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LOVE this take on the caring and creative brain as one. Never thought of it exactly like that, but I feel that. Caregiving is a full-on sensory presence. Imagining a whole new perspective of another person and then reimagining it as they keep changing and growing. Endlessly thinking about the what-ifs and possibilities. It explains why both aspects — caring and creativity — foster growth and connection.

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ahh, I love what you say here about growth and connection!

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I love this idea for a series, I had something similar on my old blog, just because it felt like such a struggle to parent and also be creative. My main frustration was always that inspiration would strike and that I wouldn't be able to act on it bc of caretaking duties. Looking forward to reading Amanda's book!

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Sep 17, 2023Liked by Nancy Reddy

When I was a teenager, the boss at my summer job gave me a copy of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and said, This will change your life! I never opened it—I didn’t want my life to change. But I love books that change my thinking. I read Felicia Rose Chavez’ The Anti-racist Writing Workshop because of my work with the applicants to (and reviewers for) Sustainable Arts, and have found it so inspiring.

What I didn’t expect was how much she would speak to my own writing, as you do here, in terms of making it easier to get started and lowering the stakes in writing because you know you’ll be back again soon. It’s so valuable to get that message from different perspectives and voices!

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I love the idea of someone trying to convert you to Ayn Rand! (glad it didn't work!) And I've been thinking about the Anti-Racist Writing Workshop, too--it's been helpful for me as a teacher, but I also think there are concepts in it that are helpful for craft, like her assignment to have people write a letter about what they want before they go up for workshop.

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Sep 17, 2023Liked by Nancy Reddy

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn really transfixed me as a girl. The coming-of-age American classic opened my eyes to the experience of growing up a girl in a specific, unique time and place, yet speaks to universal experiences and how some things haven’t changed. I’m not a big non-fiction reader, but I love Amanda Montei and her work and will absolutely be reading Touched Out!

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Wintering by Katherine May changed the way I felt about my need to retreat in certain seasons (literal and figurative) of my life. I recommend it for anyone, really, but especially for any fellow late-diagnosed neurodivergent people who are experiencing (or have experienced) burnout.

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Looove this interview and grateful to you both for it (Amanda and Nancy!) Sarah Polley’s Run Toward the Danger completely changed my brain this summer--still processing it --and I’m so excited for Touched Out ⚡️⚡️

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I read one chapter of that (the birth chapter, I think?) that I got through ILL--but your rec is making me think I need to get the whole thing!

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The Mercies, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Holy smokes folks. That one shook me. I am currently living through the tortureous ordeal of being falsely accused of awful things by a group of people who are attempting to take my child from me. This book put me viscerally in touch with how timeless the demonization of women and mothers is, and how many women throughout history have felt the utter helplessness and lack of choices that we still so often feel.

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I'm so sorry you're dealing with that. I can't imagine how awful that is. Thanks for sharing your suggestion. xo

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Ace by Angela Chen changed the way I view sexuality, misogyny, and so much more. I recommend it to everyone!

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I love this idea for a series and I love this interview.

It feels a bit on the nose to say I’m reading “Essential Labor” but here we are. It’s been both a window and a mirror vis a vis certain aspects of care work. I’m halfway through and regretting being so late to the party.

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It's such a good book!!!

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I love all of this and will be reading and following more of Amanda Montei - thank you Nancy for these good creatures interviews!

Chanel Miller's Know My Name is phenomenal - as a documentation of a victims' process and experience, as a model for how to write truth, as a lesson in how to support women, and so much more.

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It’s Okay to Laugh, Crying is Cool, Too by Nora McInerny made me feel seen & understood & like maybe I’d survive my grief.

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I have not read that, but I've heard good things about it! Thanks for sharing the rec!

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Sep 14, 2023Liked by Nancy Reddy

I just finished Grapes of Wrath and Hunchback of Notre Dame both had extremely powerful themes of motherhood. As far as Grapes, Rose of Sharon having a still birth in a migrant camp, and then becoming the mother of humanity by feeding a starving man with her breast. As far as Hunchback, a mother and daughter finding each other and loving each other with all of life’s passion and chaos after only knowing each other for seven minutes and then being brutally ripped apart...by powerful men no less.

Fun fact, the original title of “Hunchback” doesn’t include the titular disability. It is simply Notre Dame de Paris, meaning Our Lady of Paris. No implication about it, this means Esmeralda is the main character, and this scene with her mother is the climax of the novel. Vulgar American translators wanted to make all about Quasimodo because a book about a woman isn’t interesting.

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Hi, Maci! You're the winner of the copy of Touched Out! If you email me your address (nancy.o.reddy at gmail), I'll pop it in the mail this week.

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Thanks for those suggestions! I taught Grapes of Wrath the last year I taught high school, but it's been a long time, and I'm sure it would be a different experience now.

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Sep 14, 2023Liked by Nancy Reddy

Yeah...I’m reading all the books I avoided in high school because I feel guilty I haven’t read them yet 😅

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I also think there's a real pleasure in reading things when you *haven't* been assigned them!

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I’m currently on page 10 of “The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and language in a more-than-human world” by David Abram and it’s rocking me to my core already. Well worth checking out,

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ooh that sounds amazing!

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Middle school may have started my obsession with psychological understanding through the pages of 'A Child Called It'. Then I learned people that appear to separate themselves from life need other people to help them open up. Rather than expect them to do it themselves know they didn't damage their own psyche so they can't rebuild it by themselves either.

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