writing ambitions laid out and fun-sized


I attended the 22nd Annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium at Rutgers-New Brunswick in November and it was FANTASTIC. I loved being there and I was so glad I took a day off from work to attend! I wish I blogged about it immediately since a lot of my experiences are now lost to the ether, but I’m glad I was able to take photos of the little book I produced. Asha Ganpat created this awesome interactive registry project where you had until lunch to fill it out. And my god it was so much fun and cathartic to do!

I always wanted to make my own tiny book and here was my chance. I could’ve wrote anything in it. I could’ve kept it for myself as well. (I really really wanted to when I was done) But I decided to follow through with the instructions and dropped it in the vending machine. I never got to use a token but the vending machine was already open and I dipped my hand in (while kinda cheating cuz I saw what was inside each book) and picked out an Emily Dickinson poem. Once I find that plastic bubble, I’ll share which one it was. It was really cool to read it.


I confess I stayed in the lecture hall while everyone else was eating lunch to fill this up. I thought I was becoming more outgoing but I’m an introvert through and through. I wanted to so badly finish it before the conference ended. I also had lunch with Christian at a great Mexican restaurant nearby. That enchilada was amazing.


The first page reads:

The books I’ll write will:

  • Leave you less lonely
  • Destigmatize mental illness
  • Feature Filipina-American protagonists
  • Emphasize inner beauty more than outer


Page 2:

  • Be extensively and excessively detailed
  • Make you want to write in return
  • Expand your worldview
  • Start a conversation
  • Take you by the hand
  • Dive deep and make you uncomfortable

Page 3:

  • Try hard to impress you
  • Connect and connive
  • Be catharsis and evisceration
  • Smell really good
  • Encourage to be outspoken and true
  • Keep close to your heart ❤
  • Put volumes in your eager hands


Page 4:

  • Express the taboo and unspeakable
  • Be dirty and as delicate as possible
  • Burn your hope brighter
  • Stir something within you
  • Push you beyond hesitation
  • Lose your breath & make you pause

Page 5:

  • Incorporate footnotes, colored texts, highlights, photos, art, stylized fonts, graphics, charts, definitions, soundtracks, fill in the blanks, poetry, interviews, flash fiction, lyric essays, short stories, metafiction, letters, more


Page 6:

  • Interactive with pull out ephemera like fortune cookie slips, bookmarks, newspapers, zines, paper dolls, sealed envelopes, usable tickets, diary entries, programs, secret messages, stains

Page 7:

  • Joint comics
  • Companion apps
  • Alternative reality games
  • Walking tours
  • Traveling interactive exhibits
  • Playlists
  • Social media for ALL characters
  • Reader submissions
  • Extravagance


Page 8:

In time, I hope I can. Thank you!

Eileen Ramos

@eintervital (on twitter and instagram)


(you’re already here haha)

Take care!

I can’t wait to return in the fall! I wish I knew about it sooner, but oh well, it’s cool. The receiver never contacted me which I should’ve expected but also cool. I’m just glad I did it. I wonder what the subject of the next tiny book I’ll make will be?

There is an open call at Drop Forge and Tool in Hudson, NY. They’re accepting ALL miniature books until May 15th. It’s being co-hosted by The Creativity Caravan which was also at the NJ Book Arts Symposim!  I loved their presentation and I wish I saw all those tiny books before the tour ended but oh well. Consolation prize, here’s the video and some photos. Anyway here’s that open call and they’d like to know what knowledge you would share in mini book form. I want to submit but I don’t know how to create a mini book. Though I do have Esther K. Smith‘s How To Make Books. Maybe she’ll have some tiny book tutorials, I should read it anyway.

I hope I follow through with some of these aspirations. I truly believe that I have the potential to fulfill all of them, which is a scary thought. Ambition and confidence can lead to arrogance and hubris. I hope I never get greek tragedied but I like to think I’ll get to some level of acclaim. It’s a strange though to think but I think it’s actually possible.

Let’s see where it leads. You with me?



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