#421: New iOS App, A Book Award, and Summer Teaching Plans

Julia thrilled to find a mural with her favorite flower, columbine, on the wall of our dinner spot.
Logan Square, Chicago, IL

Three short but exciting bits of news this week. The first is that I built an iOS app! It’s called Bebop and lets you quickly capture notes as text files, saved and synced to iCloud or Dropbox. It’s meant as a companion to desktop apps like Obsidian and NVAlt, a way to get thoughts and ideas into existing .txt or .md archives for later review. I also wrote about the design/development process, in case you’re curious.

Second: The Many Masks of Andy Zhou won a 2024 Young People’s Literature Award from Friends of American Writers, a 100-plus-year-old organization whose mission is to celebrate and encourage emerging writers in the Midwest. Julia and I were in Chicago this past Friday to attend the award luncheon and enjoyed a lovely meal with excellent company, in a historic building.

We decided to take the rest of the weekend as a mini-babymoon, a last bit of travel together before Julia’s due date later this summer. We went to a bird sanctuary on Montrose Point, had some of the best breakfast pastries in recent memory at Lost Larson, and visited, for the first time, The Morton Arboretum. I mean, just look at this upright white pine:

Happy as clams, we were.

Third: I was invited to be a visiting faculty member this Summer/Fall at Antioch University’s Low Residency MFA. For those unfamiliar with low-res (as I was prior to the invitation), the program involves a ten-day hybrid residency, followed by a five-month online project period where I’ll remotely mentor a small group of students on their Children’s/YA projects. The format makes an MFA much more feasible for those unable to attend a fully in-person program, while also bringing the concentrated intensity of a residency period. The program has a social justice mission too, as does the whole university. I’m thrilled to engage with students and faculty from the LA campus this June.

Back home in Detroit now, and it’s Julia’s birthday today so we’re off to a park for the rest of the afternoon. You’ll hear from me again next week.