Once more into the links, dear friends
This October has been relentless, not so much in terms of bad or good things happening but in terms of all the things happening all the time. There are just so many things that I lack the time to even figure out if they are bad or good. So many things all at once. You may be experiencing a similar phenomenon.
As a remedy, I’m going to pass along more things for you to choose to pay attention to. Unless you are out of attention to pay. No worries: most of these things are forces for good.
It’s worth giving a listen to this Sporkful episode about hunting for paw-paws if only to bask in the sheer joy that Sara Bir expresses when she finds a paw-paw patch.1 It’s like a contact high, her joy, and I am here for it.
The New York Times Presents4 is a documentary series on Hulu, FX, and Apple+. While the show made headlines because of its Britney Spears episodes,5 what drew me in were the stories on a house of wannabe TikTok influencers and on Juul.6
Since we’re talking about Apple+, Schmigadoon won me over and I might have a small crush on Keegan-Michael Key.
This is a quote from Lincoln Michel’s7 essay8 on the quirks of the publishing industry that make it hard to answer the question: how is your book doing?9 From my vantage point as a person who has published three books (buy them, please) with two different mainstream New York publishers, all of what Michel says rings true. It’s such a weird industry that is nearly impossible to explain it to outsiders. (And just as a personal example, you can do everything right, get a review in the New York Times, be tweeted about by Hillary Clinton, start to line up big TV interviews, and be poised to make some money, then have a global pandemic kick your legs out from under you, then be forced to account for the book’s poor sales a year later. Which … OK.10 But that’s not really the answer people want and doesn’t come close to explaining how publishing both does and really does not operate like a business.)
One last image I stole from the internet and then I’m off to process more things:
How is your October going? Are your things good? Bad? Undetermined as of now?
Side story: my sister-in-law brought us muffins made from Seattle-area paw-paws, which was a bit of a surprise because I didn’t know they grew there. They were all over the place in when we lived in Knoxville. Also: the paw-paw texture is a little too banana-y for me but your mileage may vary.
More to say: There is something beautifully British about this story.
Unless you like running into a war zone, which I am against for two reasons: a) I like not being shot and b) I like not creating an international incident that would require state department intervention to rescue my dumb ass when they have much better things to do.
I don’t know that they could have come up with a less interesting title. Seriously.
I can’t bring myself to watch them. Britney has been through some shit and I admire those who brought it into the light — but I don’t need to watch the shit unfold in front of me.
One of the players in the Juul story has the best redemption arc ever, btw. I actually gasped at the perfection at his current employment.
which is in his newsletter which I am quoting in this newsletter and it’s like Inception all up in here.
It’s a good question, mind, and one that well-meaning folks ask writers. Please keep asking — but know that the answer is complicated.
Note: people dying from a novel virus is waaaaay more important than my publishing career. I have chosen this industry. But I’d be lying if I weren’t a little bummed, still.