The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

August 24, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Staples

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 1:17 pm
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That was easy

Are all writers office supply junkies?  I suppose there are only rare instances of “all”, but I know a lot who are.  I go in to Staples as though it were a toy store.  From the little things I can always afford – like my favorite pens or colored paperclips – to the things I drool over – like *enormous* computer screens and high end laptops – I adore going in there and spending time. My kids know, once mommy’s at Staples, we’re going to be in there a while.

I sit at the desks they have set up and imagine my dream writing room.  I trail a finger over bookcases and picture them lining the walls of my office and filled, in part, with books I have written.  I page through organizers in the fervent hope that one day I will find one that magically organizes me forever (oh, admit it – you hope it’s out there too).  I take in the colors of pens and markers, thinking of the things I could create with them. I breathe in the leather of computer bags.  It’s a sensory heaven.

It's in here somewhere

“Did you find everything you needed?” they ask me at the check out.  If I’ve only bought what I came in for, it’s a miracle.  Usually, I’ve found what I needed and WAY too much more.  I’ve whittled my basket down to what I can a) make work on the day’s budget and b) what I cannot pass up.  So the answer is yes, I found what I needed and a whole lot more that I simply wanted.

What’s the store you can’t get out of?

May 4, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Kimball’s Ice Cream

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 4:31 pm
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We all scream...

While the weather doesn’t seem to be consistently warm – or even sunny – here in New England, we are still hoping to have our ice-cream-for-dinner night soon.  One of the few things that hasn’t been taken over by one or two big chains is the local ice cream stand.  Yes, there is still Baskin Robbins and on the east coast Stone Cold Creamery is very very good, but there is nothing like that place where you know your favorite flavor will be available in a size you dreamed of ever since you were a kid.

For my family that place is Kimball Farm in Westford MA (they have four locations total).  Their portions are so large

It's worth the wait!

that having anything to eat before hand is just silly (and perhaps even insulting).  Opened first in 1939 and still family owned and run, Kimball’s is synonymous around here with great ice cream and a fun night out.  Over time, the Westford location has grown to include more things to do then eat.  There has been a country store attached to the ice cream stand for years along with a farm with animals.  Now it also includes mini golf, bumper boats, a driving range, an arcade and batting cages.  We plan to go early to enjoy the ice cream and then stay to play. 

What can be better – ice cream, supporting a local business and a night out with the whole family.  One of the true joys of summer.

What are you favorite local escapes?

April 28, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – Bookstores

Can you look at your bookshelf and remember where you bought the books?  Do you know how you came across the one you’re reading now?  Do you have a great memory of an unexpected discovery?  Then you probably love bookstores as much as I do.

The doom and gloom of the headlines with regards to bookstores is everywhere.  Borders recently closed many stores (and more may be happening), the independent bookstores are almost extinct, and ebook readers are on the rise to the point where this week Barnes and Noble announced their first ebook signing event.  Yes, that’s right – Sandra Boynton will be *signing* her Going to Bed Book using a new app on the B&N color Nook (which I admit to coveting/craving).

But I have to say – I love spending time in a bookstore.  I love wandering the stacks.  I love standing in a section I don’t normally check out, just to see what’s there.  I love when a bookstore has places to sit, whether in a cafe or within the stacksa peace of heaven, so I can be surrounded by the books, pretending I have my own library. I love having a gift card that means I can try something totally new and/or not usually in my budget.  And don’t get me started on the periodical section.  SO much to read and learn. 

What will happen to impulse purchases of something you didnt – couldn’t – plan?  What about the amazing writer you discovered because her book was on the shelf above your current favorite?  How will you find those gems?  What about the non-fiction book that was better suited to you which you found next to the one you came in to buy?

Because the only way to enjoy these things is at a brick and morter bookstore, I am continuing to hope these stores stay around for a long time to come.  Yes, they have to go with the flow of new technology, but they should never completely give up on the sheer pleasure many of us get from the process of looking for a book. 

It’s almost as good as the reading part.

What’s your favorite bookstore? And… if you want to see some of the most interesting bookstores in the world, click here.

April 13, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – A real stationery store

Filed under: Uncategorized — authorrachelkenley @ 3:05 pm
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Like many writers, I love office supplies.  Going into Staples makes my heart beat faster. It’s like when my sons go into sporting good stores.  I know what I’m there to buy, but I want to look at everything and I’m almost always keeping a mental list of what I would pick up if I had an unlimited budget.  When I get to the front with my purchases and they ask “Did you find everything you wanted?” I always want to say”Yes, and way too much more.”

As wonderful as these big superstores are, however, they have been the end of the smaller mom & pop stationery stores that I remember from when I was a kid.  There is one that I know remains, The Quill and Press in Acton MA.  Here great pens and papers are side by side with cards, high end stationery, and the best colors of file folders available individually.  Half the store is traditional office supplies, the other is part card store part card store.  And then downstairs is artists supplies.  It’s a paper heaven.

A view inside

Yes, I go to staples a lot – it’s more convenient and generally has better prices.  But when I want to spend an hour or so really browsing – touching, holding and imagining – then places like The Quill and Press are a true haven.

  • Hours: Mon – Fri, 9am – 7pm; Sat, 9am – 5pm; Sun, noon – 5:30pm
  • Handicap Accessible: Shop is wheel chair accessible
  • Founding Date: 1970
  • Payments accepted: American Express, Cash, Debit Card, Discover, MasterCard, Personal Check, Visa
  • Products: gifts, party goods, pens, art supplies, frames, rubber stamps, inks, unique stationery and cards.
  • Services: Gift certificates, Gift wrapping, Shipping
  • ATM: No
  • Public restrooms: Yes
  • Parking: Free lot
  • Blog at WordPress.com.