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Three of my favorite things this week:

Great show, @goodnightgolddust! Sorry I didn't take pics until last song 🙂 #wheresthewholeband

A post shared by Rachael Hanel (@rachael_hanel) on

The new EP from Good Night, Gold Dust. I’ve known people in this Mankato band for a while. I used to see Colin Scharf wander the halls of MSU as a creative writing MFA student a few years ago. But I really only met him earlier this year, along with his lovely partner, Laura Schultz. They were regulars in my yoga class through the summer and I was like, “Yeah, sure, I’ll come see you play sometime.” Finally I made it to a show last Saturday at the Arts Center of Saint Peter. I knew I would like them just from knowing them as people and the description of their music as indie pop. But they exceeded my expectations. The five songs of the new EP offer variety, Laura’s voice soars, and I predict they can go well beyond Mankato if they want to. The talent is there and like with writing, all you have to do is keep working on your art. Persistence is key and if Good Night Gold Dust is persistent, expect to see their name again and again.

“When Journalists Become Authors,” Nieman Storyboard. This article is about how to craft book-length narrative nonfiction that captures a reader’s attention. Since I’m in the midst of my own book-length narrative nonfiction project, I found these tips especially useful. I think I know the “so what?” and “who cares?” of my story, but I need to do a better job articulating that.

“Desperate Crossing,” New York Times magazine. I thought this was an excellent example of multimedia. I love how you just have to scroll and you’re delivered a paragraph, a photo, a video, or a map. No links to click; you’re just there. Not to mention it’s a compelling story of the lengths people will go to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. But this is sad: “Others gathered in small groups to talk late into the night of their hopes and dreams upon finally reaching Europe: to go to university, to find good jobs, to bring their families to their new homes. In fact, the migrants would have very little chance of seeing their dreams realized. Barred from legally working while their petitions for asylum are processed — a process that, in most European nations, takes years — most will disappear into the Continent’s growing migrant ghettos, where they will struggle to find work in economies that have little need for them, and will live at the margins of societies that increasingly resent their presence.”

What are you enjoying this week?

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