Toast, dinosaurs and Instadogg.
1. It’s hard not to be a superfan of Roxane Gay, who published two great books this year, An Untamed State and Bad Feminist, which both made the New York Times best-seller list, and are about as awesome as books can get. The website The Toast just made her the editor-in-chief of their offshoot site called The Butter. As Gay explains, ‘The Butter will focus on cultural criticism and personal essays that make readers think and feel.’ Is anyone else out there really excited about this? I am raising both my hands (even as I type).
2. The journal Lana Turner has always produced amazing content, but lately they have just been hitting it out of the park. They are defining how and what we value in contemporary literature and what conversations we should be having. Up on the site now, you can read a super great piece by Juliana Spahr called ‘Non-Revolution’, some mind-blowing new poems by Catherine Wagner and Cathy Park Hong’s groundbreaking and viral hit, ‘Delusions of Whiteness in the Avant-Garde’, which is furthering a step in a conversation we should be having right now.
3. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a devotee of resin jewellery and bejewel and bedangle all that I can with the stuff. If you at all marvel at what plastic can do, especially when it is near you in an everyday fashion, and you haven’t heard of the Australian resin company Dinosaur Designs, you really need to check it out. Not only do I covet all of their pieces, I am so inspired by the story of the co-founders, Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, who are trained studio artists but have extended their love and integrity of the truly beautiful into the commercial marketplace. Their continued success (they just opened a new store in London) to me signals the rise of the artisanal entrepreneur. We’ve seen it run rampant on sites like Etsy and it’s nice to know that there are still ways for artists to love and do their craft and make some sort of income from it, generally on their own terms. Hey, it’s not enough of a rise, but it’s a start! And if you are in NYC and visit their store on 211 Elizabeth St, please tell them I sent you.
4. The author Sarah Gerard just started a kickstarter campaign to fund the tour for her new book, Binary Star, coming out in January of next year with Two Dollar Radio. Flavorwire just picked up the story as worthy to note and it does highlight a time in the literary and publishing world where most authors have to fund their own book tours. I think this is such an important reality that we should be thinking about. Plus, I am heartened that many of us are pitching in and supporting her, because this means that we are all are going to be rewarded soon when she visits our towns and cities to read from her new book.
5. I am obsessed with Snoop Dogg’s Instagram feed. Not only does he generously give us uplifting messages several times daily to ignore the haters and keep on going (I am still trying, Snoop), but he often includes pictures of dogs and babies saying pretty witty stuff, pictures and videos from all legs of his tours and also creates characters just for the feed that have mini-episodes interacting with Snoop’s world and his friends. I really think if we all followed him, the world would be a sweeter and definitely merrier place.
Cover image © SportSuburban, 1956 kitchen, 2012