Heads up! I’m sharing updates from my writer’s notebook every week! If you’re into creative and curious things, you can find a collection of all the posts here!

Hey all!

Ooh la la, welcome to the first post! Nothing like that little blinking cursor on a blank page to start us off on a new adventure, right? I’ll do an introduction to myself a little later on, but I wanted to start this collection of curiosities off right.

As many great things do, it starts with a string of words.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had Mary Oliver’s advice for life pinned to my wall. It was there in high school, but if we’re being honest here, it was definitely half-covered with a Teen Beat poster of Keanu Reeves. (Funny how some things are always in style.) It was there in university, crumpled a bit and affixed with blue washi tape that I stole (borrowed?) from my vegan housemate at the time. And now, it’s got a place of honor next to my office sketchbook shelf, where I’ll be sure to see it every day. Here’s the reason I became a zoologist, chasing the fascinating creatures and truths of the planet. Here’s the reason I became an author and speaker, sharing the curious things I love about the world with anyone who will listen.

And here’s the reason I’m starting this little online notebook to share curious and creative things with you.

As an author, I’m no stranger to the writer’s notebook. I take notes and make doodles every day of things that inspire me. I’m paying attention. I’m astonished daily. It’s a great way to fill a notebook, for sure.

But keeping these astonishing, amazing things locked away in my notebooks doesn’t feel right anymore. I’d like to tell about it, just a little bit more. And if you’re game, I’d love to share them with you here, from my desk to yours.

The world is full of astonishing things. The funny thing about sharing astonishing things is that you never really know how they’ll change someone’s life. Maybe one of these things will make you smile. Maybe it will prompt you to write a whole book. Maybe it will help lighten your load, or even open your eyes to something else astonishing that’s close by, unseen but waiting right there for you.

Whatever momentum these amazing things gain, my hope is that they spark something wonderful in your life.

Without further adieu, let’s get cracking. Here are ten things I loved this week:

1. The Dandelion Wish Factory is real (and it’s waiting to be a picture book, if there are any picture book authors out there ready to tackle it!)

2. We spend a lot of time hunched over computers, sketchbooks, and our phones. Here’s a short but sweet yoga session to show your upper back some love. 

3. Margaret Fuller is someone you should know about. Here she is, talking about why artists ought to be paid.

4. Do we have exploding stars to thank for being able to walk upright on two legs? Looks like it. 

5. Looking to dive deeper into a creative career yourself? Check out Lisa Congdon’s book Art Inc. It’s a game changer.

6. The most painful way to get stung, according to a dude who gets stung professionally.

7. Here’s a (mental) exercise that can help you with big and scary life changes.

8. I absolutely loved this video and interview with Marie Forleo and Rick Hanson on building inner strength.

9. Reimagining the Notre Dame Cathedral as a sustainable greenhouse. (I think this would be a great way to honor cultural history with natural history!)

10. Does the idea of logging amazing and astonishing things resonate with you? I’ve got an oldie but a goodie post here for you (particularly for you creatives out there!)

Enjoy!

If you like these notes and want to keep reading them, you can follow this account on tumblr, or connect with me on Twitter, where I’ll share roundups periodically. (Or you can just say hi!) You can also support curious and creative things by preordering one of my next books –  you can find more info here!

Have a lovely week!

-Jess

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