Book Recommendations—

Manifestos, guides, and best friends

Before I get into my post today, I want to tell you that The Story Intensive registration is open for 10 MORE DAYS. I run this writing workshop once a year: it’s the only fully-guided Story Is a State of Mind writing workshop I offer. Space is very limited, and writers from around the world […]

Creative Collaboration: On Being Islands In the Stream

When I watch musicians perform, I often feel a pang of admiration and longing about the way they can be in the zone together, sharing a creative experience. They’re making music by playing individual instruments, but when they play together, they’re tapping into something that’s bigger than the separate components of drum, guitar, piano. And […]

You’re an introvert, aren’t you?

I am finally reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. I know I’m an introvert – many writers do, I think – but reading this book makes me feel an even deeper respect for my need for solitude. It also justifies my recent splurge: a pair […]

Your laptop in the shade: summer reading + browsing.

I sincerely hope you’re having a gorgeous summer. This month, my “one short story for breakfast” ritual has turned into a two- or three-hour timeout – I’m reading for pure pleasure, escapism and inspiration. What I’ve loved so far: Bobcat by Rebecca Lee. Full disclosure: so at the time of writing this, I’ve only read […]

10 books you should read this summer.

Winter reading was difficult for me this year. Books didn’t interest me. Nothing made my scalp tingle. All the books I picked up felt too self-conscious, or full of wooden characters and boring dialogue. I didn’t want to read another descriptive passage about fescue grass, interior monologue about a missing father, or story about people […]

Get ready: This Cake is coming to the USA

On November 13th THIS CAKE IS FOR THE PARTY will be published in the USA To commemorate this exciting day, from now until pub date I am giving away a FREE LIMITED EDITION EBOOK to anyone who pre-orders the US edition of This Cake Is for the Party! This Cake: The Missing Story This mysterious […]

What will happen if you don't write?

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde   What happens if you suppress your creativity for too long? You invite depression. Last year, a friend introduced me to a Canadian writer named Alison Gresik. Like many writers, Alison had gradually prioritized Normal Life over […]

Read what you want to write.

The next time you read a story that is astonishing and brilliant, train yourself to pause before you turn the page or close the book. Go back to the beginning. Ask yourself: how did that just happen? When a story makes you breathe differently — when it shoves you against a wall or punches you […]

Why the short story is so freaking cool.

I already know that you love short stories. This letter isn’t going to try to convince you to love them. But if you’re like me, you know smart readers who say that they don’t like to read short stories because they “end too soon.” Yes? They’re missing the point, of course. A good short story […]

Write what you want to read.