Friday Open Thread (with Change)

Dear Friends,

It’s spring in Ottawa, and that means cycles of freezing and thawing, and I’ve been living that, a little.

I’m so sorry to have missed the last couple of Fridays. I became aware of Substack-the-corporate-entity behaving badly around the same time that I received some difficult-to-process news (in the realm of Challenge and Disappointment, not Death and Calamities), and consequently I’ve been wallowing in a quiet mudbath of my own feelings. There’s no more graceful way to put this. But I miss writing here.

I have many, many thoughts about Substack-the-corporate-entity, and further thoughts about the commentary they’ve provoked, and no time or energy to address them in any fulsome or meaningful way. My wonderful assistant has been exploring non-Substack options that preserve the things that I like about this platform without inconveniencing any of you or changing the experience here too much, and I’ll keep you posted about how that goes. Many of you will recall that I first moved to Substack from a different service that shut itself down, so what I’m most interested in is finding a way to maintain a newsletter in a self-hosted way that isn’t subject to the whims or ethics of rapacious VCs.

In the meantime, I’d appreciate knowing from you what you value about this newsletter, what you’d hope wouldn’t change in a migration. Some of you are likely subscribed to other newsletters that have made the move to different platforms; how’s that been for you?

A Letter of News will be forthcoming shortly; a lot of lovely things have happened and are happening, among them getting to write about Animal Crossing for NPR, seeing the interior art for my first comic, and looking towards an interview with the Brazilian Relampeio festival this coming Sunday, April 4, at 6PM EST.

Wishing joy and nourishment and ease to you all, whether you’re celebrating holy days this weekend or just contemplating the light changing on the walls of your apartment. There’s more and more of it every day.

Love,

Amal