2. I Talked to 150 Writers and Here’s the Best Advice They Had. This is an older post (2017) but still relevant. “Joe Fassler on Seven of the Most Common Writing Tips.”
3. Can Dogs Make Us Better Writers? “Anna Bruno on How Canines Make Humans More Human.”
5. Ambition, a poem from Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.
6. The Dewdrop, “a digest of reflective and powerful writing focused on reading, writing and being. We are immersed in poetry, essays and book excerpts that draw on classic texts as well as contemporary writing. Grounded in Zen Buddhism, The Dewdrop is interested in every faith background as well as writers who don’t identify with any formal tradition.”
8. You are not behind, an important message from Jes Baker.
10. Study Finds Doctors’ Weight Loss Advice Is Rarely Effective from Ragen Chastain.
11. Recipes I want to try: Magic Cookie Bars, and Whole Wheat Chocolate Oat Cookies, and Donut Sticks, and Chewy Ginger Cookies, and Homemade Taco Seasoning. In what seems like related news, Margarine and butter prices are soaring. Here’s why. and Egg prices have soared 60% in a year. Here’s why.
12. Joel Cross “Shake It Off.” (video) “Joel Cross performing Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Oct. 3, 2015.” I love it when musicians take a song someone else did in a distinctive way and make it their own, recognizable but also something new.
13. A Reading List on Being a Black Man in Contemporary America. “J.M. Holmes, author of ‘How Are You Going to Save Yourself,’ on books that portray African American men in complex and nuanced ways.”
14. Job interviews are a nightmare — and only getting worse. “Employers are constantly finding new hoops for candidates to jump through.”
15. A Fake Death in Romancelandia on The New York Times. “A Tennessee homemaker entered the online world of romance writers and it became, in her words, ‘an addiction.’ Things went downhill from there.”
16. There Will Be Pain, There Will Also Be Loss. “Kindness is a warmth that cannot be replaced. I believe that kindness is love in action.”
19. Making Black Literature More Accessible Could Help Literacy Rates. (video) “‘Access is the only thing that can influence literacy rates’ — Semicolon is a bookstore and gallery focused on Black literature. Here’s how it’s making a difference for BIPOC communities.”
20. A Wake from Robert Jones Jr. “For most Americans, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day of dreaming. For me, it is a wake.”
21. If I Were… on A Grace Full Life. This looks fun.
22. Some things I didn’t know about The Body Keeps Score and its author. You always hear how important this book is, and I’ve tried to read it multiple times but have only ever gotten less than halfway through.
23. Why your new diet is antiblack. “Da’Shaun Harrison on the violent intersections of anti-Blackness and anti-fatness.” More important than being certain in the rightness of your opinion is being aware of all the possible perspectives on an issue because I’ve found that no matter what I think, I’m always missing something.
24. Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower: Rilke’s Timeless Spell for Living Through Difficult Times. As beautiful as Rilke’s poem is Maria Popova’s introduction to it here: “There are times in life when the firmament of our being seems to collapse, taking all the light with it, swallowing all color and sound into a silent scream of darkness. It rarely looks that way from the inside, but these are always times of profound transformation and recalibration — the darkness is not terminal but primordial; in it, a new self is being born, not with a Big Bang but with a whisper. Our task, then, is only to listen. What we hear becomes new light.”
27. New York Expands Green Burial Options With Human Composting. “The Empire State becomes the sixth in the US to legalize the eco-friendly burial alternative.”
29. I Needed to Stop Apologizing for My Authentic Self. “Keeping my head in the clouds helped me bypass the shame that kept me in the closet.”
30. AI’s Best Trick Yet Is Showering Us With Attention on The New York Times Magazine. “Face filters and selfie apps are so compelling because they simulate limitless interest in what we look like.” In related news, AI can’t kill anything worth preserving.
33. I Have Arrived, I Am Home – Documentary About Thich Nhat Hanh (Trailer). (video) “Made specially for the first anniversary of the passing of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘I Have Arrived, I Am Home’ is a new documentary from filmmaker Max Pugh (A Cloud Never Dies, Walk With Me). The film includes footage and commentary on Thich Nhat Hanh’s return to his native Vietnam, where he lived from 2018 until his passing on 22 January 2022. The international Plum Village Community is making this film available to everyone on January 21st for free to honor our dear teacher and inspire viewers to walk the path of mindful living.”
35. How Influencers are Killing a Sacred Tradition. (video) “White Sage is a sacred plant to Southern California’s Native people. It has been swept up in the wellness craze thanks to social media and celebrities like the Kardashians. This is the story of what happens when a marginalized culture’s sacred tradition goes viral – including the birth of a black market.”
38. Allison Mae Photography has a new website. Her dog photography makes me so happy.
39. The Madwoman in the Other Apartment. Because this: “Sometimes grief is like a water balloon. You carry it around all the time, shift it from hand to hand, and sometimes you drop it, and sometimes it breaks. Always this awkward, breakable, explodable thing that you have to juggle. You get good at it, so you almost forget it’s there. But then, oops, splat. There goes another one. You can never put it down. Can you feel it, the water balloon, in your hand even now?”
41. Wisdom from Ram Dass: “When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying, ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
43. We need boredom to live better lives. But social media is destroying it. “When boredom creeps in, many of us turn to social media. But that may be preventing us from reaching a transformative level of boredom.”