Tag Archives: creativity

Talk to Michael

A coworker once told me a story that I’ve remembered ever since. He used to work at a software company that kept a life-size cardboard cutout of Michael Jordan in one corner of the office. When an engineer got stuck on a problem … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Concrete Image

When I’m trying to come up with a story, I often start with a specific image. It could be anything: an apple pie cooling on a stove top, a red bird flitting onto a snow-covered tree branch, water from the garden hose on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gregory Crewdson

For anyone who hasn’t heard of art photographer Gregory Crewdson, let me introduce him to you. Crewdson makes photographs with as much artistic vision as if they were paintings, and with as much technical precision as if they were movies. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Something I Learned from the Audience

I recently gave a reading of some of my newest stories. I love readings. They give me a chance to listen for what’s working and what’s not working. This is trickier than it sounds. When I write to be funny, I can … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Books Teachers Made Us Read

The older I get, the more I think our literature teachers were playing a long game. I remember some of the stories: Ethan Frome The Grapes of Wrath The Old Man and the Sea King Lear Seriously? How many teenagers … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Turn It Around

When a story I’m working on is boring or frustrating me, one way I’ll try to fix it is by changing it around. Change the protagonist from male to female. Change the point of view from the employee to the manager, … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Know When It’s Time

It’s strange to see how I’ve changed as a writer. I look back at my earlier work and think, what a funny silly guy. I can’t write like that anymore. It’s not me. I’m glad I wrote what I did when I … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Endless Meeting

Have you ever been in one of those meetings that never ends because everyone keeps saying the same thing? How do you suppose that happens? I have a theory. I think most people like to talk more than they like … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Brilliant (it’s awful)

I have the bad habit of rereading my own writing. Not for any useful purpose, but just because I like to. When I read something I’ve written I have one of two reactions. It’s brilliant! It’s awful. What’s interesting is … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“The Help” and creating a page-turning story

I recently re-read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. For any of you who haven’t read it – or seen the movie or listened to the audiobook – get it now. Fantastic, fantastic story. One of my favorites. Ever. This time … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment