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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Cheryl Strayed, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 27
1. Novel Widsom (32)

This post is part of a series on the blog where I share some of the nuggets of wisdom and inspiration — related to writing and/or life — that I find steeped in the pages of novels and books that I’ve read.

I’m a big fan of Cheryl Strayed’s writing and I also love the Dear Sugar podcast that she co-hosts.

One of my lovely writer friends sent me her latest book, Brave Enough, which is a collection of quotes. For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love writing inspiration quotes. So I thought I would share this one with you.


Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write.”

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2. Cheryl Strayed Essay Collection to Be Adapted for an HBO Series

Reese WitherspoonCheryl Strayed will join forces with Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern to create an adaptation of one of her books. They plan to develop an HBO drama series based on her essay collection, Tiny Beautiful Things.

According to Deadline, the pieces were “compiled from Strayed’s Dear Sugar advice column. Strayed and her husband, filmmaker Brian Lindstrom, will write the TV adaptation, set to explore love, loss, lust and life through the eyes of a Portland family who live by the mantra that the truth will never kill you.”

Vulture reports that this project would mark the collaborative reunion of Witherspoon, Dern, and Strayed. The trio had previously worked together on the 2014 film adaptation of Strayed’s best-selling memoir, Wild. (via The Wrap)

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3. Wilderness and redemption in Cheryl Strayed’s Wild

Walking It Off was the title Doug Peacock gave to his 2005 book about returning home from the trauma of the Vietnam War. The only solace the broken Army medic could find was hiking the Montana wilderness in the company of grizzly bears. Wild places proved strangely healing — echoing a wounded wilderness within.

Cheryl Strayed sought a similar remedy in her decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone in 1995. Her mother had just died of cancer. Her marriage had collapsed. She’d been seeking escape (and self-punishment?) in heroin and random sex. Nothing worked for her. A thousand-mile trek on the desert and mountain trails of California and Oregon suddenly seemed like a good idea.

Her book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2012), has now been made into a film by director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club). Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed in the movie. Laura Dern is her mother. The film version of a book is seldom as good as the original, but in this case both are effective in reminding us that “mistakes are the portals of discovery,” as James Joyce once said. Wilderness wandering — with its blisters, missed trails, and soggy sleeping bags — teaches this truth with supreme artistry. With its endless opportunities for fucking up (as Cheryl would say), it mirrors a lifetime of failure for one’s regretful review. It forces us to find resources we never knew we had.

As she impulsively hits the trail, Strayed commits all the sins that backpackers try to avoid: Packing far more than she needs, wearing boots that are too small and not broken in, sleeping in bear country with food in her tent, forgetting that a gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds (when you need considerably more than a gallon a day on desert trails). All these are necessary mistakes, as are all the mistakes in our lives. We won’t get to where we finally need to go without making mistakes.

Ritter Range Pacific Crest Trail by Steve Dunleavy. CC-BY-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

That’s why wilderness backpacking can serve, in so many ways, as a spiritual practice. It teaches the importance of paying attention, traveling light, savoring beauty, and not wasting your time blaming yourself over what can’t be fixed. “We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right,” says Franciscan teacher Richard Rohr. The mistakes that Cheryl Strayed makes on the trail — and her ability to survive them, with the help of others — suggest the possibility of her finding healing for the larger mistakes she’s made in her life.

The wilderness is her teacher. Its combination of astonishing beauty and uncaring indifference prove as healing as they are unnerving. She’s been wholly absorbed in the intensity of her own pain and anger. But the desert doesn’t give a shit. Its habit of ignoring all that bothers her is curiously freeing, inviting her outside of herself. She’s able to imagine new possibilities by the time she reaches the end of the trail at the Bridge of the Gods. As Andrew Harvey says, “We are saved in the end by the things that ignore us.” All Cheryl Strayed has to do is walk for miles, “with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets.”

“You can quit any time,” she keeps telling herself. But she’s already been quitting too many things in her life. Something in the wild feeds her soul, enabling her to go on. She had started with a desire to “walk myself back to the woman my mother thought I was.” Walking back into her family roots was important. But even more important, and a gift she finally receives in the end, is walking her way back beyond all the mistakes she has made. “What if I were to forgive myself?” she asks at one point on the trail. And, on even deeper reflection, “What if all those things I did were what got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?” In the end she’s able to review the agonizing memories of her life and regret nothing, letting it all pour out into widening canyons beyond the trail.

That’s the ability of wilderness to absorb and heal pain. It’s been attested to by wilderness saints throughout the centuries. From the Desert Fathers and Mothers to Hildegard of Bingen to John Muir, they discovered a wild glory, a disarming indifference, and an uncommon grace that brought them to life in a new way. “Empty yourself of everything,” wrote Lao-tzu in the Tao Te Ching. “Let the mind rest at peace. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.” Wilderness, as Cheryl Strayed learned, is one of the best places for doing this.

The post Wilderness and redemption in Cheryl Strayed’s Wild appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Free Samples of Favorite Reads From 15 New York Times Columnists

nytlogoFifteen writers have been working as contributors for the “Bookends” column at The New York Times. All of them have revealed the titles that gave them “their favorite reading experience of 2014.” Below, we’ve collected free samples of most of the books on the list for your reading pleasure.

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5. No Money, More Problems

Yesterday morning during my (short) commute, I was listening to Dear Sugar, which is one of my favorite podcasts.


In the 13th episode, the subject was about money.

One of the letters was about how a young woman felt bad that she was rich and wondered if it was her wealth privilege that gave her access to being able to be an artist.

It’s true that making art — especially writing — requires a lot of time, which many people don’t have because of family responsibilities, jobs, or bills.

Growing up working-class, it wasn’t even an option for me to even think about writing until I was on my feet financially and well into a career that could support me.

On the podcast, the hosts talk about the importance of having a patron. It got me thinking: Does being an artist require you to have a patron?

When I think of patron, I think of a rich person who sponsors you or getting an endowment or residency from an arts program. But maybe for people who don’t have access to such things, it could be as simple as a supportive critique partner or a writing mentor maybe even getting a scholarship to a MFA program. Cultivating an artist takes time, which in most cases also involves money.

It can be done of course. Anything worth having isn’t easy. It may take longer and require lots of discipline and focus to get where you want to be.

But I always think about the obstacles. I often wonder how many talented novelists we’ve lost due to them not having access to time and money.

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6. Cheryl Strayed Inks Book Deal

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7. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

This is the amusing, thoughtful, downright zany story of a young woman's eye-opening 1,000-plus-mile trek up the Pacific Crest Trail, all the way to the Bridge of the Gods. It inspired me to undertake my own hike — 10 miles on the Appalachian Trail. It was exhausting! Books mentioned in this post $17.95 Used Hardcover add [...]

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8. Reese Witherspoon To Produce Another Knopf Book

Reese Witherspoon will produce an adaptation of J. Courtney Sullivan‘s The Engagements, a novel that won’t be published until June 11. Deadline Hollywood had the scoop:

The novel tells a deeply romantic story that follows a diamond engagement ring from the 1930s to the present, connecting five very different relationships in surprising and unexpected ways. Witherspoon might be part of an ensemble cast.

Witherspoon is already working on adaptations of Wild by Cheryl Strayed (also published by Knopf) and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (published by Crown, another Random House imprint).

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9. Lumina Nonfiction Writing Contest

cherylstrayedluminaLUMINA hosts an annual national literary contest in a single genre, whose winners receive publication in the journal and a $500 prize.

Submit your best nonfiction piece, 5K words or less. All rights revert to author upon publication. Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestseller author, will judge.

The Volume XIII (2014) Nonfiction Contest will be judged by Cheryl Strayed.

Submit via our online submission manager.

Deadline: October 15, 2013

Entry Fee: $12

First Place Prize: $500

Please Do…

  • send us your best nonfiction piece. 5,000 words or less.
  • double space and number pages.
  • only send previously unpublished work.
  • include a three-sentence biographical statement with your submission in the cover letter box provided.

Please Do Not…

  • include your name or any personal information in the body of your submission.

We do accept simultaneous submissions. Please notify LUMINA immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere via email (lumina@gm.slc.edu.) or submittable.

All rights revert to author upon publication. All subsequent publications should credit us for first appearance.

We look forward to reading your work!

Related Articles:

Nonfiction Editor, Geoff Bendeck, talks about what he’s looking for in submissions.

Good Luck!

Talk Tomorrow,


Filed under: Contest, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishing Industry Tagged: Cheryl Strayed, Lumina National Literary Contest, New York Times Best Selling Author, Non-Fiction Contest

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10. Ask a Book Buyer: Easy Hikes, Vikings, and More

At Powell's, our book buyers select all the new books in our vast inventory. If we need a book recommendation, we turn to our team of resident experts. Need a gift idea for a fan of vampire novels? Looking for a guide that will best demonstrate how to knit argyle socks? Need a book for [...]

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11. Ask a Book Buyer: Beyond Male Authors, Couple’s Book Club Picks, and More

At Powell's, our book buyers select all the new books in our vast inventory. If we need a book recommendation, we turn to our team of resident experts. Need a gift idea for a fan of vampire novels? Looking for a guide that will best demonstrate how to knit argyle socks? Need a book for [...]

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12. A Chat with Karen Benke : Author, Poet, & Creative Writing Instructor

It’s National Poetry Month this April and what better way to celebrate than a chat with author, poet, and creative writing instructor Karen Benke.

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13. New Anthology Features Essays By Writers Who Love New York City

Never Can Say Goodbye to NYCLast year, Sari Botton served as the editor of an anthology called Goodbye to All That: On Loving and Leaving New York. Cheryl Strayed, Dani Shapiro, Emma Straub, and 25 other writers penned essays on how they renounced residency from New York city.

Botton has been working on a follow-up entitled Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love For New York. Some of the contributors to the new project include Elizabeth Gilbert, Susan Orlean, and Nick Flynn.

Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will release the book on October 14, 2014. What do you think?

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14. Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer Sign On as Indies First Spokespeople

Neil Gaiman & Amanda PalmerThe American Booksellers Association has recruited Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and his rockstar wife Amanda Palmer (both pictured, via) to serve as spokespeople for this year’s Indies First campaign.

Gaiman and Palmer penned an open letter calling for fellow writers to participate. Those who answer the call will be serving as volunteer sellers at their favorite independent bookstores on Saturday, November 29th (aka “Small Business Saturday“).

National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie conceived of the idea and helped to launch this initiative last year. More than 1,100 authors participated in the 2013 event including Kelly Barson, Cheryl Strayed, and Jon Scieszka.

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15. Your Book Has a Birthday

Yesterday was Wild's publication day — the day my book was released into the world and available in bookstores and online across the land. In my Sugar column, Tiny Beautiful Things I wrote: "Your book has a birthday. You don't know what it is yet." That's true enough, but I've known for months that March [...]

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16. Showtime

Last night I had my launch reading for Wild at the Powell's downtown store. I felt overwhelmed with emotion when I saw the room was packed full. Writing is solitary work, it's true, but it's also work that has brought so many people into my life.Writing is solitary work, it's true, but it's also work [...]

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17. Other People’s Eyes

I've arrived at the final post in my stint as guest blogger for Powell's. It's been a hectic, joyous, exhausting and exhilarating week.It's been a hectic, joyous, exhausting and exhilarating week. Often, as I dashed from one thing to the next, I wrote these posts in my head and then found once I actually got [...]

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18. Cheryl Strayed Talks About ‘Wild,’ a Memoir of Hiking and Grief

Cheryl Strayed discusses the experience of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and the experience of writing about it almost two decades later.

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19. Oprah Winfrey Relaunches Her Book Club with ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed

Oprah Winfrey relaunched her book club today, celebrating Wild by Cheryl Strayed in a video about “Book Club 2.0.” The New York Times broke the news with a Winfrey video and story.

“I was reading this book. As a real book. Holding up the book. I was on the edge of my seat reading the book and I was like, ‘Where is The Oprah Winfrey Show when you need to announce and tell everybody about this book? I need the book club.’ So I created Book Club 2.0 for this book, Wild by Cheryl Strayed!” cheered Winfrey, waving the book in a video presentation.

The new club will feature social media components, annotated eBooks and be tied in with Winfrey’s cable station.


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20. Oprah’s Book Club Returns!

Oprah’s Book Club is back with a new, more modern approach to the club. According to information released by Oprah herself, the club will be much more interactive online and will utilize all the social networking outlets like Twitter (using the hashtag #oprahsbookclub), Facebook, and Oprah.com. Oprah will be taking questions from readers online and using them in her July 22nd interview with Cheryl Strayed, author of WILD, the first pick of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0.

“I love this book,” Oprah writes in the July issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. “I want to shout it from the mountaintop. I want to shout it from the Web. In fact, I love this book so much and want to talk about tit so much, I knew I had to reinvent my book club.”

According to the New York Times, Oprah will bring back the sticker on the jacket of printed books and is expected to make several selections each year.

Bookfinds will be following the each and every move of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 and will be reading along with everyone! Stay tuned for quotes, posts, interviews and more!

We could not be more thrilled about the return of the book club and are looking forward to the adventures ahead! So let’s get reading!

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

“A world I thought would both make me into the woman I knew I could become and turn me back into the girl I had once been” – Cheryl Strayed


A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

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21. Amazon Editors Pick the 20 Best Books of 2012 So Far

Today Amazon editors revealed their picks for the best books of the year so far. The top ten books on the list were all published by the Big Six publishers–no Amazon Publishing, indie presses or self-published titles.

The editors also picked their top ten books in all the popular categories: biographies & memoirs, business & investing, cookbooks, food & wine, crafts, hobbies & home, literature & fiction, mystery & thrillers, nonfiction, romance, science fiction & fantasy, comics & graphic novels, and teens,  middle grade and picture books for kids.

Here’s more from Amazon: “Customers can also enter the Best Books of the Year So Far Sweepstakes on the Amazon.com Books Facebook page through July 23 for a chance to win one of 10 Kindle Fire devices, each accompanied by a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card. There is no purchase necessary to enter. Must be a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C., 18 or over. Learn more [here] and enter for a chance to win.”


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22. Gillian Flynn Inks Movie Deal for Gone Girl

Thriller novelist Gillian Flynn has just landed a “seven-figure” deal with 20th Century Fox for the movie rights to her bestseller, Gone Girl. The novelist will write the screenplay.

Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea and Leslie Dixon will produce the Gone Girl project. Witherspoon also optioned Wild by Cheryl Strayed earlier this year. If you want to explore the book, check out our Gone Girl library post.

Deadline Hollywood had the scoop: “Flynn, who has three novels on the bestseller lists all at once, has two other movie projects in the works. Dark Places has Amy Adams attached to star, with Gilled Paquet-Brenner directing and her first novel, Sharp Objects, was optioned by Alliance with Blumhouse’s Jason Blum producing.”

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23. Goodreads Choice Awards Open For Voting

Goodreads has opened up voting for the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards, a contest in which readers can decide on the best books of the year. Books up for nomination include titles from Junot Díaz, Barbara Kingsolver, Damien Echols, Cheryl Strayed, Baratunde Thurston and many more.

The site, which now counts 12 million members, has nominated 15 books in each category and users are invited to vote on their favorites. The nominees are based on the number of ratings and average ratings on the site. Here is more from the Goodreads blog: “We analyzed statistics from the 170 million books added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2012 and nominated books based on the number of ratings and average rating. A nomination is truly an honor because it comes straight from the readers!”

This opening round of voting lasts through November 12th. Readers will have two more chances to vote after this round.

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24. Goodreads Choice Award Winners Revealed

With 11,525 votes, The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling has won the Best Fiction award at the Goodreads Choice Awards. Earning 20,328 votes, Veronica Roth was named Best Goodreads Author for Insurgent.

We’ve collected all the winners below, each winner nominated and picked by Goodreads users.

What do you think of the choices?


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25. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

I know this title is everywhere right now. I was very fortunate to get an advanced copy, and I immediately fell in love. Why? Well, like many, my favorite books are those that seem to have been written just for me. I deeply understood the raw ache of grief, anger, and loneliness. I wanted to [...]

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