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Grace in Small Things No. 557

  1. Plaid flannel shirts make me feel at home. I own about four of them.
  2. The weather is steadily getting warm enough that I will leave my house today! This hint of the coming spring is enough to make me open the windows prematurely.
  3. I love the soft feel of just-this-side-of-melt snow compressing under the ball of my boot.
  4. Kaleidoscopes.
  5. My dishwasher's sloosh sloosh sloosh in the evening when the day is done rocks me into quietness.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in Grace in Small Things, a community for acknowledging and growing gratitude.

On Being a Fish On Dry Land and the Thread of Anxiety Deep In the Bones

On Being a Fish On Dry Land and the Thread of Anxiety Deep In the Bones

Some days are hard. February is hard. March is hard.

I was standing in a tiny grocery store the other day, white-knuckling some chapstick in my coat pocket while I stared into a dairy case and coached myself to breathe, because I needed to pretend to the staff that I was shopping for cheese instead of panicking about them offering me assistance. I knew my mouth wouldn't operate properly if they did. It would open and close without breathing any air like a gawping fish when it is pulled out of water.

10 Things I Liked Enough to Show You: 21–27 February 2015

Andy Shauf's "Covered In Dust":

There is little else more Canadian than CBC's song "Blog Writer's Waltz" (which is, of course, a spoof on the 1979 Canuck favourite "Log Driver's Waltz").

Chuck Wendig's "25 Ways to Write a Real 'Page-Turner' of a Book":

Said it before: the question mark is shaped like a hook. The question (i.e. mystery) is bait. The question mark at the end of a question is the hook that sets in the cheek of the reader and drags them along. Populate the work with mysteries big and small. Mysteries of all types, too — mysteries related to character, to big plot, to subplot, to worldbuilding and metaplot, to backstory, to future happenings, and on and on. Every chapter should contain some iota of mystery, for it is the question that keeps them reading.

Dimitri Tokmetzis' "Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Baby Photos Online" on Medium is a good heads-up about why you should check your privacy settings where you post and store text and photos. Sites shift what privacy settings mean over time, so now's as good a time as any to recheck them on Facebook, Flickr, and anywhere else you keep stuff.

Yoko Ono's "Don't Stop Me!" at Imagine Peace is killer good, because she's right: "dancing in the middle of an ageism society is a lonely trip."

"William S. Burroughs, The Art of Fiction No. 36", an interview at The Paris Review

…it is unfortunately one of the great errors of Western thought, the whole either/or proposition. You remember Korzybski and his idea of non-Aristotelian logic. Either/or thinking just is not accurate thinking. That's not the way things occur, and I feel the Aristotelian construct is one of the great shackles of Western civilization.

And the Absurd Height of Creepy Dysfunctionality Award goes to Love's Baby Soft for this 1975 ad: I told Aidan that I'm going to go as the woman in this ad for Halloween and spend the whole night licking my lollipop in that creepy, non-licking way she has. Shudder.

"How to set up Facebook Legacy Contact. And why everyone should do it right now." at Cool Mom Tech problem-solves what will happen to your Facebook account when you die.

Debra Monroe's "‘You’re in Trouble. Am I Right?': My Unsentimental Education" at Longreads:

James had read up. He’d practiced on acquaintances, none of whom he’d loved, he told me. He knew better than I did that delay, a perfectly-timed pause and then another, made fulfillment more intense. I was a host of emotion. I felt self-conscious, grateful, powerful, rattled, languid, necessary. What phrase covered this? I said I love you too, though I’d lately told myself in my room, staring at the ceiling, the unpredictable future, to say so carefully this time.