Friday, October 04, 2013

Weekend Reading: The More People Doing Awesome Things Edition

Thank you all for the kind comments on my work dilemma post and offers to provide offline advice and/or a platform to write a slightly more anonymous post. I've found a solution for my dilemma that works, at least for now, so the crisis is past. I may yet figure out a way to blog about the entire situation, because I think there are some aspects of it that are interesting and illustrative of the problems of being a mid-career woman in a male-dominated field... but I haven't figured that out yet.

And besides, Wednesday was Petunia's 4th birthday and Sunday is her party with her friends, so I wouldn't have had the time to write that post even if I'd figured out how to write it.

Also, thank you all for your nice comments on Tungsten Hippo, and for sharing it with others. I am thinking hard and doing research on how to spread the word about it. Marketing is not something that comes easily to me, so this should be interesting. I care enough about the project to want to give it a try, though. If you know something about marketing (particularly in the book world) and have pointers to give me, they would be much appreciated!

All of this has distracted me from gathering and thinking about links. Luckily for me, there are more people in my feeds doing awesome things, so I'll share those with you.

First up, frequent commenter Anandi is starting up a papercrafting business called The Papercraft Lab, with the mission of helping people who want beautiful handcrafted scrapbooks but don't have the time and/or interest in making them. I'm not her target audience (I am out of space for physical things!) but I think it is a great idea for a business, and I wish her luck with it.

Laura Vanderkam did a CreativeLive workshop on What the Most Successful People Do before Breakfast. We've missed the free live streaming, but if you're interested, CreativeLive sells the recorded workshop.

Bad Mom, Good Mom has a great post up about islands that spin. I never took any geology or meteorology past high school, so I always appreciate her posts explaining these things. Definitely check this one out.

Tressie McMillan Cottom wrote a good article for Slate about how the government shutdown is hurting college students, particularly those who are not wealthy and who are parents. These are the stories that make me angriest about the shutdown- and there are a lot of stories that make me angry about the shutdown. I think of the people who are acting like this shutdown is no big deal, and I get even angrier. As regular readers now, I am worried about the impact of an upcoming company move on my family's routines. The lives of even wealthy working parents like me are subject to so many constraints that a move that adds 15 minutes to a commute can be quite disruptive and stressful. Trying to problem solve through the shutdown of your day care would stress just about any parent. I can barely imagine how much more stressful that is when your job is not flexible and you don't have a financial safety net. Add in trying to squeeze in school for a parent, and my mind boggles. I cannot believe there are people who callously dismiss this as "no big deal."

Anyway, Mr. Snarky and I have been talking about making some extra donations to try to help people who are being most hurt by this shutdown. We will be making an extra donation to our local food bank, but would like to do more. I tweeted at @tressiemc, to see if she had any ideas for places to donate. She put the call out to her followers, and here were the ideas that came in:
  • Feministhulk has collected the status of the various state WIC offices. They mostly seem OK...for now. If this drags on, I will definitely come back and see if they need donations. This site also provides links to places that are helping fill the gap, organized by state.
  • Why Hunger runs a hunger hotline people can call to find resources to help them, and that hotline is funded in part by the USDA. They are accepting donations to help fill that gap and to support their other programs aimed at eliminating hunger in the US.
  • Shutdown Moms aims to match people whose day care is shutdown with people who are furloughed. 
  • I have donated to ModestNeeds in the past. Their mission is to help people who have a shortfall for some reason, to try to keep that from snowballing into something worse. They don't specifically say they'll be helping people hurt by the shutdown, but it would be inline with what they do.
If you have other ideas for me, please leave them in the comments.


  1. Thanks for the suggestions about how to donate. We're pulling together some canned goods (unexpired! I've volunteered at food banks and know how that goes) to take to a food pantry in our part of town.

  2. Thanks for mentioning my course! And modest needs is a fascinating organization - worth checking out.

  3. Wow, thanks for the unexpected shout out :)

    I have some cheap/easy ideas re: marketing that I've learned from my years on Etsy. No idea if they'd translate to the book world, but I'm happy to share if you want to email me.

    Also, if you get on CreativeLIVE's email list, they rebroadcast many of their courses for free periodically. I could probably spend every day watching something cool :)


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