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5 Quick Things #279 🐦
writing funks, publishing blurbs, phone loss, & seagulls with pepperoni
We're camping again this weekend, so once again, as you're reading this I'm somewhere out in nature. Don't worry, in a few months it'll be all scorched-earth around these parts, and you northerners will be gallivanting it up in that glorious thing y'all call summer. Right now, we have our spring weather and we're soaking it all up while we can. There is, however, a chance of thunderstorms (because Texas), so fingers crossed the clouds cooperate. If not, we'll either make good memories or head home and transition into a living room movie marathon.
I also had a graduation meeting this week, which truly blows my mind because it means my baby girl will be DONE WITH HIGH SCHOOL IN SIX WEEKS. What in the world? Some of y'all have been reading my words since I first hopped online with a blog when she was TWO YEARS OLD. Sometimes I still feel like a recent college graduate, and here she is, going off to university later this fall... Such a cliché, I know, but time flies.
Prepare yourself to hear much more about this in the coming weeks. I apologize for nothing.
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. I confess that so far in 2023, I’ve had a hard time writing. I’m not worried about it because I’ve been in phases like this before, and I know it’ll pass. But nonetheless… I’m in a writing funk. I have stuff to say about that, and ironically, I’ll probably write about it sometime soon here in The Commonplace. In the meantime, though, this essay has been a solace to me this week. If you’re a writer who doesn’t feel like writing these days — or heck, if you’re a X who doesn’t feel like X-ing these days — you may find a bit of encouragement, too.
2. Here’s an interesting pull-behind-the-curtain of the Christian publishing industry, and how most blurbs for books don’t mean anything. I love that Katelyn says the quiet part out loud.1
3. Goodness, this is a beautifully written essay on the simple joy of losing your phone while traveling in a foreign country. There are some great bits in there, like this one: “Today, restaurant menus are a casualty of Covid. If you obdurately insist that the QR code doesn’t work for you, the long-suffering waiter might read you the menu off his own phone, like a French maître d’ presenting a rarefied prix fixe experience to the Unabomber.”
5. And finally, in class this week I showed to my students this brilliant reading of a hilarious letter by Benedict Cumberbatch. I could smell the room as he read it… 🤢2
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“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke #
What’s the best Easter candy? 🍬
I’ll admit that I’m not a big candy person in general — give me ice cream or a baked good any day. But I see that, once again, you all are my people. Good ol’ plain chocolate is indeed a gift from God. Pretty sure I can’t say the same thing about Cadbury Creme Eggs and for sure about Peeps.
Find this week’s poll here.
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Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
How can you get out in nature this weekend?
Have a good one,
For what it’s worth, I say no to almost every request for a book endorsement that comes my way because of this very reason — I’ve learned the hard way that I need to read 100% of a book before I can give my authentic thumbs up. That means if you see my name on a book published after, say, 2017 or so, it means I actually read the whole thing. That’s not true for a whole lotta blurbs.
On another note, how fantastic was his Canadian accent? Much improved since this most excellent tweet.
Yes, even though the Rob Inglis version is great, I actually prefer this one.