Category Archives: My Life

End of August

Hannah Hart Beat

Hiya, Hart Beat. Long time no talk. How are you? I can’t believe it’s the end of summer already. It seems like this year the season went by especially fast and I’m already missing the sunny beach days up in Maine. About two weeks ago I came back to the Berkshires and have decided to hold off on any immediate moving plans for a bit. I had originally thought to head straight out west but the more I work on my writing project the more tunnel vision I get. I just want to finish this god damned book.

So I’m staying here in the Berkshires in a studio space that has not one but five desks spread out in a U-shape and a wood stove to keep me warm this fall. It’s heaven and I can’t wait to get the bulk of this draft done. I’m sorry I don’t have more regular posts for you, Hart Beat. It’s too much for me to do two things at once. I’ll try to keep coming at you every few weeks with lists like this here below. Like I’ve said before, each one of these deserves its own post.

Books I’ve read:

Books I’ve bought and can’t wait to read:

Articles and interviews I’ve read:

Things I’ve bought and loved:

  • A new PopSocket to replace mine thrown away on the Camino.
  • My dream loafers from Everlane.
  • This bucket bag / my new go to purse for everything from Baggu. (After reading this article in The Strategist I’ve been wanting to buy it. That was written one year ago. 🙄 )

Hmm, let’s see other news. You heard in the last post that I have a new BFF. Update, he’s still adorable. If you’re out there writing too, or just need some good working music, here’s a playlist I’ve been listening to on repeat every day. I’ve also picked up a shift or two at the local café so I’m learning how to make a mean latte. Wish me luck. Oh! And I’m really excited because in early October I’m going to be going to this workshop with my idol Dani Shapiro at Kripalu. I. Can. Not. Wait. This woman better sprout some good wisdom (rather than when I saw David Sedaris last week and he told me casually “just write every day.” Okay David. I hadn’t thought of that one before, thanks a million.)

Talk soon, Hart Beat.

Hannah Hart Beat- Maine

August, Lately

Hannah Hart Beat - Maine

Hiya, Hart Beat. How are you? It’s been almost a month since I got back to Maine and I’m sitting here in the garden shed at my Grandmother’s packing up my books. Tomorrow I head back to the Berkshires and I’m sad but ready to be leaving Maine. It’s time. I need to get back to the Berkshires and knuckle down on my writing. It’s been going well, Hart Beat, although it’s been taking everything out of me every day. I get into bed at nine and am passed out with the light on and a book open on my chest every night. It’s okay because a couple of weeks ago I got a dog and he wakes me up to remind me the light is on. The pup is a one and a half-year-old Shih Tzu from Wells, Maine. He was owned by a couple before but they were stationed overseas for the military and lucky me, I got the pup. I’m calling him Mateo aka Teo aka Lil Monster because his nose (like mine) is tiny and he snorts most of the day (not like mine). He’s the perfect writing companion and as I type he is laying on the floor at my feet. I’m in love Hart Beat and have officially decided to replace men and dating with Mateo and books.

Speaking of books and writing I’ve made my way through my writing mentor’s recommendations and I would love yours if you have them. In the last post, I listed what I had read if you need to see what I’m liking (tl;dr mostly memoirs and books on writing). The ones right now that I have on my nightstand are The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir, by Ariel Levy, The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder, by Carolyn Murnick, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, What We Lose: A Novel, by Zinzi Clemons, Hard Travel to Sacred Places, by Rudolph Wurlitzer, and Committed: A Love Story, by Elizabeth Gilbert.

In return, here is a section from Still Writing, The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life, and an interview with Dani Shapiro, my muse lately. The book and this interview have been what I read and watch every morning before sitting down to work.

“As I write these words, I am, of course, alone. It’s the middle oft he day and I have barely stepped outside except to pick up a couple of envelopes full of books and manuscripts that FedEx left on the pourch. I have spoken to no one since seven o’clock this morning. I am wearing the ratty T-shirt I slept in last night. The house is silent. A crow calls outside my office window.

“These solitary days are my lifeline. They are the lifeline of every writer I know. We hold on to our solitude, fiercly protect these empty days. But at the same time, we long for community…

“Though we write our books alone, ultimately everything we do involves some collaboration. Every good book you’ll ever read has the thumbprints of other writers all over it. As we finish a manuscript we may find ourselves thinking of who to turn to, who can help us…

“I reach out a hand when I can. I remind myself every day that it’s about the work. I am here in Connecticut. You might be in Missoula, Montana, or Taos, New Mexico, or Portland, Oregon. You’re in a café, or at a writers conference, or at your kitchen table. The words have come easily to you today, or you feel like your head is about to explode. You’re a household name, or laboring in obscurity. I am here, and you are there, and we are in this thing together.”

Dani Shapiro, Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life

Talk soon, Hart Beat.

The Last Few Weeks

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat. Happy Saturday! Sorry being so MIA, these last few weeks have been a whirlwind so I thought I’d give you a little update on life and check in to see how you’re doing. There’s honestly so much to cover and each of these bullet points deserves a post of its own but, I’ve been working on another project, and it’s been taking all that I have to keep writing it every day. Sadly, Hart Beat has taken a back seat (for now). Hopefully, in another couple of weeks, I can lift my head up and come back here with you. For now, these lists are going to have to do. Miss you, Hart Beat.

Towns I’ve visited:

  • Killington, VT
  • Woodstock, VT
  • Hudson, NY
  • Chatham, NY
  • West Stockbridge, MA
  • Great Barrington, MA
  • Wiscasset, ME
  • Boothbay Harbor, ME

Books I’ve read:

Books I’ve bought and can’t wait to read:

Poems I’ve loved:

Movies I’ve watched:

  • Hell or Highwater (loved)
  • Ghostwriter (loved)
  • Stupid, Crazy, Love (loved, for obvious reasons)
  • Before Sunset (obsessed)
  • Deja Vu (solid B)
  • Rounders (solid B+)

Things I can’t stop using/wearing:

Songs I’ve had on repeat:

Things I’ve done:

Signing off for now, Hart Beat. If I think of more things I’ll let ya know. P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more day to day things.

 

Hi!

Hart Beat! Hi! Long time no see. As my loyal readers (or new ones hi how are you) may know, I’ve been doing some traveling the last two months. (See the two posts below this one for more deets.) What I didn’t write about, and what may be the most important thing I did this year, was walk the Camino de Santiago through France and Spain. There’s so much about the Camino that I want to write about but, tbh Hart Beat, I’m not sure that this here website is the place for it to live.

Why Hannah?!? You may be asking yourself. It looked so cool on your Instagram! I saw the movie The Way and am obsessed! I read The Alchemist and need to hear more! Well, what I can say to that is one, I’m sorry and two, please stay tuned. I am writing about the Camino right now but I’m not sure where the writing will live and Hart Beat, it may not live here. I promise to keep you updated AND BETTER THAN THAT, I promise that I’m going to start writing here again. I miss you, Hart Beat. There are so many cool things that I’ve found and heard about these last two weeks to tell you about and I’m finally excited to share them with you in a way that I haven’t felt in years.

I know what you’re thinking to yourself right now. I just read this rambling post and there’s nothing for me to take home. Wrong, dear reader. In lieu of a trendy post here are three things that I’ve been loving lately. Hopefully, they will suffice until tomorrow when I come at ya with a very traditional Hart Beat post. Always, Hannah

1. (Late to the game) song by Rihanna from her (new) album Anti. This song has been on repeat while I wrote today.

2. This quote that I screen grabbed from Instagram at the end of last month. Praise be to The Paris Review for adding some intellect to my usual puppy and nail-art creeping Instagram habits.


3. All of the mysteries by Tana French that I’ve been beach reading for the last week (on my Kindle). The first one In the Woods and the second The Likeness are particularly good.

Romantic New York Love Video

Hannah Hart Beat

Happy Friday, Hart Beat! I can’t believe I’m typing this but it’s snowing right now in New York. That’s right. We went from having consecutive days of 60 degree glorious days to now being downed in a flurry of snow. Blah. To make it up to you I thought I would share the most heartwarming video that I found browseing ye old internet. Have you seen this video?

The video is amazing, right? I’ve fallen in love in New York and can say that the emotions the video evokes are pretty on point. I love the shots of the subway and Highline especially. The video reminds me of a similar feeling series that I posed on the blog a few years back. You can read the Yelp love story in this post here.

Thanks, Condé Nast for bringing some warm and fuzzies my way this wintery night. Does this video remind you of anything, Hart Beat?

Hannah Hart Beat

My Kindle & Me: A love affair by any other name

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi, Hart Beat! This is a post I never thought I would be writing but, alas, here we are and the year truly is 2017. As my friends know, I’ve always been an avid reader. I’ve worked in libraries over the years and one of my favorite things to check out when visiting anywhere is the local bookstore. All things being said, for YEARS I hated on any kind of e-reader. Kindles, Nooks, iPads, you name it, it was on my hate (exit boat) list. That is until I turned 27 and my eyes started blurring and my back started aching. While I will not admit I’m getting older my body begs to differ.

So, before I went on a trip with my mom last month, I broke down and bought myself a birthday present in the form of a Kindle. I didn’t do much research because, you know, #denial but the little reading I did do directed me to the Kindle Paperwhite E-reader for its size, price, and highly ranked reviews. I bought it quickly and ever since it arrived on my desk at work, I have a new love affair.

Anyone I come in contact with I can’t help but spew my love for my Kindle. I’m a changed woman! It’s light! It doesn’t have any glare! It fits in my pocket! I can carry inch thick hardcover tombs with me at all times! I can carry five books at once! I can carry five hundred books at once! Honestly, I could go on and on. My love intensified when I found out that I can borrow books from my local library through my Kindle. In turn, I can support my public library and not spend any money. Amazon, I forgive you. Kindle, I love you.

I’m not 100% sure exactly which combinations of effects are working for me in the reading department but since purchasing my Kindle I’ve read almost than double the number of books I read in a year in a month. Truth be told, some of them have been YA books now that I don’t have the (stupid) shame of people’s judgmental eyes on the train but YA is good, man! #hungergamesmadeitso

  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • Bad Feminist: Essays, by Roxanne Gaye
  • All five the Sisterhood of the Traveling pants books, by Ann Brashers (crying through all of them of course)
  • The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (because I missed the crazy years ago and needed a thriller through Italy)
  • The Circle, by Dave Eggers (which I am now more than halfway through and TERRIFIED for my digital footprint…)

And now the best part. What are you reading, Hart Beat? I’m quickly running through the list of books I’ve had and would love any suggestions from you. Love in the time of Kindle, Hannah

Hair, More Important Things & the Flu

Hannah Hart Beat

Morning Hart Beat. It’s been the worst week. It’s been the worst week for me personally, for our country, and for humanity in general. I think. I don’t really know anymore. This blog has always been a place for me to come and distract myself from the world and I’m starting to have a hard time with that. While I want to write about these beautiful hair barrettes that I can’t stop pinning (the one above is from & Other Stories, although, it looks like they might not sell it still) I’m both still sick as a dog from the flu and feeling angry, emotional, and helpless at what’s happening in our country right now.

This morning we all woke up to the news that President  F***ing Trump has signed a temporary ban on refugees entering the United States. This, after a week where he reinstated an international “gag rule”, among other things. What is the international “gag rule”? This insane policy denies the US government from giving any foreign aid to an international organization that provides or even discuss safe abortions. This money is pulled even if funds from our government doesn’t pay directly to perform abortions.

I’ve been in bed since Tuesday, Hart Beat. That’s five full days to feverishly refresh over and over again my Twitter feed. I’m done. So, what am I going to do today? I’m going to donate to the International Rescue Committee, finish my tea, take my ass to bed for a nap to kill this flu once and for all, wake up, go for a walk in my neighborhood to support my local businesses and then think about what good I’m going to do tomorrow. What about you, Hart Beat?

Oprah

Making Oprah

Oprah

Hi Hart Beat. It’s a rainy Tuesday night here in Brooklyn so I’m hanging out at home, making some fajitas and listening to the history of the Oprah Winfrey Show. Yup, you read that right; the Oprah Winfrey Show. Since we live in a world that is (sometimes) great and good, this fall WBEZ Chicago Public Radio released a three-part podcast series on the making of the Oprah Winfrey Show.

The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.
– Oprah Winfery

Let’s step back a second, Hart Beat. You love Oprah, right? If not please leave (or just go to the next post) and if yes well then welcome to the club! Loving Oprah and her daytime television show is something that I have always admitted to. I remember in middle school I used to fake my period so I could stay home from swim practice and watch Oprah at 4pm. It was one of my favorite things. I knew at the time that I was probably a little young to watch the show (sex! drugs! diets!) but I didn’t care. I loved Oprah. I loved the studio audience, I loved the theme song, and I loved the fact that I never felt alone when watching her. I always knew there were thousands of other girls and women out there on their couches also listening.

Almost 15 years later listening to this podcast, I’m brought back to those days in front of the TV. If you were ever a fan of Oprah back in the 90’s or early 00’s, admire her book club, or are just an entrepreneurial young person you will devour this podcast mini-series. Oprah is still one of the most inspirational human beings and hearing her speak with Jenn White on the podcast brought tears to my eyes.

My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you I the best place for the next moment.
– Oprah Winfery

Did you know that the tagline of The Oprah Winfrey show in its last ten years was “Live your best life.”? The woman was YEARS ahead of her time. In the time before #livingyourbestlife and #youdoyou were obnoxious Instagram hashtags, Oprah was revolutionizing how America saw women of all sizes and colors. Not only was she revolutionalizing how we were seen but also how we saw ourselves. In a week like this with the Women’s March on Washington just days away, there isn’t a better time to listen to one of our original heroines. Find “Making Oprah” here or download it on any podcast app you use.

One last thought, if anyone (ANYONE) can find out how a girl can watch back episodes of the Oprah Winfrey show please let me know. I’ve tried for years and good old Harpo Studios is holding those (smartly) to their chests.

P.S. Yes I cried while I wrote this post. I’m emotional and no one can bring that out of me like Oprah. #notjoking #hi

Top photo via Huffington Post and the second photo (of Oprah’s first ever episode) via her personal Instagram account @oprah.

Four Fall Things

Hi Hart Beat! The time that we’ve (at least I’ve) been dreading is here: the end of summer. To make it seem a little less depressing here are four things I’m looking forward to this season.

One. Fall baking.

Smitten Kitchen

On Friday afternoon my all star favorite Deb Perelman aka Smitten Kitchen came to the office to bake us (and Facebook live) her famous Mom’s Apple Cake. I hadn’t made this recipe from her site (since I’m still hung up on this apple granola crisp) but I CANNOT WAIT to go apple picking so I can make both these recipes. I’ve tried to make the apple crisp from store bought apples but honestly, it’s not very good. The apples are always mealy and make the crisp taste like cardboard. Don’t do it! But actually, do it now because it’s almost apple season and then we can all make these desserts/breakfasts together and sit in our cozy kitchens with extra hot coffee.

Two. Fall nail colors.

Hannah Hart Beat

If you know me personally then you know I’ve had a vendetta against nail polish on my fingers for years. I’m changing my tune, Hart Beat. Yes, I hate the maintenance, yes I hate spending the time, and yes I hate the way that nail polish strips my bare nails down to nothing but times they are a changing. The color I have on my nail kind of matches what this photo here and I’m excited to go even darker on the next round.

Three. Fall TV.

Hart Beat

There. Is. So. Much. Donald Glover’s Atlanta (^) on FX. The Night Of on HBO. Season Six of Portlandia on Netflix. Chance with Hugh Laurie aka the new House. Sure there are some great movies coming out but why go to the movies when you can hunker down Stranger Things style and get into a show that you love.

Four. Getting out of New York.

Hannah Hart Beat

As much as I love New York in the fall (some of the best weather the city offers) it’s also the best time of year to spend a day getting out of the city and into the surrounding area. People are always saying that the greatest thing about San Fransisco is how easy it is to get out of the city but I am here to tell you it’s just as easy for us New Yorkers! Connecticut, upstate New York, and even Boston are just hours away plus, Long Island which has some beautiful vineyards and beaches are only a day trip away. Last weekend we went up to Brandon, VT for a friends wedding and it was everything. I mean look at that firewood!!

Anyway, what are you most excited for this season, Hart Beat? Give me some more to add to this list! And no pumpkin latte please, you know why.

My Best Friend’s Wedding & Movie Soundtracks

My Best Friends Wedding

You know that feeling (^ that feeling) when you listen to music you haven’t heard in a while? I’ve been pulling together a playlist for you this month, Hart Beat but to be honest I just keep coming back to the same album. And, to be even more honest, I don’t think it’s one that you really want to listen to.

The movie My Best Friend’s Wedding came out in 1997 when I was the ripe old age of seven. I don’t really remember the first time I saw the movie but because my house was a big fan of Julie Roberts I’m pretty sure I saw it as soon as it came out on tape. It was always my favorite movie to watch with my mom. How can it not be!? Julia is fabulous, the story is gut wrenching, and Dermot Mulroney is my biggest celebrity crush. Still.

So in lieu of a September playlist tonight, I think you should all go back and listen to the soundtrack of your favorite movie growing up. Luckily for me the My Best Friend’s Wedding soundtrack is gold. But to be honest, even if the album is pretty crappy it’s still going to make you feel great and remember watching the movie. I know I can’t help but see Julia Roberts drive a delivery truck in a crop top that can only be described as a non-shirt-shirt after a heart broken Mulroney every time I listen to the song What the World Needs Right Now Is Love. Here are a few clips with music of my favorite movie for your Tuesday night,

The rehearsal dinner part:

The karaoke part:

The part where Mulroney sings and your heart melts:

And the trailer so you can really feel like you watched the entire movie tonight.

You’re welcome, Hart Beat.