6-Word Memoirs

6-Word Memoirs

In a New York Times opinion column this  fall, Larry Smith, founder and editor of Smith Magazine,  suggested that his six-word memoir format is a good one for recording our pandemic times. I agree. Six-word memoirs are exactly what they sound like, an expression of a memory or a moment in time, limited to six … Continue reading

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

Thanksgiving is going to be different this year. In the midst of a spreading pandemic, many of us will be missing holiday traditions and large family gatherings to stay safely at home. As we do, we’ll be trying to figure out how we can connect virtually and—if we are creative—perhaps invent new and valuable traditions. … Continue reading

Be the Squirrel

Be the Squirrel

We have a squirrel-proof bird feeder in our yard. We’ve had it for years and it really is quite effective at keeping squirrels out of the bird seed. The seed is protected by a weighted bar. A bird can sit on the bar and eat happily, but if a heavier animal tries to do the … Continue reading

Lotus Blossoms for Brainstorming

Lotus Blossoms for Brainstorming

I’ve used a lot of brainstorming techniques, but here’s a new one I’m anxious to try. It is called the Locus Blossom Creative Technique and was developed by Yasuo Matsumura. The technique uses a grid design to help problem solvers examine multiple aspects of a problem or challenge in detail. It is most commonly used … Continue reading

Revising Our Thinking About Revising

Revising Our Thinking About Revising

Recently, I’ve been thinking about writing. I’ve been reading research about writers and thinking about how it relates to the writing students do in schools—virtual or otherwise. Of course, there are many kinds of writing students need to learn, much of it used to express their ideas in various domains: essays about history, reviews of … Continue reading

Acorn Elves, Just for Fun

Acorn Elves, Just for Fun

It is autumn in Michigan, that beautiful season that fills me with equal amounts of awe and dread. Crisp fall days with glorious leaves and (pre-COVID) cider mill trips are some of the most beautiful of the year. But we all know what’s coming next. Winds come, leaves fall, and November gloom descends before we … Continue reading

Learn a Language for Creativity

Learn a Language for Creativity

Yes, (in case you wondered after my “learn from failure” post) I’m still taking French. For fun. This semester I’m taking a conversation class in which we do a variety of activities to attempt to communicate in “spontaneous French.” Easier said than done! But during class we ended up discussing the challenges of the process … Continue reading

Can Emotions Be Creative?

Can Emotions Be Creative?

Emotions and creativity seem always entwined. Our creativity can be affected by our moods, our confidence, and our ability to deal with frustration. New creative products can feel personal and touch a tender part of our hearts, whether they be a new painting or a new business strategy. I can’t think of an instance in … Continue reading

Brandon Leake: America’s Got Creative Talent

Brandon Leake: America’s Got Creative Talent

I’m not a regular watcher of America’s Got Talent, but the pandemic changes many things. So, recently, I ended up watching the last few episodes of the talent competition. There were singers, lightening-speed dancers, magicians, death-defying aerialists, and one extraordinary spoken word artist, Brandon Leake. The first time I heard his poetry, it took my … Continue reading