I have returned to the land of pizza rats and waterfall subway stations! Thanks, I hate it. Only slightly, though. I did think about what I wanted to share with y’all when I was away, though. Without further ado: I wrote a children’s book, about queer heroes throughout history, and you can pre-order it now.
It was illustrated by Sarah Tanat-Jones and Sarah did an amazing job, I want a bunch of the pages framed not because of what I wrote but because THEY’RE JUST SO BEAUTIFUL. This was such a fun, restorative project I sneakily did in between writing other things (which you will eventually see…..later, I suppose). I hope you buy it for all the babies in your life! I will talk more about in closer to the pub date in May, but in case you didn’t hear about it before… yeah. Ha.
In other news. Here is a preliminary toolkit for 2019. I would have sent it New Years Eve but I wanted to just enjoy my days and not be near the computer until today, so. One of my resolutions is to be offline a lot more.
New Years Practice: Cast a Spell with adrienne maree brown, on the Healing Justice Podcast. My friend sent this to me a few days ago and I love it (and adrienne maree brown) so much
YearCompass (free download and printout) - Every year I do something my friend Danielle calls an Uberlist. It’s something me and some of the O.G. ROOKIE staff have done since 2014. Now I do mine privately but it’s basically just a more intense version of this compass printout. My uberlists tend to be like, 10 points for each category, and I usually do almost all of them by the end of each year. There are some bigger points I haven’t gotten around to crossing off yet, and they’ve carried over each year, but I still try to get them done!
Some useful google docs to share with you:
Some books I’ve really enjoyed the past month or so:
The History of Love - Nicole Krauss. I picked this up at the used bookstore in Saratoga Springs and I am enjoying it so much! If you pick this up you will totally see what page is my favorite without me having to point it out.
Little Nothing - Marissa Silver. I couldn’t put this down. What a perfect first page! FLOWWAAAAAAAAHHHHHH. Anyway I finished this in one sitting. Made me wanna write fiction. What a delightfully odd book.
Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil - Deborah Nelson. I’ve been thinking so much about what it means to good writer and a good person, and this sense of obligation the internet has seemed to teach people about what it means to have anything to say at all. I really enjoyed Nelson’s criticism and analysis of so many writers I really love. It also made me revisit a lot of Didion, particularly On Morality. But this paragraph by Didion, especially:
We are not idealized wild things. We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.
The introduction to Tough Enough is so good and concise about why I love these writers, too:
Unsentimentality is not a cure or even a palliative to the suffering that consumes our headlines and newsfeeds. Its offers a troubled and troubling encounter with the shared world that produces such suffering. Facing facts in the terms laid out here does not mean simply knowing them, which is why the aesthetic component of this project is so important. If facts alone could lead us to the promised land—facts about climate change, gun violence, terrorism, war, racial prejudice, economic inequality—then we already live in a paradise of facts. The problem is not that we do not know what is happening but that we cannot bear to be changed by that knowledge. The women I discuss in the following pages all insist that we should be changed, however much we give up in the process.
Okay! Hope you have a good rest of your day. xo