A Quiet Week

Happy Friday, friends. This week has been so quiet around my home, which is strange. Our walls are typically vibrating with energy and noise, but I think we’re all doing a bit of wintering right now. It’s a welcome change for me! This week I’ve sank into a routine of reading and writing, so I don’t have anything crafty to share with you today. Everything comes and goes with me – craftiness will be back, maybe even as soon as next week, so have no fear. But this week I’m thinking about notebooks, reading, and helpful ways to manage quotes and ideas.

First of all, I learned a new term this week from a silent vlog by wild simplicity: techo kaigi. Techo kaigi is a meeting with one’s planners and journals. I should have known the Japanese would have already recognized this experience and given it a name. The picture above is an old stack of notebooks, but I hope to share my current notebook system with you soon. I can change my notebook strategy at the drop of a hat and my current one is different than what I’ve been doing over the last few years. I’m not sure if it will stick, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

I wrote a post in October 2020 about Zettelkasten – a system for filing and saving all of those bits and bobs of inspiration you come across in your everyday life. It’s probably the post I’ve enjoyed writing the most and I’m thinking about how to implement it into my life again. I still think my idea of combining a commonplace book and Evernote is a good one; I struggle with the execution.

This renewed obsession with zettelkasten was spawned by relistening to Maria Popova’s On Being interview. Something new bubbles up for me every time I hear it. This time it was her brief conversation on using literature as a way of perfecting the human soul. I think that’s beautiful. I have no idea how to perfect the human soul, or even what that would look like, but the idea of studying words written by long gone writers is right up my alley. And of course, finding ways to file and reference those words and ideas can be a struggle. I’m always amazed when bloggers use the perfect quote to make their point – where do they find them??! I’d love to be able to go into Evernote, use the search function, and find exactly what I’m looking for. That would require a life-long effort of care, curation, and organization. It’s something to aspire to.

{Also: I was pleased when Maria Popova changed her website’s name to The Marginalian. An earlier version of my blog was called Messy Marginalia. I love the imagery!}


After finishing The Lincoln Highway last week, I thought I should reread Of Mice and Men. My goodness, what a gut punch. I was hoping to uncover more allusions from The Lincoln Highway, but I don’t recommend that strategy. It just reminded me how brutal and sad the story was.

I picked up The White Witch at the library after Amy’s BookTube video on Elizabeth Gouge. This author is totally new to me and I’m so glad to be introduced to her. Her descriptions are beautiful and she’s written such interesting characters. It’s set in England in the 1600s, is full of herbs, and has a slight twinge of witchiness. I’m having a hard time putting it down! My library has four or five books by Gouge and I’m looking forward to exhausting their supply in 2022.

I started Five Tuesdays in Winter on audio (heads up: it’s included for free in your Audible account if you have one!), which is a short story collection by Lily King. I was pleasantly surprised by her recent novel, Writers & Lovers, and was interested in reading more by her. I’m near the halfway point and am really enjoying it. So far there are two coming-of-age stories and a story about finding love late in life. They’re written from a variety of viewpoints, which I find quite impressive: a teenage girl, a middle-aged single father, and a teenage boy. I’m looking forward to digging into King’s backlist.

And finally, I’m still reading Love Medicine and Devotions, both very slowly and carefully. I’m going to give Love Medicine my full attention after I finish The White Witch.

And that is the sum total of my free time this week. We’re expecting another very cold weekend, so I’m off to find recipes for warm and cozy meals to make. I hope to be back next week with an introduction to my One Little Word for 2022. Until then — stay cozy and safe!


16 thoughts on “A Quiet Week

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  1. So much to think about here! I used to love Evernote and moved away from it for reasons I now can’t remember. Switched to One Note but, like almost everything Microsoft-related, it’s always felt overly complicated/clunky to me. And that said, I do miss having a good way to curate ideas, quotes, etc. So I believe you’ve started me down a path…as you often do! 😉

    Have a cozy weekend, and I look forward to reading about your new word!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire your ability to switch over to a new writing/tracking/daily journaling system. I have tried but I find it frustrating and I inevitably move back to the system I have used for years. And, YES! finding a way to keep all those quotes in a manner in which you can find them again… sigh. That would be a wonder!

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  3. I am going to add The White Witch to my list of want-to-reads. It sounds really fun and interesting! Thanks for the recommendation, and the link to Lesley’s vlog, as well! I’ve never used Evernote, but a way to file away quotes and interesting phrases would be a good tool.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a lovely stack of journal journals Katie. Finding the perfect quote definitely can be challenging at times. I often use Goodreads or the QuoteGarden, I also write quotes in my journal but like it it’s hard to go back to find those quotes. I’ve heard the White Witch is good and look forward to hearing your thoughts about it. Stay warm and have a wonderful weekend!

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  5. Yup, “The White Witch” will soon be added to my TBR list. Sounds like just the thing for winter reading. Interested in reading about your experiences with notebooks and quotations. Being, ahem, a little on the disorganized side, it is something I’ve been struggling with for years. I’ve got a little notebook in my desk primarily used for quotations. In the living room a bigger notebook for nature observations and creative ideas I might have. Then I have a calendar book to help me keep track of things. Note a perfect system, but it more or less works.

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  6. I love seeing your stacks of notebooks. I have a little stack of pandemic journals now (I think I’m on my fifth notebook), but I still have a ways to go to live up to your example!

    I think the season lends itself to quiet time. When everything is frozen solid outside, it’s hard to muster the energy for much of anything. I’ve still been getting outside for my daily walk, but it’s been cold and messy with the snow and ice. This past long weekend, I made a BBQ brisket (which was enough for two meals) and a white chicken chili, and they were both perfect warming meals. I’m looking for more for the weekend ahead!

    Stay warm and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love quiet days, and just reading what you have to write is making me feel all cosy already. And Zettelkasten is so interesting, as I too have learned a bit about it during my new interest in commonplace books. Anyway, I love the journalling niche, so do keep these posts coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve never used Evernote. So if you used it for passages and quotes, you can search for them? How handy would that be!! My interest is piqued!!

    Oh goodness, re-reading Of Mice and Men after The Lincoln Highway….no, no, no…not for me! I read Of Mice and Men and you described it perfectly – brutal, and like a gut punch. It’s my least favorite so far of Steinbeck’s works. Have you read East of Eden?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love reading about the “systems” that others use to track ideas and thoughts … and I’m struck that our English vocabulary lacks even the word to describe it! I’ve been savoring the Lily King collection – thank you for the heads up about Audible … I’ll check that out.

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  10. I like seeing your notebooks (I don’t use one, but always enjoy seeing those of others). Gosh! I remember not enjoying “Of Mice and Men” when I read it in high school. A gruesome tale. “Devotions” is on my nightstand.


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