I'm Jenn Lore and I run a design and lifestyle blog called Dear Heart, named after the old Henry Mancini song and 1964 movie. Dear Heart started out as an outlet for my love of interior design, but over the years has become an extension of me, and so much more than just interiors. It became a meeting place, a journal, a travelogue and a studio for all of my DIY and kitchen experiments.
Dear Heart is inspired by the philosophy of simple and beautiful living --luxury through simplicity. Few "things," true quality, more moments to remember.
From 9-5(ish), you can find me working as a digital communications consultant at a large PR agency.
1. What's one thing you love about independent bookstores?
When you think about it, reading is such an intimate act. When you're getting into a really good book, the world around you fades away and all that's left is you, the protagonists and the author's ideas.
So it strikes me as odd that people would prefer anything besides a well-curated, independent bookstore. I've always hated best-seller lists, simply because I don't care what everyone else is reading. I want to know what people I trust are reading. And that cultivation of trust and gateway to original ideas is something independent stores do best.
2. What's your blogging philosophy?
My blog is kind of a journal that mixes snapshots, thoughts and recipes from my life with things I find inspiring around the Web. I try to focus of life's little grace notes. There's a great quote from Stranger than Fiction that sums up this sentiment nicely.
"As Harold took a bite of the Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can still thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies..And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives."
My job is done if I can help my readers find the same joy that I do in life's little details.
3. Who are your readers?
My readers are a really diverse group - ages, backgrounds, income levels. Most of them, like me, are in their 20s and 30s, in that really exciting time of figuring out who we are and what we want from life. Part of the fun is that shared experience of trial and error - this works, this doesn't, and this never will, but maybe that's ok, etc.
I would say that the one thing we all share is our aesthetic. We all just really like pretty things and share a sense of what that means that can't really be communicated in words.
4. What's your favorite D.C. blog?
That is so tough! DC has some really exciting and interesting blogs, but perhaps the ones I read most often are the ones highlighting DC's cultural shift - Ready Set DC, Refinery 29 and photographer Kate Warren's site *Go Kate Shoot.* I have a list of lots of other fantastic DC blogs in my blog roll too.
5. How can the analog medium of books & the digital mediums make beautiful creative babies?
I love this question! It's so often posed as an either/or situation. As if books and the Internet are in a battle, and only one can prevail. I really do believe that long-form written word will actually become more and more important online, and that the Internet will enhance the book-reading experience.
To paraphrase from Maria Popova at Brain Pickings, the best thing about the Internet is its ability to open up a rabbit hole of discovery. You start in one place, and find something that interests you, and click on another link and end up in a place so far away from where you started, and yet so compelling - just like independent book stores.
I love the idea of interactive reading guides, where you click on a passage in a book and connect to a community exploring the themes and ideas there, or taking you on a tour of the place where the story is set. I think there is a real potential for magic there.
Three Book Recommendations
1. Delicate Edible Birds, Lauren Groff
a. A truly beautiful collection of haunting short stories about love and loss spanning decades, class lines and countries. The penultimate story, Watershed, stays with you long after the book is closed and placed on its shelf.
2. The Magus, John Fowles
a. I first read this book on a road trip through Greece. Fowles' setting on a solitary island there is so evocative that it instantly transports me back. I can almost smell the cypress trees and saltwater. It tells the story of an unmoored British teacher, Nicolas Urfe who becomes embroiled in the psychological games of a wealthy islander, ultimately hurting the person who loved him most. A great, yet challenging, summer read.
3. The Selected Levis, Larry Levis
a. I love a good novel, but nothing gets to me quite like poem that immerses you - and there are so many in this collection of Larry Levis' greatest works. I love how Levis' poems flow breathlessly, memory and sentiment spilling over the line breaks and stanzas. Spend some extra time with Linnets, Winter Stars and Family Romance, my favorites.