Amazon: Bad for Books, Bad for Self-Publishing, Bad for Birmingham

I’ve never wanted to write a blog less than this one. I’ve been avoiding the topic of Amazon — avoiding it on my podcast, and avoiding it on my blog. But with Birmingham falling all over themselves to try to bring Amazon to town (come on, guys — have some […]

everybody hates self publishing sticker

Everybody Hates Self-Publishing (but Everybody Loves Podcasts! I Hope!)

We live in a time when anyone who has a blog or a YouTube channel can be a publisher. If you have an idea and the urge to create, your concept can be in front of anyone with an internet connection in seconds. To paraphrase (sometimes self-published) author Charles Dickens, […]

girl riding amtrak train

How to Travel by Train: My Best Amtrak Tips

A lot of people ask me about train travel, and they usually have stars in their eyes, just like I did. Let’s be honest: When we’re imagining traveling on Amtrak, most of us are really imagining the Hogwarts Express, right? We want to sit in compartments and buy chocolates from […]

minimalist shirt

Two Minimalists and the Localist Walk into a Bar …

If you haven’t been tempted by minimalism yet, you probably know somebody who has been. Maybe they read The Minimalists blog, a collection of thoughts on living with less by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. Maybe they read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Maybe they’re obsessed with tiny […]

Carrie and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

When some people experience a string of bad luck, I supposed they might chalk it up to random coincidence. I, on the other hand, usually take it as a solid sign that I’m being targeted by the universe for unfair persecution. Maybe I spent too much time reading about omens […]

Shipt & Western Are BFFs and We’re All Winners!

Life is full of hard stuff. Real, important stuff like career obstacles, relationship troubles and the impending sense of mortality that defines human existence. But life is also full of stuff that’s not that hard, but is still a bummer — stuff like flossing, grocery shopping, talking our parents through […]

Taking Breaks, Moving on … and Books!!!

I love social media and blogging for a lot of reasons. I love that it helps people connect, and that it’s a way to share about places, things and ideas that I think deserve more attention. I love that, through my blog, I get to publish my own work and […]

Have a Happy Christmas and Feel Good about It, Too: Shop Locally for Christmas!

Lots of people have a lot of problems with Christmas. They don’t like to take the Christ out of Christmas. They don’t like commercialism at Christmas. They don’t like that trees go up before Halloween and that Best Buy commercials tell our nieces to expect iPads in their stockings and […]

Nostalgia, Baseball and National Novel Writing Month

I’ve been feeling really nostalgic lately. Part of it’s the weather, of course: the leaves are falling, and we’re moving into the holidays. It’s more than just that, though. As I write this, I’m watching the Kansas City Royals, my hometown baseball team, play a World Series game, and I’m […]

Trader Joe’s in Birmingham: Angel of Cookie Butter or Corporate Devil?

Trader Joe’s opens in Birmingham today at the Summit, and judging from my Facebook feed, we could not be more excited. We’re pumped about Trader Joe’s good food (many of their products are all-natural, some are organic and pretty much all of them are fun) and about their low prices. […]

Whole Foods Cuts Hundreds of Jobs, Blames Us

Whole Foods announced yesterday that they’re cutting 1,500 jobs — a little over one in every hundred people who work for them. The reason they’re giving is two-fold: One reason is “technology upgrades” (whatever that means; I assume it means back-of-house labor is being automated so fewer people get stockroom […]