Easing Out of August with the Addition of Some New Audio

I hope you're not mourning the end of the summer just yet, friends!

I know that Labor Day is less than a week away, but thus only ends our traditional perception of summertime. As a very wise friend reminded me a year or two ago, calendar-wise, we've still got until the autumnal equinox on September 22.

I've mostly only got that date near the top of my brain because, uncharacteristically for me, I'm planning ahead. Knowing that sniffles and sore throats are more than likely to occur as the season begins to shift to cooler temperatures, and knowing that buying immunity-boosting supplements at Whole Foods can get expensive, I'm proud of myself for having gotten a huge batch of my own echinacea tincture in the works earlier this month.

I'm using the Mountain Rose Herbs tincture instructions/recipe that you can find over here (and using echinacea that I bought from them in bulk as well). Right now the plan is to decant everything right around September 26. When the finished tincture is all ready to go, my wonderful friend Jessica Sanchez of Elemental Alchemy recommends taking a dropperful in a shot glass filled with orange juice. I'm experimenting with the difference between brandy and vodka as the solvent as well, so I'm hoping the brandy version will be a bit more palatable if taken straight than tinctures made with vodka tend to be. Whenever that autumnal chill finally decides to roll through, I'll be ready!

What's new on the blog

This month on Queen of Peaches, I'm trying a little experiment with my newest blog post. I've embedded a recording of me reading the essay at the top of the post, so you can either listen along while you read or let my voice do the work for you if you're on the go.

"My dad had a debilitating stroke in the summer of 2004 and then died a full eight years later at the very end of 2012. He hadn’t left much in the way of a will, so my family and I did the best we could with the wake and funeral arrangements, guessing at what he would have wanted. (I will always be proud of my insistence on playing The Spaniels’ 'Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight' as mourners filed past the casket for the last time on the day of the funeral. My dad often ended his gigs with a tape recording of the song, and, even though the funeral home attendant rushed, slightly panicked, to turn down the volume on the stereo when that first bass vocal riff DA DA DUH DUH DUNH kicked in, it’s just the sort of impish, slightly inappropriate joke that would have tickled the shit out of him.)"

Click here to read (and/or hear) the rest.

And, since I'm currently in the mindset to play around with format a bit, tell me, dear TinyLetter subscribers: would you be interested in receiving the full text of my blog posts via this newsletter? That is, instead of my sending you a short excerpt of the post and then providing a link to click like I just did above?

I've never wanted to be the person who's, like, nonconsensually putting my writing in front of your eyeballs, but I'm also cognizant of the fact that sometimes clicking through a million different links just to get to something you want to read can also get annoying. I know how easy it can be to lose track of all the online posts and essays I hope to get around to reading eventually (which is why I bookmark so many articles in my Pocket account!). Do you use your e-mail inbox the same way, as an informal repository of stuff you intend to check out when you have the time? Especially if you're a subscriber to other e-mail lists and newsletters? Would it be easier for you to have my essays already sitting there, in full, in your inbox for whenever you're ready to start reading?

At any rate, hit reply on this e-mail and let me know if you have a strong preference one way or another! I'm equally happy to change it up, or just keep doing what I'm doing if it's working for you.


  • I'm super excited to be appearing on the podcast A Chatter of Fact! In this special episode all about blogging, writer Don Martinez and I give host Robby Celestin the lowdown on our respective paths to writing and self-publishing online. The episode should go live in early September. There's a buncha different ways to get the goods: through iTunes here; through Libsyn here; or streamable online here.

  • I'm a proud new member of the Chicago Artists Chorale! If you're local, mark your calendars for what's sure to be a gorgeous winter concert on Tuesday, December 13.

  • If you can't make it out to Quimby's to buy a physical copy, don't forget that both of my zines, Satan Is My Father and Loose Ends and Loneliness, are always available for digital download online here.

I tend to be a sucker for people rewriting, bobbling, misremembering, or otherwise changing the lyrics on the fly during a performance of a song, so I was especially delighted by this short video of The Tubes speeding through a verse or two of "I'm Waiting for the Man" with only the most scant fidelity to the actual words.

Not only did I get to talk about blogging on A Chatter of Fact, but I also got to talk about my practice as a clairvoyant reader. If you stick around for (or fast forward to) the very end of the episode, you'll hear me give the scoop on my training and approach; I even give live, impromptu readings to Don and Robby! If you like what you hear and want in on that action for yourself, you can book your own reading with me over here. The discount code PEACHES will still get you or a friend 50% off any service in the shop. As my brilliant pal Ryan Fukuda wrote on Medium recently, by way of explaining and defining just what a clairvoyant reading is:

Jonathan has worked 25 years for his company. He loves his job, but something was missing for him. Jonathan heard of “clairvoyant readings” and decided to try one. Suzy gave Jonathan a clairvoyant reading...and it blew his mind. Why? Because he realized clairvoyant readings had little to do with fortune telling, and everything to do with getting clarity on what mattered to him most: starting his own damn business.

With mega-love from mega-gorgeous Chicago,