Turn and face the strange ...
As cliche as it may be to use that lyric, the truth is that I've been a busy worker bee and sadly, haven't been updating this section as much as I'd like.
In the meantime, here are a few Cool Things to tide you over:
I'm a big live lit fan (see Cool Thing #1) and it bums me out that I don't have independent wealth—or independence—to devote my waking hours to writing and performing in backroom bars. Until I can live my dream as full-time writerly scamp about town, I savor the moments I do have at things like Funny Ha Ha. Come for the incredible live lit, stay for the low stakes culture, the collegiate dive bar vibe, and inevitably, the Tamale Guy.
My latest personal pub can be found at On the Corner, a series that highlights the intersections of this beloved second-to-none city. I wrote about the specific corner that hinged one chapter of my life to another. Enjoy and share and then tell me your favorite Chicago corner.
People who are moms or know moms—who aren't like regular moms, they're cool moms—basically just nice people who happen to have children and aren't insufferable about it: Subscribe to the Evil Witches Newsletter. It's great. And sometimes I contribute. But more importantly, it's necessary for people-folk of this maddening world.
Also, while you're subscribing, get on Ines Bellina's newsletter, A Cranky Guide to Happiness, especially if you are writerly-inclined. She's as delightful in person as she is on the page.
Speaking of writerly things, this pitch packet from Claire Zulkey is a shining, brilliant gem of a resource. Get it—for yourself, for your friends, for anyone and everyone.
And because I fell down a Sam Cooke wormhole to find the above link, enjoy this Sam Cooke Spotify playlist because his swoony croon is heavenly in every situation.
See you soon enough, friends!
And thanks for reading.
— All the links point to the author's page or a indie bookstore. I know Amazon is amazing for a lot of things but if you can, try not to outsource your culture and charming book-buying experience to a soulless e-commerce behemoth. Buy your toilet paper in bulk from Bezos, sure, but if possible, help out the independent bookstores in your town.
— ...Or use your library! I admit that when I rarely used the library in my 20s and early 30s. Now, it's not only my personal office, but also an endless source of books, movies, events, activities. Just walking in makes me love reading all the more and I take out more books than I can read.
— I like reading on an airplane and long train rides but I think I would especially love if that plane or train ride ended at one of these destinations. I mean, c'mon!
— When you can't jet-set around the world to visit incredible libraries? Lose yourself in an hour, (or ten) down the Pinterest rabbit hole. Just search "book nook ideas" and go nuts. The only downside is that you start looking at your current home as decrepit hovel without a book nook. Sorry about crushing your dreams.