Weekly Rundown

Two weeks in a row. I’m still feeling good about it. Calling it Weekly Rundown, that is.

What I’m Reading: Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life by Terry Brooks. Coming out of John McPhee a few weeks ago, I wanted to give this one a try. Concise, fun, and a little “out there”, I’ve enjoyed reading it so far. One thing that did throw me off a bit was the intro by Elizabeth George, who derided some authors who could only produce one book. Whereas I do respect a person’s opinions, I think anyone who has at least sat down to write a book, even if it’s just one, deserves some consideration for their efforts. But that’s a minor thing, at least for me.

What I’m Listening To: The Nothing But Major Gifts Podcast. This episode deals with keeping Major Gift Officers. So I’ve actually worked for two organizations, building a development program from scratch for them. After about ten months at each place, they felt the results weren’t worth the money or effort that they were putting in. Best practices require one-to-two years for that level of relationship building. After my last stint, mired in aggravation and dealing with an unresponsive ED, I decided that I’d never take on a fledgling development department again, unless perhaps a contract was in place for a period no shorter than three years. Anyway, if nonprofit administration is interesting to you, check out the Veritus Group and their podcast.

What I’m spending my time with: Meditation. I’ve been trying a new 3x daily meditation practice (most days… I’m committed to every day for a month. Working my way up to it.) I was recommended this practice from a yoga teacher I practiced with last week. In theory, it’s a way to rest your internal programming – pushing through all of the negative buildup that accumulates. Here’s a link to Elephant Journal for an article I found, but it doesn’t really explain the three times daily practice.

Other things of interest to me this week:

  • Seth Godin’s post on mediocrity, and how corporate policy is about consistency, not necessarily excellence.
  • Society for Psychical Research. A leftover from Mary Roach’s Spook, I was curious to see what kind of activities that they investigated.
  • Dude – a brief history from The Atlantic. “You know… if you’re in to the whole brevity thing.”
  • Trying some new recipes in the kitchen, this time experimenting with Indian cuisine. My first endeavor will be this weekend making Aloo Matar, but here’s a link to some basics.

Weekly rundown

Now, that doesn’t actually sound horrible to me. “The Weekly Rundown.” I’m sure it’s derivative of something else, but I may stick with that.

What I’m reading: Spook by Mary Roach. “What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that’s that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?” In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.

What I’m listening to: Halloween music. Or more specifically, classical pieces of music that has a spooky tilt to it. You can try these out for a start.

What I’m spending my time with: The AFI 100. They’ve been on my list for a while, and I’m checking them off. So far I’m fifteen films in. I’m planning on getting them all watched by the end of the year.

Other things of interest:

  • The Fountain Pen Network. Here’s a place to nerd out over fountain pens. If, you know, you’re into that sort of thing…
  • A24’s screenplay books. The first run of three books has sold out, with second printing arriving December 13th. These are attractive books to add to your screenplay collection – if you have one.
  • And in my continuing struggle to find a good night’s sleep, here are some suggestions from Huckberry’s Brooke Vaughn.