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NYC: A Story-Lover’s Dream

Friday, March 8th, 2019

As an English major, I truly love stories in all of their forms. This includes books (obviously), movies and television, plays and musicals, and even museums and concerts. All works of art tell a story in one way or another, and NYC is full of art. In other words, NYC is a story-lover’s dream. I hope in sharing my recent artistic outings, it might inspire readers to get out and experience some stories of your own (in any and all forms)!

Seeing a story unfold in front of you in the form of a Broadway musical is magical. I’ve only seen two shows during my time here, but they’ve made me want to see them all. Anastasia was my first ever show. Anastasia has been one of my favorite movies for as long as I can remember, and seeing it so alive and real was spectacular. After the show, I was able to meet most of the amazing cast, including singer Cody Simpson who played Dmitry (a middle school dream come true)! My second show was Mean Girls, and that was another great experience that filled me with memories of watching the movie in middle school with my friends at sleepovers.

The stories behind works of art found in a museum are fascinating to me: the lives of artists, the history of an entire civilization, the meaning of a work of art. I made my first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently and loved every second. From the paintings to the sculptures to the artifacts, I was filled with curiosity and awe. It’s not every day you get to see a Van Gogh painting in person! Additionally, a concert is one of the most fun and lively ways to hear a story. Though I want to get to many more, the only concert I have been to so far was for singer Ryan Beatty that I attended for one of my classes; what an incredible show it was!

In terms of some of the more obvious story forms, I still try to make plenty of time for books and film. Despite the reader’s block I mentioned in my previous post, I was able to get my hands on a copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman from my reading list and having been loving it and (slowly but surely!) fighting my reader’s block. I’ve also recently been treating myself during my free time with Gilmore Girls binges and uplifting Netflix originals such as Dumplin’. I’ve found during my time in NYC that you can find a good story almost anywhere you look for one. Try and enjoy some art today if you can!

Until next time,

Phoebe Beauffay

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

New City, New Books

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Hello everyone! I’m Beaufort’s newest intern, writing under the pen name Phoebe Beauffay (Friends fans?) A little about me is that I’m an English major who loves stories in all forms and of all genres. I attend university in Nashville, TN, but I’m here for the semester. Not only am I new to Beaufort, but I am entirely new to NYC. Prior to my move here, I had never been. I’m more thrilled to be here than I can say!

I think most people who consider themselves to be avid readers would agree that sometimes we get reader’s block. My own reader’s block has been going on for far too long. I’m ready to pull out my reading list, my bookmarks, sign up for a library card, and get to work. Moving here has given me a spark to read that I haven’t felt in a while. How could it not? I’m surrounded by countless books and fellow book lovers here at Beaufort. I pass a public library to and from Beaufort each time I’m here. Readers are everywhere: on the subway, in coffee shops, in any of NYC’s abundant book stores. I’m planning an entire day to visit The Strand alone (pictured).

My reading list is ever-growing with no end in sight. It also refuses to be limited to one genre; it has a little bit of everything, which is exactly what I am looking for here in NYC. Here are a few of the books I intend to read on the subway and in coffee shops to cure my reader’s block:

Great Food Jobs 2 by Irena Chalmers

A Beaufort title I’m quite excited about! I love food and books. I love learning about the food industry and different careers. It’s full of insight on a world that I’m ready to learn all about.

North of the Tension Line by J.F. Riordan

Another Beaufort title, one that immediately reminded me of home. This story is set in Ephraim, Wisconsin. While I live in NYC and attend college in Nashville, Wisconsin is where I grew up. It’s rare for me to be able to read about home (New Yorkers are a lucky bunch in that department). I love that the story explores small town life.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I have so much admiration for the former first lady, and I cannot wait to hear her story in her own words. Autobiographies are newer to my list than other genres, but I believe this could be the read to get me going on them.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This one has been on my list for the last few months, and I’ve heard only good things about it. Stories about slightly awkward protagonists and friendship full of warmth and heart have a special place in mine.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

This is another one that has been on my list for a while (I blame the reader’s block). Psychological thrillers and mysteries are some of my favorites, and I’m a big fan of Gillian Flynn ever since Gone Girl. Looking forward to finally checking this one off the list.

Happy reading!

Phoebe Beauffay

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

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Greetings Everyone,

It’s Sir Arthur Conan Beauyle.

We’re quickly approaching the end of the year and I find myself looking back regretfully at my reading goals for 2018. I barely made a dent in my ever-growing, never-decreasing, extremely tempting to-be-read pile and I won’t even give you the number because it’s too embarrassing. However, I did accomplish a great deal this year that will help convince myself it’s enough to forgive such a bookish faux pas.

May marked a major milestone in my life: I received my M.F.A. in Creative Writing degree. I say major because my self-doubt is constantly out to get me; when I left home for my undergrad program, and when I fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a pastry chef. My self-doubt even got in the way in the middle of moving to New York (literally en-route to the Big Apple on the plane). Yet I continue to surprise myself whenever I achieve something I once thought impossible. But no matter how present that self-doubt is, my persistence has ALWAYS won.

This year marked my second major milestone in the great city of New York. Living here has opened my mind, eyes, and heart to so many different opportunities. It’s impossible not to love it. I started writing my novel again, and this time it has direction. Though my original goal for this year was to complete the first draft by December 31st, I am confident that this work-in-progress will be finished in 2019.

2018 had several internship opportunities for me, and I found myself back at Beaufort Books, working alongside this incredible team! When you find a group of people who are passionate about their work and are eager to teach you everything they know, it’s a breeze getting up in the morning. The Beaufort bibliophiles have inspired me to really tackle my reading goals for next year.

As I’ve done diligently in the past, I’ve begun drafting my hopes and dreams, my desires and wishes for 2019. I try to be realistic when it comes to these resolutions, because most of the time, come March, I have forgotten all about them. Because of my dismal reading habits in 2018, one of my top three wishes is to complete my 2019 reading list (hopefully I will exceed it!). The list isn’t complete, but it does involve a book for each week. Our lovely managing editor Megan has encouraged me with her reading record for 2018, so like her, I will read at least 52 books in the coming 12 months.

“It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” (thank you, Andy Williams!) and I find it impossible to be sad, or mad, or angry whenever I see those twinkling holiday lights. Who knows what’s in store for 2019, but I know that it’ll be great. And even if there are bad days, I can always turn to my books to escape.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!

Sir Arthur Conan Beauyle

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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

Manuscripts

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Reading an unpublished work is kind of like going backstage after a show. Backstage lacks the polish of the finished product. You can see the mechanics of the magic, and yet somehow it doesn’t take any of the magic away. The ropes and pulleys, the props and cast-off costumes betray the hours of hard work that the show concealed so well.

Manuscripts have the same essence as what lies behind the stage door. They are not perfect, but with a little work they have the potential to be just as beautiful and heart-wrenchingly good as any Broadway production.

About a week into my internship, I was asked to read some of the manuscripts in our submissions portal. I was thrilled. This, I thought, is what publishing is all about. My excitement died down a little bit as I began sifting through the entries and didn’t immediately discover the next Harry Potter. Nonetheless, I was reading unpublished material, and it fulfilled every dream I’d had of interning at a publishing company in New York City.

I’ve been honored to be able to work with a few manuscripts over the course of the summer. As an intern, I’m not making big changes or drastically shaping the future of the American novel à la Maxwell Perkins—don’t worry. Most of the time I’m just an extra pair of eyes to look over the edits and make sure they were made correctly. But even in such a small capacity, I’m still incredibly excited every time I’m asked to help with one of the books. For one thing, I love reading more than anything, so it could never be boring. For another, even though I’m providing only the smallest help I still feel important. I’m saving the world one Oxford comma at a time. Most of all, it is a privilege to see an artistic process take shape as the manuscript becomes a book. I imagine a stage manager or a producer feels the same way, watching their play go from script to stage. For publishers, it all begins with a manuscript.

–Caroline, Intern

*This is a joint post between Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill