A Blog Experiment, Completed

A Blog Experiment, Completed | Lexie WInslowIn late October, I set out to blog every day on my personal website for a month straight. I wanted to get more material out there written (rather than ghostwritten) by me. I also wanted to liven up my personal site, which can be a bit neglected as I spend so much time working online to spruce up other people’s websites and content. I’m happy to say that I fulfilled my goals, both in quantity and in quality. However, I’m not quite sure if I’m willing to commit to this writing pace, and I’m not even certain that I’m delivering the right voice on my blog.
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Grateful | Lexie WInsliow

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for my family, friends, and pets, for good stories, for challenging work, and for the privilege of living every day in comfort and safety in such a beautiful place.

Image via Sam Winslow.

Dance it Out

Some songs demand dancing. It’s just irresistible. Whether you’re heading into a holiday celebration with or without dancing, hopefully this post will provide some inspiration the next time you feel like cutting a rug.

“Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon

This ultra-danceable new radio hit inspired the post. It’s so fun!
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Repetition and Excellence

Repetition and Excellence | Lexie WinslowI’m not one for inspirational quotations, but from time to time I do hold on to a turn of phrase that I find resonant, particularly if it relates to the craft of writing. This one is particularly special to me:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy

Durant’s quotation eloquently summarizes a section of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and the sentiment has gone on to be paraphrased (and/or misattributed) dozens of other times. The same idea shows up in other famous quotations, like the proverb,“Practice makes perfect;” Woody Allen’s, “Eighty percent of success is showing up;” Gretchen Rubin’s, “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while;” Ira Glass’s, “The most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work;” even in a sense Benjamin Franklin’s, “I am a strong believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
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Quirky Rom Com: My Personality Type, According to Netflix

Quirky Rom Com, My Netflix Personality Type | Lexie WinslowAmong the classic differentiators that we use as cultural shorthand to define personality types (morning person versus night owl; optimist, realist, pessimist; , Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin; etc), I have a suggestion for a new classic differentiator: recommended Netflix genres. According to the media streaming service’s insightful assessment, I prefer Quirky Romantic Comedies with a Strong Female Lead. Yes, Netflix, I’ve never put so fine a point on it, but I do, to watch and to live. And while every movie or television series that fits those parameters may not be perfect, some of them are wonderful. Read on for my list of the most enjoyable Quirky Romantic Comedies with a Strong Female Lead that Netflix has thrown my way.
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Top 5 Ways to Get Free Books

Top 5 Ways to Get Free Books | Lexie WinslowReader confession: most of the books I currently own, I’ve received for free. In fact, I’ve won them in publisher giveaways. And now I’m sharing the secrets to my success.

The thing is, way back when I used to work in publishing, running these sweepstakes fell under my job description. And it always boggled my mind that no matter how cool the book or how widely we spread the word, at the end of the day we’d only receive a few dozen entries. The odds of winning were so high that I had to keep track of the winners to avoid duplicates too often. To be completely honest, sometimes there were fewer entries than total books we were giving away! [Read more…]

Oxford’s Covered Market

Oxford's Covered Market | Lexie Winslow

The Covered Market decked out for Christmas, including the fresh geese.

I spent my junior year abroad at Oxford University and it was an incredible experience in a wonderful place. One of the parts of Oxford that charmed me the most was the historic Covered Market. This assemblage of storefronts and stalls feels like a holdover from another time. You can buy fresh game, handmade leather goods, exquisite cakes, flowers, and nicknacks of all kinds. It was especially festive this time of year – I’m pretty sure nobody loves Christmas quite like the British do, and without Thanksgiving in the way, the merriment of the season basically begins in October. I loved the rainy fall afternoons when I would duck into the unassuming doorway and make my way through the curving narrow alleys, admiring the displays and browsing the new items, and always ending the visit with a hot chocolate chip cookie from Ben’s. [Read more…]

Into the Gloss

Into the Gloss | Lexie WinslowIf I had to recommend a single beauty blog, it would be Into the Gloss. For one thing, this blog isn’t just a parade of high-profile products and the beautiful women who wear them. ITG profiles an amazing range of actual beauty industry professionals: makeup artists, business people, and experts of all kinds. (And as far as the beautiful actresses, singers, and models they feature, it is an eclectic, often captivating group.) [Read more…]

Starting and Quitting

Starting and Quitting | Lexie Winslow

A stack of my half-begun story ideas.

I’ve been keeping up with my daily blogging for three weeks now. We’re right on schedule for my interest to wane. Two-thirds, three-quarters of the way through, I usually quit my creative projects and start a new one. I’ve proven to myself that I can do it, I’ve learned a few new things, and I can walk away without much feeling of regret. The allure of a new project is much more compelling for me than the completion of an existing one, especially when the work already feels done.

As far as I can recall, I never spent too much time reflecting on this tendency, besides a vague feeling of disappointment that it’s in my nature to be more driven by inspiration than by discipline. Then, I read a blog post by Gretchen Rubin this summer that put a much finer point on the topic. [Read more…]

Rocker Girls

Call it alt rock, singer/songwriter, crossover, whatever. Sometimes no music will do except rocker girl music. This playlist is by no means exhaustive, but it does contain my favorite tracks for when it’s time to belt it out.