The Places I’ve Written.

The Places I've Written. Every writer with a romantic synapse in their brain can imagine themselves sitting at a café on the Left Bank, drinking a cappuccino, citron pressé, or Calvados, writing words that are so transcendently profound (and, more often, tragically...

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The Bugs Bunny Sutra

The Bugs Bunny Sutra. I owe much of my early education in the questionable arts of double entendre, timing, alliteration,* dramatic tension, bad puns, and instant karma to a man named Chuck Jones and his collaborators. Did I say timing? Chuck (I don’t think he’d mind...

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How I Learned to Write.

How I Learned to Write. My father Elmer—a rather odd moniker for a Jewish kid from Pawtucket, Rhode Island—taught Shakespeare at Brown University for almost 40 years. But he could quote Harpo as easily as Hamlet, Philip Marlowe as easily as Christopher Marlowe. A good...

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I Talk to Myself.

I Talk to Myself. I think most writers do. At least our lips move. After all, who else could fully appreciate the raw, half-baked ideas that run roughshod over our brains waiting and hoping and thinking and praying that we can eventually bash them into coherent...

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Pockets.

Pockets. Pockets are a problem. Whoever came up with the idea back in 18th century England was doing too much snuff. Pockets are especially a problem for writers. Because, in addition to keys, loose change, wallet, eyeglass case, and cell phone, you also need a pad,...

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Temperature.

Temperature. When I ran a small ad agency, my two biggest management challenges were temperature and music. Clients could be difficult, writers and designers could be creatively blocked, and suppliers could be late, but we were eventually able to deal with those...

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Staring.

Staring. When my wife Wendy was in kindergarten, her mother Ellie had a “teacher’s conference.” The teacher said her only concern was that “Wendy stares out the window a lot.” Ellie, an artist, was very pleased to hear that. To her, it was a sign of creativity. It...

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Gold Mines Part 1

Gold Mines Part 1. Out West, they have a lot of land that’s really dry. So instead of storing things in garages, storage sheds, barns, and basements, some people just pick any old out-of-the-way spot and start piling up baling wire, fence posts, old plumbing fixtures,...

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Meditation, Creativity & Dogs.

Meditation, Creativity & Dogs. I like the idea of meditating in the morning. In fact, I did it every day for about 20 years. For some people, it’s a gentle way to make the transition between the chaos of dreams and the illusion of structure. But, for me, it’s like...

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Getting Lost.

Getting Lost. ​I’m in a foreign city. I know where I want to go. I have a map. But it has no relation to the street signs. I go in circles. Try to avoid crowds. Promising side streets turn into dead ends. The distractions are endless. I need food. I need wine. I need...

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