A few weeks ago I shared my very first printables post with you. I spent hours combing through the collective words and works that have shaped my life and informed my own writing. I was proud of the six printables, and I was eager to release them into the world. And so many of you lovely people responded with awesome comments, and I felt good. And then, like a fledgling taking wing from the nest, my post took its first flight into the rest of the internet, beyond the safe confines of my kind and supportive readers. There are many ways to track what happens to a post out there in the big bad interweb, but an easy one, and the one Handan uses most, is the number of times it’s been pinned on Pinterest.
Now, I’m not much of a Pinterest user. Never understood it, really. It seems like the digital equivalent of a sewing machine – something cobbled together by wizards that only a select few geniuses can understand and operate.
But we do have those social media buttons along the top of our posts, and the number next to the Pinterest icon shows how many times that post has been pinned – or some such nonsense. Handan assured me that everyone would love my printables, so it came as some mild disappointment that the number next to the Pinterest icon didn’t grow very big. As of this writing, it stands at 866. Whatever. I put the post behind me and moved on to other things. If the world didn’t want book page art, so be it. Perhaps they’d like something simpler and more colorful – like crayon art. I can stoop as low as I need to, people.
But Handan didn’t let it go. It nagged at her, especially considering her printable posts have been pinned thousands of times. She dug a little deeper. It didn’t make sense! Pinterest seemed to be swimming in the images from my post – one in particular. So where were the big numbers next to our Pinterest icon?
She clicked on the most commonly pinned picture from that post and checked its numbers.
It had been pinned over 15,000 times! What the heck?
She dug deeper.
It turns out that while we were preparing the pins (and by “we,” I mean “Handan”), that one pin – the one that would go on to become viral – was linked back to our homepage and not to the post. So that poor little counter next to that sad little Pinterest icon never grew.
She told me the good news the other morning, and I felt much better. My little birdie had wings after all! With renewed optimism for my oversize book page wall art printables and renewed faith in humanity (I can put away my crayons. For now.), I fired up Photoshop and got to work.
I have a selection of six more quotations for you today – each in two sizes (16 x 20 and 24 x 36) and three colors (distressed ivory parchment, vintage aged parchment and chalkboard). That’s 36 printables, in case you wanted to be a nut-cake and get them all printed and framed.
One of these quotations – the stanza from the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe – is a special request from our friend, Gina. The full poem is haunting and beautiful, and like everything written by Poe, it is firmly rooted in the macabre. But taken on its own, the stanza that Gina requested is joyful and heartwarming.
(All pics are clickable for a larger image.)
Here is the full poem for you moody Goth types who liked to hang out in cemeteries listening to The Smiths when you were in high school:
By Edgar Allen Poe
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
And yes, I too read Poe in high school, though never in a cemetery, as far as I can recall. I also read him in college and as an adult. He’s one of my favorite poets, and if you’ve never read his work, I encourage you to start here.
If you’d like to see one of your favorite quotations, stanzas or passages served up for the world to enjoy, please let me know in the comments section, and I will try my best to accommodate your request. (pro tip: don’t send “Be the change you want to see in the world” or any of the other tired quotations that make the regular and unceasing rounds on Facebook).
By the way, I’ve never seen anyone “be the change.” Mostly they just bitch about politics, post food pics and browbeat those who don’t subscribe to their particular worldview. Isn’t social media wonderful?
The next quotation is from Handan’s favorite author, Paulo Coelho. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t read him yet, but in my defense, I’ve spent almost my entire adult life reading science fiction, so that didn’t leave a lot of time for lyrical Brazilian novelists. I am aware of his genius, and I do intend to dive into his works one day, when time permits. From researching this post, I can tell you he is one quotable fellow!
Handan loves that quotation, but she has lived her life by its meaning for far longer than she’s been aware of Paulo Coelho.
Mark Twain is another writer near and dear to my heart. Born Samual Langhorne Clemens and raised in Missouri, Twain spent much of his life on the Mississippi River before heading north and settling in my home state of Connecticut. He is one of the greatest American novelists, alongside Joseph Conrad. If you’ve never read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or The Adventure of Tom Sawyer, then drop everything, order them from Amazon and get back to me when you’ve finished. Then I’ll tell you to read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court 🙂
Twain was known for his love of science and technology, and he invested and lost a fortune betting on losing companies and ideas. When his buddy Alexander Bell invented the telephone, Twain jumped on the product and boasted that he was the first person in the world to have a residential telephone. But when his friend offered him a chance to invest in his new company, Twain declined, stating that he had been burned too many times. It was the single greatest blunder of his life and likely cost him millions (or more) in profits, as Bell Telephone would later evolve into AT&T. It’s kinda how I feel today when looking at bitcoin trading at $10,000 when I scoffed at it 4 years ago, thinking only idiots would pay $10 for an unknown and unproven cryptocurrecy. Live and learn, I guess. Still waiting for the learning…
Raise your hands, now. We’ve all experienced that first important day, but how many of us have bagged that second one?
Do you remember reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when you were a kid? I sure do. I also remember reading it (and the entire Chronicles of Narnia series) a few more times as an adult. It’s that good! This quotation isn’t from the Narnia books, but rather an essay Lewis wrote on love and friendship entitled, The Four Loves.
Isn’t it true, though? Countless friends await you, no matter what your passion. You just need to get out there and find them!
Henry Van Dyke was an author and clergyman around the turn of the century (19th-20th). He wrote scads of short stories and some beautiful poetry that I will likely share in the future. To start, I’m sharing the following quotation. Show this one to your kids. And reflect upon it for yourself. In this modern world of false perfection parading across computer screens and televisions, it can be disheartening to try anything when Youtube can show you a thousand people that are better at everything than you. Well, nuts to them, and Youtube can go suck an egg alongside Facebook, Instagram and all of network television. Do what you want to do, no matter how bad you may be. And guess what? Unless you’re a psychiatrist, you don’t have to listen to anybody! So have fun, be your best self and don’t give a fig what’s going on around you.
We’re going Old School for the last quotation. I mean really Old School. Like back in the days when guys were know by a name and a place. I would have been Gregory of Glastonbury. Doesn’t exactly float off the tongue, does it? Kinda sounds like you’re drunk with a mouthful of marbles. Not so with Francis of Assisi – an Italian religious figure from the 11th century. Francis is best known for waltzing into Egypt in 1219 in a bid to end the Crusades by attempting to convert the Sultan. I’ll give him credit; the dude had some cojones.
So with Christmas almost upon us, the retail war machine churns furiously, and the battle cries of “ME! MINE! MORE!” can be heard on the horizon, so it’s a perfect time to disengage, take a step back and reflect upon our final quotation from Francis of Assisi.
Be safe. Consume less. Participate more.
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