New Anne Lamott

Wha!? Anne Lamott has a new book out! It’s called Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith and looks like a follow-up to her most popular book yet, Traveling Mercies (the new book is currently selling faster on Amazon, but that doesn’t really mean much). That’s a good business move, though I’m sure she’ll spend a lot of unneccessary time bashing Bush.

So where was all the buzz about this book? I’m plugged in, I’m a happening guy–how come I didn’t hear about it? Is this what I get for growing tired of (news via The Paris Project)

Blogging as a Full-Time Job

Jason Kottke, the designer/techie/blogger mastermind behind, has quit his job in order to blog full time. He’s asking for donations (join the 35 and counting other micropatrons. Update Feb. 23: That’s 320+ micropatrons one day later. If they’re all paying the requested $30, that’s almost $10,000.) to keep himself afloat and hoping to raise 1/3 to 1/2 of his former salary (no mention as to what that was).

He’s got a lot of high-minded ideas about not using advertising, about the arts being supported by patrons, and about the power of personal publishing. It’s all pretty cool–and pretty crazy. Time will tell if survives or crashes and burns. I’m hoping he makes it–I’d love to do what he’s doing. Then again, I’d probably want to spend more time writing books, and my current level of support is pretty weak.

Embrace Embrace

Last November I heard a song by a British group called Embrace during a Radio1 segment that featured U2. Despite Radio1’s propensity for talking over the final minute and a half of a song–whether or not the vocals are finished–the song “Ashes” by Embrace stood out. It had a real piano- and choir-backed rock feel. I tried to find out more about the band, but it seemed they had yet to cross the pond. No record store carried their album (including iTunes), Out of Nothing, and you’d have to pay import prices on Amazon to get it (though now you can buy a used copy for under $10).

Well today their single “Ashes” showed up on iTunes as a pre-release. I snatched it up (thank you Pepsi) and am enjoying the anthemness. Sadly, it’s the only song iTunes has, though I’m hopeful that its status as a “pre-release” means there’s more to come.

Update: And more has come, now that the band has released their album in the U.S.

It’s Not All About School

According to Time magazine (subscription required), by the time children turn 18, they’ve spent only 13% of their lives in the classroom. So for all the hand-wringing over schools and teachers and getting your kids in the right classes–and eventually colleges–I think it’s fair to say that a huge chunk of children’s development depends on what they do outside the classroom. As important as school is, that after school job, sport, club, or just plain sitting around and watching TV may impact kids more.

Keeping Busy

After a waist-tightening January, Monkey Outta Nowhere scored two monthly contracts for the rest of 2005. We’ll be continuing our work with the L.A.-based Personality and Center for Church Communication (formerly b-moore, Inc.), and also helping the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel with a number of major web projects in 2005.

It’s always encouraging when something like this comes through and I realize I can stop watching for “help wanted” signs.

Reflective Saturday

It’s amazing how my blogging comes in fits and spurts. I’ll post ten entries in three days, and then go three days with absolutely nothing. I’m not sure how you as a reader feel about that, but it’s a bit freeing as a writer to not have to care about that. That’s just the way it is. So there.

I’m feeling introspective this morning, so we’ll be doing a bit of rambling. I’ll just jump to the extended entry now since I doubt much of this will be very interesting.

Continue reading Reflective Saturday