Midwestern Robot

How to Marie Kondo your creativity

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What happens when you lay your creative work out on the bed, hanger upon hanger, sweater upon mismatched sock? I’m not talking about the whole of your creativity, just the part you’ve expressed in some tangible form—all the stories,  paintings, set designs, half-finished orchestral scores, and that one note on a napkin about the couple […]

Midwestern Robot

Creating an attention paperweight

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An actual paperweight. My friend Julie sent me a great piece about Mary Oliver’s essay “Of Power and Time,” that counsels on protecting yourself from distractions in order to write. This comes up a lot for me when I’m journalling, which is pretty much the starting place for any other kind of writing I do. […]

Midwestern Robot

Story Report: First Trip to The Moth

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Moth storytellers gathered

I don’t like the competitive aspect of The Moth but last night there I was, wondering if my name would be called and simultaneously hoping I wouldn’t embarrass myself and also that I’d win. I did neither. The host, Peter Kim, made us laugh and then pulled a name out the bag and it was […]

Midwestern Robot

Honeymoon

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The honeymoon period after finishing the first draft of a brand new play is one of the finest rewards of writing. It’s a delicious breakfast-in-bed-on-the-balcony champagne-and-chocolate-strawberries first-scene-of-Barefoot-in-the-Park-the-movie-version mashup wall of euphoria. This period is flush with all kinds of wonder. First there’s the wonder of sudden weightlessness. “I’m done, I’m done!” is all I need say, and […]