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I’ve got a little list

I always return from travel–especially long travel–with an extensive to-do list. It’s not just the inspiration, although there’s been a lot of that. It’s not just the stuff that didn’t get done while I was gone. It’s also the shifted perspective that makes me notice little things–like the hole in the pocket of my fall coat, now mended before fall arrives in Minnesota but glaringly apparent when I wandered around Icelandic canyons. Catching up is a matter of using the new perspective travel brought me in tiny, mundane ways as well as large, magical ones.

(This novella idea I got in Borgarnes: it is perfect for me. So excited. You will be excited too, when I get there. But there’s a long road between here and there.)

One of the things that my to-do lists do for me is to give me a little breathing room, to let me know that I don’t actually have to do everything I want to do right now today. Marking something as “THURS” or putting it on the list for two weeks from now is a clear mental barrier: yes, I want to accomplish this, I don’t want it to get lost in the shuffle, but not this minute. If I finish all the stuff on my list for today, I can sit down and rest. Rest is good.

But THURS and two weeks from now eventually become real, and one of the things I was supposed to do in the Grand Scheme of After I Return was set up a newsletter. Well, it’s After I Return, so I’ve managed to set up that newsletter. It’s at, and it will require confirmation once you’ve signed up for it. I expect to send something out roughly monthly, with publication news, recipes, thoughts and chatter, nothing frequent or lengthy. Please feel welcome.

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