Several years back the low-key genius Rachel W Miller raved about the work of Cheryl Mendelson, the author of Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House.
Mendelson’s book (which I now own in digital and paperback) taught me what to do with all the different vaccum attachments and how to dust properly. Both these things that came in handy in this last, homebound year. More importantly, the book gave me a kind of permission to want to and to know how to create a living (and working) space that felt both welcoming and tidy.
In that spirit, I’ve been thinking a lot about digital housekeeping and specifcally this newsletter.
* I will very shortly be hosting another contributor to The After Party, the premise of which is a series newsletter takeovers by guest hosts. I pay a flat rate of $450 for these, made possible thanks to the generosity of a person with an unerring instinct for showing up. Shout if you have an idea for one for one of these. All kinds of creative pitches welcome.
* Since I have slightly more time on my hands at the moment, I’m going to experiment with some ideas for additional benefits for paid subscribers. That might look like additional newsletter editions, and it definitely will include as well as opportunities for various book giveaways. Coming up: Pop Song by Larissa Pham.
* As an aside, paid subscriptions support my book habit and the incremental costs of running this newsletter (like domain hosting fees and the Buttondown fee) and are available for $6 a month or $99 a year. Stripe, the payment processer, takes a cut of each transaction: $.30 + 2.9%.
* Taking yet another page from Ann Friedman‘s book, I’m also considering testimonials (do you like this newsletter? would you be comfortable telling other people about it?) and would very much welcome any that folks would like to send me.
More to come. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me into your inboxes.
we used our words we used what words we had
to weld, what words we had we wielded, kneeled,
we knelt. & wept we wrung the wet the sweat
we wracked our lips we rang for words to ward
off sleep to warn to want ourselves. to want
the earth we mouthed it wound our vowels until
it fit, in fits the earth we mounted roused
& rocked we harped we yawned & tried to yawp
& tried to fix, affixed, we facted, felt.
we fattened fanfared anthemed hammered, felt
the words’ worth stagnate, snap in half in heat
the wane the melt what words we’d hoarded halved
& holey, porous. meanwhile tide still tide.
& we: still washed for sounds to mark. & marked.
— from We Used Our Words We Used What Words We Had by Franny Choi