My 10 Sites and Stories of the Week~ June 10

Just in time for the weekend, here is a top 10 list of websites or stories I found interesting.

one How to Keep a Travel Journal on The Pen Company website
Post writer, Lucy, writes a great post about making a travel journal fun and relevant. Basically, it’s all about you. It was a great read and less of a how to and more of a questions to guide you to making it work for you list. This pen and notebook addict is happy to find this site. Some women buy shoes to reduce stress. I buy pens and notebooks.

twoSpiro Graphic Art
What a joy this site has been. Something I saw on Facebook made me remember how I always wanted my own Spirograph set as a kid. So I quickly adulted and made that childhood dream a reality (thanks Amazon). But I wanted to see what other people were doing with spirographs, did a google search et voila!   Lots of info about tools, tests, art and the math involved.

threeWild Gears
Spiro Graphic Art introduced me to Wild Gears. Aaron Bleackley designs and produces spirograph gears using laser cut acrylic sheets. So many possibilities! My “To Buy Someday” list increased.


I love riding my bike in Tokyo. You really get to know the city. Plus there’s the exercise bonus. But summer is tough on the urban cyclist. I want to cycle but I also want to arrive without looking like a sweat-draggled rat. So I’m always on the lookout for fun clothes that can deal with sweat. I like the shorts and the leggings though I think the leggings are too hot for summer.

five“Buying Coffee Every Day Isn’t Why You’re in Debt” by Helaine Olen on
This was a great read about how common sense memes about finances get picked up and passed around. It also made me think about how we judge people about money. It’s great to review and  spending habits with the eye towards how your meeting personal financial goals, but this latte rule has bugged me for a long time. Now I know why.

six“Outline Your Novel Faster” by Cathy Yardly on Helping Writers Become Authors
This is a new website for me in terms of writer resources. I will be spending more time there I think. This article was pretty short with just 6 points and in a way, nothing I didn’t really know already. But sometimes you can still know something but seeing it again resonates in a different way and sparks some ideas.

sevenRomance Novel Beat Sheets by Jami Gold

In my quest to be a more organized writer, I came across Jami Gold’s worksheets for writers. I’ve found them helpful for sorting myself out once I get started.


eightMicrophotography by Levon Biss on PopPhoto
Think macrophotography is challenging? Pfft. Try microphotography! This article about insect microphotography was fascinating. Levon Biss microphotography photos of insects is really creating art. But as much as I love the effect, this is one process I’m happy to enjoy and not embark upon.


nineHow to Write Logic Puzzle by Dave’s Logic Puzzles
For my MaiNichi Mushroom Zine project I’m making puzzles. This is a great article about how to write logic puzzles. Many of the sites I checked said to start with the solution and make clues to fit. Thaaaaanks. This article had more step-by-step instructions and tips, visual examples and software suggestions.


ten“Emancipation: how to make a work of glass that isn’t glass”  curated by Yuka Otani starts in Corning, New York on June 9.
Otani is a glass maker who uses sugar to experiment with traditional and non-traditional methods of glass-making. I like that she is experimenting in a genre that seems to have such rigid rules.


Curmudgeony Cat on a Leash


The final treat of my bike ride today was seeing this fluffy chinchilla on a leash on a walk with its owner. The cat’s face is hilarious. I had a good chuckle when I rode past. Then I had to go back and ask if I could take a photo.

The owner was very nice. While it seems mean to take the cat on a leash, the owner said that she doesn’t want her cat to just stay inside all day but that letting him roam around is not safe. I think she’s being a very good owner.

Tokyo by Bicycle

Spring is definitely in the air today. It’s a sunny 14 degrees Celcius. It’s almost a shock after yesterday’s cold drizzle. And rather like a ground hog emerging from winter burrows, its time for me to emerge from the mole-like subway commuter existence and travel the surface of Tokyo.

The best thing about riding on the streets instead of under them is learning how the city connects itself in between the train and subway stations. People often compare taking the train or subway to living like a mole, popping up to the surface in various locations, sniffing around nearby places before going back into the tunnels.

There are lots of little gems to be found outside the nearby radius of the stations. One is this granola place on Meguro Dori in front of Meguro Fire Station. Good Morning Tokyo is one of those narrow focus specialty shops that I really associate with Japan. All they make is granola. You can also get a decent cup of coffee or cafe drink. It’s take out only but they have a cafe table and two chairs in front of the store.

Right now I’m soaking up the early spring sun, drinking my coffee, and munching on some really great maple pistachio granola. The granola was about 750 yen for 270 grams. It’s a really welcome break on the way home from my test ride to Hiroo. I want to cycle to yoga class in Hiroo but I needed to try out my route first. I suppose that 8-9 km one way isn’t that far, but finding an efficient, safe route takes some time.



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