pointed essays, knee-slapping anecdotes, and admirable honesty. I actually laughed out loud as I sat on the one train (probably looking like a crazy person to everyone else) while reading this book to and from the Beaufort Books/Spencer Hill Press office. I came to greatly appreciate Poehler’s witty, yet insightful musings on growing up, careers, and adulthood, but also her ability to capture the humor in the mundane things of everyday life.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

After reading Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day in high school, I was intrigued by the mix of mystery, love, and dystopic life in Never Let Me Go. In the same vein as Black Mirror, this book strikes eerily close to home, as Ishiguro packs the plot with an underlying commentary on the inhumane sense of detachment that accompanies technological advancements. Though quite creepy, the novel offers a unique, provocative perspective on the direction in which human life is headed.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I am not someone who reads scientific or psychological books in particular, but Outliers has been on my reading list since my high school calculus teacher read excerpts of the book to students every day at the beginning of class as our senior year came to an end. Gladwell’s thought-provoking style of writing lays out examples, misconceptions, and statistics about the nature of success as a product of culture and opportunity, rather than intellect. Outliers is an extremely important, pertinent read at a time where college and career opportunities are more competitive than ever before.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Oryx and Crake is the one book on my list that I have yet to read, but I wanted to include it because I adore Atwood for her astute, spunky voice. As I was wandering the bookshelves at Oblong, a young woman spotted me checking out Atwood’s books and insisted that I begin the MaddAddam series (of which Oryx and Crake is the first, followed by The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam). She told me that these books would stand apart from other forward-looking titles that have been oh so trendy lately, due to Atwood’s exceptional use of language and historical undertones. I am very excited to see what this book holds, as it will most likely wrap up my summer reading.

Though different in many respects, all of these books caught my attention in some way or another. I hope my thoughts will inspire you all to check out at least one of these books before the summer ends!

-Aphra Beauhn

 

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

RANDOM THINGS OR SMALL TOWNS & SECRETS

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

I’m excited to be on the blog today, talking a little about myself. My name is Sarah Guillory, and I wrote Reclaimed, a book about small towns and secrets.

 

Random Things about Me:

  1. I’m a runner. I run six days a week, and I’ve run nine marathons (I do a marathon every other year, as it’s a pretty big time commitment and I need lower-mileage years for both my brain and my body to just love running, without any goals to chase down). And I love running. Like writing, some people say they enjoy having written or having run rather than the actually process, but when I’m running, I enjoy the movement, slipping undetected through that pre-dawn stillness, racing my past self, letting my mind and body wander. Jenna, my main character in Reclaimed, also loves running, but she wasn’t always a runner, and she isn’t a runner because I am. It took me a while to discover that Jenna loves running (at least two false starts and one early draft), and she loves it because it’s her way to escape, the forward momentum that she hopes will take her out of her small town and away from her alcoholic mother. I run less as an escape and more as an act of living in the present, of loving where I live (I’m from a small town and live in a small town and just in general really love small towns), and, as I age, even as an act of defiance.
  2. I’m a dog lover. Ridiculously so. I currently have two dogs, a bloodhound who is a year and a half and a six-month-old lab mix my husband rescued from the woods when he was a sick and starving weeks-old puppy. I wasn’t always a dog lover. I’ve enjoyed dogs in the past, but it wasn’t until my first bloodhound that I fell in love, and now I’m kind of stupid about it. But they make me happy (most days, though the lab mix is loving getting up at 2:30 AM right now) and keep me sane and humble and are quite nice writing companions. It’s weird that Reclaimed didn’t have a dog in it, but my last two manuscripts do. And the dog will always live.
  3. I’m a teacher. And I love it. There are very few professions where you can talk books all day, and I’m lucky enough to find one. I’m even luckier that I get paid to try and make readers out of other people. And that’s sort of my mission. I hope that each year every single one of my students encounters a book that turns them onto reading. If it’s not one I’ve assigned, I hope it’s one I’ve recommended or mentioned or have on my shelf in the back of my room. I believe that reading makes us better people, provides a better-quality life, shows us who we are as well as places we’ve never seen and people we will never be. It challenges us and reveals us, entertains us and sustains us, and I became a teacher because I wanted to pass my passion for books onto others. I’m not always successful, but I am always unabashedly enthusiastic. And if the words I write can do for other readers what stories have done in my life, then all the better.

 

Thanks for reading! You can always find me online at www.sarahguillory.com or on Twitter and Instagram @sguillory262.

The Final Chapter

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

The Final Chapter

As I entered my final weekend in the city, I found myself both pleased and slightly disappointed with my accomplishments over the summer. While I had checked nearly every box off the list I had made prior to arriving in June, I had barely scratched the surface of all the places I added while being here. I have fully taken advantage of one perk Beaufort and Spencer Hill granted me this summer, having Fridays off, but even with three-day weekends every week, New York City is an infinite attraction. Everywhere you turn, a sweet scent from a local bakery hits your nose, a cart brimming with classics outside a quaint bookshop catches your eye, a song covered by a group of musicians on the street plays melodically in your ears.

Potentially the most ironic part of this dilemma is that most of the places on my list are within a two-block radius of my apartment. Walking by all these places numerous times every day, I knew I wanted to stop in them, but I kept thinking, “I’ll do it later; I have time.” I was so used to planning out my weekends so strategically to fit in the maximum amount of stops in a particular area of the city, that I never spent any time near where I was living, apart from grocery shopping and walking to work and back. While this may not be an issue for others depending on where they live, I live near Union Square Park, which not only has tons of shops (and bakeries), but it also houses the largest Barnes and Noble AND The Strand, which basically means I am living in booknerd heaven.

My final Saturday in the city, I didn’t have anywhere pressing to go, so I thought, “why not go to The Strand?” I had been there before as a tourist, but never had enough time to appreciate every floor, or did not want to carry a bag of books around the city. I ended up spending over two hours browsing the stacks and left with twelve books (which will be a blast packing, I’m sure). I grabbed a hot chocolate from Max Brenner across the street (10/10 would recommend if you like drinking molten chocolate) and meandered my way around the neighborhood. On Sunday, I walked south of my building, into Chinatown, stopping at a bunch of hole-in-the-wall stores that I would have ignored had I been walking with any set destination in mind. These were some of my favorite days in the city, and as I enjoyed my wanderings, it dawned on me that if I were to live here in the future, this would be closer to what my typical weekend would look like, unlike all my previous ones, jamming as many tourist attractions as I could into three sixteen-hour days. Up until my last weekend, I had only known the city as a visitor, not as resident.

Now that I have grown so accustomed to New York, I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that this time next week I will be back to driving around the vast green mountains of Vermont and packing for senior year (in hopefully cooler weather), but I know I will be back soon (and by “soon” I mean I already have plans to return in the fall). These past two months have been one adventure after the next, and I want to say a massive thank you to Megan and Karen for having had such a huge role in them.

In parting, I’ll end with the final lines of one of my favorite Roald Dahl works, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me.

All you do is look
At a page in this book
Because that’s where we’ll always be,
No book ever ends
When it’s full of your friends
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.

 

Until next time,

Beauld Dahl

 

 

 

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

A Reader’s Guide to New York City

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Now that it is my final week here at Beaufort and Spencer Hill, I have been reflecting on all the trips I embarked on this summer. I thought it would be fun to do a wrap up of my favorite times, along with a few ideas for anyone venturing into New York City longer than a weekend. So, without further ado, here are my top ten experiences, perfect for an avid reader in New York City.

 

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Manhattan):

While I tried to avoid including any huge tourist attractions in this list, The Met is arguably the most famous museum in the city, and it’s the largest. It is extremely overwhelming for first-timers but is a must-see. For some reason, I refused to visit this museum on any of my prior visits to the city, but I knew I had to go this summer. I spent four hours wandering the halls and still missed half of it. If you are into art in any sense, there is a gallery for you in The Met, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Plus, the iconic steps are a great place to enjoy your book and coffee.

Always check online before you go anywhere in case they have times where admission is free or reduced! General admission at The Met is pay-what-you-wish if you are a resident of New York or have a student ID from a college in New York, Connecticut, or New Jersey.

 

  1. Coney Island (Brooklyn):

Since I was here in the summer, I figured I couldn’t miss Coney Island. I thought because I wasn’t going to ride on any of the rides I wouldn’t get as much out of the experience, but pick a gorgeous day, head down to the boardwalk to enjoy the sound of the ocean and the feel of sand between your toes, and you’ve got one flawless day in front of you. Spread out a blanket and devour a hotdog from Nathan’s as you immerse yourself between the pages of your next favorite read.

Free, although good luck staying away from the shops and eateries.

 

  1. Museum of the Moving Image (Queens):

I visited this museum twice – once for a film screening, and then again to see the actual museum. Definitely check out its website to see what movies are playing while you are in the city; depending on the type of screening, some of the actors or crew members might be there for a Q&A afterwards! The museum has a cute café and some comfy seating throughout that makes for a cozy reading space.

Free on Fridays from 4 – 8 p.m. Screenings are an additional cost.

 

  1. Lexington Ave/59th Street (Manhattan):

Anyone with a sweet tooth, this one is for you. When you get off the subway on 59th Street, you are less than a 10 minute walk to three major sweetshops: Sprinkles Cupcakes (there is an actual building but also a cupcake ATM outside if you want to avoid human interaction), Dylan’s Candy Bar (with a major list of funky desserts and one of the best milkshakes you’ll ever drink), and Serendipity 3 (frozen hot chocolate, anyone?). Whether you stay in the shop or head to Central Park (less than a 10-minute walk), you’ll be able to fully savor both your book and your treats.

Depending on what you want to spend your money on, Sprinkles is the cheapest option, Dylan’s is more middle-of-the-road, and Serendipity is the biggest splurge, but it’s worth it. If you do decide to go to Serendipity, be prepared for a wait.

 

  1. Brooklyn Botanical Garden (Brooklyn):

This peaceful area is filled with blooming flowers in the spring and summer. It has many secluded areas with seating, along with a charming field fit for a picnic date with your next novel. While it may be a bit busier when it has free admission, I had no problems finding plenty of places to get away from the crowds.

Free on Fridays from 8 a.m. – noon

 

  1. The Strand (Manhattan):

How could I make a list for book lovers without including The Strand? This bookstore is a must-see for anyone who has picked up a book in their lives. Three floors of floor-to-ceiling shelves and stacks of every genre of book imaginable. The first floor also has some spot-on merch, including t-shirts, magnets, socks, and pins with fantastic slogans.

Obviously entry is free, but we all know you aren’t leaving there empty-handed.

 

  1. The High Line (Manhattan):

This walking path from the Meatpacking District to 34th Street has only been around for a few years, but it is already rising in ranks for a major Manhattan attraction. If you go on a gorgeous weekend day, you’ll find yourself in the midst of a high volume of sight-seers. Instead, go on a nice weekday, spread out in a lounge chair, and soak in the sun with the view of the bay on one side and the Manhattan skyline on the other as you work your way through your TBR pile.

Free, unless you stop at any of the numerous food vendors or restaurants on and along the path.

 

  1. New York Public Library Tour (Manhattan):

The New York Public Library gives daily tours, showing a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the building, its history, and its possessions. The tour is perfect for literary nerds because while it is just an hour long, it is packed with fun facts that will potentially blow your mind like they did mine.

Free tours are available in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday – Saturday to the first 25 people who show up. I got there around 1:15 p.m. on a Friday and was one of the first to get tickets. The wait was the perfect excuse to meander around the impressive gift shop.

 

  1. Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens):

I am not a Central Park girl. Sure, walking around and through the expanse of greenery is always enjoyable, but it is too crowded and distracting for me to relax. Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens is my favorite park that I have visited, and I have been to a lot this summer. Since it is not in Manhattan, it is not too busy, and it is large enough that you can find a place to hang out very quickly. The park also houses the Queens Zoo and the Unisphere, which is incredible to see up close. The only downfall is how far it is if you are living in Manhattan, but you can always read on the subway!

Free!

 

  1. Governors Island (Manhattan):

The day I went to Governor’s Island was arguably the best day of my summer. Governor’s Island is a tiny island around the Statue of Liberty – Wall Street – Brooklyn Bridge area. Spend the morning kayaking and ride a bike around the island’s small, 2.5-mile perimeter. Hike up Outlook Hill for an unforgettable view and wander around what was once Fort Jay, then finally curl up on a hammock in Hammock Grove with your favorite book. If you are in NYC anytime between May and October, put Governor’s Island on your To Do list!

The ferry is free on the weekends if you go before noon, and kayaking is free on Saturdays from 11-4. Bikes range in price, but everything else listed above is free!

 

 

As I wrote this post, I felt like a walking advertisement for some of these places, but I cannot recommend them enough. I wish I had a few more weekends to go back to revisit a few of my top sites because one day simply wasn’t enough time with each of them. I hope this list gives you some inspiration as you explore the Big Apple!

 

Happy exploring!

Beauld Dahl

 

 

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

The Digital Era of Publishing

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Hello readers!

As a new intern at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press, I will be writing under the pen name of Aphra Beauhn, the feisty, forward-thinking female playwright and novelist. After taking a 17thCentury British Literature class this past spring, I came to greatly admire Behn’s spunky interpretation of literature as not only a source of entertainment but also a powerful tool for social reflection and change.

I am currently a rising senior at Union College, a small liberal arts school in Upstate New York, working towards a double major in English and Classics. When my junior year recently came to a close, I received a flood of questions about my career plans for post-graduation. As an avid reader with a passion for language, publishing has always been the natural answer for me. While I have gained in my personal life a love for how stories build, evolve, and eventually come to touch their audience in different ways, my educational background has taught me how valuable it is to think and rethink critically about writing, craft a plausible argument, and effectively communicate ideas to a vast array of readers.

More often than not, I’ve been told that I’m going into an “impractical” field or better yet, that print publishing is dying in the age of iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and an infinite number of writing outlets on the internet that are available to just about anyone who wishes to publish. The term publishing for many of my peers now refers to posting a picture on Instagram or capturing a cool Snapchat story. I wholeheartedly agree that the digital era is upon us and gaining momentum with each day.

However, I don’t believe that there is any less of a demand for well-written books. Technology has provided new distractions and entertainment for sure, but it hasn’t taken away the power of literature to create a new vision and understanding of the world. Rather than “dying,” the industry is simply moving into uncharted territory. After two internships in publishing, what I have come to love most about this industry is that it is constantly changing and growing regardless of whether technology is in play or not. To me, the digital age provides an opportunity to develop creative approaches to writing that will reach more audiences and unveil new voices.

During the first few weeks of my internship at Beaufort Books/Spencer Hill Press, I was assigned a variety of tasks, everything from promoting books on social media platforms to updating metadata for past and upcoming titles. What has become evident to me so far is that the digital era provides a new means to market literature in increasingly dynamic and innovative ways. As the summer progresses, I am so excited to work at a company that is still dedicated to publishing high-quality books which are both compelling and impactful, fit for the fast-paced, ever-evolving industry.

Publishing may no longer represent the once romantic vision of a library full of beautifully bound books, but it still serves as a guide to the people, places, and things of everyday life.

Until next time,
Aphra Beauhn

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

Two Sides to Every Story

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Hello — another intern here! A bit about me: I am headed into my final year at a liberal arts college in New Hampshire, where I am studying both English and Elementary Education. Ever since I was young, I always wanted to be either a teacher or a book editor/publisher due to my love of reading. Therefore, for my pseudonym, I thought it would be fitting to choose an author who connects to both of my passions, so I’ve decided to go under the pen name Beauld Dahl, after a fascinating person who happens to be one of my favorite childhood authors.

Coming from a small town in Vermont (and by small I mean you could fit 6 of my town’s entire population into the Empire State Building and still have a little room left over before hitting the maximum occupancy), Manhattan is about the biggest 180 degrees that I could make from my normal lifestyle. Even living here for just a week so far, I’ve come to realize that I have split myself into two identities, the small-town teacher, and the city-dwelling publisher. Part of me misses rolling green mountains, drives through the countryside with the windows down, and the overall laid-back feel of Vermont (and no, it’s not part of Canada). A different part of me loves the patchwork of skyscrapers, the hustle of the city, and the fact that I can walk to any store I can think of instead of driving at least an hour away. Though I’ll admit, sometimes I get a little unnerved by the lack of trees on my walk to and from my internship, but that’s nothing a trip to Central Park can’t fix.

Vermont is known (“known” being a loose term here) for three things: Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Cabot cheese, and maple syrup. While we consume our fair share of dairy products, my family’s affection is for the latter.

Every late winter and early spring, we go into the woods, hang buckets and tubing among the maple trees, collect their sap, then boil and filter it until the sticky, sweet substance we put on our pancakes and waffles is produced. This picture was taken during the second largest snowstorm ever recorded in Vermont, when I trudged through over two feet of snow and could barely see further than the length of my arm through the rapidly falling flakes. Apart from the sounds of my footsteps, I was blanketed by complete silence.

Within the past week, it has been upwards of 90° in Manhattan, with nothing but a faint breeze between the high-rises. I have two options: walk everywhere in the blazing sun, or take the subway, where wind refuses to enter, and the heat is somehow even more stifling than above ground. I typically choose the streets, ignoring the stench of cigarettes and the shrills of sirens, where I bear witness to some of the world’s most iconic sites that millions dream of visiting and a skyline like none other.

In both circumstances, I wonder how something so unpleasant can also be so thrilling and beautiful at the same time. I also wonder how one can love both experiences just as equally.

Since I have already student-taught in multiple classrooms and loved (nearly) every second, I thought that interning at a publishing company would help me decide what path I would pursue after graduating. However, that decision has become exponentially more difficult now that I see how much I would enjoy living in the Big Apple permanently.

Stay tuned to see where my internship at Beaufort Books/Spencer Hill Press takes me over the next few months!

Until next time,

Beauld Dahl

 

 

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

 

Random Things or a Damsel & a Friend?

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Hello friends!

I’m so excited to be on the blog today talking about some things about me that you probably don’t know. Who am I? Well, I’m Kelsey Macke. I wrote the book Damsel Distressed—a story about sadness and self-harm and theatre and best friends and confidence and wanting to be okay.

I thought I would tell you THREE random things about me that might surprise you—in fact, I’m going to tell you three ways I’m a *little* like the main character in my book!

  1. Imogen is a theatre kid—I was too! I was involved in lots of productions as a kid, and continued all the way through high school. In fact, the musical in the story is one that we did when I was in 10th grade! It was so fun to think about all of the amazing traditions we had in the theatre and how we always stood up for each other and alongside each other. I have a soft spot for curtain calls. There are lots of things that make me cry, but a curtain call is a sure thing. There’s just something so special about when the artists come out at the end and stand, humbly, in the middle of a stage and hope for approval. It’s such an honest place to be. I love it.
  2. Imogen struggles with her body image. I do too! In fact, there are so many things that Imogen does and says about her body that definitely happened in my own head. It’s only recently that I’ve really started to understand how deep the wounds of negative self-image can go! Sometimes it seems like grown people have it all figured out, but I can assure you. We don’t. I have been a hot mess since I was in diapers, and I don’t see that stopping any time soon. It is so difficult to love who you are—not who you might be if you only… made that change. I wish I could go back and hug the little piece of me that shows up in those parts of the book and say, “it’s okay to love yourself right this minute.” You don’t have to wait for that Eventual You that always seems more deserving.
  3. Imogen had one true-blue-through-and-through best friend. A lot of the kids I knew had groups of friends. They always seemed to travel in packs. There were pockets of 3 to 6 kids who were always attached at the hips, at each other’s parties, and in every photo together. It wasn’t like that for me. I had several people that I loved spending time with, but in my heart, there were only one or two people who I really counted as my best friends. I think it must be a different sort of experience. Having one person who seems to know every single thing about you. It made me feel very loved and understood. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. What about you? Were you a “group of friends” or a “one BFF” kind of person?

So that’s it—a little about me that is a little bit like the main character in my book!

Thanks for stopping by the Spencer Hill blog today and hanging out with me! As always, you can find me all over the internet @KelsNotChels and on KelseyMacke.com!

Summer eBook Deals

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Happy summer, readers! There’s something about the warm weather and vacation season that gets us even more in the mood to read the days away. We are excited to offer weekly ebook deals to help you discover new titles for low prices. We’d love to hear what you get, tweet at us at @spencerhillp.

During the sale, all listed ebooks will be available for only $1.99! All titles will be available at this price on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and more.

 

June 1st-15th

Play On by Michelle Smith
Breaking Glass by Lisa Amowitz
One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin
Finn Finnegan (Adventures of Finn MacCullen series #1) by Darby Karchut
PODs by Michelle K. Pickett
Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia

June 16th-30th

Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory
Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher
Copper Girl (Copper Legacy series #1) by Jennifer Allis Provost
Gideon’s Spear (Adventures of Finn MacCullen series #2) by Darby Karchut
Bone Deep by Kim O’Brien
Castle of Sighs by Jennifer Murgia
Freaks of Nature by Wendy Brotherlin

July 1st-15th

Magnetic Shift by Lucy D. Briand
Almost Magic by Kathleen Bullock
The Hound at the Gate (Adventures of Finn MacCullen series #3) by Darby Karchut
Sasquash by Andrea Schicke Hirsch
Perfection (Perfection series #1) by J.L. Spelbring
Lifestyles of the Rich and (In)Famous by Tierney Fowler

July 16th-31st

Until Beth by Lisa Amowitz
Copper Ravens (Copper Legacy #2) by Jennifer Allis Provost
Hello? by Liza Weimer
Finn’s Choice (Adventures of Finn MacCullen series #4) by Darby Karchut
Swimming in Tokyo by Brenda St. John Brown

August 1st-15th

Little Miss Evil by Bruce Leung & Kristy Shen
Death and Mr. Right by Kendra Saunders
Never Never by Brianna Shrum
Copper Veins (Copper Legacy #3) by Jennifer Allis Provost
The Stag Lord (Bannerman Boru series #1) by Darby Kaye

August 16th-31st

Unholy Blue (Bannerman Boru series #2) by Darby Kaye
Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke
Pull by Anne Riley
Vision by Lisa Amowitz
Flawed (Perfection series #2) by J.L. Spelbring

Random Things or “Love”ing-ly Ever After?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

I never know when I’m going to fall in love. Especially when it comes to falling in love with new experiences, hobbies, or things. It always starts off innocently enough—there’s a little bit of curiosity, an itch to try something new. Most of the time, that’s where it stays—maybe I’ll take a class or check out a book from the library on “hobby du jour.” But when I fall for something, I fall hard, and I go from curious to “welcome to a new hobby/sport/language obsession” in a heartbeat. Like romantic love, it’s random, unexpected, wonderful, and brings out the best parts of me.

For this “random things you might not know about me” post, I’ve decided to list random things in my life that I love*. Because what we love, after all, helps to define a big part of who we are:

  1. I love being a Mechanical Engineer. I love how I was trained to be a problem solver, whether I’m developing medical devices or plotting out manuscripts. I get to use art, physics, and math to make really cool things to improve people’s health and quality of life, and it’s an epic feeling seeing something I made in action, whether in a surgery, recovery, or a post-op x-ray.
  2. I love languages. I’m multilingual—bilingual in English and Portuguese and conversational in French and Spanish. I love how language is culture and history all wrapped in the evolution of words and phrases. Writers are word alchemists—we turn words into bookish gold, and it’s fun to have a playground full of possibilities pouring out of multiple dictionaries.
  3. I love to dance. Ballet and contemporary were an important part of my life until I ruptured my Achilles tendon. I started figure skating as a sort of physical therapy and fell in love with it, too. Skating went from therapy to a new way to spin, dance, and fly (and I get to pick my skating outfits, which beats recital dress roulette by a mile).
  4. Phoebe’s love of archery in Bookishly Ever After was based on teen me’s dream of becoming Susan Pevenzie from the Narnia books. When I started researching archery for Bookishly, I ended up falling in love with the sport and have now been taking lessons in Olympic recurve archery since 2014. I love digging my feet into the grass of the outdoor archery range and I love the feeling when I clump my arrows together so closely, I can hear one arrow skim the others on its way into the target.
  5. I love to draw. When I was in high school, I had thought of becoming an English or Art teacher, but when I decided to study engineering, I had falsely believed I had given up all chances of ever doing anything with art or writing. I was certainly wrong with the writing, but I think drawing will remain something just for me and just for fun, like skating and dance and archery.
  6. I loved fencing, and fenced foil and epee on my college’s men’s team (we didn’t have enough women to form our own team). It made me feel strong and graceful, and I still feel a little thrill when I see my old gear.
  7. And, lucky 7, I love to write, but you’ve probably figured that out already.

What about you? What are the things that sneakily found their ways into your heart? What are the random things you love?

*Blogger’s Note: Omitted are the living beings I love: family, friends, cats… you get the idea, because this post would get way too long. WAAAAY too long. Ditto bigger things, like the world, snow, glitter, and old records playing on hot summer evenings… and… and…

More Than Editing

Friday, April 27th, 2018

It is my last week at Beaufort and Spencer Hill, and naturally, I’m reflecting on the last four months I’ve spent here. I’ve learned a lot about the publishing industry, from the major aspects down to the smallest details. Sitting at my desk between two editors has helped me see how a book comes to life and moves from one step to the next: from submissions, to editing and proofreading, to sales and marketing, printing, distribution—each realm adding more to the book and refining it, preparing it to be placed in the hands of readers. What has surprised me is the multitude of small projects that go into creating a book, and how an editor does so much more than editing.

I’ve been assigned many tasks over the past few months, many of which involve research and data compiling. I researched the original copyrights of poems and songs quoted in our manuscripts, looked up potential fan base locations for an upcoming book, searched for grants and scholarships for writers, and put together lists of contact information for promotions. I found bookstores within a particular area and learned about Goodreads’ promotion programs. My Microsoft Excel skills grew with a plethora of spreadsheet projects, organizing inventory reports, ISBNs and authors, submission reviews, and royalty reports. Oddly enough, while I used to cringe at the idea of research and data work—I may have even used the phrase “I hate researching” before—these have been some of my favorite tasks. Learning and organizing information is something I enjoy, and it has been rewarding to grow in this skill set in relation to books.

Book publishing also involves upkeep. Managing social media and updating websites—mainly in book descriptions and hyperlinks—kept me very busy. Several behind-the-scenes details, like registering a copyright and inputting keywords to increase the quality of the metadata, were new territory for me. These kinds of details can easily slip through the cracks and go unnoticed, so it was interesting to be involved with the work that seems trivial but is incredibly important to the book’s success.

Finally, of course, there is the intern’s dream—assisting with submissions and manuscript edits. While I was not into helping with submissions as much as I had expected, I loved working on copy edits and corrections. Manuscripts, covers, and descriptions must be checked over and over, being checked on the tiniest details before going to print. Proofreading was a particular favorite task of mine—I like fixing the mistakes and getting everything formatted. This was the area I knew most about when coming to this internship, but clearly it is only a fraction of what goes into producing a book.

A managing editor does much more than edit a book. They oversee so much of the production of a book, and they work with a lot of different people to bring that book to readers. I had always toyed with the idea of being an editor, and now I realize how much more there is to that position than I had ever known, and I certainly wouldn’t have known without being in a publishing office and working with editors themselves. This internship has been such a valuable experience, and I know with certainty that whatever I do next, I owe to my experience at Beaufort and Spencer Hill.

 

~Sara Beaureilles

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

Choosing From the Infinite

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

My bedroom floor is piled high with books, and there are a decent number that I have not read. I have the intention to read them, which is why, in the heat of a discount-book-shop-treasure-finding moment, I have bought more books than I have the time or energy to read. Sometimes, as I think about those books, and the other books on my “to-read” list, I grow overwhelmed. There are so many stories and voices and ideas I want to absorb and process, and realistically, I don’t have the time or the brain space for them all. I don’t want to spend my entire life reading, because when will I have time to apply what I’ve learned? Sometimes I want to forget the whole thing and give up on my reading list.

Since moving to New York, I have felt the same way—not about reading, but about life. The fear that I might miss something good has moved from my reading list to my lifestyle in New York. I find myself wanting to experience everything, pushed by what everyone tells me I should try and what I must do. As if, once the semester ends and I return home, I will regret not having tasted and seen and participated in everything.

I know, you are probably shaking your head, muttering to yourself, “Silly girl. That’s not possible.” And you’re right. It’s not possible.

It’s not possible for me to experience everything in this enormous city. Not only that, I realize I shouldn’t experience absolutely everything, because not everything is meant for me.

The moment of clarity came for me one rainy day, when I was exploring Brooklyn. I had been trying to save my money for big nights out doing what my roommates wanted to do, and it occurred to me that the activities they wanted to participate in were not necessarily the activities I wanted to participate in. They wanted to experience the glamour of New York, and I wanted to explore the hidden corners, the nooks and crannies. I had spent the first month experiencing the glamour, and I was ready to honor the part of me that wanted a quiet, contemplative moment in a cozy coffee shop.

I didn’t have the money or the energy for both day life and night life, so I made a choice. I ducked inside Joyce Bakeshop and warmed myself from the rain, grounding myself through a hot coffee and a flaky chocolate croissant. I journaled and people-watched. I let the familiar environment of a coffee shop hold me for a while. And in that moment, I understood the importance of choosing your own story.

I’ll probably be ready for the glamour again, but I need the quietness of New York too, the things that feel like me—walks in parks, treats from bakeries, even quiet nights at home spent reading and drawing. I realize now that I cannot say yes to everything. Sometimes I will need to say no, so that there is space, time, and energy to say yes to the things that are mine, the experiences that my soul is leading me toward. When I do this, I stop grasping blindly and am led forward naturally.

It occurs to me now that I don’t have to give up on collecting books and making reading lists; I don’t have to let myself be overwhelmed by the sheer infinity of possibilities. I must say no to the books that I don’t feel calling my soul. Just like experiencing New York City, saying no to those books will give me the space to say yes to the books that do call my soul. I can choose my story, the story that unfolds naturally, the story that is truly mine.

~Sara Beaureilles

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

For The Love of Books

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Over the past few years, I stopped reading for fun. I didn’t even notice I was doing it, but along the way, I wasn’t going into bookstores and didn’t have a stack of unread books on my bedside table. I was sucked into homework and school readings (like the infinitely long Iliad), and I did not give myself time for any personal reading. It wasn’t until this past summer, when I had a lot of free time, that I realized that my bookshelf was embarrassingly bare. So, I resolved to change that.

I told myself that I was going to fall in love with books again, no matter how long it took. I took a break from binge-watching another Netflix series and spent more time at The Strand, which is luckily only a few blocks from my apartment. And I started reading books that interested me, ones that I looked forward to reading rather than dreading it. And slowly, I have opened up to that love again.

Every week, I try to spend at least a couple of hours of reading books I choose, whether it’s before bed or in a cozy coffee shop. It is my “me time” and I spend it doing an activity that I find joy in. Whether it’s the newest New York Times best-seller, a Penguin classic, or a good old-fashioned romance, it’s something I do for myself and only myself.

Reawakening my own love affair with reading, I started to look into entering a career that involves books. It was never something that I thought could even be a possible career path for me. As a kid, I told everyone that when I grew up, I wanted to be a book editor. But I never really thought I could make that happen. Always a dream, but never a reality. But, one day, I asked myself, why hadn’t I put more thought into making my career dreams a reality?

Working at a publishing house has helped me realize that being surrounded by books is where I want to be. Learning about the behind-the-scenes of novels that can change the way you see the world is so interesting and important. The process is opening my eyes to the care and dedication that is put into each word an author writes. It truly takes a village to publish a book, but it’s all worth it if the book makes a difference in even one reader’s life.

Books are important. Through finding my love of reading again, I am also finding myself. I am excited to see what more I have to learn with Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. The possibilities are endless.

– Beauscar Wilde

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

The Stuff of Stories

Friday, January 26th, 2018

A little smile tugs at my mouth as I sit behind my desk at Beaufort Books/Spencer Hill Press. Looking out the window captures a scene that seems incredibly fitting for a book publisher in New York City: tall brick buildings hugged by winding fire escapes, windows that subtly showcase the busy lives of other office workers, and a cloudy blue sky. It’s exactly what I would picture when I think of a New York City book publisher.

I know images can be deceiving. Although beginning an internship at a book publisher in New York City sounds intriguing, it’s not the first time I’ve done something that seems to fit the image. My college experience consisted of moving to Nashville to be part of the music scene. While it was lovely, I quickly learned that images aren’t always as they seem.

Behind the Instagram filters and keywords that frame our stories are the real lives we live. The everyday, nitty-gritty details of life. While I enjoy going out and doing things that make a great story, I have learned that the real story is in the in-between, the ways I fill my day. The decision to grab coffee on my way to work. The smile at the security guard on the way in. The small talk with people in the elevator or the subway. The laughter with my roommates as we make dinner.

Moving to different cities is interesting, and it makes you aware of things you can’t catch as easily on a vacation. My first week in New York City, I acted like a tourist, capturing those well-known tourist sites and posting them on Instagram. As I settle in, however, I’m noticing more of the nuances, and whether in New York, Nashville, or anywhere, these nuances, the stuff of life, are often the same. Everyone is dreaming, working, hurting, hoping. In the nuances, I am reminded that each of us is living a story, both unique to ourselves and similar enough to others’ to be part of the larger collective human story.

I’m excited to be interning at Beaufort/Spencer Hill mostly to watch how stories are built and delivered. It’s a courageous act when an author decides to tell a story, whether fictional or personal or historical. The world gains a voice that we’ve been waiting to hear when an author writes. To learn the business of putting together a story and publishing it–both the exciting aspects and the little nuances–is a process that intrigues me, and even in the first few weeks of my internship I’ve learned a lot.

Although the best parts of the story are in the details and everyday occurrences, I will admit: sometimes, the images are nice. I like the fact that I get to learn with a publisher in New York City, sitting at a desk by this window.

~Sara Beaureilles

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

Saturnalia—A Day of Role Reversals

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Greetings everyone and I hope the changing of seasons has treated you well. Today, I would like to talk about a recent event that I partook in at Beaufort Books called Saturnalia.

This Roman holiday, devoted to Saturn, when celebrated in ancient times, from December 17th-23rd,  gave slaves the chance to become the masters for the day or for others to play games and enjoy themselves. It made me wonder if this is where people got the idea of job shadowing where students are given a day to learn more about the profession they’re passionate about. At Beaufort, I went from intern to managing editor for the day and I learned about the various roles and duties involved with the job. This was a fun and challenging experience as there are a lot of responsibilities involved.

While I didn’t learn all of the tasks involved, I did learn about some important ones that are handy to be familiar with such as finances, responding to emails, and keeping the office organized. I think we all have an idea in our head as to what an editor does, I know I did before I started school and interning, but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of making and producing books for all of us to read! There are different types of editors found in an editorial department, and a managing editor is the one who oversees the others and keeps track of a book’s production. While I didn’t oversee anyone, I did get to help plot out the schedule for books that will be worked on in the coming year. I also learned about finances and how that fits into a managing editor’s duties. In my master’s program, I have taken classes that cover this side of the publishing industry, and it was refreshing to see firsthand how it works. There is something to be said about learning both inside and outside of the classroom!

Overall, my time as a temporary managing editor ended smoothly. It showed me how everything I’m learning ties together and I now know what to expect in the future and I’m looking forward to it.

Now, though, on my last day interning at Beaufort Books the future seems a bit nebulous. But I’m not too worried as I have learned a lot during my time at this internship and I will be forever grateful that I was able to wear many hats. It allowed me to see what sparks my interest and to help me better understand this fascinating industry.

Take care everyone, and may 2018 have a wonderful plot twist waiting for you.

~J.R.R. Beaulkien

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

We’re on Snapchat!

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Hey guys!

Guess what? We’re on Snapchat now! And we’d love for you to follow us and see what we’re up to here at Spencer Hill Press.

I started using Snapchat a couple of years ago, curious to see what all the hype was about. It seemed like another social outlet with virtually the same idea of sharing photos and videos with your followers. But I was pleasantly surprised. The photos and videos shared, no matter how funny, random, serious, or sad, allow a more intimate glimpse into the life of your Snapchat friends and yours as well. Of course, what you choose to show the world is entirely up to you, but it’s a great way to be unapologetically you! I was hooked almost immediately. I was working as a pastry chef then and I used it as another platform to showcase my work and my adventures in the kitchen.

Through our Snapchat, you’ll get to meet the team and peek into the world of publishing. Social media is a great tool for many different reasons, and for us, here at SHP, it’s a fantastic way to connect with our readers, authors, and all-around book lovers.

We’ll be having themed posts for each week, so if you have a great idea for a theme, let us know in the comments.

So please add us and spread the word!

My Fall TBR List

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

During my time here at Beaufort, I will be going by the nom-de-plume Jane Beausten because I recently re-read Pride and Prejudice for one of my literature classes and remembered how much I love her witty satire. I am in my final year of undergrad studying English with a minor in Art History at Fordham University, a cat mom, devout turtleneck wearer, and coffee addict (I drank two cups before writing this post).

Amidst trying to keep up with my seemingly never-ending reading for classes, working part-time at Fordham’s library, interning at Beaufort Books, and getting involved with extracurricular activities, it feels like I have little time to spend catching up on my to-be-read (TBR) list. However, I manage to sneak in a bit of reading each night before bed, and this has enabled me to start making some progress on my list.

Every book lover has a TBR list for different periods of time in their life. For me, these periods of time align with the seasons. As autumn seeps its way into the city, I’ve begun to think about the books I want to read this season.

Here are some of the books on my list:

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis by Lydia Davis
I heard about this collection of short stories through the Goodreads grapevine. So far, I have only read a few stories. From what I can tell, Davis is a masterful storyteller and I find myself drawn in with her vignettes that capture seemingly mundane events. I’m excited to continue this read and possibly update you all about it in a future blog post!

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
I fell in love with the magical realism style through reading the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende. One of the biggest news stories in the publishing world this year was Roy releasing her newest novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, and I decided to get to know her writing by reading her earlier work.

bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward
I became a fan of this particular style of contemporary poetry by reading milk and honey by Rupi Kaur and salt by Nayyirah Waheed, so when I found out about Ysra Daley-Ward, I was immediately intrigued by her work. I’ve read some of her poems on her Instagram and Twitter accounts, and I find her poetry to be thoughtful, engaging, and comforting. I recently got a copy of her book from The Strand, which has made me look forward to reading the rest of her poems.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Everyone knows Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale, but a friend recommended that I try reading Alias Grace because I am interested in historical fiction, particularly books set in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I am trying to incorporate different genres into my reading repertoire, and though I usually am not one to read mysteries or thrillers, I couldn’t help but find this plotline intriguing.

I hope my fellow book lovers find the time to check books off their TBR lists. I know I certainly will.

Until next time,
Jane Beausten

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

 

Thank You, New York

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

My summer in New York was loud, crowded, stressful, expensive, and amazing.

My apartment was in the East Village, a comfortable but busy neighborhood in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I’ve also been working part-time at a coffee shop in Williamsburg, which has allowed to me to get to know the neighborhood and become familiar with the local community. I discovered a variety of venues to watch live shows, something I rarely get to do when I’m at school in Boston. I saw Kendrick Lamar, Sylvan Esso, A$AP Ferg, Jacques Greene, Alex G, Fleet Foxes, and countless more. I also learned about the comedy scene in New York, and frequented improv and stand up shows. I visited bustling and famous tourist spots, and discovered quieter neighborhoods where I could sit down with a book and feel more anonymous.

At Beaufort, I was regularly given projects to tackle, including assisting in pitching a book. This required research into proposals and coming up with possible marketing strategies. I got to attend a dinner party for an upcoming book release, and of course, the unforgettable experience that was BookExpo. At Beaufort, I’ve learned about all the different steps that go into publishing, the importance in attention to detail, and what makes a good book good.

In New York, I’ve learned that standing in the middle of the sidewalk is a sure way to anger locals, how to ride the subway without anxiety, and where to get the best pizza in East Village. My relationship in New York was fraught. Although I relished in the excitement, I resented how the busy and crowded city could be. Sometimes I couldn’t imagine not living in the city, other times, I wanted time to slow down and to rush back to my small hometown in Texas. Despite this, I still plan on coming back, because there’s no other place like New York City. 

Sincerely yours,

J.K. Beauling

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

My Summer in the City

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

My summer in the city was hectic, exhausting, and incredible; I know I will never forget it. From the moment I stepped into my apartment in Manhattan, I knew it was going to be an amazing summer. Though this was not the first time I have moved to a new place, it was 100 times more daunting than moving to my small college town in the middle of New York State. I have dreamed of living in the city since the first time I visited it when I was 11 years old, so living here this summer was a literal dream come true. These past few months, I have started to feel like a real New Yorker: taking the subway every day, passing famous landmarks on the way to the grocery store, and having the pedestrian equivalent of road rage every time I walk behind a slow group of tourists.

While I felt like a New Yorker this summer, I was also a tourist. I’d seen the most famous tourist attractions—the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Time Square—but this summer I got to experience much more. During the last few months I have been to Governor’s Island during the Jazz Age Lawn party, the Pride Parade, the delicious food festival in Brooklyn, Smorgasburg, and the Chelsea Market. I have stood outside the Gershwin Theater three times in the past week trying my luck at the Wicked ticket lottery—to no avail. Last week, I was at Central Park watching hundreds of runners while I waited for Shakespeare in the Park tickets early in the morning, and this week my friends and I plan to spend the day soaking in the sun at Coney Island. In the city, I feel like my options are limitless. There is a new adventure waiting for me every day.

I have felt more independent during my two and a half months in the city than I have during my whole two years at college. Though I have some independence in college—living away from home and deciding when I eat, sleep, and study—I still live in what Colgate students like to call “The Colgate Bubble.” Most students at my school say that we are so cut off from the rest of the world in our small town that we would have a hard time reintegrating back into the “real world.” I never really understood this until I moved to the city, which is a textbook definition of what the “real world” is. NYC has given me so much life experience, and even if I end up not living here ever again, I know that I will use what I’ve learned wherever I end up.  I’m so happy that I could live and work in the city this summer. I got to do things and meet people that I will never forget. Though I came here for an internship, I will be leaving here with much more than just work experience.

Stacy, Intern for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.