A few months ago I came upon a site called It's Just You, Everything's Not Shit -- and I was charmed. It's a guide to "all things nice", the creation of a fellow named Steve Stack who makes a damned good case for optimism and provides compelling evidence with each eloquent and pithy post that things are not relentlessly bleak. Sure, we all know there's plenty of reason for hand-wringing, but the bad news gets an awful lot of press, and Steve's blog gives overdue coverage to the small delights and wonders that feed the soul.
So that's pretty cool right there, but it gets better. Steve's blog has now evolved into a book, hot off the press, and he has embarked upon a virtual world tour to spread the word. And guess what? THIS very blog -- yes, this one, STILL AMAZED -- is about to become an official stop on the Everything's Not Shit world tour! (Ah, the wonders of the web.)
And so...here from somewhere in the UK...stepping suddenly onto this very stage in an off-the-grid outpost of rural California...let's give a warm welcome to my special guest...(drum roll)....STEVE STACK!
And here he is:
Having compiled a book intended as ‘a guide to all things nice’ I was aware that my A-Z of selected entries would not be to everyone’s taste. What I wasn’t expecting was for so many people to get in touch and tell me so.
My email address is printed on the acknowledgments page of my book, It Is Just You, Everything’s Not Shit. I thought it would be nice to interact with my readers, assuming that there would be a few dozen of them. In actual fact, over 15,000 copies of the book are currently in circulation and a remarkable number of those have been purchased by actual real-life people. Remarkable.
Luckily for my inbox, they haven’t all sent me emails but I guess there is still time. Hundreds have though, and every one is very welcome. If only not quite so many were pointing out things I had missed.
Top of the list of omissions seems to be a freshly made bed with newly laundered sheets. Now, to be fair, although loads of people have mentioned them, they are, to date, all women. I am sure men also like nice clean sheets on their bed but, let’s be honest, most of us don’t notice. A significant number of emailers of the female persuasion have said that the first night under fresh bed linen is a divine experience and thoroughly deserves to be included. So may I now publicly apologise for leaving it out and attempt to make amends by including this attractive picture for all of womankind to swoon over. Sort of.
Other things I have apparently made a grave error in leaving out of the book are:
a) a fine malt whisky
b) the smell of a baby’s head
c) a dew-beaded lawn
d) stained-glass windows
I am, of course, guilty as charged, but in my defence:
a) I don’t drink
b) if I went around smelling babies’ heads I’d be arrested
c) I have a courtyard garden, so no lawn
d) mine is a non-denominational book
So there you go. I am secretly (although not so secretly now) delighted that my little book, intended for toilet libraries the world over, has prompted such discussion. If people keep emailing more suggestions then I will have enough to fill volume two!
Thank you, Steve.
Now here's the link to Steve's site where you can read more...and order his book, a perfect gift to yourself and any friends who crave clean bed linens or a bit of cheer. It's Just You, Everything's Not Shit