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The golden glow of Jersey as seen from the train window   

This week
I know it seems like I've been working on this book forever, so I feel almost silly offering yet another update, but: Amina and I are barreling toward another big deadline at the end of the day today, when our revised manuscript is due to our publisher. We've been swimming in so many thousands of words that it's difficult to tell which sentences are clever and which are nonsensical. I'm exhausted. I say this by way of explaining any typos below. And also just because... whew. If you had a long week, too, know that I am high-fiving you for making it through. We're (almost) there.

On CYG, you can listen to our live show from D.C. on Saturday, which was a lot of fun. We discussed butt dials, Katie Hill, corny candidates, beauty products, and more. Thanks to everyone who came to see us on tour!

I'm reading
A transgender asylum-seeker's harrowing detention. 25 years ago, a bill targeting undocumented Californians forced a generation to put fear aside and fight. A few things you need to understand if you want to talk about lynching. Dahlia Lithwick on why she's not over the Kavanaugh hearings, and hasn't returned to the Supreme Court. In the 1930s, two women braved the Colorado River to collect rare cactus samples in the Grand Canyon. A group of friends who meet up every year to hike a new section of the Appalachian Trail. Why do people get so upset at women who know they don't want kids? Why does veganism still provoke so much anger? What's a VSCO girl, anyway? On being happy for and jealous of a friend at the same time. Facebook's main problem is... everything. A Gen Z retort: "Ok, boomer." Inside the rise and fall of Gawker 2.0. Robert Caro on the art of biography. Alexander Chee's advice for writing about people who do not look like you. "I have learned that to be black and a classical musician is to be considered a contradiction." Witch houses of the Hudson Valley, and other creepy places. As someone who wears a lot of "worry yellow," I'm here to tell you it's actually more of an "upbeat goldenrod."

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I’m looking & listening
A very satisfying boo. Photos from Tokyo’s mundane Halloween costume party. An interview with my friend George McCalman on staying small and thinking big. And I've finally caught up on the latest season of Still Processing, which is as good as ever.

It's Día de Muertos, a tradition rooted in indigenous practices of central and southern Mexico. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus installed its first official Day of the Dead altar, which is dedicated to migrants who have died in U.S. custody or while trying to enter the country. Other altars have been dedicated to victims of the El Paso shooting

[gif from the film Macario]

I endorse
Spooky writer face, or "the transition an artist experiences when they are 'in the zone' and return to the human world of other people and tasks." This is a term coined by Beth Pickens, Michelle Tea, and Ali Liebegott, and it's described in Beth's book Your Art Will Save Your Life. Could anything be more appropriate for a week of Halloween hauntings and book deadlines?

You endorse: Mothers and children
A syllabus of things to read, listen to, and watch about the relationships between mothers and children:

  • Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel
  • Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride
  • When We Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
  • The Mothers by Brit Bennett
  • What My Mother and I Don't Talk About edited by Michele Filgate
  • Heavy by Kiese Laymon
  • Motherland by Elissa Altman
  • On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
  • Rupi Kaur's poem, "my mother's soul"
  • Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
  • Anywhere but Here by Mona Simpson
  • Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick
  • Regretting Motherhood by Orna Donath
  • The Bridgertons. Yes, a romance novel series, but the mother here is one of my favorite adopted moms of literature.
  • Lady Bird
  • Red Table Talk (Jada Pinkett Smith’s talk show). A lot of wisdom in there.
  • Maria Bamford's sketch, "The New You!"
  • Antonia's Line
  • Boyhood
  • Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter
  • April’s Daughter
  • 20th Century Women
  • Better Things
  • Good Bones, a home improvement show, to see an easy and loving mom/daughter relationship.
  • Dumplin'
  • Todo Sobre Mi Madre

LISTEN FOLLOW Thanks to everyone who answered. Here's the full list of responses.

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