Jen writes

May 16, 2010

It’s not sexual, but it’s lust all the same. Pure. Lust.

My favorite novel


My cherished collection (one-and-two-thirds shelves of Stegner magic)


Evidence of stalking (I told you it was lust)

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Read More in Jen Writes, three kids
Christine LaRocque writes

I have never read Stegner, but now it seems I MUST.

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Aging Mommy writes

I too have never read Stegner and I am a true bookworm so now I too must, starting with your favorite.

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Nicki writes

A third never read Stegner but I have at least heard of a book or two. Going to have to put the author on my library list.
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..Happiness =-.

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Tiffany writes

I’ve never read him….but I think I shall!
.-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Cut Short =-.

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Alisha writes

Ok. Never heard of Stegner…but as others about have said, seems like I must check him out!

I too lust after books. If I had the money I would buy them all up; just to have for no reason other than I love books. I’m so thankful that I have a wonderful library :p
.-= Alisha´s last blog ..Lust not, want not =-.

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Mama Zen writes

Now I must read Stegner, too!
.-= Mama Zen´s last blog ..A Wish Upon A Dandelion =-.

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Kristen @ Motherese writes

Although I’ve never photographed his mailbox (awesome!), I think you know, Jen, that I share your deep and abiding love for our man Wallace. I associate him with heat and long days because I make it a point each summer to read or reread at least one of his books.

But now I’m thinking about which of his novels is my favorite. My first encounter was with All the Little Live Things so it holds a special place in my heart, but Crossing to Safety and Angle of Repose are right up there.

(By the way, did you know that The Trust for Public Land named its major donor society after Wallace and Mary Stegner in honor of their commitment to land conservation? Not only a magnificent writer, but also a dedicated environmentalist was Wally.)

Thanks for this wonderful tribute to Stegner and for letting me know that I’m not alone in the fact that some of my deepest feelings of lust are for great literature!
.-= Kristen @ Motherese´s last blog ..Come On Baby, Light My Fire =-.

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Jen replies

Kristen. I love knowing other Stegner enthusiasts. Every August I re-read or re-listen to CTS. It opens in the month and year of my birthday, and I just love that heartwarming fact. I can quote great portions of the book, and if I do choose to listen to it on tape I know exactly the parts that have been abridged. Have you read the newest biography of him by Philip Fradkin? He’s an alum of the college I work for, and I’m hoping to get my copy signed at some point. (Stalking. Yup. It comes naturally to me when Wally is concerned.) I really can’t say enough about the man. I sing the gospel of Wally wherever I go. I’m just glad there’s a few folks like you out there who get it, so that not everyone looks at me like I’m completely NUTSO!

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alita writes

I have never heard of stegner either, but now I’m getting on amazon to see what the author is all about.

I’m a sucker for all kinds of books but specifically the classics and contemporary romance. I understand your “lust” for reading!

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Ali replies

I, too, just went to Amazon to review some of his books. Looks like I’ve got my next download on my Kindle. I get a feeling that I can trust your taste in books, Jen. Thanks for sharing!
.-= Ali´s last blog ..Careless Whisper =-.

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Natalie writes

Plus one for the Stegner bandwagon.

I wonder if amazon will notice a spike in traffic directly from this post to Stegner’s works?
.-= Natalie´s last blog ..five for ten: happiness =-.

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Jen replies

Ooh, Natalie. I like the way you think!

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becca writes

I’m afraid you won’t be my friend if I tell you I’ve never heard of Stegner…. sigh… if you had written about Dr. Seuss I’d have a lot more to say. But, because of your words, I”ll be sure to educate myself.. Thanks Jen!

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Jen replies

Not to worry, I’ll be your friend. I’ll just make it a priority to educate you on his GENIUS. He was more known in the West, even though one of his most well-known novels takes place in Vermont (Crossing to Safety). He was an environmentalist early on. Involved with Sierra Club. Advisor to Interior Secretary Stewart Udall. Very instrumental in getting Dinosaur Park national status. Wrote short stories, novels, biographies, you name it. LOVE him. So sad he died before I discovered him. I even went so far as to name one of my kids for him.

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Jane writes

Ahhh – seems your chicken, just like me. I couldn’t write about the “sexual lust” either. Now, I’m off to check out Stegner!
.-= Jane´s last blog ..Selective Memory – Crazy or Coping Mechanism? =-.

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Jen replies

Yes. Perhaps chicken. But what I feel for Wally is indeed lust. Yes sirreee.

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Sarah replies

HA HA HA. Chicken! Bawk Bawk. Not to worry…I’ll be here to make you all a wee bit uncomfortable tomorrow. Maybe? Perhaps? I have half a plan, let’s see if I can execute. Or, more importantly, let’s see if I can get anyone to nod their head with me as they read. Hmmmm…..

Maybe I should do some RESEARCH tonight?!

!!!

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Jen replies

We’re all counting on you to write about what we all think about FIRST when we think LUST. So far I haven’t read any of THOSE posts. Research, indeed.

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BigLittleWolf replies

Um, Jen… was I at least close to one of “those” posts? (I was considering shoe lust…. :)

I do love your book lust, but I’m with Becca. No Stegner background. (Still talking to me?) But read “My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead.” A collection of short stories, edited by Jeffrey Eugenides. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G stuff in there.

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michelle writes

adding this to the reading list….and no photographing the mailbox is not at all going too far. the inside of his living room maybe.

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Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point writes

Where have I been? Wikipedia. And, soon, to my local library with a copy of Crossing to Safety now that I know he was an environmentalist and Pulitzer Prize winner.

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Jen replies

Here’s another piece of trivia. He declined the National Medal of Arts in 1993 because he felt the government was trying to censor, not support, the arts. And he won every major literary award except the Nobel.

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Suzicate writes

Now, I’m going to have to check out Stegner! Hey, there are worse things in life you could be lusting after! I linked my post, but don’t know if it went through…seems like Mr. Linky on your site has had issues with me all week! But this has been fun meeting all these new and fabulous bloggers. Thank you for hosting.
.-= Suzicate´s last blog ..Freaks, Geeks, And Squeaks =-.

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Jen replies

Link is all set!!! We’re glad you joined us (and have been so persistent in being sure your link comes through!)

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Jen replies

OOPS. Linked to the wrong one first. NOW it’s all set. GEEZ!

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rebecca writes

My husband’s favorite book for many years was Angle of Repose. Should I be taking pictures of mailboxes for him?
Probably wouldn’t be the same.

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Jen replies

I can point you in the right direction …

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C @ Kid Things writes

Oh books. If I told you how long it’s been since I’ve read a real book, well, I’m sure you understand. If I ever get a chance again, I’ll be sure to check out Stegner.
.-= C @ Kid Things´s last blog ..Elmo Lust =-.

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Jen replies

Oh but I DO know. Yes I do. Our time will come again, though. Just keep a list going so you’re ready when it does. :)

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Cranky Sarah writes

I’m always on the look out for good books, but usually end up relying on random word of mouth recommendations – just like this. Already put a request in at my library. Thanks
.-= Cranky Sarah´s last blog ..Me without makeup: Status Quo =-.

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Maria writes

I know exactly how you feel…Went to New Orleans a couple of years ago and totally did the stalking things at Anne Rice’s old house where she wrote The Witching Hour. Sad and pathetic, perhaps. But I got a picture of myself in front of that house and Deidre’s tree….

Will have to put Stegner on my list of authors to check out….
.-= Maria´s last blog ..Lust for Life (…after diapers) =-.

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Kelly replies

The Witching Hour was my first *make me shiver I love it so much* book. I’d loved others before and since, that that was electric. I would love to go to New Orleans and do the exact same thing!

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Stacia writes

I’m lusting over those bookshelves! And a whole shelf and a half for yourself … Drool.

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Amy at Never-True Tales writes

AHHHHH! JEN! I love, love, love Stegner. Crossing to Safety, Angle of Repose…LOVE. And I so rarely find anyone else who does!

Also, I don’t have a photo of his mailbox, but I do have a framed one that looks strikingly similar of Robert Frost’s.

Needless to say, I love this post.

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Jen replies

Oh YAY! I never really thought it through, as I was putting together this “post,” that I might find other Stegner devotees. What a great bonus. And how wonderfully silly that I’m not the only one with a framed photo of an author’s mailbox.

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Elizabeth @ Life in Pencil writes

I LOVE the photo of the Stegner mailbox!

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Jen replies

Oh, I have others. Photos of the place where he spent his summers. The lake. The hills he hiked. All sorts of scary stuff. But the mailbox literally spells out my obsession.

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Kelly writes

I have heard of Stegner, but I don’t think I’ve read his books. My literary lust is Barbara Kingsolver — who is decidedly less impressive than your Wally. I have met Babs, though, and I loved her in person, too.

I’ll be scheduling a trip to the library!

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Jen replies

Lover Barbara. Love love love.

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suzannah @ so much shouting/laughter replies

you’ve met her, kelly?? that’s so cool. i have a little girl crush on her, myself:)
.-= suzannah @ so much shouting/laughter´s last blog ..has anyone in this family ever SEEN a chicken? =-.

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Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole writes

That mailbox photo is AWESOME!

I’m way behind on my posts, but hope to catch up today or tomorrow. :)
.-= Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole´s last blog ..Sunday Grace =-.

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Jen replies

Way behind. Yup. I hear ya!

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Rudri writes

I love lusting after books. I make a trip to the bookstore at least once a week just to take it all in. I will be sure to make a trip down the Stegner line. I can’t believe I haven’t read anything by him. I will now.

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Privilege of Parenting writes

I’m more than well aware of “Crossing to Safety.” My old writing partner introduced me to it, with an eye to adapting it for the screen. I fell in love with the book and we were in talks to option the rights, but it never quite came to be. But since there has hardly ever been a movie that can hold candle to the book it came from, I trust that this outcome is for the best all around… maybe it’s just one more point of conscious connection as we try to cross to the safety of trusting the perfection of our own unfolding and infinitely inter-connected lives.

… the lust for universal, perfectly understood, sublime and all-inclusive love… here’s to stumbling toward that, Namaste
.-= Privilege of Parenting´s last blog ..That time when my dad was wrong =-.

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Jen replies

As far as I know, Stegner made sure the book wouldn’t be made into a movie. And I think the rights only become public 70 years after death, no? So, we won’t have to worry about CTS on the big screen until 2063 or so. I don’t think I could bear to see the movie, though. I’ve read the book so many times that it already is a movie in my mind.

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Privilege of Parenting replies

This goes back almost two decades when Stegner’s agent was not as definitive about this, however, Hollywood really didn’t get it anyway which was why we couldn’t get a producer to pony up the sort of money that could even tempt an author like Stegner into such Faustian deals.

I did manage to adapt one of my other favorite books by Martin Amis, “London Fields,” but despite a director, a star, and half-the financing, and CAA packaging it Hollywood still didn’t really get that one either.

The book(s) that I feel compelled to read repeatedly is the “Alexandria Quartet,” by Durrell. The first book, “Justine” was made into a rank-awful film, but the books are luminous and filled with amazing spirit.

Even at their best, movies are too specific to someone else’s vision while books invite us into their world and allow us to co-create a vision—much as you and Sarah manage to do here with five-for-ten, inviting us into some co-created thing much to myriad for any one of us to adequately describe or contain… it sort of seems to contain us.
.-= Privilege of Parenting´s last blog ..That time when my dad was wrong =-.

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Cathy writes

Evidence of stalking – definitely sounds like lust! Enjoy it though. I don’t think you’ll get into trouble over this one. ;-)

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Jen replies

I kept distance (zoom lens). And Stegner passed away in 1993. But still, he still has family at that address! It took great restraint not to trespass and sneak a peak in the windows down the private drive.

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Heather of the EO writes

OK. I’m trusting that if you love him, I will love him. even if i too have never heard of him. I will now read him. Does this make me YOUR stalker? :)
.-= Heather of the EO´s last blog ..Okay =-.

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Jen replies

Ooh. I like. My name, however, is not on my mailbox. Nor is it as lovely sounding as Stegner.

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BigLittleWolf writes

I love it! I too adore my books, and lust after others. It’s wonderful to see these filled shelves!

Personally, I find poetry to be the one consistent source – all my life – to fill almost every emotional space that desires enlightenment or physical response. Yes, poetry can be hot hottie hot!

But I admit, after a horribly long week, my thoughts of lust (quite a ramble), went somewhere else entirely…
.-= BigLittleWolf´s last blog ..Lust and Lingerie =-.

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Justine writes

Now if that isn’t a recommendation to read the book, I don’t what is. Will have to put it on my list.

Like you, I’m a lover of books and my favorite piece of furniture in our house is my bookshelf. The hardwood, the glass panes, row upon row of books – each with its own story of how they came to be on those shelves. To others, what we read says so much about us, and to ourselves, these books tell us so much about our past.
.-= Justine´s last blog ..My favorite hunk of meat =-.

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macondo mama writes

Trusting that I may be able to read again at some point in my life (I will, right?), I will definitely add Stegner to my list. I miss reading so much!

And well-loved books filling a bookshelf? That is when I finally feel settled, and home, in a new place.
.-= macondo mama´s last blog ..Dear Monster: Your birth story =-.

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suzannah @ so much shouting/laughter writes

all right, i am officially intrigued by this unknown-to-me lustworthy author:) placing a library request…
.-= suzannah @ so much shouting/laughter´s last blog ..has anyone in this family ever SEEN a chicken? =-.

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Amanda writes

I have also never read Stegner. Now I am intrigued :) Thanks for sharing.
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Memory… =-.

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Launa writes

I get it on the book lust, but it’s worse when the author is actually in your neighborhood. One of my favorite authors (Jonathan Safran Foer) used to walk his dog past my office, get coffee at the same place I did, and even was in line in front of me at the French Consulate when we were getting our Visa. Holy author crush, batman.
.-= Launa´s last blog ..Bonsoir =-.

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Jen replies

Oh I would have fainted on the spot (you know, if Stegner were still alive). A few years ago–not long before he died–I often saw Kurt Vonnegut walking around town. One time I sat across from him in a coffee shop and watched him slurp up the iciest, creamiest, fanciest frozen coffee drink with extra whipped cream. I will never forget his wild hair, his sweater with the worn-through elbows and the way he bent his body close to that drink and enjoyed every drop.

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Corinne writes

I’m another who has never read Stegner… Will definitely check him out – which would you start with?
(and man… I’m still having trouble coming up w/ my lust post… I know it’s got to be right there in front of me, but I can’t come up with anything!)
.-= Corinne´s last blog ..{Five for Ten} Courage =-.

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Lindsey writes

I love Stegner too! (as you know).
Kathryn wrote her thesis on him – Between a Myth and a Mountain! (great title, no? I named it).xo
.-= Lindsey´s last blog ..A Memory Framed in Magnolias =-.

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Kathryn @ Marbury v Madison Ave replies

Eek eek! Freaked out when I saw this photo!!
.-= Kathryn @ Marbury v Madison Ave´s last blog ..Happiness revisited =-.

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Heather Caliri writes

Book lust. One of the best kinds. I feel a dread when I reach the end of the last book of an author I love. Because nothing else will scratch that particular itch. Laurie King, are you listening?
.-= Heather Caliri´s last blog ..grateful =-.

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Lynne from NJ writes

Lust for books is definitely right up at the top of my list. I’ve also never read Stegner, and will check him out the next time I’m at the bookstore, which is at least two or three times a month. Thanks for the tip!

I also lust for things I seem to never get enough of, like chocolate, and great coffee, or time with my kids who are growing up way too fast for my comfort. I love the word “lusty”, as in a lusty appetite, or a lusty set of lungs!! LOL And of course there’s lusty in love. We should all live our lives lustily!!
Blessings, Lynne

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Cindy writes

I definitely have book lust – but add me to the list of people who haven’t yet read Stegner. Will be heading to my library asap to remedy that!
.-= Cindy´s last blog ..Warm Artichoke Passion =-.

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Michele writes

I had a professor say that the beginning on my novel reminded him of Angle of Repose. I bought the book and took it as a huge compliment. That beginning has been rewritten many many MANY times now, and I think he was talking more about the structure, but his comment still makes me smile. Was it really his mailbox?

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Jen replies

Yes. Indeed. His mailbox. :)
And now I want to read YOUR novel!

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Diana writes

LOL! That’s fantastic! It’s funny how much we define lust by sexuality, but in fact I think there are a lot of things that compete with our partner’s attentions.

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Heather Caliri replies

now that I have kids, it’s sleep that competes for that particular energy source. that and time to myself.
.-= Heather Caliri´s last blog ..grateful =-.

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Gale @ Ten Dollar Thoughts writes

I have favorite authors. But nothing to that extent. Makes me wish for a crazy passion on that order of magnitude. Maybe I’m too even tempered?
.-= Gale @ Ten Dollar Thoughts´s last blog ..The Very Beginning =-.

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Kathryn @ Marbury v Madison Ave writes

I wrote my college senior thesis on Wallace Stegner!!!! (Oh, I just looked up and see the Lindsey commented, and, yes, she did come up with the title). I feel like such a kindred spirit! I kind of want that picture…

Obviously, LOVED this!
.-= Kathryn @ Marbury v Madison Ave´s last blog ..Happiness revisited =-.

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Jen replies

Love to meet other Wally enthusiasts!

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Heather @ One Take On Life writes

There is something wonderful about owning books and being able to re read them. I love books that have been well loved and it looks like Stegner is an author I need to check out.
.-= Heather @ One Take On Life´s last blog ..Memory Lane =-.

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Amber writes

I really appreciate how you bring a different aspect of lust into this conversation. Lust is often associated with sex in one way or another but it has other forms as well. Power, material wealth, or, in your case, a certain author and his books.
.-= Amber´s last blog ..A Simple Walk =-.

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Andrea @ Shameless Agitator writes

I was relieved to read your post about Lust. Mine is my love of hockey. I know; I chickened out by posting a photo. I’m not at the place in my life where I feel like I can write for my blog about lust. I’ve been recently burned by others’ lust for power. I’ve had strange dreams about past crushes. I’m torn between the idea of lust as a vice and lust as a motivating force. Maybe the words will come tomorrow?
.-= Andrea @ Shameless Agitator´s last blog ..Fanatical =-.

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Heather Caliri writes

Glad I’m not the only one who chickened out. :)
.-= Heather Caliri´s last blog ..grateful =-.

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Hyacynth writes

Lol! We share one of the same lusts: books! I have crates and boxes and more crates crammed full of books. Because books just aren’t books; they are stories that take you places, which makes me realize why books are actually so very lust-inducing.
.-= Hyacynth´s last blog ..Letters of Intent: Geometry and secret-coded languages: two subjects in which I never earned an A =-.

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Melissa writes

Oooh, literary lust! Nice. :)
.-= Melissa´s last blog ..remember when =-.

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Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities writes

Literary lust indeed. I love this.

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Brittany at Mommy Words writes

Oh I am going to check out Stegner on my Nook tonight. I totally lust after books of all kids. I love history, politics, novels, romance…as dirty as it comes even at times – seriously your post about lust and Stegman and you will laugh over my book lust. It is just a dirty pleasure.

Fun to find more book lovers!
.-= Brittany at Mommy Words´s last blog ..Capturing the Memories of Early Childhood =-.

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