Napping.

Napping. ​When I need a nap, any place will do. I can lie down on a bench, office floor, tilted-back car seat, couch, or even under a bush, and doze off for a half-hour, regardless of background noise or distractions. Napping is one of my most valuable writing...

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Writer’s Block.

Writer's Block. There’s an Egyptian myth that Thoth was bragging to Ra he was teaching humans to write. Ra laughed at him, explaining he was destroying human memory in the process. Thoth was the god of writing, magic, wisdom, and the moon. Ra was the Sun God. So it...

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How Did I Get Here?

How Did I Get Here? Back in 2005, I traveled across the country in a VW van—which is, I admit, my generation’s version of a religious pilgrimage.During that trip, I listened in fits and starts to Susan Orlean’s travel stories. I felt I’d found a friend on that razor’s...

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Keyboards & “Haptics”

Keyboards & Haptics. At some point when I wasn’t looking, the clunky, consonant-riddled word haptic—which has nothing to do with being “happy”—started appearing in System Settings for phones and computers. Clearly, it’s a word that only a linguistically...

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Notebooks & Pads.

Notebooks & Pads. One of the most Quixotic quests of my writing career is the search for the perfect notebook. I have the feeling that there are a lot of other writers who have tilted at the same elusive windmill. I’ve used everything from small pads that I lose...

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Making Tea.

Making Tea. I once heard a story—probably apocryphal—about a doctor and a writer going to their child’s kindergarten open house. All of the kids have to introduce their parents and say what they do for a living. Their daughter says: “This is my mom…she’s a doctor. And...

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