fernweh lookbook.

In October, I emailed Katie of BIRD AND WILLOW asking her to put together a Fernweh lookbook. These lookbooks are full of pretty pictures and words of inspiration, and I'm so grateful for both her willingness to create this and the opportunity to share these photos and a visual representation of what fernweh means with you. Thank you so much, Katie!


for the love of pomegranates

At the heart of Fernweh is a desire to connect with individuals who are passionate about what they do -- whether that means writing, designing, cooking, shooting, painting, singing, crafting, or so on -- to highlight and celebrate the things that collectively make up our passions, dreams, and joys. We not only want to connect, but we hope to inspire, encourage, and cultivate an atmosphere of intentional living, filled to the brim with gratitude and joy over the simple, sometimes ordinary, lovely things of life.

I like to think that one of the things that brought us together is a mutual love of the wonderful Novembery fruit that we call pomegranates. So, from three of us to you, a few words, photos, and sentiments about this one fruit we so very much adore. Hopefully, it will inspire you to sit down and breath in deep, possibly with a friend, and maybe, over a pomegranate or two.


Directions for the very best November breakfast: One half of a ripe pomegranate.. Add an orange and a cup of coffee as desired. Best if eaten while reading F. Scott Fitzgerald or J.D. Salinger.

a photo + a recipe for spiced pomegranate apple cider

This is just a very small photo essay on a pomegranate. When I was younger and it was just my sister, parents, and I, my dad would come home with pomegranates for us to eat. It was a winter treat, a favorite memory, and we would sit at the table with him, shelling them to eat the seeds until our fingers were red and we had pink stains on our faces. Most of my friends didn't understand the fascination, or had never tried one, but come frosty days and mittens on fingers, we would go to the store to pick out red fruit to be taken home. Pomegranates are such a beautiful fruit, and an interesting one, and I wanted to show the loveliness in all of its stages.


three november poems.

I love winter. As much as I adore fall, my heart resonates with winter most of all. It is a time for thought, quiet contemplation, the slow uncurling of business to appreciate the here, the now, the present. Everything seems cozier, warmer, closer together, and there is a beautiful quiet that is so wonderful. November rolls around and I feel the need to write, to photograph, to sing, to cook, to make crafts and gifts, even more than before. It as if with the change of seasons, I remember how much I love and need to create.

Here's a photo and a few November/winter inspired poems for your day. What's your favourite season? And why?

much love .

fishing: a photo essay

carlotta cisternas


writing about writing | part one

Every week this month, we're going to talk to you about writing. We're going to tell you how crazy and how tired we are, how much black coffee we drank last night, how we've completely (literally) lost the plot. We're going to talk about trying to write 50,000 words in a month and we're going to talk about trying to finish a terrible terrible chapter and we're (hopefully) going to talk about finishing it too.

Libby says...
I managed to write about 4000 words today, furious typing sessions tied around my dinner. I was behind, and I'm just about up to date now. I'm clinging on with all my might, and if I slow down my writing pace I'm going to lose, but for now I'm right where I need to be.
I thought I would be further by now. Yes, I have found that once you start writing, you can't stop. But I want to write other things; I want to write about stupid crushes and the way the fog settles in the morning and my plans for the future. I don't want to write about some stupid cafe, the epicentre of my project. I get tired of focusing solely on this one grand story, this complex document of interlocking stories and characters that are supposed to stand alone and yet meld together perfectly. It is hard, and all that writing gets me ready to write other stuff, but it's not always conducive to meeting my daily targets. I am already fretting about how I'll get to 50000 words and having to replot and restructure my loose concepts that I began with.
But I've wrote this one piece today, about four pages, which just flew off my fingers. It flowed and I cried as I wrote it. It's not a perfect piece of writing, but I was writing something that felt shockingly honest and sort of beautiful (almost). It was productive towards my project and it was a good set of pages.
These moments are few and far between, but when they come I am reminded of why I am doing this. It's cathartic and freeing and horribly emotional.
It's important.

Katie says...
This is so, so much harder than I thought it would be. I'm collaborating with my friend Jillian, so I'm only writing half as many words as everyone else, but still...this is hard, people.
It's hard because I don't want to write about the things I'm supposed to be writing. Just like Libby said, the sheer volume of the words are hard, but it's not just the writing. I write best when I feel like it. The past few days? I haven't been feeling it. Jillian and I are way over our word goal, so we're not worried about that. And honestly, the one of the only two reasons I've written at all these past few days is because of 750words.com. I don't want to end my streak, and it's helped me with that.
And the other reason? The writing is always worth it.

Kendall says...
If you want to know the truth, I wrote exactly 0 words yesterday. I got home around 7:30, ate dinner, showered, and scrolled through Tumblr several times before deciding that I just didn't have it in me. So, yeah, this isn't going to be very inspiring or full of tips to help you succeed. I could do that, because theoretically I know what I should be doing, but it'd just be hypocritical when I'm this far behind. I started out the month writing about something I thought would be easy to write about. I thought it would be easy because it was basically my story, wrapped in the guise of fiction. But I didn't like that too much. I discovered pretty quickly that I like writing about my life and I like writing fiction but I don't like it when the lines blur. It should've been easy, but it wasn't, so three days in, I started over. I left the words I'd written, because it's November and if I've written words, I want them to count, dangit, but I've made them white so I can't see them. I started over and I'm excited for this new story. My problem isn't so much inspiration anymore, but factoring in time to work. Giving up has never been an option. So right now, I'm off to write.


staff picks

Phoebe Wahl's art. (pictured.)
I originally thought there was something wrong with me because I couldn't work this super-fancy nebula maker, but I finally figured it out.
Amy Seeley's beautiful collection.
A pretty couple, shot by Brooke Davis.
The work of Ariele Alasko.
C.O. Bigelow's rose salve saves Abbey's life.
I Am Who I Say I Am.
Gorgeous photos, gorgeous light.
Our very own Abbey has a recipe for pomegranate apple cider. (heaven.)
You are Jeff.
Goonies never say die. 


interview with Alexis Gavrelis

A month or so ago, I contacted Alexis Gavrelis in hopes of an interview. Alexis is more than a little famous around the tumblr world for her poetry. She's 17 years old and almost finished with her 366 poetry project. The first time I read one of her poems, it was two days before I graduated, and I was feeling so lost, and I read this poem that she had written, and realized that I wasn't the only person who felt this way. Ever since then, I've been keeping up with her poetry. She's an incredible writer, and I hope you enjoy this interview with her. 

Hi, Alexis! I have a phone call in 40 minutes and this shouldn't take that long, but we can go ahead and jump right in. So how old were you when you started writing?

Hmm I mean I've always been the kind of person that naturally gravitated toward writing, but I didn't really get into journaling and prose until about 3 years ago.

I definitely understand that! Did you read a lot when you were younger?

So much! I used to be really embarrassed about it because all of my friends were at a stage where reading was really lame, but I was still constantly reading. I think that's why I love writing so much. Everything I've ever read has influenced me in some way.

That idea has always been really interesting to me, because I read all the time, and it's like, how is what I'm reading impacting what I write? What kind of stuff you do like to read now? And what are your two or three favorite books?

I've been really into classics for the last year or so. I absolutely fell in love with used book stores so I love going into them and picking up the rattiest books I can find and checking them out. I'm really into the idea though that you can read literally whatever you want, as long as you're reading. My top three favorite books as of right now...gosh this is hard. Definitely Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and I really love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Used bookstores are the best. There's one in Indianapolis that I visited for a John Green event, and the bookstore is called Indy Reads. It's the prettiest bookstore I've ever been in. I LOVE Catcher & The Bell Jar, but I've never read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. What do you like about those three books, or how do they change what you write, if that makes sense?

I really love stories that I can project myself onto..if that makes sense. I read Catcher a few years ago and I was just kind like "uh ok?" but then I reread it just a few months ago and it's almost like a light clicked and I was like wait a second...I am Holden. It's the same way with The Bell Jar. I love the kind of books that I can read over and over again and take something differently from the story each time-- the kind of books you can keep in the bottom of your back and read whenever you find a free moment. I hope that makes sense.

It makes so much sense. Books like that are really special because you can grow into them, and as you keep growing, you find different parts of yourself inside of them.


Let's talk about your own poetry for a couple minutes. Did it freak you out when you started getting a lot of followers and people started telling you how much they loved your words?

Oh definitely. Before I started this project I was terrified of people reading my work. I rarely even let my closest friends read it, so when I started getting all of these followers and they started telling me how much they enjoyed it...I almost thought that they were just being nice in a way. It took one of my good friends to sit me down and say "Look, these people don't know you, they don't have to love what you do, but they do." and I think from then on I tried to get used to having them as my audience I suppose? And I let it humble me because I never for a second imagined that I would have so many readers or admirers and I am completely overwhelmed at the response I've gotten.

Do a lot of people who know you read what you write? And if so, how do you feel about that now, as opposed to when you first started your 365 project?

My friends follow it, and I'm sure people from my school have seen it. As the year has progressed I've gotten more comfortable with the idea of my work being accessible to anyone with a computer. My blog gives me a sense of anonymity, but at the same time allows me to showcase who I am as a person. Back in january I kept my journals locked away in my room, now I can go out in public and sit down at a table and write about what I see. I don't care about what people think so much anymore. I love writing, and I think the project has taught me how to be more open with that love.

That's really beautiful. I love to write, but I'm still at that point where sharing it with people who I know and love is really difficult. Has there been a response to your writing from a particular person, anonymous or not, that really meant a lot to you?

It will come in time, trust me. I think that sharing something as personal as my your words can make you so extremely vulnerable that it can be terrifying. So, I think the responses that I recieve that mean the most to me are the messages that tell me that I've helped them get through a night they thought they wouldn't. Or my words helped them get to sleep when all they thought they would do was stare at the ceiling. That's all I've ever wanted. I love to read because it's in reading that I know I'm not alone and if I can do that for someone else, especially someone I've never met, I've done what I've set out to do. I think it's so incredible that people connect with the jumbled mess in my head.

I think that's all anyone who writes ever wants. Okay, two more questions before I have to go. 1) What kind of music do you listen to when you write, and who are some songwriters who you really connect with? and 2) Is there a person or experience you've tried writing about, but just can't get the words onto the paper?

I have an ongoing playlist that I'm constantly adding to for when I write. I really love listening to Noah Gundersen, Regina Spektor, Ben Howard, and Bon Iver. I love anything that just lets my mind wander. Oh definitely. There are so many things I've been through that I can't seem to put into words. Or I have put them into words, but I don't think they'll ever be what I wish for them to be. A lot of first love experiences are hard, writing about certain people or certain moments where you felt so alive is hard. Whenever I get an idea I scribble it down wherever I can find a piece of paper and sometimes I'll go back and read it and think to myself "I just can't go back to that moment. I can't feel what I felt when I wrote those exact words." That's the tough thing about being a writer, you can try as hard as you want, but sometimes there are just some moments you'll never be able to put back into words. Sometimes moments are just moments, and memories are all you'll ever have.

That is so true and profound. Thank you so much, Alexis. It was wonderful talking to you, and I look forward to reading the rest of your 365 project!

Oh you're welcome, thank you a thousand times over for liking what I write enough to speak with me!

Thank you a thousand times over for writing it! Have a nice evening!

You too!

You can find Alexis at Twelve Odd Months, or at her personal blog here. Thank you so much, Alexis! 


mixtape for november

Here it is. Our mixtape for November. It's a long one, which is exactly what we need right now. It's got some of our (not-so) guilty pleasures (Norwegian girl bands, classical music, and Taylor Swift) and a whole lot of feel-good sounds for late morning sunrises and cool dusky evenings. 

Listen as needed. Take with a mug of something piping hot for best results. 



coffee shop monologue.

“This is my favorite song by my favorite band,” I said, as we stepped into the coffee shop and the telltale whistling that began Noah & the Whale’s song 5 Year’s Time started playing overhead. Visiting a brand new, not-Starbucks coffee shop is always an exciting experience. There’s the chance they won’t have any drinks you’re familiar with, or maybe their menus are all in French, or maybe there are only two tiny tables already taken up by regulars who glare at you over their full mugs. 

Solar Roast Coffee is on the corner of 3rd and Main, and it’s just a little too far away to bike or walk and I wished I lived in one of the apartments directly across the street. Like you’d expect from the name, sunshine floods the roomy space inside. Outside, it smelled like coffee and fall. I dropped my bag into one of two booths and smacked my psych textbook on the attached table. The barista handed me my drip brew, room for cream, and I navigated the puzzle of tables to the cream station then back to my booth. 

A familiar song started playing. I tilted my head to the side and threw my eyes up to the ceiling and mumbled under my breath, as if that would help me remember what song this was. Then came the typical aha moment, as I realized it was The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance. Vampire Weekend is always good, particularly on a fall day that felt more special than anything else. 

Psychology homework is hard to focus on at the best of times, but in a new place with so many details to notice while I had the chance, it was hard to keep my eyes on the page long enough to absorb the information. 

Starbucks is good in its consistency. It’s nice to know that whether I’m in Amman or Denver, I can find a Starbucks with the same drinks. That's comforting. 

Solar Roast was different though in a refreshing way that made me want to come back again and again. The windowsill that was the length of two booths was full of potted plants, the leaves and flowers growing out past the windowsill itself and touching gently onto our table. The far wall was painted with a sunrise, or a sunset maybe, like what a little kid would draw with a crayon gripped tight in her fist, the rays of sun stretching out from the bottom center and gradually expanding. A black leather couch was pushed up against that same wall, next to the fireplace that was empty then, but I imagine in the winter they light it. There was a potted cactus resting against a pillar -"Every Valentine's she sends me a potted cactus. It's like, thanks a heap, coyote ugly, this cactus gram stings even worse than your abandonment."- and it was a good reminder that Pueblo is almost the desert. 

The menu was hanging from the ceiling, illustrated with pictures and it was clearly separated by the different types of drinks. "Hey," I gestured to the sign, "next time I come here I want to try the Pueblo Mocha. It has hot chili peppers in it." My dad laughed. 

The light was warm. When I say warm, it's hard to describe what I really mean. What I mean is this: the walls were all painted yellow, and there were trees in the courtyard area outside that had bright gold leaves falling and blowing up against the windows, and it was just past noon so the sun was still bright but not as harsh as in the very middle of the day, and all these things blended together until it was like the entire coffee shop was painted with an acrylic color called "light" and this light smudged across the golden walls until the light itself made everything feel warm and welcoming.

The baristas knew every other customer by name, their faces lighting up with a cheery "hello!" whenever the door opened and someone new walked in. This is what I want. I want to be a regular in a place where someone knows my name. I want to have a drink that I order every time, and I want to surprise them when I deviate from my normal. I want to claim the black couch as my own on winter evenings, and spread my homework and my laptop across the table and smile at the new kid when she walks in, her eyes shifting from side to side as she takes in this indie coffee shop that's far different from the Starbucks she's used to. 


wardrobe remix

image source
Here are a few links to help you update your wardrobe for this season for next to nothing...because cheap is good, right?

diy polka dot sleeved sweater via refinery29 || diy peter pan collar via honestly wtf || heart shaped elbow patch tutorial from a beautiful mess || make a hi-low skirt in 15 minutes via rookie mag

And when all else fails, all hail the thrift stores!


Special NaNoWriMo November Desktop!

Despite it being veryveryvery late today, the November desktop is here! And as a special treat (and a nod to some of our writers and readers who are participating in Nano), this month is a National Novel Writing Month Calendar, complete with daily word counts, mini pep-talks, to-do lists, and plot twists. Are you doing Nanowrimo this year? Leave us a comment below with your profile! And make sure to tweet along your progress, nano woes and successes, and updates by using the hashtag #fernwehnano. Happy November!