Inspiration and the Olivetti Poster 6

I’m baaaaaaaack!

How’s summer working out for y’all so far? We’ve had some seriously hot days, gone swimming, planted lots of yellow and pink flowers, and barbecued a lot. But  this weekend, the fourth of July, is the BIG start of summer. BBQs turn into firefly-catching and fireworks-watching events. Summer breezes sing all around us. We eat too many s’mores and drag sand into the house and get bit by loads of mosquitoes. July fourth is when you can feel summer on your neck and in your ears. It’s when the world slows down and speeds up all at the same time. And when summer reading on a lounge chair under a setting sun, with lemonade in hand, just seems so…well, perfect. Whiffle ball and jumpropes, coconut oil and aloe vera cream, and popsicles melted all over my fingers.

I could go on and on.  However, my biggest accomplishment so far this summer has not taken place on the beach or by the pool. Best event was the office clean. In the midst of not-writing my

Unbelieveably, the bookshelves have been organized.

blog for the past few years, I’d accumulated a mess of papers and junk all over my office space. (Seriously guys, this place was an episode of Hoarders). But I finally organized my books, polished my floor, and put up the things that inspire me.

Among my stuff is my favorite poster of all time, which hangs over my desk. There’s a story behind it. (Isn’t there a story behind everything?)

I first saw this poster when I used an “author” calendar, filled with photos of favorite writers seated behind their desks. Some writers had little cabins in the woods, some lurked on the seashore in their hammocks, and still others wrote from behind stately oak desks with books piled high all around.

My favorite writing desk–and author–was a nonfiction writer named Susan Sontag. I have only read a select few of her essays and criticism and one novel, but WOWZA I really dug her workspace.

Check it out:

Author and essayist Susan Sontag

We can ignore the cigarette in her hand but everything else is–mwwwwah!–perfection. And dig that poster behind her! Something about old-fashioned typewriters and little stacks of hardcover books gets my brain humming.

After seeing this pic, I spent 10 years looking for a copy of this poster for myself. I figured if I could look even half as groovy sitting under the poster at my desk then I’d be all set.

Finally, I found the Olivetti poster–ordered it promptly–had it framed. And now this is what I look at behind my desktop computer. I imagine those flying pages flying out of my printer. I imagine poems I can write. And I have window boxes planted with flowers just outside the windows of my office, too. Windows, posters, mirrors.

Inspiration is everywhere. So whenever I scribble-scrabble in this blog, here’s what I see:

I think we all need to start our summers with the things that inspire us most. So tell me what would be on your list of inspirations? Seriously, TELL ME.

Juice boxes and jellybeans? X-Box and faded jeans (a la the sisterhood!)? Or your diary, your dog, or maybe just the idea that in the summertime there is the possibility that anything can happen?

And I do mean anything.

Let’s just make sure we keep checking in all summer long. I’ll post pics and ideas and dreams. You do the same. Hugs from here.

And don’t forget the sunblock.



6 thoughts on “Inspiration and the Olivetti Poster

  • 1101

    It isn’t summer here in our country.
    so anyway, this past few days.. I caught myself smiling for no apparent reason.
    But, there’s this reason. not a thing but someone.
    A friend, and we communicate through email.
    we don’t see each other often.
    I see him ONCE IN A BLUE. he INSPIRES me a lot that i always try harder and
    i live everyday positively.

    Thanks to Madfinn. I got so many ideas, loving the world wide web! 🙂

  • MK

    I thought nd thought….but i couldn’t think of something that u know, REALLY inspires me, but I could think of some things, no, MANY things that I love to do during the summers. Well, of course, the summer break, and….all the free time., and spending time with my sis and family!!!

  • Kendra

    Things that inspire me:
    I love watching John Hughes films.
    MadFinn Books, of course!
    Things that happen in my real life can sometimes make me feel like drawing or writing books!

  • kalie

    The only Madison Finn book I read was a book I had borrowed from a close friend. I think that you should do a new Madison Finn book about her being a wife and a mother and her carreer.

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