THE THING IS, BY ELLEN BASS

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

– Ellen Bass 

 

FUN LINKS

As it’s Thanksgiving weekend coming up, I’m going to up my link quota.

Writing
Nanowrimo Punctuation Tips
How to properly use dashes, hyphens, parentheses, quote marks (double and single), apostrophes, ellipses, brackets, slashes, question marks, and exclamation points.

Dating and Inspiration
The Craziest OkCupid Date Ever
They traveled 8 countries in 21 days. With no luggage and no money.
They visited all the places I’ve always wanted to go: Turkey, Croatia, Hungary, except they did it in a way that I can only recreate in my imagination.

Productivity
The Successful Writer’s Work Ethic with Kerry Wilkinson
This man writes 1000 words per hour. My God. This post makes me deeply ashamed of the amount of time I spend trolling Craigslist for used bikes.

Filmmaking
Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Filmmaking (in 240+) Links
Ever thought/considered/dreamed/fantasized/fetishized/investigated/vaguely mentally analyzed how to make a movie? I have. Here’s a link.

Photography
How Squinching Will Make You Look Good in Photos
Squinching: to slightly squint your eyes. It has never occurred to me to do this – I usually just smile so it looks like I’m having fun regardless of reality, but could this work?

Movies
You Can Do Anything: Must Every Kids’ Movie Reinforce the Cult of Self Esteem?
True? Not true?

Travel
10 Travel Web Sites Worth Bookmarking

GREAT CREATIVE MOMENTS: THE DESCENDING BED

Well, hello there, Bed. These images are from actor Vincent Kartheiser’s home, as profiled in Dwell magazine. The style here is Japanese industrial, and that first shot is of Kartheiser pulling his bed down from the ceiling. That wooden slab in the background there? It’s the headboard. When the bed is up, the slab folds down to become a desk. That’s right: a desk.  

To offset the weight of the bed, there is a 300 lb. weight hidden away somewhere, in a way that is built into the cabin. There are so many different ideas going on here (Red as an accent color anyone?), I don’t even know where to point (Red curtain??). It’s all just too good. It baffles and astounds me. I have no words. Look and enjoy.* 
* Okay, one small final point. This cabin was designed by Funn Roberts. How did this creativity happen? As Kartheiser puts it: “Funn is an artist, he’s going to do his best work if he’s trusted. You trust the artist and you don’t micromanage him.” There, all done.

PHOTOGRAPHER DENISE GRUNSTEIN

Via
This series from photographer Denise Grunstein caught my eye recently. It looks like the good part of a dream. Everyone carries an idea in their head of what the world they’ve created looks like. I know I do. The world I create is always different from the world I observe – it’s an enhancement. The colors are stronger, and objects more meaningful, or are possibly a plot device to be referenced later. Grunstein captures that unreal quality here. It’s reality, but better kind.

Here are a few more photographs from the same set. Her use of background light is nothing short of genius. 

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EASY WEEKEND DIY: SIMPLE HANGING LAMP

Image via Hitta Hem
I saw this hanging hand lamp on the Hitta Hem website. On occasion, while walking next to houses that turn on their lights but don’t close their curtains, I’ve noticed that overhead lights are not all that flattering. They usually cover everything in a flat yellowish color, which become apparent if you look at walls that are white in daylight, and yellow at night. One possible way to mix things up is to have multiple light sources. Once easy way to do this, is to hang a hand lamp off a shelf or to a desk, as shown above.  
There are two ways I can see to replicate this: 
  1. There is the cheap industrial version from Daniel Woodhead (Search for an incandescent hand lamp or wet location hand lamp). Then add an edison bulb.
  2. On the more high end, you can go to West Elm for their wooden cord set, add their selection of edison bulbs, and add a light guard so you can hook it to a shelf. 

YOUR FRIENDLY STRESS REMINDER

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There’s nothing new under the sun here. I’m not here to blow minds or take names. What I am here to do is to remind you of thoughts that you probably already know, but may tend to forget.

Certain feelings, I have found, are detrimental to the soul. There are certain mental habits that come almost automatically, without conscious thought or action. I consider these fallback emotions; they take over when you are weak or tired or simply reacting. Breaking these habits takes constant vigilance and practice, and possibly random reminders like this one.
One of my personal favorite habits is thinking “Oh, I should have done that.” That being whatever was the opposite of the choice I just made. I’ve never consciously said that, even in my head. The “should have” feeling is just that – a strong negative emotional…intonement. Let’s go with that. 
The “should have” feeling is pretty much a guaranteed path to unhappiness. Most decisions are not about life or death. They’re just decisions, but when you add the “should have” or “could have” into the mix, decision making becomes a miserable no win situation.  Nothing good comes of thinking in “should have’s.” It is a bad mental habit. If you have this habit, throw it away. 

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FUN LINKS


Productivity


Audiobooks 
Mostly classics, but they’re also classics.


Mind 
I’m always on the lookout for ways to continue learning.

Writing:
It’s probably clear by now that I haven’t read this. 


Creativity 
Body 
Eventually, I would like to go to Nepal, and I would also like to return alive. I have this bookmarked.


Food
If you don’t want to buy all organic produce, just buy these.

    HOW DARING GREATLY CALMS ME DOWN

    Image via Braid Creative
    I’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed lately. Strangely enough, listening to Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly on audiobook really helps me to unclench those stress muscles. There is a magical collaboration that takes place between the written content and reader’s vocal delivery that just hits the spot. Also, the book is good. 
    I don’t think I can add anything that hasn’t been said already and better, such as by Braid Creative where I got that pic. What I will say is this: the audiobook relieves some of the burden of stress by putting emotion in context. Brown talks a lot about vulnerability, and in doing so she gives it a purpose. You are no longer swimming aimlessly in a sea of discomfort and anxiety, but moving towards a goal. That knowledge, and the repetition of that knowledge, sends a series of neural signals to the part of the brain specifically geared to relax.