Fun fact: Paul is an old friend. I met him when I was still a youngish editor, ambitious as hell and not too scared to beg fancy book authors to write for me. I had read his amazing book Four Fish, which my now-husband had put me on to, and was enthralled by both his voice as a writer and also how he turned his passion for fishing and climate change into a stunning, lyrical, and ultimately very sad book about the environment and conservation.

He's also, as you can see, a photographer. The word polymath comes to mind. Suggest you follow him, and take this as a cue to make that viral feta recipe for dinner this weekend.

I found inspiration in a sweet note my son found hidden in the park

Shout out to my manicure and whoever hid this in Prospect Park. My kid and I found it today in a teepee. 🙏

Yesterday, in an IG comment, my friend Anna tagged me on an Ina Garten post. Ina, that better-than-therapy cook, the fairy godmother of goodness, announced she would be doing Thanksgiving sides, live on the Food Network, Sunday at 12 p.m.

I’ve you’ve read me recently, you know Anna. (If you haven’t, you can get a sense of the love I have for my friend, with whom I am bonded through a shared experience of early death, but many other things too.) I haven’t seen Anna since Easter, and this is a heart breaker, because we barely saw each other then…

Plus: 10 of my favorite Medium writers right now

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

It would be a lie to say I read for a living, but it’s fair to say I make a living because I love to read and am good at it.

Why do you read? When you ask people this, a lot of them say they read to consume information or to escape. No offense to me, but this blog post will likely contain very little information! And surely no escape, unless you are procrastinating. …

A gentle reminder that your teachers wear weird clothes

Still waiting for someone to help me pic stock images. Photo by Walter “CheToba” De Boever on Unsplash

Once upon a time, I had a teacher who gave a talk about the opportunities for insight that hide in our daily observations. He focused his talk on our observation of others, and the stories we tell ourselves about what comes up. He said that when you pay attention, a mirror pulls up. This is a mirror of what’s happening inside, I think was the gist.

Do you see beautiful things in other people? This may be a reflection of an available beauty within you (this is lovely). Do you see ill intent everywhere? You might explore what’s going on…

Profound lessons about freedom and boundaries from bumps, hugs, and beyond

Still working on this image selection quandary, but this is cool? Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Boundaries established, boundaries pushed, a chat, questions, shouting, more questions, negotiating, more shouting, another chat, hugs, more negotiating, touching each others’ noses, more hugs, verbal expressions of love, rest. Can I touch your nose?

If you have ever known a toddler, you know the dance. My son is that joyful, exhausting dance partner, the last guy on the floor at 3 a.m., the sleepover friend who wants to talk all night. He is the orb that lights up the place. And he hugs strangers. (He is not unlike his mother in this regard.)

When you walk around with him, strangers…

I started doing this when I needed it, and now I use it all the time

Photo: arianka ibarra/Unsplash

My friend Anna once joked that before we both got married (not to each other), we dated each other for years (open relationship, technically speaking). We would do lovely dinners at spots we’d added to our mental lists, saving them for each other. We’d day-drink Sancerre on weekends and then take long, chilly walks through lower Manhattan, telling each other everything. We went to Miami once and shared a bed. Our early thirties were super fun! And also hard.

At our dinners, we sometimes played a game we called Five Nice Things. It is what it sounds like: You take…

On learning how to read

This is pretty, but it is not how you shelve books. Image by Ria Puskas for Unsplash

Before she got her Master’s in children’s literature, my mother was a reference librarian at a public library in Montreal where her job was to be the internet before the internet. People would call the desk and ask her a question, and she would walk the aisles to find the book or the periodical with the answer. “What time is it in Newfoundland?” “What is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?” “What is a p value in research?” I’d often go to work with her on Sundays. …

Now is not the time for silence.

Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

We at Medium want to acknowledge the pain and trauma that people across the United States are feeling right now due to acts of racist violence that have unfolded recently in Georgia, in Minneapolis, in Louisville, in New York City, and beyond. What follows are the major events that precipitated the current outrage and unrest.

Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was jogging this February in a Georgia neighborhood where he was hunted down and killed by a father and son, who are White. …

My brother died eight years ago. Here is an audit of his digital footprint.

The author and her brother, from high school in the 90s

Every so often, I log into an old email account. It’s a Yahoo, and I created it in 2001. I became a late-adopter Gmail person in 2009, but kept the other one because when the grief washes over you, it can be nice to read old emails.

Over the course of a decade, my big brother and I traded astonishingly boring notes. Most were very short, tapped into our Blackberries, because this was when people wrote emails, not texts, to stay connected. There are emails scheduling phone calls or planning visits. There’s the one from him containing only lyrics to…

An utterly cheesy, totally true essay about wireless earphones

Photo: Photographer and videographer/Getty Images

The first time I saw a pair of AirPods in a pair of ears, I thought they were a joke. They were so absurd looking as to be hilarious, and my best guess was that my friend, a tech journalist who’d gotten his hands on a loaner set well before launch, had for some reason snipped his buds from their tangled wires and put them in his ears to amuse me. We sat across from each other in the TIME newsroom, where we worked back then; he’s a bit of a joker, and I’m an easy laugh.

After he explained…

Siobhan O'Connor

VP, Editorial @Medium. I write and edit, usually in that order.

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