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!):

Three hundred and sixty-one

I know I’ve been putting a lot of photos of street art up, but I need to add one more.  It’s not art as much as it is a political statement, written across the doors of an abandoned building a few blocks away from my house.

It reminds me of all the things that could be done to better the living conditions of those in poverty in Canada.  Although I’m a believer in investing in prevention as opposed to reaction (also something I talked about quite a bit concerning health and diet in previous months), there are steps that need to be taken in order to help get people on their feet when prevention (affordable, safe  housing; child care;  improved working conditions and pay for low-wage jobs; more access to education) didn’t work.  Food banks are one of these.

“This space could be a food bank”