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Hello,! Here's my introduction:

I'm Halsted and I'm a writer living in Portland, Oregon. My short stories have appeared in Innsmouth Magazine, Map Literary, and Bewildering Stories, and I have performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, both as a Story Shop participant and with the literary writing and spoken-word performance group Writers' Bloc.

More about what I write:

Recently I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate my character strengths into my daily life in a more intentional way. I might use a habit tracker to do this. Have you tried something similar? How do you focus on your strengths?

My friend Toby shares how he strives to become a better friend. I’m taking this to heart, as I have so much room for improvement in this realm.

Currently reading: A Brief History of Living Forever by Jaroslav Kalfar 📚 “In an authoritarian near-future America obsessed with digital consciousness and eternal life, two long-lost siblings risk everything to save their mother from oblivion.” Yep, I’m hooked.

Still smitten. 🖋 Sailor Manyo Nekoyanagi with three different nibs, looking slightly different each time.

🔖 Read Even the CDC Is Acting Like the Pandemic Is Functionally Over - The Atlantic: “This new relaxation of COVID rules is one of the most substantial to date—but it wasn’t spurred by a change in conditions on the ground.”

Today’s backyard harvest. I would ask for your favorite recipe for fresh raspberries, but these aren’t lasting very long before we gobble them up.

I can’t decide if Nathan Fielder’s “The Rehearsal” is brilliant or horrible. It may be both. (I did not watch “Nathan for You” first, which may have been a tactical error.)

Today I was reminded of how much I love the song “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” by Colin Hay.

Ladybird near dwarf pomegranate bud. 🐞 At least I think this is a dwarf pomegranate. Part of the fun we’re having now is discovering what’s growing in the garden.

Finished reading: Alone with You in the Ether by Olivie Blake 📚 Not my usual genre, but I’m so glad I took a chance on it. I was captivated by the writing, and by the nuanced characterizations of the protagonists.

Stepping out of a sun-warmed room, soft voices downstairs. A new neighbor, after bringing fresh eggs from another neighbor’s chickens, stayed for a dram. Shadows making the room smaller. I won’t get used to this, I promised myself.

Overdue moving update: All four of us are ensconced in our new home! Each of us is at a different level of adjustment to that fact, so we’re giving each other plenty of space and grace.

Criminy is perplexed by this “moving” thing we’re doing. On the one paw, lots of boxes to perch on. On the other, all of his preciouses keep disappearing. 🤨

We emptied the display cabinet that holds our dearest artifacts. Astounding how a simple physical movement disgorges the soul of a place. This is the part of moving I get superstitious about: How will our ghosts know where to haunt us?

Getting used to how the front door opens, how the stairs creak halfway up, where the late afternoon light seeps in: small, tender moments of acquaintance. Feeling more at home by degrees.

First raspberry harvest at our new place, carried in white glass bowls that once belonged to my nonna.

Fun identifying plants in the new garden. “What’s this one?” “It’s a … whoa, it’s a strawberry!” 🍓

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