Welcome to my week of stress. The photo shoot for the winter issue starts tomorrow, and preparing for it has taken away from almost all the work I’ve needed to do on the heels* in the wake of my monstrous trip. Yes, this is the sound of me trying very hard not to whine. So I’ll focus on the positive.

  • Remember when I switched to Disqus to power the comments and I said I hoped it would help build discussion and community on the blog? Witness the greatest blog discussion ever, made more so due to its very touchy topics of politics and religion and the participation of people who don’t agree with each other. I am in love with everyone who participated, and if you’re keen to learn and share and be respectful, I encourage you to join in.
  • Seriously. I’m not only all a-flutter because of the great discussion, I’ve also learned quite a bit.
  • Before moving away from American politics, I must point out how painfully funny it is that Tina Fey used Sarah Palin’s words verbatim. And I mean this as a comment on comedy more than on Palin’s interview style. Satire can be beautiful.
  • I’m reading Divisadero, by Michael Ondaatje, for our next book club. It’s a quiet book, and I know I’m missing some of its depth because of my self-involvement at the moment. Have I mentioned how crazy work is right now?
  • Canadian politics. Is it a ratings grab, do you think, that the only English-language debate is scheduled opposite the U.S. Vice-Presidential debate? Given how morbidly entertaining the V.P. debate has the potential to be, I wonder how many Canadians will bypass their own, far less fodder-for-satire politics for the one that could make headlines for days and days. We’ll be taping (oh, yes, we don’t have no newfangled DVR) the Canadian one and watching the V.P. one live.
  • Saw Elizabeth May on The National the other night. Hadn’t known a thing about the Green Party before that. Now, extrapolating wildly, think the Green Party is made up of smart, articulate, and dare-I-say-from-a-first-impression honest people who might actually be good for government. She answered the questions, people. With, you know, answers.
  • Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2008
  • I redesigned the blog (read: changed to a new template). I’ll still tool around with it a bit (especially the rightmost sidebar), but I’m really happy with the clean look. What do you think? Is it an improvement?
  • Sister Diane at Craftypod spoke with a couple of people in publishing about how a crafts book comes to be.
  • This essay in the NY Times, which as far as I can tell wasn’t an ironic ode to copy editing, is so heavily punctuated it was all I could do not to take a red pen to my computer screen as I read it.
  • Kirk at Booksquare makes some excellent (and—given the history of music, television, and movie distribution as he discusses—kinda obvious) points about why the publishing industry should embrace ebooks instead of allowing books to fall into the analog hole. As he says:

    “Yes, piracy is wrong. That should go without saying. But, another thing we’ve learned from digital music piracy is that taking the moral high ground doesn’t get you very far. Sometimes it’s easier (and more profitable) to give consumers what they want.

* Edited to account for wrong-headed metaphor.