The Small Batch List
November 2nd, 2018

1) Another news in brief this week. I was up late last night working on a deadline. It was for a writing competition I have known about for ages (months!) and I had written it in my to-do list every day for weeks on end. I actually didn't start writing this 8 page application until 4pm yesterday afternoon and even then I was sitting on the fence about whether I really wanted to be doing it or not. While my kids were out and up to Halloween shenanigans, I decided to put together a synopsis, logline and outline for a ghost film. Because why not? It was Halloween after all, the veil was thin, and I thought maybe the spirits would lend a hand. It was epic. I didn't look up from my screen until I hit send, paid the registration fee and double checked to make sure I'd actually sent it to the right address - just before midnight. Earlier this year I did exactly the same thing, and as I put together a ten page script with literally hours until grant application cut-off I kept thinking "Next time I will start this months ahead of time! It will be so much better!" But no. Why? Why do we do this?  This Ted Talk by the super entertaining Tim Urban explains the working mind of the master procrastinator. And look, self-help guru Mel Robbins tells me that I'm not a procrastinator! Maybe that next deadline (December 6th, FYI) is going to be something I address today. Maybe. Hey look... a cat video...
2) Story time! Here is The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu (winner of the Hugo, the Nebula and the World Fantasy Awards - incredible!). It's read by Rajan Khanna on the wonderful fantasy fiction Podcastle podcast. This story won the listeners' vote last year as the all-time favourite story from the podcast over the past decade. If you don't fancy it on audio, find it in this anthology here
3) The inspiring and formidable newsletter Brain Pickings turned 12 last week. To celebrate Maria Popova brought back her 10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings which she put out two years ago. So much good, affirming and thoughtful advice. (H/T my Mum!)
4) This is one of those recipes I bring back and link to every year around this time because it's perfect comfort food. Sunday Night Spag Bol from the Loobylu archives. And, if you are feeling super fancy, use this mix between sheets of fresh lasagna in a baking dish, combined with layers of a good white sauce (don't forget the nutmeg), topped with loads of cheese and cooked for 45 minutes (or golden and bubbly) in a 180°c oven. Delicious.
5) A while back Open by Rhye was one of my favourite songs. Rhye has a new album out, Blood, and it's beautiful. See them playing live by candlelight on their Tiny Desk show. (H/T Dave) 
See you next week!

Claire Robertson,
The Small Batch List

Person who always stores their butter on the counter.


p.s. 100 points for guessing the quote in the subject line! Last week was from The Tyger by William Blake. Don't know it? Look it up because it's a great poem.

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