Newsletter 2: 2023-02-10

Written by Avril

These are a few of my favourite things…

1) Following the pattern I set with my first blog post, I started out planning to write about one topic for my second one and ended up landing on another one. All because of a notebook that caught my eye. This month: kindness.

2) In my blog post I referenced The Regional Assembly of Text.* The RA has lived near me on Main St. for 17 years, and is an unlikely success story. I mean, who would expect a shop that specializes in notebooks and paper and cards and tiny quirky handmade books to last that long, let alone thrive? Yet here they are, and they even have a second shop in Victoria! If you’re hooked on paper like I am, this place is heaven. Feast your eyes.

3) Are you sick of movies and TV shows whose central draw is violence? I am. Like we don’t have enough violence in the world already. So I was delighted to learn about a gentle TV series on Netflix called The Makanai, about two Japanese girls who set out to become maikos (apprentice geishas). They’re devoted friends, but only Sumire has the chops to become a maiko. But it turns out Kiyo is a great cook, and she becomes the maiko house cook (makanai). Doesn’t sound like much – but it’s a charming ode to friendship, food, and women. Warning: do not watch on an empty stomach!

4) Ross Gay is an American poet who actively studies and pursues joy. I haven’t read much of his poetry yet, but I fell in love with The Book of Delights, his book of essays celebrating the small delights of everyday life. And (oh, joy!) he has now followed it up with his latest book, Inciting Joy, which is about (wait for it) joy – but also about sorrow and love and gardens and grief and fear and … well, just life. Gorgeous.

5) If you ever had any doubt that nature has a marvellous sense of style, meet the nudibranch. And because you’ll want to see more of them after you’ve followed that link, here you go. You’re welcome.

6) In my last blog post I referenced the great Austin Kleon, who describes himself simply as “a writer who draws.” That’s a modest description for a guy who is one of the most prolific creators around and who The Atlantic magazine calls “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet.” His blog posts are thought-provoking and inspiring, and his weekly newsletter always contains at least a couple of links I can’t resist following.

7) Time for some music! As I did last month, I’ve created a playlist that pairs with my blog post – this time on the theme of kindness.

8) This month’s photo: The Magic Forest. (Click on the image to see it larger.)

Abstract photo of trees with light coming through the trunks


  1. Monique

    Thank you Avril! I think your delights will inspire people at posAbilities!

    • Avril

      Thank you, Monique! I would be delighted to know this provided some inspiration!

  2. Jessica Landau

    Avril, I love everything about this, AND your PHOTO!! It IS magic – I feel like I both live in that place and I want to just jump right in. Are you selling prints perhaps?

    • Avril

      Thank you so much, Jessica! I’m thrilled that you find the photo magical. I do sell my photos! I can either get a print made for you, or send you a high-res digital file for you to have printed yourself. If you’d like to talk about this, drop me a line or give me a call and we’ll discuss!

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