September Notes: Brown Girl Dreaming, DIY Seashell Necklaces, and the Horn Book Podcast

About this blog post: Each month, I send an email newsletter to friends on my list. Below is a condensed version of last month's letter.

Hooray, September! But... it's still September. Here are some things I'm reading, thinking about, and working on this month:

What I'm Reading

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life by Jessa Crispin, editor and founder of the popular and acclaimed (and now defunct) Bookslut. Where to find diverse books. Also: African American voices writing for young readers at the Brown Bookshelf. This article in the New Yorker has me all flummoxed, indeed, because "Wasn’t free self-expression the whole point of social progressivism?" Also from the New Yorker (archives), an oldie but a goodie: "In February, 1980, two months after the birth of my second child and the simultaneous end of my marriage, I fell madly in love with a huge apartment on the Upper West Side." by the late, great Nora Ephron. Ann Patchett on writing via Brainpickings: "I believe, more than anything, that this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can’t write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself.Digging the simplicity of Ann Friedman's website. Loving Mike Birbiglia’s 6 Tips for Making It Small in Hollywood. Or Anywhere. Yikes: A Fortress of Tedium: What I learned as a substitute teacher by Nicholson Baker. And the award for best subtitle goes to: "What she said." (The article itself is remarkable and inspiring, too.)

What We're Reading

Ivy & Bean Break the Fossil Record by Annie Barrows. Miss Nelson is missing! Speaking of classrooms: School's First Day of School by Adam Rex. The Minpins by Roald Dahl which, by the look on her face, may very well be scaring my preschooler but she insists "I love this" so it can't be all that bad. 

What I Wrote

DIY Seashell Necklaces on Dear Handmade Life. Refreshing your blog in the post-RSS era on Craft Industry Alliance (member's only journal article).

What I Heard + Saw

Jhumpa Lahiri at work. Just started Transparent, Season 3 and trying not to binge-watch. The pros and cons of living in an income-sharing commune from the Atlantic. Seth Godin and Brian Koppelman talk for the third time on The Moment. (So good.) The entirety of the Horn Book podcast, because kid-lit and free-thinking librarians rule.

Stuff I Did

Joined the North Carolina Letter Writing Project and am thrilled to be able to write to 20 awesome ladies in the Durham area about why I'm with her. Caught a superb night of theater in the East Village: The Collective NY's fest of moving, hilarious, and timely short plays. I fiiiiinally did away with my chronological blog in favor of a master list of the places, online spaces, tools, products, ideas, and things I love. I call it an unlikely compendium and you can check it out here, if you'd like.