Wednesday, August 1, 2018

IWSG & the American Writers Museum


Hello, friends! Today is the August meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group. The group was founded by our Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. To view list members and this month's co-hosts, visit the IWSG page here.

I am feeling a little insecure today as I didn't get any of the writing done that I wanted to in July, but I still had a good month and took a fun little road trip to Chicago, so I'm going to focus on that instead. I went to Chicago to see Hamilton, which was fantastic, but I ended up also visiting the American Writers Museum, which was amazing!

I'd never heard of this museum but my niece discovered it and we decided to head there since it was only a few blocks from our hotel. The museum only occupies one floor of a large building, but we spent several hours there and I feel like I could easily have spent much more time exploring the compelling and inspiring interactive exhibits.

Here are a few highlights of my visit. 

The Children's Lit Gallery was adorable, with large banners depicting famous works, including one of my childhood favorites Goodnight Moon.


"Goodnight comb and goodnight brush" ❤❤
The best was a mural depicting a tree full of squirrels all reading books, including a squirrel pondering over Gertrude Stein. So cute!





The center of the museum included a timeline of key events in American history and famous writers of the time.


And the ceiling was filled with books!


My favorite exhibit was the Word Waterfall, which initially looks like walls of unconnected words, but then lights up various segments to reveal famous quotations that reflect the American experience.


Images created by the lights, such as the Statue of Liberty in the above case, along with sounds such as ocean waves and birdsong, combine with the words to create a truly inspiring and mesmerizing display.

If you're ever in the Chicago area, I can't recommend this museum enough. There is something for every writer and reader to enjoy and I'd return in a heartbeat if I lived closer.

I hope all is well with everyone and I wish you all a Happy August!

44 comments:

  1. What a cool museum. I ever get to Chicago, I will go there.

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  2. I love Chicago! My sister lives there and I plan to meet up with family there for Thanksgiving, so maybe we will check it out. I've done a lot more traveling and socializing than writing this year--you are not alone.

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  3. I wish I'd known about this museum years ago when I was there with my daughter! Don't worry about not writing, it'll come, it always does when time permits, right?

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  4. I would love to visit that museum! I loved Goodnight Moon - seeing that banner brought back memories :-)

    Cheers - Ellen

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  5. Love this, Julie! I think my favorites are the books in the ceiling and your description of the Word Waterfall.

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  6. Love that word waterfall. I'd put that on a wall in my house. :)

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  7. Sounds like an amazing museum. I'll have to remember that if I ever go to Chicago.

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  8. This museum in Chicago looks super. I would love to visit it.

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  9. Now that sounds like a museum I'd love to visit! And why aren't there more them around the country? And why aren't they as big as say... the Smithsonian?

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  10. I'm a sucker for just about any kind of museum, but that one in Chicago sounds fantastic! (Not to mention unique.) Don't feel badly about not accomplishing all the writing you wanted to do in July. Sometimes a step back and a little outside inspiration is just what we need to stoke the embers back into flames. THIS month... this month, you'll write.

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  11. I've been to the Writers Museum too, and I loved it; I think it's about time that they devoted a museum to writers. And a trip to Chicago can definitely help get your creative juices flowing for your writing. But I guess you could say I'm biased, seeing as how I lived in Chicago for more than a decade and love that city. :)

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  12. Oh how fun! I love all the books on the ceiling.

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  13. Thank you so much for the trip through the Writers Museum. What a delightful place to spend time. I think your road trip to Chicago was well worth it.

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  14. That really sounds wonderful, Julie. I'd love to see that. Thanks for the pictures!

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  15. Wow! That sounds like an amazing museum. I'm glad you got to go and share it with all of us!

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  16. As long as you had a good month, that's all that matters.

    That looks like a museum I'd have a blast at. :)

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  17. What a wonderful experience. I'll go if I ever get to town. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  18. I visited last year and this museum is amazing! You are right - there is so much to do - read, actually, one could easily spend more than a day there. I loved the tree mural with the reading squirrels - I posted some pics of it on my own post about the visit, but photos just don't do the detail justice.

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  19. That museum looks awesome! I basically got nothing done in July, so you're ahead of me. Go you!

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  20. I've never heard of the American Writing Museum. The next time I fly home, I must put that on my list of places to visit.
    Enjoyed your article.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  21. How wonderful is that museum! Thanks for sharing it with us. July went by in a blur. I didn't get anything done either.

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  22. That museum looks amazing. I will definitely check it out if/when I'm ever in Chicago. Thanks for the post. Hope your writing is going well. Happy August! :)

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  23. Definitely sounds very inspiring and a good pick-me-up for any writer. I've never heard of any such museum in the UK. There should be one!

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  24. That sounds so cool. I would love to see that.

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  25. Julie, thanks for suggesting that museum. I've never heard of it. I'll have to check it out since I only live about 1.5 hours away.

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  26. What an extraordinary place! I'd never heard of it, but if I'm ever in Chicago you betcha I'll make a stop there. Thanks for sharing, Julie!

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  27. Hi Julie - certainly if I was in Chicago ... I'd be in there like a shot - sounds delightful and I bet they put on excellent exhibitions ... cheers Hilary

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  28. Glad you had fun in Chicago. It's such a great city. I'd love to see Hamilton. Sometimes it's important to have fun instead of write.

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  29. What a wonderful place to find!

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  30. That museum looks absolutely awesome.

    We're waiting for Hamilton's London tickets to be released for Easter. Hoping to snap them up as soon as they are!

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  31. That sounds like an amazing museum!

    And if it's any comfort, I haven't been getting any writing done, either. Misery loves company, right?
    —Rebecca
    My IWSG Post

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  32. So cool, now I want to go. Love the pictures. Happy belated IWSG.

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  33. Wow, the American Writers Museum seems beyond incredible! How cool that you got to see all that in person. Glad the trip you took last month ended up being such a fun experience!

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  34. Wow, what a fabulous museum, I'd love to go there one day! Great post :)

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  35. I've never heard of that museum either, thanks so very much for sharing! My niece is moving to Chicago this month and I think she would love this. I'm moving to Columbus, just up the road from you! Thanks for dropping by my blog...

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  36. I love it when you stumble across museums like this. It looks fascinating. Glad you enjoyed your trip to Chicago.

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  37. A Word Waterfall? Books on the ceiling? LOVE IT!
    This museum sounds fab... a place I'd love to visit!

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  38. You will find your way back to writing and not being discouraged. I would love to visit this museum! I know my best friend and I would be lost in it for quite the while. I would send my hubby somewhere as he would go through it much quicker than me

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  39. That museum sounds fabulous! If and when I ever get to Chicago, it will be on my to-see list. Wishing you a happy and productive August, too :)

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  40. Sweet! We were just in Chicago...er 10 days ago? Instead of taking in a museum and show, we went for the cheese. Mmm. Pizza potpies... So, so yummy.

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  41. The museum sounds spectacular. I love the tree with the squirrels. I would probably never want to leave. The pictures are fantastic too. Take good care of yourself.

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  42. Looks like a cool museum. Many years ago, when I was in Leningrad (when it was still Soviet Union), I walked the streets looking for Dostoyevsky's appartment, which is made int a museum. In the end I found it >:)

    Cold As Heaven

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  43. What a great museum! Next time we head to Chicago to hold our grandson, I want to go there.

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  44. So cool! I want to see it someday now:)

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Thank you for your comments!