Three Minutes—Christian Essay

The Conoco gas station was deserted when I rolled up. Sixteen fully-functioning, state-certified gas pumps and no one was interested, poor things. Surely, I couldn’t be the only one traveling along this desert stretch of I-15 with a thirsty car. I glanced across the street to the big, red-and-white numbers on the Shell sign: $2.69... Continue Reading →

The Double-Decker Couch – Part One, Introduction

In one of my favorite animated movies, The Lego Movie, there is a double-decker couch. It appears early in the film when the main character, Emmet, and his two friends magically enter the space inside Emmet’s mind. Emmet:           Whoa, are we inside my brain right now? It’s big. I must be smart. Friend 1:... Continue Reading →

The Double-Decker Couch – Part Three, Gatekeepers and the A-flat

Gatekeepers and the A-flat Sometimes I worry that listening to gatekeepers is dangerous. I don’t want to get sucked into “kleptomentia”—the unintentional stealing of ideas.[1] How can creative ideas be original if they come from someone else? Isn’t the point of creativity to break free of societal norms? If you feel this way too, you... Continue Reading →

The Double-Decker Couch – Part Four, P-creativity & H-creativity

P-creativity & H-creativity So, if choice is central to creativity, how do we go about making choices? That depends on our motivations. In her book entitled The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms, Margaret Boden divides creative motivation into two main categories: P-creativity and H-creativity. P-creativity (shorthand for psychological creativity) is motivated by a sense of... Continue Reading →

The Double-Decker Couch – Part Five, The Two Q’s—Creativity in Practice

The Two Q’s—Creativity in Practice My first swim coach, Coach Mike, had lungs like a sergeant. I remember standing on the pool deck with my teammates—a twiggy band of eight- and nine-year-olds—dripping and shivering, as Coach Mike walked up and down the poolside, a whistle around his neck and bushy chest hair visible above his... Continue Reading →

The Double-Decker Couch – Part Six, Busting through Creative Blocks

Busting through Creative Blocks Some days I don’t want to practice creativity. I’m not a quality-er or a quantity-er—I’m just stuck. Usually, this happens when I start to compare my creative work to the work of others. This piece of music, I think, is just the worst. In such moments, it feels like other people... Continue Reading →

The Double-Decker Couch – Part Seven, Your Genius and the Double-Decker Couch

Your Genius and the Double-Decker Couch Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, gave a TED Talk with the best advice I have ever found for how to continue making creative choices toward your goals even when you feel “just the worst.” In the talk, she admitted that she too worries about her creativity and... Continue Reading →

An Exceptional Exception

In deviation from the usual poetry/mini-stories, today I am posting an essay on Pride and Prejudice, a book a recently finished reading and thoroughly enjoyed. An Exceptional Exception It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in want of literary success must, as a rule, endure a terribly tragic life. Charlotte Brontë’s mother died of cancer... Continue Reading →

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