Brining turkey is all the rage these days. Funny I should pull this prompt right before Thanksgiving. I admit, there is a reason brined turkey is all the rage. Brined turkey is delicious. It is moist, it is perfectly seasoned.

Brine is one of my favorite words, and it’s not because of turkey. Brine is the salt water I grew up in. It is the salty rivers that seep into marshes on a rising tide, that nourishes the nurseries for marine life in those high grasses. Brine is the smell of ocean air when driving a coastal highway. It can be warm and enveloping, the scent of summer on Tybee, or cold and raw, the scent of winter in Maine, but it is always wet, and it is always salty.

Brine is a type of shrimp — a tiny shrimp. A shrimpy shrimp. When I think of brine shrimp, I think of those sea monkeys they used to sell in the back of Mad magazine or Archie comics. Were those brine shrimp? The pictures were always so enticing, with castles and underwater alien-like creatures that looked nothing like monkeys.

Salt seems to be a theme with me. I do love salt for salt’s sake, but I love brine for the word’s sake. For the vocabulary of it. Brine evokes multiple senses, and it connotes not only the scent and taste of salt, but the feel of humidity and liquid. The salty liquid of the sea, of marshes, of broth, of genesis.

For the month of November, I am participating in NaBloPoMo and plan to publish every day of the month. Usually, I will publish a 10-minute free write, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Follow along with the tag #NovemberDaily.


I’ve always wondered about this expression, tongue-in-cheek. It’s a face someone makes when he thinks he’s been clever, to put the tip of the tongue in the cheek, between your molars, like you’re cleaning your teeth.

I wonder why we do that. It seems to be an involuntary gesture. I think people do it unintentionally. I know I do. I’ll say something I feel self-conscious about, but that’s meant to be funny, but I’m embarrassed that maybe it’s not actually funny to anyone one but me, and there goes my tongue, into my cheek.

Tongue-in-cheek the expression means to joke, to not be serious, so I’m guessing that’s where the expression came from, that when someone is feeling clever they put their tongue in their cheek. I’d like to look it up though, to see if it means something more. Maybe it’s a way to bite your tongue so you don’t give away the joke. Or a face you make to keep from laughing. Tongue-in-cheek seems to be a nuanced form of humor, where people hear it and wonder, “Is that a joke?” and the joker thinks, “Wouldn’t you like to know.”

For the month of November, I am participating in NaBloPoMo and plan to publish every day of the month. Usually, I will publish a 10-minute free write, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Follow along with the tag #NovemberDaily.

It’s only Tuesday, and what a week!

It is Thanksgiving week here in the United States, and yesterday gave me a lot to be thankful, and excited, for.

supportdriven.comThe biggest news for me personally is that I am helping organize a conference for professionals in customer support: a conference for those who have chosen customer service not as an entry level stepping stone to something else, but who love helping people and have chosen support as a career. I will be helping wrangle the speakers for the conference and am working on the program schedule. I published a post yesterday scoping out the types of topics we plan to cover. We want to deliver valuable, powerful information to conference attendees to help them develop successful careers in support.

wordpress appFor the online publishing world, I am giddy to share what Automattic engineers have been working so hard on the past 20 months: a brand new experience. This experience includes a beautiful new editor and, my favorite, a desktop app, which I am using right now to write this post. I’ve been testing the new editor and app these past weeks to publish here on Butterfly Mind, and I am in love. I am thrilled that we’ve fully launched the new so that everyone can enjoy it.

DiscoverFor the reader who loves to consume quality, curated content, you will love the Discover site the the editorial team has been working on. Discover is curated by a small team of editors who share the best content published across WordPress, and the new site showcases top reads and recommended sites to help readers find content to read and explore. Here’s where you can learn more about getting featured on Discover.

And finally, the biggest news of all. At Automattic, the company where I work, we have a creed that we work by. It inspires each of us to aim for something bigger, and something deeper, than ourselves. One line of the creed reads:

I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation.

ma.ttYesterday, we lived by that line. I am super proud to share that the code that my friends and colleagues have been working so hard on these past 20 months was released to the world yesterday: the code is now Open Source, and you can find it right here. As our CEO Matt Mullenweg said in his announcement post:

A lot of people thought we should keep this proprietary, but throughout my life I’ve learned that the more you give away, the more you get back.

This project has been huge, and is still huge, and now it is available for free to anyone who wants to use or iterate on it. It has been instrumental in helping us collaborate and refine our work, as my colleague Ben, one of the creators of the new experience, writes about in his post, The New We are so happy to share it, and we hope you enjoy it, too.

It’s a good week for the online support, publishing, and Open Source world. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!