A drone flying through fireworks.
Here’s an Otocolobus manul — nature’s Grumpy Cat — discovering a camera trap outside it’s den. Camera traps are used by biologists to lean about rare animals’ behavior, abundance, and health — just by setting up a solar-powered camera with a motion trigger. No physical trapping necessary.
O. manul (also known as Pallas’s cat) is about the size of a house cat, but you’ll notice has round pupils instead of slits. It lives in western China and the steppes of Central Asia.
You’d think that Pallas’s cat would rule the internet by now - but there aren’t too many photos of them because they are both rare and shy. The IUCN lists them as near-threatened. Just another reason to support species conservation!
When the journal-writing habit seizes you and sets you on its path, you will need certain things for the rest of your life, whether you use an oak-paneled study, your mother’s kitchen, or a rickety jungle tree house as your writing nook. You will need:
Pens for every coat and knapsack and handbag that you own. A chauvinistic loyalty to your brand of instrument: Bic, Biro, Cross, Waterman, Scheaffer; felt-tip, roller ball, fountain, fine-point, crayon. And a mechanical pencil, too, for the creative engineers among you.
Ink. Choose colors that won’t fade; this is your stab at immortality, if you can handle the thought of great-grandchildren or grad students reading your account of certain nude pool parties or that first mammogram/prostate exam.
Real paper, creamy, heavyweight, spiral – later, if you wish, you may certainly transfer journal entries to a cold and blinking screen. But the paper in your lap permits your moving hand to caress both pen and surface, a workmanship format centuries old, irreplaceably intimate. Know your own handwriting. Whose g is that? Your father’s? Or lifted from that kid you admired in youth group?
A writing place and time, a favorite nook or bench, a willingness to create writing space in chaos, solitude in crowds – the ability to write in jail, on subways, during revolutions, at rock concerts, in bed.
If you like, a tape recorder and a camera rounding out the sounds and sights, interviews and images that collectively inspire you to capture or describe your life.
Most important of all – you will need the ability to survive, as a writer, through the unforeseen and difficult times without any of the luxuries just described.