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Joshua Whiting

learner, writer, creator, librarianish person

a stream

All posts and notes on this site, sorted by when published.


On Some Emily Dickinson Shit (Fascicles in a Drawer 2022)

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.27]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.21]

This site now aims to be the contemporary equivalent of enigmatic handmade publications hoarded in a drawer.

This site now aims to be the contemporary equivalent of enigmatic handmade publications hoarded in a drawer.

Standalone post link: On Some Emily Dickinson Shit (Fascicles in a Drawer 2022)
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On Virtual Coffee and Mormons Who Play Animal Crossing

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.27]
[Last Updated: 2022.07.16]

I’m curious how Mormons1 who play Animal Crossing: New Horizons are responding to the new café.

I’m curious how Mormons1 who play Animal Crossing: New Horizons are responding to the new café.

  • Does anyone refrain from having their character drink coffee in Animal Crossing, so as to avoid even the very appearance of evil?

  • Have kids been caught by their parents drinking coffee in the game and had the game confiscated or banned?

  • Are any Mormons going bonkers drinking cup after cup of coffee in Animal Crossing because it’s “just a game” or “doesn’t count?”

  • How does someone’s stance on coffee in Animal Crossing compare to their stance on violence and gore in other video games?

  • Is drinking coffee in Animal Crossing ‘Word of Wisdom pornography?’

  • Am I overthinking this, or at least thinking more about it than I ever would have back when I was a Mormon?2


I was always jealous when one of the island residents would be walking around the island with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa.

But it turns out that now that I can, drinking coffee in Animal Crossing is not all that satisfying. Doing almost anything in Animal Crossing is not all that satisfying for very long, to be honest.

Drinking real coffee in real life is generally satisfying, though.


  1. I believe they were instructed that they prefer to be referred to as ‘members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ now. I think this gives me an opening in that the term ‘Mormon’ may now be technically available for me to reappropriate, redefine, and claim for my own purposes. I’m not all that interested in making that claim right now, though. ↩︎

  2. Nope. I often overthought things in regards to the church, which is ultimately one of the many reasons I’m not there anymore. ↩︎

Standalone post link: On Virtual Coffee and Mormons Who Play Animal Crossing
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Your art is more important than your audience

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.25]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.19]

Your art is more important than your audience - screenshot of my horoscope

Your art is more important than your audience.

– so says my A.I. / algorithmically generated horoscope today, the notification popping up while I was mid-contemplating just how to curate collections and microthoughts such as these on this website, and whether to continue to do it just for myself or reconnect somehow with a social media network for the possible benefit or irritation of unknown others.

Your art is more important than your audience - screenshot of my horoscope

Your art is more important than your audience.

– so says my A.I. / algorithmically generated horoscope today, the notification popping up while I was mid-contemplating just how to curate collections and microthoughts such as these on this website, and whether to continue to do it just for myself or reconnect somehow with a social media network for the possible benefit or irritation of unknown others.

I still haven’t decided.

Standalone post link: Your art is more important than your audience
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Yay Thanksgiving!

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.25]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

Yay holidays! Yay traditions! Yay America! Yay humans! We’re the best! We’re smarter than turkeys!

Yay holidays! Yay traditions! Yay America! Yay humans! We’re the best! We’re smarter than turkeys!

Standalone post link: Yay Thanksgiving!
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Reading Link: Facebook Sent Me Down a Centrist Rabbit Hole

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.19]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.19]
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New Longer Thing: Writing the Great American Email

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.18]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.19]
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Writing the Great American Email

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.18]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

The last rays of the sun transfigured the water tower, the freeway overpasses, and the tops of the pins on the bowling alley sign, as I sat at my computer in an emptied office. I hadn’t noticed the sky darkening as I tapped away on my keyboard, compulsively shift-tabbing the cursor, re-reading, revising, substituting words, deleting phrases, and reorganizing paragraphs.

The last rays of the sun transfigured the water tower, the freeway overpasses, and the tops of the pins on the bowling alley sign, as I sat at my computer in an emptied office. I hadn’t noticed the sky darkening as I tapped away on my keyboard, compulsively shift-tabbing the cursor, re-reading, revising, substituting words, deleting phrases, and reorganizing paragraphs.

I still didn’t notice how late it was when my wife called me up wondering where I was and what I was doing, if I was okay. It was only as I dumbly attempted to explain to her why I was still at work that I recognized my folly. I was deep in creative flow, composing a short essay. I thought it was pretty good, and it was nearly complete.  It had some humor, it had a detailed history of past work on the subject, and it had what I think are some promising ideas for the topic moving forward. Sounds great, right? I haven’t yet disclosed a key detail, which is that it was about to be sent in reply to an email I received with a simple question asked in a single sentence.

My wife recommended I not hit send on that email just then, and I took her advice. It is still in my drafts. It was not all for naught, though. As I closed up the office and drove home from work, I was finally ably to put a name to a needed work productivity goal (and probably professional relationship goal, but I hate thinking about relationships) around what I think must be a rather unique personal challenge - I should not be writing The Great American Email.

Getting lost in composing detailed narratives and obsessively reworking sentences is within my full purview here in nowhereland, but it is usually not all that helpful or productive in an email at work. So, if I recognize that I am starting to write an extensive email, I need to take pause and figure out if it should actually be a phone call, an item for a meeting, a note that I don’t share with anyone yet, a sentence or two summary, or if it really needs to be anything at all. After all, I know people skip or delete my emails, sometimes maybe I can skip or delete things, too. 

I need to recognize that sometimes I just like reading myself writing - case in point, this very website, of which I may well be the only reader. Please don’t try to like, subscribe, or leave a comment, because none of those things are possible here. (Well, I guess “subscribe” is possible, if you are into that ancient protocol, RSS.)

TL;DR here’s that quality productivity self-help life hack you can share with all your business bros and professional contacts on LinkedIn - DON’T WRITE THE GREAT AMERICAN EMAIL.

(That is, unless your work is composing an email newsletter that you hope will get picked up by The Atlantic or make you a Substack millionaire – in that case you should definitely try to write the Great American Email. The school district doesn’t pay me for that sort of work, though.)


Standalone post link: Writing the Great American Email
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Reading Link: Teen Librarians Are Not Pornographers

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.17]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.19]
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topographicbark

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.16]
[Last Updated: 2022.02.21]

Photograph taken on June 13, 2009, somewhere off the South Fork Road in Provo Canyon.

I guess I’m going to at least occasionally continue with the totally random old photos. Probably should get a good series/source name for them.

Standalone post link: topographicbark
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Book Review - The Last Cuentista

[Originally Posted: 2021.11.16]
[Last Updated: 2021.11.15]

I wrote and had published on Granite Media a review of The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera. Might as well reshare it here for a record.

I wrote and had published on Granite Media a review of The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera. Might as well reshare it here for a record.

Full review text from https://www.granitemedia.org/2021/11/the-last-cuentista/ :

It’s literally the end of the world: a solar flare has knocked Haley’s Comet into a catastrophic collision course with Earth. But for almost-13-year-old Petra and her family there is an opportunity in the midst of this tragedy: they must leave their grandmother and their home in the New Mexico desert to secretly board an interstellar ship on a mission to colonize a new planet. Petra’s family is chosen as part of the mission because her parents are expert scientists with knowledge needed for exploring and terraforming the new planet. They will be put into stasis for the nearly 400 year space journey, and along the way Petra will receive a cognitive learning implant that will make her an expert in botany and geology when she arrives and is brought out of stasis. More than that, though, she also carries within her the Mexican folklore her grandmother shared with her, and the desire to be a storyteller, and preserve the stories of humanity. When she is brought out of stasis, not to her parents but to a future far different and more precarious than what was planned, her stories and Earth memories might be the only hope for saving what is left of humanity.

This book launches with a seemingly typical near-future sci-fi premise, but is unique as a middle-grade novel centering the story around a young person’s perspective. The author expertly interweaves Petra’s present predicament with flashbacks to her life on earth before the journey, as well as folklore and tales she learned from her Grandmother, which turn out to be absolutely prescient to her current situation light years from Earth. The book has positive echoes of middle-grade classics like The Giver and the Wrinkle in Time books, but with a contemporary flair, a fresh Mexican American perspective, and perhaps higher stakes for the characters. Beyond being a gripping science fiction adventure, it is filled with topics and situations for tween readers to discuss and think about, which would make it great for a book club or classroom study.

Reviewed by Joshua Whiting, Library Media Program, Granite Educational Technology Department Review shared in October 2021 Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars) Interest Level: Grades 5 and Up

Author Website: dbhiguera.com

Title: The Last Cuentista Author: Donna Barba Higuera Publisher: Levine Querido Release Date: October 12, 2021 A review copy was not provided by the publisher.

Standalone post link: Book Review - The Last Cuentista
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Copyright 2022 Joshua David Whiting. Made in Millcreek, Utah, USA. Contact me. Built with Hugo and my own WP51 theme, still a work in progress. Hosted via Github and Netlify.