What’s The Commonplace?

For centuries, people have kept commonplace books as a way of collecting the things that mattered most to them — usually wise words from people, thinkers, artists, and writers they admired.

A Common Place is also a shared space to have meaningful conversations in meaningful places, a beloved sacred act to share with people this side of heaven.

Additionally, as dwellers on this shared dirt, a Common Place should be one of our highest values: prioritizing the care of the collective, common good for the betterment of us all. We become more human, more who we’re made to be, when this rises to the top of our motives for doing what we do.

All these are commonplace — ordinary yet sacramental — and these three myriad meanings describe this corner of the internet.

Hi! I’m Tsh Oxenreider.

I write books and other sundry, and I’m slowly eking out my first novel. I also podcast, lead pilgrimages, and teach English to high schoolers, though my favorite titles are wife and mom. I’m a nomadic homebody besotted with wanderlust and a 4w5 INTJ Ravenpuff newly-minted Catholic (after a lifetime of being Protestant) with more questions than answers, and if you get the gist of what I’m saying with any of those things, you’re my people.

Part intrepid pilgrim and scrutinizer of cultural oddities, part whimsical homebody and charming troglodyte, my name really and truly is spelled correctly. You pronounce it as though there’s an i, like Tish, unless you’re a coffee shop barista, in which you pronounce it Lucy because you give them a fake name to avoid the hassle.

I also love exploring the world, but like you, I don’t get to as often as I’d prefer. While the backpacks wait in our closet until our next adventure, stories keep me occupied — books, movies, essays, and beyond.

The Commonplace is written for folks who want to know the world’s nooks and crannies (and the people who live in them), whether it’s by being there first-hand, or with a drink in a favorite chair, absorbed in a great story. It’s about asking honest questions about belonging, exploring, home, faith, placemaking, and really good stories.

You’ll receive my free weekly letter called 5 Quick Things, as well as quarterly essays about what’s most on my mind.

If this sounds good to you, I’d love you to subscribe for free:

What else?

You might want to take it a step further and become a paying subscriber.

If you enjoy the things I create — podcast episodes, books, essays, and beyond — your involvement goes a long way in making those things happen. It’s only a few dollars per month (and even less annually).

Why? Well, mostly because it’s lovely to pay writers and artists for their work. We’re so used to finding almost everything we want on the internet for free that we forget that it’s real human beings who work hard to create the stuff we love. It’s good to pay for the good stuff out there because it helps that good stuff continue.

We pay for magazine subscriptions, streaming subscriptions, movie tickets, meals at restaurants, and more — why wouldn’t we pay for the independent writers, artists, and makers as well? It’s a tangible way we can vote with our dollars for more goodness in the world. Let’s counteract the dumpster-fire drama and vitriolic yelling with what’s beautiful, good, and true.

When you subscribe to The Commonplace, you’ll receive weekly 5 Quick Things and quarterly essays, but also monthly essays or audio files from me you won’t find elsewhere, community chats, and other delights throughout the year: summer and fall book chats, a spring book exchange, occasional in-person gatherings, and more.

Regardless of whether you stick to just 5 Quick Things for free or become a paying subscriber of The Commonplace… thank you. It’s an honor to do the work I do, and it wouldn’t happen without readers! I’m grateful to have you reading.

xo, Tsh