What I'm Reading, Vol. Eleven

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Today is my Friday. Mark has been working out of town for awhile and today I'm headed South to be with him for the remainder of the week, so today has been my deadline throughout the week to get work and school stuff squared away. I worked on homework through most of the weekend, but I managed to get everything done. And there really is nothing better than arriving at a deadline and  having everything checked off your list. There'll be no more posting for the rest of the week, but here are a few links to what I've been reading lately. Enjoy!

Everyday Icon: The Writer
When I was a wee tot, my parents trundled me over to the local coffee shop. They asked me what I wanted to drink -- and, being responsible, health-conscious adults, they were hoping I'd say "wheatgrass!" or "rice milk!" or "chilled water with a slice of lemon, please!" But despite the fact that I was too young to read, I'd learned how to recognize two very important words: "hot" and "chocolate." So, I told my parents, "I want hot chocolate." They smiled and said, "Oh sorry, sweetie, they don't have that here." But I pointed to the sign and said, quite calmly, "Yes, they do." My parents were stunned. (I had untangled their web of deception!) I got my frothy treat. And in that moment, I learned a valuable lesson: When you use the right words with the right people at the right time, you (usually) get what you want. I've been fascinated by the power of language ever since. And from English tutoring to student journalism to technical writing to public broadcasting to copywriting to blogging to book creation, words have always been my work.

The Perfect Nap: Sleeping Is a Mix of Art and Science
There's an art to napping. "Naps are actually more complicated than we realize,"said David Dinges, a sleep scientist at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. "You have to be deliberative about when you're going to nap, how long you're going to nap and if you're trying to use the nap relative to work or what you have coming up."

Taxidermy Gone Wild
In a cozy apartment near Colonial Lake in Charleston, South Carolina, amid a neatly arrayed but still arresting collection of entwined birds' nests, taut bobcat and deer skins, skulls, and haunting black-and-white vintage photographs of people and their pets (dogs, cats, rabbits), you'll find a petite and ever-cherry brown-haired young woman named Becca Barnet. You'll also find her "roomate," a mild-mannered English bull terrier named Bruce, whom Barnet describes as "a really good business partner." Barnet, who is twenty-five, is an artist, although her art defies easy description. She's part taxidermist, part illustrator, part sculptor. Sometimes she combines all three disciplines in a single piece.She is at heart, a preservationist and refurbisher, of objects and ideas. But the art that comes from that impulse is totally new.

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