WritersNewsWeekly has searched the U.S in pursuit of finding the best spots for writers looking for inspiration in some of our country’s busiest cities. Not sure what to do this summer? Consider visiting some of these places and calling it a road trip. This week, we scoped out the best joints for writers in the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest.
In our search for the best places to write, we considered price, friendliness of the staff, ease in which to get there and the overall atmosphere. So grab your pen, paper or laptop and get going!
Boston, MA—Boston is home to several famous writers, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Anne Bradstreet and Ralph Waldo Emerson, which is not surprising considering the accommodating nature of the city to writers.
-Boston Beanstock Coffee Co.—Salem
-Uptown Espresso Café—South End
-Boston Common—Beacon St.
New York City, NY—New York City is known for many things, including its long list of talented writers. Visit NYC, and consider yourself amongst some of the best, including Washington Irving and Beat poet Jack Kerouac.
-88 Orchard—Lower East Side
-Think Coffee—Greenwich Village
Savannah, GA—With its breathtaking scenery and deep historical roots, Savannah is the perfect city for writers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives.
-Boba—West Saint Julian Street
-Savannah Coffeehouse Café—E. Congress St.
-Morrell Park—River Street and E. Broad St.
Memphis, TN—Despite having produced the “three kings” in the music industry (Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and B.B. King,) Memphis has some of the best places for writers seeking a change of atmosphere.
-George’s Coffee Shop—N. 3rd St.
-Center for Southern Folklore—S. Main St.
-Strings and Things—Madison Ave.
Austin, TX—Austin may be the perfect city for writers; this Southwest city embraces anything and anyone who is different. Residents of Austin have even adopted the slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.” This “weird” city may provide the creative spark your writing needs.
-Hideout Coffee Bar and Theatre—Congress Ave.
-Progress Coffee—San Marcos St.
-Pendernales Falls State Park—Texas Hill Country
Phoenix, AZ—Phoenix is a diamond in the rough for writers; nestled between the city’s fine art museums, shopping centers and sports arenas are some of the greatest spots for writers to take shelter from the desert heat and write one hot book!
-Aroma Coffeehouse—N. Third St.
-Royal Coffee Bar—W. Jackson St.
Check back next week, when we reveal the summer’s best places for writers in the Midwest and West.
Within the past twenty years, letter writing has been replaced by email, phone calls have been replaced with text messages and the encyclopedia has been replaced by blogs. So how is that blogs are reverting back to the days of pen and paper and being released by publishing houses? Seattle-based publishing house Fractal Press is gearing up for the release of a book on financing; that is, a blog anthology on financing. This blog anthology, to be released late April, will contain the best blogs voted on by fellow bloggers. The best of the best will be included in this print anthology.
A print anthology of blogs can soon be the future of publishing. The process is simple: A website on a particular subject is presented to bloggers. Bloggers respond in the posts, stating their opinions and sprinkling a few facts along the way. Bloggers vote on their favorite posts. The publisher collects the posts, then designs, publishes and markets the book. Bloggers whose posts are featured in the anthology earn royalties on the sale of the book.
Some insiders in the publishing industry see blog anthologies as the new “Dummy’s guide.” Readers who purchase these blog anthologies will get only the basic, bare facts. But is this enough? Bloggers in these anthologies appear to have credibility. Many of the bloggers whose posts will be published in the anthology have worked in the financial sector and have written articles in top magazines and newspapers on finance, according to Fractal Press.
The question remains: Will these anthologies sell, or will they collect dust on bookstore shelves? The “For Dummies” series has done remarkably well. Since 1991, “For Dummies” has published more than 125 million books on everything from knitting and sewing, to planning for retirement. Users find the easy-to-read format and light approach to seemingly simple topics refreshing, compared to the dry text of former how-to books.
Critics of the blog anthology find fault in the credibility of its writers. In the past, publishers have learned that some bloggers have ulterior motives; many bloggers are paid by organizations to spread the opinions of the organization for financial gain. There is no way of knowing which posts are genuine and which are fueled by organizations with a motive.
On the other hand, blogging has become a standard way of communicating, so why not make it a standard way of teaching? Many bloggers who stand to profit from blog anthologies believe that somewhere between one blogger’s advice and another blogger’s “fact” lies the truth. The truth is this: Blogging is the “yadda yadda yadda” of the 21st century. Like it or not, it is not going away. The literary industry can only sit back and wait for blog anthologies to be released. At that point, critics will analyze every post included in the book for accuracy and merit. The real story will happen after these anthologies are released: Will people be outraged at inaccuracies? Or is permissible because, after all, it is only a blog?
Time will tell. Until then, all we can say is “blogga blogga blogga.”
Last week, WNW explored the difference between stating an opinion and libel. Because of the attacks on publishers within the past five years, WNW has decided to examine both sides of this debate. The decisions by the courts, either in favor of or against bloggers, will no doubt have a huge impact on the way the publishing industry operates.
For web designers, the war of words is an attack on the first amendment. The instant commentary provided on virtually every subject by websites and blogs is protected under the first amendment. This often colorful observation of events is sometimes taken for fact, which explains the opposition websites and blogs are facing. One of the more popular blogging websites, www.blogger.com, has a disclaimer that reads, “We respect our users' ownership of and responsibility for the content they choose to share. It is our belief that censoring this content is contrary to a service that bases itself on freedom of expression.”
The Supreme Court weighed in with its decision by ruling unanimously in favor of the ACLU in Reno v. ACLU. According to the ACLU, “the Court declared the Internet to be a free speech zone, deserving of at least as much First Amendment protection as that afforded to books, newspapers and magazines. The government, the Court said, can no more restrict a person’s access to words or images on the Internet than it could be allowed to snatch a book out of a reader’s hands in the library, or cover over a statue of a nude in a museum.” This landmark decision was an enormous victory for web designers and bloggers everywhere.
Advocates for free speech on the Internet see posted disparaging information as freedom of expression, not defamation of character; they believe that censorship of such information will begin with blogs and websites and eventually pollute email and search engines. To restrict or alter information on the Internet would be as damaging as the banning of classic American novels, including The Catcher and the Rye.
Around the world, bloggers whose posts have been removed believe a political agenda is behind the removal of their words. A report in the May 3, 2006 bulletin from France’s Reporters Without Borders states in reference to bloggers’ possible repression of freedom of expression, “Dictators would seem powerless faced with this explosion of online material. How could they monitor the e-mails of China's 130 million users or censor the messages posted by Iran's 70,000 bloggers? The enemies of the Internet have unfortunately shown their determination and skill in doing just that. Censorship of the Web is growing and is now done on every continent.”
To censor websites and blogs is a global issue, not just an American concern. To limit or alter information from the general public could be a huge step backwards, and an infringement on civil rights. The question facing the courts is where to draw the line. The line is the difference between freedom of speech and libel on the Internet.
Arthur Janov, author of The Janov Solution: Lifting Depression through Primal Therapy
Q: Since The Primal Scream was released in the 1970’s, your books have revolutionized psychotherapy and changed lives. Have you gotten used to people telling you that your books have changed their lives?
A: For years, I was getting hundreds of letters a month applying for, or claiming help through my therapy. I tried to answer every one of them, and even today in Europe I run across people who kept the letters I sent them. I am flattered by all this. Glory is not my thing, but helping people out of anxiety and depression and is my calling. Their numbers are in the tens of thousands now, and there is no doubt in my mind that primal therapy will be the therapy of the future; it is the first real science of psychotherapy. We have had success in areas I never thought possible--migraine, epilepsy, high blood pressure, etc.
Q: The Janov Solution explains how patients can safely access the deepest levels of the brain, relive primal experiences and conquer depression. Does a patient have to be open to reliving these experiences in order for it to happen, or does it happen involuntarily when you practice Primal Therapy?
A: It is never a matter of will power, even wanting to get well. It all happens automatically in our therapy. We are able to rid deep depressions because the origins lie deep in the brain. We are the only therapy that has access to those originating imprints that end up in depression. The reason that depression has been implacable is because no other therapy has found a way to go deep into the unconscious and root out depression’s causes.
Q: Can children practice Primal Therapy? Is there a certain age it works best?
A: Rarely do we have children in therapy, but those who did undergo (and we have filmed it) satanic rituals as kids have made real progress in our therapy.
Some people come to us because they want to feel better. I have seen a number of homosexuals who had no desire to change but did so after three years of the therapy. The best age for the therapy is in the early twenties, although we have had a number of elderly patients, including a sixty-five year old doctor who wet the bed all of her life. The therapy stopped it. We understand the neurology of it, and therefore know what to do about it.
Q: Do you think that if more people understood Primal Therapy, depression would be eradicated?
A: I have treated hundreds of depressives, from someone who put a bullet right next to his heart, to another who kept dynamite next to his bed. We have helped them because we can go back to the earliest critical period when infancy needs must be fulfilled and we have accessed the child and his feelings, the subtext of depression.
Q: How did you develop Primal Therapy? How does one develop such a revolutionary idea?
A: I taped the original primal in my regular practice forty years ago, and listened to it for clues. It took me twenty years to figure it out and then discover what happens to the brain during all this.
We have done four separate brain-wave studies of our depressive patients, plus some neurochemistry (serotonin levels) and vital signs. It has taken working on the theory for decades and then meshing it with new physiologic research to develop what is now a very precise therapy. I think anyone who wants to develop or understand our feeling therapy must have access to feelings; otherwise, what happens to a patient remains a mystery.
Q: What does the future hold for the Primal Center? What else do you want to accomplish in terms of psychotherapeutic techniques?
A: We are now training therapists from all over the world in a two-year internship program. Judging from our results, I think it is inevitable that it will be the therapy of our century. What other therapy can alter epilepsy? What we do is the exact opposite of the current, well-publicized cognitive/insight therapies. I have been trying to set up an fMRI study, but cannot get nuclear medicine gurus interested.
Although this is a work of fiction, American citizens may feel a lot less secure about the forces protecting them from potentially deadly diseases after they read this dark, intriguing thriller. The plot concerns Dr. Peter Mallow, a university scientist working to understand a virulent bird flu. When his brilliant research student, Jorge, becomes unhinged during the routine autopsy of a drowning victim, Dr. Mallow decides to record his feelings and observations about the troubled young man in a lab notebook in hopes of finding out what’s really going on. (The “notes” in this “notebook” comprise the novel.) Slowly and inexorably, as we read Mallow’s notes, we learn more about Jorge’s mysterious obsession with drowning and Mallow’s attempts to expose a deadly cover-up within the auto industry. In the meantime, the threat of a global health disaster hangs over the two scientists and the university where they work: Just how well contained is that deadly virus? Just how trustworthy are the researchers?
All this makes for a clever premise for a novel, and Dr. Boor, a world-renowned, Harvard-trained pathologist and scientist, has the background and technical lingo to pull it off successfully. The language and situations, bordering on science fiction, always ring true, and readers will feel as if they are taking a surreptitious peek at secret documents. The pace is stately, maybe a little too much so. But suspense builds steadily throughout, and the authenticity of the language and science will hold the attention of every reader with the fatalism of a terrible traffic accident unfolding in slow motion. A real pressure-cooker of a suspense novel with a realistic thesis that is, frighteningly, all too possible.
Dr. Arthur Janov is one of the most respected psychiatrists and authors in world today. His book, The Primal Scream, burst upon the public’s consciousness in the early 1970s and went on to become one of the most popular mental health books ever written, selling over a million copies worldwide. His latest book, The Janov Solution, is perhaps even more profound and startling in its presentation of new psychotherapeutic techniques for reversing the effects of depression – and in some cases curing it – without the use of anti-depressant medications, electroshock or surgery.
Dr. Janov’s writing is clear and easy to understand, yet also passionate and compelling. Stylishly and concisely, he explains the shortcomings of “modern” treatments of depression, toppling a number of respected but ultimately futile beliefs in the process. Details of his research and a series of fascinating case studies bring to life the demons of depression and how his work in primal therapy can banish them. The doctor’s cure is not for the faint-hearted, however, as it involves reliving painful primal experiences, including the birth process, that drive unwanted behavior. For those whose depressions are resistant to medication, psychoanalysis and other traditional treatments, The Janov Solution promises to be a ground-breaking book with huge potential for alleviating the suffering caused by this often deadly disease. Dr. David A. Goodman, Director of the Newport Neuroscience Center in San Marcos, California, captures the appeal of the book when he writes: “Arthur Janov…offers an effective therapy where feelings often overwhelm talk. He has discovered a way to rewire neurons in your brain. Stay with your talk psychologist…and she’ll wire your bank account into her bank account.”