|—||from the essay “In Defense of Saccharin(e)” in THE EMPATHY EXAMS by Leslie Jamison. (via readandbreathe)|
|—||Elizabeth Gilbert, in this excellent essay about writerly self-loathing.|
And the thing I learned…is that I had forgotten what a poisonous cancer “nice” can be. That we’re socialized — tortured — into this borderline personality disorder, as a culture, that says everything is all good or all bad, and that if you’re not nice you’re a bitch, but then the definition of “nice” keeps expanding and expanding until it includes ever doing anything that someone else doesn’t agree with, it includes having opinions, having a voice, it eventually includes knowing and trusting yourself. To be nice is to apologize for existing….What I still have to keep reminding myself every day…is that “nice” and “kind” are such different concepts that they may as well be opposites.
You think they’re synonyms and you act like they’re synonyms, but the truth is that one turns outward, into the world as a positive force, and one turns inward, as a self-injury. As a dampening of the light. And I still sometimes have to get this basic on myself when I’m making choices: Am I being Nice, or am I being Kind? Because I think I am a very kind person, a compassionate person, but I wouldn’t — and I don’t think anyone who’s ever met me would — ever call me Nice.
|—||Jacob at Television Without Pity, who frequently turns his tv recaps into ridiculously wise textbooks on How To Be.|
This is around the time I get jealous of everyone posting their best of 2013 lists and resolve to make one myself, and probably sometime over the next week while the world is drowning itself in eggnog and I’m watching my thousandth straight hour of Netflix, I’ll get around to that, but in the meantime, I have discovered the book that sums up my own personal experience of this past year and am revealing it here for the record:
If you somehow managed to miss this in your elementary school years, here’s a snippet:
Fortunately, Ned was invited to a surprise party.
Unfortunately, the party was a thousand miles away.
Fortunately, a friend loaned Ned an airplane.
Unfortunately, the motor exploded.
Fortunately, there was a parachute in the plane
Unfortunately, there was a hole in the parachute…
You get the idea. The good news is that though I can’t remember for sure, I think it had a happy ending.
well fuck me gently with a chainsaw i just started reading The Waking Dark by robin wasserman and i can already tell THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME
Cover reveal! Can we discuss how beautiful this anthology is? And how EXCITED I am to be in it? “Of Dying Heroes and Deathless Deeds” is, by far, the weirdest thing I’ve ever written, and I’m a little bit in love with it. (You’re allowed to say that about short stories without looking too egomaniacal…right?) Anyway, check out the table of contents here and get your copy on April 8!
|—||From the fantastic Heather Havrilesky’s fantastic review of Nora Ephron’s writing via compare/contrast with Joan Didion|