Much of my week boils down to two things: Reading and Writing.
I really had a good time reading this week.
I mean, I always have a good time getting to read the pieces that eventually make it into every week's link post, but I'm feeling especially happy with and proud of this week's selection. It's varied, covers a lot of things I'm interested in, and I think really does carry an All-A-Players philosophy. I'm really hoping you guys enjoy them.
The writing part of my week... well, that didn't go so well.
I've been having trouble with some of the larger ideas for pieces that I've had recently. Several days this week a "brainstorm/outline for this idea" task was in my OmniFocus to-do's, and each day it didn't get done until I eventually sacked the task a day or two ago. I'll probably revisit the idea (I really think it's a good one) when I have a solid day to do so, but the past few days have been busy with work and life, and the next few days are looking similar.
Problems like this one really make me concerned for once I'm back in school in the fall and have even less time to devote to the side-project that is this blog. I really want to try and get into a rhythm of putting out quality writing on a regular basis - preferably before my classes start and my time is yanked away from me. I see that sort of thing as a muscle that needs to be built up and then maintained, and right now I'm feeling pretty weak.
I'm typing this to you guys not as an excuse as to why there hasn't been a huge review or thought piece in my feed for awhile, but because it feels honest. And I want to be able to tell you guys how I'm feeling about my writing, photography, life, or whatever it is. I want this blog to be totally professional, well-photographed, and well-written. But I don't want this blog to convey an image that's not me. I'm not totally professional, a great photographer, or a great writer, so for the time being my blog isn't going to be either. It's not there yet, but it is me. And I'm proud of that honesty.
I'll keep working at it, and I hope you guys will continue to read. It means the world to me any time I see that someone's read something that I've written. I hope you enjoy this week's links, and I hope you'll pardon this somewhat wishy-washy introduction.
Now read on:
Stay in Love: Wondermade Marshmallows - Life & Thyme - A recent mainstay from my A-Players posts, I've really been enjoying the pieces put out by Life & Thyme recently. This week's look into a tiny Marshmallow startup made me both want some marshmallows myself, and inspired thoughts of trying something similar at my own workplace. Great piece.
My Favorite Mac: The New 12″ Retina MacBook – MacStories - The more pieces I read about the new MacBook, the more I'm convinced it'd be the perfect Mac for me the next time around. From Ben Brook's excellent coverage to TJ Luoma's piece here, it seems like the kind of machine that most anyone could get along with. And that retina display and tiny body wouldn't hurt either. Strap me to the mast guys, I don't want to go after the siren-call.
Product photography on the cheap: creating a studio-like environment at home - Analog Senses - Álvaro had one of the more informative and useful pieces that I read this week in his guide to how he set up some product photography on-the-cheap for his review this past Tuesday's review of the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens for Tools and Toys. He covers how he set up an easy white backdrop, how he managed lighting with just a mirror and a window, and he even goes into how exactly he edited his shots so as to make them look as primo as possible. Up until now I've done lots of product-in-environment shots, but Álvaro's piece (and let's be honest, some envy over those gorgeous lens shots) has convinced me to give this a try for my next small product review.
How to Spend Time Alone in New York City - New York Magazine - I'm surprising myself by including a link from a "real" publication two weeks in a row now, but New York Magazine's piece from the end of last month talking to various authors, actors, and other creatives about how they enjoy spending time alone in NYC was just too good to pass up. So many creatives, so many ways they find to enjoy solitude. Just fascinating.
Wet Hot American Summer - Netflix - Wet Hot American Summer is a movie I stumbled across a week or two ago on the internet, and I can say without any remorse that I've been drawn into it's cult appeal. The movie stars actors and actresses such as Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks and more all before they hit it big in the movie business, and at it's core the film is a near-satirical take on the raunchy-camp-flick cliche. It's full of nonsense, stupid humor, and just a little bit of corny fun. I've enjoyed the movie several times over now in showing it to my girlfriend and sister, and Netflix's new prequel series starring the same cast - which I'm attempting to pace myself through - also has me laughing. A little summer guilty pleasure, like a dripping ice-cream cone or a scorching day at the beach. Relax in the hilarity, and enjoy.
Sana'a - (Idle Words) - Maciej Ceglowski's travel writing has been another of my favorite discoveries this summer, and reading through a little bit of his back catalog this past Wednesday morning was a really rich and fulfilling way to start off my day. His descriptions of location and culture really make me feel like I'm experiencing just a fraction of his travels whilst on his Yemen trip, and learning little things like the basics of Yemeni qat culture are intensely interesting. Maybe it's just me, but I can't get enough of Maciej's writing, and I'm already really looking forward to hearing about his Antarctica trip next year.
I'll see you all next week.