Happy Thanksgiving!

Some fun links, and an update.

Hi friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! Instead of posting a story this week, I want to wish you all a very happy holiday. Per our tradition, I’ve gathered up some fun links — but first, I want to share an update about Scavenger’s future.

I’ll get right to the point: December will be my last month publishing Scavenger. Over the past three years, I’ve published nearly 150 of these newsletters. Along the way, almost 600 of you decided to join me, which still blows my mind. You’ve kept me accountable to what has always been a personal challenge: Learning something new about material culture every week, then writing about it. Each week, Scavenger has given me a vital space to practice telling stories. Thank you for listening (and sometimes writing back)!

Three years in, many aspects of my life have changed. I left my office job, then left my remote job. Somehow, I’ve been freelancing for nearly six months already. I Kickstarted a digital magazine (which is sooo close to being done, finally). I’m getting married! Life is changing, and my writing goals are changing, too.

After tallying what’s on my plate, I’ve realized, bittersweetly, that this newsletter is no longer serving me the way it once did. In 2020, I want to challenge myself to report more ambitious, interesting stories. With more time and space to think, I’ll be able to give it my all. And to be completely honest, I’m burnt out. Freeing up some time each week will help me find more space for non-work hobbies and rest.

I’ve loved publishing Scavenger, and this Thanksgiving, I’m so grateful to you for joining me here each week. I’ll probably still send out occasional updates about my work, so if you want to keep in touch, please stick around! I’m also on Twitter, where I mostly post about Terrace House, so feel free to join me there.

Now, some links!

  • This turkey GIF that would not load, lol.

  • I’ve been devouring this Murakami novel, which is funny, incredibly weird and involves UNICORNS.

  • If you dig small-town mysteries, watch The Kettering Incident.

  • This $10 candle smells so piney and good.

  • For writers: Study Hall. It’s the best $11 you’ll spend every month.

  • Kendra Austin’s Instagram, for a peek into life as a curve model. Follow for behind-the-scenes glimpses of glamorous shoots, and don’t sleep on her Stories, which are full of skincare, astrology and self care gems. (We did student government together way back in the day, and it’s been incredibly exciting to watch her career take off over the past few years!)

  • If you’re still shopping for holiday gifts, it isn’t too late to commission a pet portrait by JoAnna Wendel!

  • Anna Doherty’s books make excellent gifts, too!

Finally, I’ve got two new stories up this week. First, a dual review of two recent graphic novels for Literary Hub. Both Creation and The Hard Tomorrow engage anxiety about the future, and what it means to have kids in an unstable world. (Spoiler: I loved them both.)

And second, a history of the Crock Pot on Smithsonian, which was adapted from this newsletter! I added some original reporting and lots of interesting detail that goes deeper than what I published here.

That’s it for me! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving, time to relax and lots of pie.

Michelle

Illustrations by Anna Doherty