Addio 2022! In with the new 2023!
Looking forward, not back.
A New Year and a New Newsletter
For most of us, 2020 was a terrible year, but in some ways, 2022 was a rougher one for me. COVID hasn’t left us, world and US politics are distressing, climate change is wreaking havoc (64 degrees in Boston yesterday?!), social media is not what it used to be, and on a personal level, there has been a lot of grieving this year, and a lot of languishing. So I’m kicking 2022 to the curb and starting out 2023 a bit differently.
But first, why are you receiving this newsletter via Substack?
You probably signed up for this newsletter on my website, or at one of my events. I’m going to keep the blog archives up there, but I plan to change the format a little bit and this platform feels right. I’m going to attempt posting weekly, and there are options for adding a podcast into the mix, which might be interesting in the future. For now, I plan to keep the newsletter free, and if I decide to shift to some form of paid subscription in the future, don’t worry, I’ll continue to share some form of free content.
What do I mean by changing up the format? My previous blog was dedicated to more long-form topical content, but I have so many things that I’d love to share with you all, ranging from recipes I am testing or that I’ve loved, to books I’m reading, to historical factoids that I’m marveling about, or tips about social media and technology, or about Italy and learning Italian. It’s a bit of a grab bag, but I promise you it won’t be a boring one. Let’s get started!
One of the Worst Art Heists
You might have heard I’ve got a Gothic novel in the works, one featuring the famous surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí. But I’m guessing you haven’t heard about the botched art heist of his work that took place in a prison? It’s true. Turns out the artist gifted Rikers with a sketch in 1965.
In 2003, some of the guards decided that they were going to steal it. Except it didn’t end so well for them…
Cool Sites That Have Changed How I Do Things
Those of you who know me know that I love technology and I’m usually an early adopter of cool new tech. In 2022 there have been a few discoveries I’ve made that have changed the way I do certain things. Maybe they will be helpful for you too:
Readwise.io If you have a lot of highlights or notes from your Kindle, Instapaper, Pocket, iBooks, Twitter, or other apps, you might feel like they often go into a black hole, never to be looked at again. Readwise not only helps sync that information to places like Evernote or Notion, but it also sends you a daily email of some of your highlights, so you can always review them again and find new inspiration. I love this app so much. Finally, my Kindle notes are really useful to me.
Workona Workona is a tab manager for your browser, but it’s way better than other tab managers in that you can create collections of tabs that you can easily close and open. I have collections of tabs that are related to book research, learning Italian, work, and more. It’s a huge timesaver when you are doing a lot of research or working on a variety of projects. You can save bookmarks to the projects, and you can even manage tasks related to your projects. There are team aspects of the tool that could be useful as well.
Fallen London Ok, this isn’t useful tech of any kind, but a web-based incremental game (you play it a little at a time), which is mostly a series of stories set in a wild, fictional London beneath London. It’s a little confusing at first (the wiki will help) but if you love games that are based on stories, like me, you might get hooked.
A Bit of Italy in Your Inbox
I was in Italy for three weeks in the fall, and while I took a zillion photos, here are some that I really love.
What I’m Reading
The Magnetic Fields by André Breton, Philippe Soupault, translated by David Gascoyne - A wild week of automatic writing resulted in this beautiful and strange surrealist set of poems.
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver - inspired by Dickens and inspiring rave reviews by everyone, I’m looking forward to this first read of 2023.
Two last things…
You know about Wordle, but do you know about Explordle?
And a smile! Make sure you listen with the sound on.
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