Category Archives: My Life

Back At It (And all things Paris)

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat. How have you been lately? Me? Oh well, you know, just sitting here thinking and writing as I have been every day this month. Ha. Not. No, not even close. I’ve been struggling lately, Hart Beat. Struggling with this GD book that is pretty much begging to be written but what I just can’t seem to find the time to get done. I’ve been looking for inspiration every which way and the most helpful has come in this quote:

You climb a long ladder until you can see over the roof, or over the clouds. You are writing a book. You watch your shod feet step on each round rung, one at a time; you do not hurry and do not rest.” – Annie Dillard

You do not hurry and do not rest. That quote has been playing in my head for most days, for most of the time. You do not hurry and do not rest. The quote comes from my favorite book on writing so far Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro. I feel over the moon lucky and happy to be going to a conference by Dani this weekend at Kripalu in Lenox. It’s a weekend of meditation and writing and just what I need right now. I’ve been trying to write every day but to be honest Hart Beat, in the eleven days so far this month I’ve written only four. That’s not even half. I don’t want to even think what the ratio was in September. I know it was appalling.

So, what have I been doing other than working on this book that is pretty much begging me to be written at this point? Not much more than what I wrote about in the last post/life update. Although, there has been one addition, a newfangled obsession with Paris. I know, I know, I know, let’s get more cliche right? Le sigh. I don’t know, Hart Beat, I know that Madrid is my favorite city in the world with New York coming in a close second but ever since my mom and I visited the city of lights this past April I can’t stop thinking about it and wanting to visit again (or live there? Who said that?).

What I loved about Paris was how many people my age there were there. While most of my friends lived in New York when I was there, we still didn’t see each other very often. And that was not their fault, it was mine. Life was so busy and work took up so much time. Even more, everyone lived so far apart (again partially my fault), but in Paris, all I saw at night were people in their mid-twenties and thirties out for drinks or just walks around the city. I am probably (most definitely) romanticizing it but what can I say, that’s who I am.

So, in honor of my current city muse, here are a few Paris inspired things I’ve been wanting, having, and dreaming about.

Hannah Hart Beat

This t-shirt ^^ from the effortlessly chic French fashion brand Sézanne. Even more of a bonus they are giving it to you for FREE between now and October 17th with an order of $200 or more. Yes, please.

Hannah Hart Beat

The dilemma I’m in right now about whether or not to get bangs. I had them at one point but then when they wouldn’t style right and I asked my Brooklyn hairdresser why she told me that I “lived too active a lifestyle for bangs.” I’m not sure if my lifestyle is any less active now but I think I want them again. See inspo photos above. Clearly, I am obsessed with Jane Burkin but please give me a break, I know you are too Hart Beat.

Hannah Hart Beat

And finally, the new book that The Paris Review is coming out with this November. The publication may be based out of New York but they clearly have as much an affinity for the city as I do. The book, Women at Work looks inspiring and beautiful and just what we all need right now. Some of my favorite authors are included in the book and let’s just say, I am now extra excited for November to get here.

And that’s it Hart Beat, all I have to say here today. I clearly have so much more to say but I think I’m going to channel it into my book now. You can thank me later.

Hannah Hart Beat

Fall Lately

Hannah Hart Beat

Oh hi there, Hart Beat. It’s been a long time. In fact, it’s been three weeks since I’ve checked up here on Hart Beat. That’s a long time especially since I thought I would write here every week or so. Shwoopsie, sorry about that my love. What have I been doing instead of sitting here, writing to you, you may ask. It turns out a lot of things and also, a lot of not things. I spent a week in D.C. and Virginia which was amazing. On top of biking 250 miles through the Virginia Blue Ridge mountain range, I got to see two of my best friends in D.C. It was overall just the trip that I needed and I am forever grateful for everyone that helped me get there.

Other than that week in D.C. what I’ve mainly been doing is sitting in this very chair, writing the book that is now 70,000 words (!!!) and working weekends at a local cafe serving leaf peepers and the like. It’s not bad Hart Beat but the other day it occurred to me that it’s been almost exactly six months since I left New York City. For someone that called that devil of a city home for five years, it’s been a hard adjustment not waking up every morning in the concrete jungle. There are so many things I miss; the shaky conductor voice on the R train, j-walking while not giving any fucks, a properly made old-fashioned, but most of the time I miss my friends, the women that I haven’t seen since I left. I’d love to visit you all soon but to be honest, I can’t go back to that place for a long time yet I think. There’s too much there that I don’t want to remember quite yet.

Anyway, on a happier and less self-reflective note, I thought I’d share some things that have genuinely brought me joy these last few weeks. The post was supposed to only be about these things but I guess I had more to say. I guess that’s life when you write for eight hours most days. I highly recommend any and all of the things on this list and would love to hear the things you’ve been loving Hart Beat. Especially happy things. We all need more of that right now.

  • The new Miley Cyrus album. YES, IT’S AMAZING AND DIFFERENT AND THAT’S OKAY. I especially love the song She’s Not Him and I have been listening to it in my car all week. La la la la la la la.
  • Re-reading one of my favorite book series. Other than The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants there isn’t another book series that I love so much other than the Sloppy First/Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. If you haven’t read all five books then you should. And if you are Marcus Flutie reading this please give me a call.
  • This new denim wrap shirt from Madewell which makes me feel like the blasé 70s chick I’ve always wanted to be.
  • Getting back into figure drawing, something I used to do in college. There’s something about tuning everything out and just drawing that brings up so many thoughts. It’s like cheap therapy. Luckily the Berks is an artsy enough place to have plenty of options.
  • Re-watching New Girl and trying to figure out why Shmidt isn’t considered the best character on TV right now (followed closely by Winston btw.)

Anyway, that’s it from the land of Hart Beat. I’ve got to get back to writing less instantly gratifying work.

P.S. The photo up top was taken by a good friend of mine Catherine O’Donnell. She is currently living all our best lives at culinary school in Paris and I’ve been vicariously living through her Instagram. If you like blogs, food, and Paris (come on of course you do) you should check out her site Foodstuffs. If it doesn’t make you want to up and move to Paris I don’t know what will.

My Fall Bucket List

Hiya Hart Beat. How are you? I hope your Monday is going well, mine is off to a good start and I’m ensconced in my studio writing (procrastinating away). I’ve been pretty dedicated to writing these last few weeks and have been plugging along this morning like most other days. If you haven’t learned yet from Instagram, my life is pretty boring since coming back on the Camino. Most days I wake up early, walk downtown with Mateo, buy a coffee, walk back home, write, write, read, check twitter, look out the window, make coffee, pick at my slowly regrowing toenails, write some more, go for a bike ride, eat dinner, knit, binge on Arrested Development, and pass out with the lights on at 9pm.

It’s amazing.

I am so so so happy Hart Beat and can’t believe how lucky I am. Over the summer I wrote to you that I pulled together a summer bucket list and I am happy to report that I did all of them except two. Here’s a recap:

  • See the friends that I haven’t seen in the past few years (hi sister wives).
  • Find a song that I like as much as Malibu (highly doubtful). Almost…Issues by Julia Michaels This version of is pretty damn good. 
  • Win a sailing race in the Berkshires. Sad times :(
  • Skinny dip in the ocean. Under a full moon, boom take that.  
  • Read a book a week (should be easy for someone who’s daily responsibilities include watering my Grandmother’s flowers and going to the beach..) So. Many. Pages.
  • Play in my family’s August tennis tournament. (It was started the year I was born and my entire family plays in it every year. I have never competed.) No, but I did run it.. That should count.
  • Write every day. 💪

And now, here for fall. It was easier to come up with some since most are things that I’m already working on (that counts right, Hart Beat?).

  • Go to the movies once a week. So far I’ve seen Logan Lucky (good), Wind River (VERY good), and can’t wait to see Home Again this week.
  • Get to Boston, Washington D.C., San Fransisco, and Toronto to see friends.
  • Go to a book reading or signing every month. (Super excited that first up is Rupi Kaur in Cambridge.)
  • Finish the sweater that I started knitting about two winters ago. I want to actually wear it this year.
  • Teach Mateo how to play dead when I point a finger at him and say “Bang Bang” a la the Kill Bill Volume II final scene. We’re still working on stay so this might be a full year goal.
  • Keep trying to learn french… Not going “tellement bien d’être honnête.” Although I have been dreaming in a French/Spanish combo which is pretty fun.
  • Keep working on this GD book every day.

What do you think, Hart Beat? Pretty doable, right? What are your fall goals? Any of them line up with what I’m doing? In other news here are a few things I’ve read around the internet lately that I’ve loved:

Anyway, that’s life lately Hart Beat. I hope the week treats you okay and that you get outside a bit. Hopefully talk soon. I have to get back to writing and stop this procrastination nation.

Photo of Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy via Twitter.

 

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?