News & Blog

50 Playlists for Writers

Music has the power to inspire words onto the page! What you’re listening to can make the difference between creating the next Great American Novel or bad fanfiction. Luckily, there are a plethora of playlists online to suit any genre, mood, and preference. Here are some favorites to get you started on your quest for literature excellence!

playlists for writers

Ambience

Ambient tracks are perfect for people who can’t work with the sound of lyrics. Or the sound of any music whatsoever. Ambient playlists are for the writers who wish they could write from the Hogwarts Library or in a Paris cafe.

Romance

Writing Romance is no walk in the moonlit, perfectly charming park. Here are some playlists to help set the mood.

Fantasy

We can’t all be J.K. Rowling. Sometimes writers need a little bit of help to get their wands flowing!

Suspense

What’s that behind you?! These suspense playlists for writers might convince you you’re not alone. They aren’t for the faint of heart, and you’ll probably want to leave all of your lights on! Transform your writing desk into a horror movie set with these tracks.

Dark/Sorrow

These playlists are so heartwrenching that you’ll find yourself turning on the shower at 2am so your roommates can’t hear your sobs. Seriously, get the tissues ready.

War/Hero

So these playlists might be 90% the Braveheart soundtrack but that’s because you don’t mess with perfection. Caution: these tracks might compel you to seek world domination.

What do you like to listen to when you’re writing? How does music affect your ability to write?

Written by Samantha Tetrault

Advertisements

Top 5 Coffee Shops in St. Augustine

St. Augustine is a coffee lovers dream come true. Locally owned shops with gourmet cappuccinos hide around seemingly every corner in the oldest city in the nation. With so many options, how does one know which drinks are worth four precious dollars? Nobody knows coffee better than sleep deprived college students. Without further ado, here are a Flagler College senior’s top five picks for local java.

The Kookaburra

Top Coffee Shops in St. Augustine

The Kookaburra is an Australian themed coffee and espresso bar located right in the heart of old town on Cathedral street. This hole-in-the-wall coffee shop has earned a beloved place in the hearts of many, easily making it a Flagler College favorite. With three total locations, The Kookaburra is an undeniable staple of St. Augustine. Their specialty drink menu has something for every taste, from the coffee newbie to the die-hard addict.

Address: 24 Cathedral St.
Favorite Drinks: The Honey Badger and the Aussie Iced Coffee

City Perks

Top coffee shops in st. augustine

City Perks hides away in a courtyard off of St. George Street. It might take some searching to find this quaint spot, but it’s well worth the effort. With a friendly staff and a constantly changing list of specialty drinks, City Perks earns a spot as one of our favorites!

Location: 6 St. George St.
Favorites: Green tea and Frozen Java Chip Latte

DOS Coffee

St Augustine Coffee Spot

Relampago Coffee Lab is the new sister-store for the DOS Coffee and Wine Bar located on San Marco. This new location is a convenient two blocks from Flagler College and is next-door to the popular Floridian Restaurant.  This downtown newcomer lives up to its larger namesake, featuring daily roasts and blends that will keep you coming back. They are also the most vegan-friendly location in town with the ability to personalize drinks for every specialty. Don’t hesitate to request something off menu!

Location: 74 Spanish St.
Favorites: Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Daily Special

Gaufres & Goods

Best Coffee shops in St. Augustine

Okay, this Polish and Greek cafe isn’t exactly a coffee shop. However, they serve Belgian Waffles that give Antwerp vendors a run for their money, and that alone earns it a space on this list. In all honesty, this adorable old-timey cafe will inspire even the most novice writer to start the Great American Novel. Travel back in time with this locals-only favorite. The coffee definitely will not disappoint.

Location: 212 Charlotte St.
Favorites: Coffee and Belgian waffle with Nutella

Dulce Cafe

Top coffee shops in st agustine

What could be better than coffee? Coffee AND crepe’s, that’s what. With both sweet and savory crepes, as well as an extensive coffee menu, Dulce cafe has the largest menu of all the shops on this list. The friendly staff and cozy couches make this place ideal for lengthy homework sessions and enjoying a good book. Be sure to stop by the next time you’re near the plaza!

Location: 210 St. George St.
Favorites: Caramel Macchiato and Espresso

 What are your favorite coffee shops in St. Augustine? Where should we try next?

Written by Samantha Tetrault 

Change Your Mood in Seconds, Your Life in Minutes

pahI recently found myself under the weight and scrutiny of 22 credit hours. Yes, that is a total of seven upper division classes that range anywhere from Modern Contemporary British Literature to the History of Modern Philosophy. As an English major and a philosophy and creative writing minor, I undoubtedly do not have spare time to read for leisure. Although I often find inspiring reads in the syllabus, something is missing. Perhaps it is the idea of free will—I like to read what I want, when I want. It takes the pressure off deadlines and analytical papers that lurk around corners like monsters under the bed (sorry, it’s the October spirit). I never quite know nor do I have the time to window-shop at many bookstores, however, the other day in the mail (thank you grandma), I received a small little treasure: an English major’s dream. And it only took me a few minutes to read. Simply titled Life, this little jewel is a collection of selected quotes from Paulo Coelho’s novels. It gets better. About the size of a pocketbook, this thin collection has a maximum of three quotes per page all broken up by subject matters. It keeps getting better. On the opposite side of each quoted page, there are artistic, colorful, eclectic illustrations dotted throughout the collection. I always feel more sophisticated when I get to read and see art at the same time. It takes maybe a minute to read one page per day—which is the equivalent of waiting for your toast in the toaster. If you want to do this while brushing your teeth, you get 2 pages—morning and night—to equal the grand total of 4 pages a day, which logically makes you 4x wiser then just the average tooth brusher (math majors what do you say?). At a mere 128 pages, you’re set for the rest of fall semester all for just $17 (thanks USA)— if your cringing at that just think that’s about $0.13 a page—perfect for a college budget (your welcome business majors).

Not only does Coelho get right to the point, but he also focuses on subjects that matter. To a stressed out college kid, a chapter on “The Path,” for example, is exactly what I need. Let’s be honest: who even knows what they’re having for breakfast tomorrow? I have personally read a few of Coelho’s complete books (and yes, those are pretty short too) and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I would easily deem him one of the most influential authors of the 21st century. Coelho says everything you need to know without saying it. He is a master at crafting sentences until they become the very word of God or the word of some mystical fortune teller. You cannot help but absorb Coelho’s wisdom. Better, better yet? He leaves you with a deep feeling of bewilderment, peace, and beauty. If nothing else, it may be the perfect read before bed to stop you from pulling your hair out about that exam you have tomorrow. I think I can speak for Coelho when I say: take one day at a time. Heck, I’m still working on one foot in front of the other. Regardless, sometimes embracing the thing that pushes you, and adds that weight to your chest, is the best remedy to defeat stress. So, even though you have a pile of unread books waiting to be cracked open, give this one a chance. If nothing else, you’ll be a minute wiser.

You didn’t think I’d leave you with nothing, right?

“There are moments in life when we need to trust blindly in intuition.”

–Taken from the chapter, “The Path.”

Trust me on this one.

Written by Hannah Betz

A Defense of Science Fiction Literature

Blake StephensBy Blake Stephens

As a college student, and former English major, I can count on the fingers of one hand the classes I have taken in which we read anything you’d call science fiction. As an editor of FLARE, I can count on the fingers of the other hand the amount of submissions I’ve read that fit the genre.

This lack of representation in “distinguished” writing seems to be largely thanks to a cultural understanding that science fiction can only have the goal of escapism, the goal to entertain people who have nothing better to do than distract themselves from the real world. Science fiction, it seems, rarely has anything to strive for, any reason to exist, other than entertainment.

Okay, then, what’s fiction literature? Just a less-inventive way of doing the same thing? No, nobody will reduce it to that, not the old greats; it’s for talking about how you think the world works. It’s for drawing parallels, for making arguments about how people think, or should think.

So what’s the argument against science fiction? Why have I read thousands of works of fiction, and less than ten of science fiction, in my college career? One might say that science fiction is distracted by its invented features; that the attention isn’t on the characters, or the whims of fate, but on what shiny things and scary monsters the world has been populated with.

Though this may be fair to say for many works of science fiction, it isn’t true for all of them, any more than it’s true for all works of fiction. If one great goal of a work of literature is to show the author’s opinion of how people react to events and other people, then all that science fiction does differently is invent a wider range of things, without constraining itself to the world its author has actually seen, for characters and events to tie themselves to. In this way, the invented features of a work of science fiction can be, rather than incidental to its merit, one of the sources of its merit.

There are examples of this kind of sociological hypothesizing in classic stories like Fahrenheit 451 (“What would a modern world look like if books were outlawed?”) by Ray Bradbury, as well as in recent stories like the Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (“What would happen if someone invented a way to travel to alternate, untouched Earths?”), and The Road by Cormac McCarthy (“What what would life actually feel like in a post-nuclear North American wasteland?”). Rather than bowing to the standard of escapism, these stories use their protagonists as a means to explore the world they live in, and its differences from ours, on a personal level, rather than treating them as an end in themselves.

Science fiction has long suffered this stigma thanks to its looser attachment to reality, but this looseness is useful; it’s useful not only for getting a better look at reality, but for discussing what reality might conceivably look like in the future, and what changes the future could make to what exists now. The genre deserves the same dignity offered to realistic works, and the recognition that, just as fiction has both its pulp and its masterpieces, the creative realm of science fiction has masterpieces of its own.

 

Reasons to Reread Books

Eliott WonBy Elliot Won

I believe there are books that have to be reread. We read great works by different authors and continuously read books to expand our literary knowledge. Others may read just for leisure purposes. We are always exploring for more books to read as it may be more enjoyable than the one we read before or just free of choice. What draws you to your next book of choice? Is it the cover? Is it the author? Is it popular? Specifically in college, students may have to read books for their English classes and these books are correlating to the class’ required books for the course. The class required books may become an interest to you as well. But why reread books? Why reread classic books that you may have not read in awhile?

  1. Rereading a book you have read before gives you a better understanding of the book.

When you first finish a book, you may have read the book and understood the plot and the basic overall setting of the book. But, can you tear down those words in the book and understand the whole meaning that the author was trying to convey to you? Personally, when I reread great novels from the past, I can understand some foreshadowing to a conflict in the introduction prior to the climax.

2. Rereading a book you have read before may relate to the book you may have read recently.

When you reread a book, some things may be similar to the book you are reading now or you have read recently. It may be the plot, setting, or the characters’ roles of the book you have read recently that may relate to the book you are rereading. This will also help you to analyze the book much better than you will have if you read it once.

3. Rereading a book you have read before can help you to appreciate the old classics.

Lots of the time the book you may be rereading are classics. From Fitzgerald to Hemingway, you get to appreciate the work that they have written. These books are usually now turned into movies which allow you to compare how the book is similar or different from the movie. When you reread the book, you can also analyze the book to see if there are distinct changes from the book and the movie.

Overall, rereading a book can help benefit you for your pure literature knowledge. It allows you as a reader to better grasp the understanding of the book and to analyze the book more. It allows you to challenge yourself a reader to see if there are any special author styles that you may be able to use for your writing. It helps the reader to become effective writers by learning from the different methods and styles that the author used. Yes, you may have seen it before when you first read the book. But, like I have stated, rereading the book allows you to become better thinkers in literature and more knowledgeable.