Three hundred and seventy-three

My first Wednesday post

As promised, here is my soon-to-be-regular Wednesday contribution – what I’m up to, what I’m interested in, and how the book is coming along.  (Although I’m having a hard time deciding what to call my posts now that they aren’t the date number.  Can I just keep with the numbering system even if it’s past 366?)

First of all, I’ve been approached by a literary agent and am meeting with her on Friday to discuss the book!!!  I’m not sure this is good form to talk about this (although I talk about everything else, so why not this too?), but it does make me very excited about writing this book and getting it out into the world!  I’m really interested to sit down with her and talk about the crazy world of publishing.

As I’m admittedly very new at this (another thing I’m not sure I should admit), I’m eager to get the ball rolling, discuss options and propel my ideas forward into the realm of hand held, tangible, beautiful, sit-on-your-shelf-for-years-to-come-or-lend-to-your-friends-even-though-you’ll-probably-never-get-them-back books.  As much as I love the blogosphere and the immediacy of writing daily on the internet, there’s something so special and sacred about the feel of the paper in your hands as you turn the pages.  I’m a little old fashioned that way, I know.  And they’re probably not great for the environment.  But I love them anyways.

All this talk of the book has inspired me to head out of the city and hole up in my parents’ house in the country to write for a couple of days.  I love the fresh air and quiet out here.  And I love my mom’s pinball machine, when I want to procrastinate.

The research rabbit hole

The internet adds to both my procrastination and my inspiration when I’m trying to write.  I tend to fall down into the research rabbit hole a couple of times a day.  How can you not click on a link in an article, that takes you to another article, which has another link, etc etc?  Knowledge is my drug of choice.  I get high off learning more about random topics I am interested in at the time (anything from the history of the Toronto FC soccer team, to how to bake gluten-free cookies, to whether it’s “pique” or “peak”).  My name is Lindsay and I am a Google addict.

One of the most interesting things about this past year has been the range of topics I covered and therefore the amount of subjects that now pique my interest when I see them posted elsewhere, in a link from a link, or in the news.  Such as where the items we buy and use come from and how that’s impacting other people in the world, economies, and our environment.  A huge topic, I realize, and one I can’t seem to wrap my head around completely.

My cousin Nikki has been a blogger for years (way before I got into it) and she often posts very interesting articles on fair trade, ethical shopping, volunteering, traveling, among other things.  Yesterday she wrote about how we buy shoes that are ethically made.  I was so upset to read that my TOMS – the shoes that I thought were helping the world by me purchasing them instead of another company’s shoes – are not so helpful after all.  They might actually be doing more harm than helping.

That led me to how TOMS are listed as one of the 7 worst international aid ideas on the independent travel publisher, matadornetwork.com.

“Shoelessness, such as it is, is a symptom of a much bigger and more complex problem. And while donating a pair of shoes helps shoelessness, it does not help poverty.

Things like jobs help poverty. Jobs making things like shoes, for example. But TOMS doesn’t make its shoes in Africa, it makes them in China.”

This article blew my mind!  It really opened my ideas to a lot of seemingly helpful ideas that are instead making things worse.  How did I not think of these things before?

A photo for no reason at all

One of the things I did in Montreal that led to me having to wear plastic bags between my socks and the inside of my boots (yep, it was very uncomfortable – especially when I found a hole in one of the bags!):

Two hundred and twenty-two

After yoga (my brother is now calling me “the health nut”) and a warm salad of veggie dogs sliced and sauteed with garlic, mushrooms and tomato on top of mixed greens (actually really tasty), I’ve spent the day looking for recipes of vegan things I can bring for me to eat at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  Every year we all try to get together and have a big Thanksgiving feast with my mom’s side of the family – turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes full of butter and milk, vegetables covered in butter and sometimes bacon, pumpkin pie, ice cream and cake… basically everything I can’t eat. It’s going to be hard to smell to turkey cooking in the oven, watch my cousins, aunts and uncles pour gravy on their mash, have my grandmother upset because I won’t eat her pumpkin pie.  But I am feeling healthier now that the detox is over and I’m not really craving meat (although I could use a little of that pie…)

In fact, yesterday I ate about ten sweet potato fries at work (vegan, although fried in the same oil as chicken, so not sure the rule on that) and I felt like a chunk of lead was sitting in my stomach.  Most of the things I eat now are healthy, not fried, fresh ingredients, so my system did not like those fries!  I know that if I were to gorge on the turkey and gravy or the ice cream, I would feel pretty sick.

A lot of people have asked me to post recipes when I find some good ones.  There are a few websites that I haven’t tried so far, but they look amazing.  Oh She Glows (a popular vegan blog by Angela Liddon) has some last minute vegan Thanksgiving ideas posted that look delicious.  I think I’m going to try the Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream.  A friend sent me over to The Tofu Princess which has a recipe for a Coconut-Apple Crisp that looks divine.  This Super Moist Pumpkin Bread also looks great on Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life.

I know, I’m only naming desserts!  I guess my sweet tooth is really showing here.  My mom is making the mashed potatoes and promised to make a small batch for me without butter and milk, so I’ll have that to eat.  And I’m hoping the veg this year won’t have butter already on it.  This recipe for Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad from PETA.org looks easy to make and transport and good for me to bring that is seasonal and has protein.

Veg.ca, Toronto’s Vegetarian Association, also has tons of links to websites for recipes and places in Toronto you can eat your Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant or buy pre-made vegan Thanksgiving food, if I wanted to do it that way.  I think I should try the cooking thing, though.  We shall see how it goes…