Tag Archives: inspiration

Short Saturday: The Rest of the Story

A little over two years ago I wrote a blog post about a college football star who got a lot of media attention when he was invited to join a book group. It’s a lovely human interest story that I won’t repeat here because you can read it from the link. Additionally, I want to give […]

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#WordUse Series:
Step Away From the Thesaurus and No One Gets Hurt

You know I love my thesaurus, right? I do. I have at least four of them, from various decades dating back to the ’40s (you’d be surprised how useful that is), as well as a rhyming dictionary, a slang dictionary, and something called the Flip Dictionary, which is more fun than any dictionary has a right […]

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#WordUse Series:
A Puke of Politicians, or Collective Nouns

A book I’ve been working on has an interesting and lovely mention of terms of venery—which are a very special form of collective nouns—and it occured to me that it would be fun to take a look at them. You know what a collective noun is—team, committee, crowd are all collective nouns. They are words […]

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Short Saturday: Why I Stopped Reading Your Book

Like author Chuck Wendig, I’ve gotten a whole lot pickier about what I read and how much time I give it before I stop. “For one,” he says, “it’s time.” Work and time and personal responsibilities all intrude. But also, he says, “I’m like a stage magician where it’s harder to fool me with your […]

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Just Get a Job!

I never wanted to burden my writing with the responsibility of paying for my life. I knew better than to ask this of my writing, because over the years, I have watched so many other people murder their creativity by demanding that their art pay the bills. … I’ve always felt like this is so […]

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Where Do You Get Your Story Ideas (Part 10)

Almost three years ago, we were discussing a national poll that asked, “When thinking creatively, do you think in pictures, words, or sounds?” Fifty percent of the respondents said they think in pictures. My answer at the time (need you ask?) was I “think [creatively] in words; I always have a running commentary in my […]

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Personal Archeology: I Remember It Well

Have you ever bought a used book and found something interesting inside? I don’t mean the inscription inside the front cover (another post for another time) … I mean the ephemera. (Merriam Webster: “Paper items [such as posters, broadsides, or tickets] that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles.”) […]

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Mozart and the Nature of Creativity

When I was in my early thirties, I had a love affair with Mozart. (It continues to this day, actually. How could it not?) I was the daughter of a classically trained pianist, had taken twelve years of classical piano lessons myself, and already had a very serious thing for Beethoven rockin’ on. You may wonder […]

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The Internal Dialogue

Reflect for a moment on the quality of mind that is least creative—when the mind buzzes like the white noise on a TV screen. This is “monkey mind,” a cacophony of voices and sensations. Everything seems possible and nothing gets done. Contrast that to the clarity of a moment of insight, when suddenly an organic […]

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Listening for Inspiration

The ability to listen is a skill we are honing. … Art is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite—getting something down. The directions are important here. If we are trying to think something up, we are straining to reach for something that’s just beyond our grasp, “up there, in the stratosphere, […]

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