Never Look Down at the Cup

When I was in college, I worked at a popular Mexican restaurant. Every Friday night, I’d watch my friend who was a cocktail server maneuver around the packed lobby delivering drinks to customers who were waiting to be seated. One day I asked her, “How do you carry those trays of drinks through all those...

Not All Writers Are Narcissists

My book club recently reached a full consensus about a book: none of us liked it. In fact, four of the ten chose not to finish reading it. The conversation about the book was entertaining because whenever there’s agreement, people can speak freely, and some of their comments about how much they disliked the book...

The Return of Hope

I’ve written often about hope in this blog. As you know, I believe it’s nearly impossible to sustain a life in the arts without it. And hope is certainly what continues to get us through the aftermath of 2020. Interestingly, it is my relationship to hope that has undergone the most change for me in...

The Artist as Witness

I was conducting a virtual school visit with a fifth-grade class the other day, talking about my children’s books about World War II, each of which are inspired by real people I interviewed. I’d already explained to the kids I wasn’t alive during the war, so I was surprised when one boy asked, “Did you...

Decide to Be Inspired

A friend shared this quote with me: “Inspiration helps to limit your infinite choices.” It’s by designer Marc Jacobs, whom she said was commenting on the various directions a designer could take each season and how they should choose. She said his conclusion was any direction could be great, but it’s the one that inspires...

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