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I wrote Show at the top of the stairs in an open loft, wearing headphones to try to block out the cries of the baby. Let me tell you: Headphones are not a replacement for a shut door.
– Austin Kleon

Sometimes, my niece has shockingly long, in depth conversations with Alexa. Straight up, there is no better person to talk to a curious, chatty five year old than Alexa. It’s so delightful to watch. Also, it took only two visits for my niece to figure out how to talk to Alexa. The first time, she would shout, “Alexa,” but then wait an excruciating minute to say something else, by which time Alexa had moved on to other things. The next visit, she was ready for Alexa, had her requests and jokes ready. She asks Alexa to play Ariana Grande and music from Frozen, A LOT. She never runs out of questions for Alexa and Alexa never runs out of patience. Hell takes on different forms for us all.

From Uses This / Roxane Gay

I wish I had the level of patience Alexa has for small children’s endless questions.

I’ve found that many of the “pressing” news stories can be treated like soap operas. Ignore most of the breathless reporting and check in on them once a week to see if Mary is still with Todd or if Elena survived that scary operation. Many of them, of course, can be ignored entirely.

Source: Execupundit.com: News Noise

This is a perfect way to handle the news. Most of it is not important a few days later. And if it is, it’s a big enough story to have books written about it already (or there will be.) Those are the stories that change history and matter.

Everything else is noise filling 24 hours of television.

William Gibson Talks ‘Archangel,’ Apocalypses, and Dystopias

Much of the planet’s human population, today, lives in conditions that many inhabitants of North America would regard as dystopian. Quite a few citizens of the United States live under conditions that many people would regard as dystopian. Dystopia is not very evenly distributed. Fantasy is fun, but naturalism is the necessary balance — realism, to be less precise. Naturalistic fiction written today is necessarily fairly pessimistic — otherwise, it wouldn’t be a realistic depiction of the present. If you were, say, a tiger, and you knew what’s about to happen to your species (extinction, almost certainly), wouldn’t it be realistic to have a pessimistic view of things? I think it’s realistic, as a human, to have a pessimistic view of a world minus tigers.


Q: How do you maintain hope in these dark times?
A: One day at a time, and treasuring those who retain an active sense of humor.

Knocking Down your Creative Blocks – 99U

In time, my office looked like it had been hit by a blizzard of 20-pound bond. There were piles of paper on every flat surface, and on the floor around me, all of them tagged with colorful Post-it Notes, some of the piles reaching several feet in height—a miniature cityscape at my feet: Transcribed interviews, notes, court documents and legal transcripts of testimony and deposition hearings, newspaper clippings, non-fiction books and research papers on the subjects of AIDS and the Reagan Administration’s war on pornography (a period during which porn consumption by the public rose exponentially, I would learn). Not to mention my collection of VHS films—black plastic rectangles, clad in colorful cardboard slip covers, stacked in rickety piles like so many skyscrapers populating my urban jungle of research materials.

The blizzard of 20-pound bond is a beautiful bit of writing. Reading that line made my old soul smile. I can also relate to being surrounded by paper and Post-It Notes.