Making it New

My four-year-old has been coming home from pre-school lately singing songs about recycling, which my wife and I have seized as an opportunity to get rid of the stacks and stacks of paper – covered in purple scribbles and Trader Joes stickers – cluttering the house.

 

It’s our way of honoring the earth, we tell her whenever she begins to protest.

 

June 14, 2017 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life

One Argument, Two Books, a Magazine Article and a TV Show: How the Hell Does Creativity Work?

By Katrin Schumann

Instead of feeling grateful I was annoyed. My husband and I were wandering among the 18th century gravestones, talking books. 

He was excited. “And then you can have the guy, it’s set in modern times, maybe he’s an international spy or a drug lord or something big, and he’s thinking back on what happened with his mother and that’s how you tell the Ibiza story?”

June 7, 2017 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice The Writing Life

On Winning and Losing

My daughters had been playing quietly for a good ten minutes, which is always cause for alarm.

 

After following a trail of graham cracker crumbs, I finally found them in the bathroom with my three-year-old on the potty and my six-year-old sitting on the floor in front of her – the two of them holding hands, rocking back and forth, singing row, row, row your boat.

May 10, 2017 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life

Portraits of a Young Artist

My six-year-old is at the art table, drawing pictures of sunflowers when the tormented spirit of Van Gogh suddenly swoops in and possesses her body.

 

I can’t work with these lousy crayons, she yells.

 

I sit down next to her and explain that it’s the process not the product that matters, that when we slow down and take the time to observe something carefully, we move from passive absorption, as Maria Konnikova tells us, to active awareness.

April 12, 2017 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life

When Stumbling on a Book Can Change Your LIfe

By Katrin Schumann

Do you ever really struggle to find just the right book to fit your mood? When I’m deeply embroiled in my own writing, I get particularly fussy about my reading material. I want to be inspired and energized—I really don’t want to think: How the hell did THIS get published?

So when I find a book that grabs me and won’t let go, I’m filled with pure delight and gratitude

April 5, 2017 | Katrin Schumann

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