Of the thirty-odd books I read in 2009, well over half were short story collections. So it isn’t surprising most of my favorite books turned out to be story collections: Demons in the Spring and Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir by Joe Meno, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson, and Elephants in our Bedroom by Michael Czyzniejewski. The Great Paper Caper (“…mystery, crime, alibis, paper planes, a forest, and a bear who wanted to win”) rounds out my list of favorite books.
My standard walk around lens is the Canon 50mm, but I got to know the lensbaby better, as I took it to some of my favorite photo spots in Salem and Rockport. I also decided on my next lens (the Canon 10-20mm wide angle) because I had so much fun when I rented one during my summer vacation.
I also experimented with creating new types of images. I spent some time taking abstract photos, which I’ve enjoyed. I created more diptychs, and played around with composites. (My contribution to Utata’s last big project was a series of composites.)
Things I started using this year that I really like:
- MindNode is the first mind-mapping software I’ve ever liked — so I actually use it
- Superfast and easy to use mockup creation tool Balsamiq
- MAMP, which lets me run WordPress locally
- I never thought I’d find a use for email-to-blog hosted platform like posterous, but it turns out I love it — I’m using it for a visual bookmarking blog.
- Gruml is a Google Reader app for Mac users, and how I’m reading feeds these days. NetNewsWire started syncing with Google, which made me start using it, which led to me using this client instead. The sync really is good, and the sharing features are built in, though I confess I don’t use them very often. I’m still a save it on delicious person at heart, I guess.
- Ommwriter showed me I have room for more than one minimalist, distraction-blocking text editor in my life (WriteRoom is the other, and TextMate is my workhorse.)
Some folks like to say blogging is dead, now that everyone is on twitter (everyone being people who aren’t geeks — but still not my wife) or using facebook (everyone bitches about it, but never leaves) instead. I don’t think so. Plenty of folks have much to contribute on blogs, here’s just a slice of what has stayed with me this year:
Sasha Dichter writes about nonprofits, storytelling, what’s wrong with focusing on overhead ratios and other thought-provoking ideas about changing the world.
Tim O’Reilly’s ideas about working on stuff that matters is something I keep coming back to. It is and isn’t about nonprofits, too.
Bud Caddell’s how to be happy in business venn diagram made the rounds, deservedly so. I know I want to figure out how to spend even more energy in the overlap of what I do well, what I want to do, and what I can be paid to do — don’t you?
what about you?
What did you do? What did you pay attention to?