Greetings couch explorers and book readers. What were your favorite books of 2018? The ones you hated, liked, or loved? Share them in the comments and let’s talk about it. I’m excited to hear what everyone has been reading!
For me, 2018 became the year of unfinished books. In The Book Whisperer, a teacher shares how she created a culture of literary obsession in a classroom. Want kids to love reading? Teach them it’s okay to drop books and start new ones. I took the lesson to heart. But the few books I did end up finishing this year were amazing. Here are my favorite books of 2018.
Continue reading “My Favorite Books of 2018”
A man fights for survival in the desert. The first (short) story in the world of “The Forgotten Creatures”. • 18:00 min read
Sand blasts forward, hurtling up sheer rocks into the yellowing sky. Ahead, a plane escapes. Whirring blades. Pitted metal. Open cockpit. The flying contraption, a gravity defying pile of airborne junk, lifts the sand beneath into a whirling trail behind. Lumis glances up at the rearview mirror dangling from the windshield, only to see his wake get consumed by a bigger storm. A sand storm. He tightens the scarf back over his nose, snug below his splattered goggles, before increasing speed.
Continue reading “Cloud Herder”
A short story • 15:00 min read
Matthew, pull your window up.” “But Mom…”
“You’re freezing us out, pull it up.”
“But I’m feeling sick back here.”
“Then pull it up at least half way.”
Sinking into his seat with a sigh, Matthew put his cold finger on the automatic window opener. Up, down, up, down — until Dad turned the window lock on. The mountains excited Matthew for the first hour, but the winding roads were taking their toll. Even the fall leaves couldn’t lift his spirits anymore.
Continue reading “Where Yonder Ends”
“Do you want the rock or rubber band?”
On stage, three young people stood blinking in the bright lights. A lady on the older side of middle age presented them with the two objects. What did they choose? The rock with an engraved plaque, memorializing their years of active service in the community club? Or the rubber band, memorializing…well, an engineering wonder of looped elastic rubber?
Continue reading “Rocks vs Rubber Bands”
As the year comes to a close, I want to share my favorite books I read this year. In 2016, I read almost nothing. When 2017 rolled around, I was determined to do better. I set a goal for 30 books and then managed to read 42!
Continue reading “My Favorite Books of 2017”
I sense Last Jedi spoilers below • 2:35 min read
The Force Awakens closes with a spine-tingling moment: Rey handing the mythic lightsaber back to its original owner, Luke Skywalker. The Last Jedi picks up where Force Awakens ends, then tosses it all behind.
Continue reading “The Last Jedi Deconstructs Star Wars. And That’s a Good Thing.”
Lewis and Tolkien were both geniuses, but these two friends could not have approached their craft more differently • 3:00 min read
I love the podcast “Revisionist History” by Malcolm Gladwell. In Episode 7, Gladwell describes the creative processes of two artists: Pablo Picasso and Paul Cézanne. If you’re anything like me, those artists’ names don’t mean much, but Gladwell’s observations had me spellbound.
Continue reading “Lewis vs Tolkien: What Can Creators Learn?”
The shocking truth behind all my stories…and the closet door in my bedroom • 3:30 min read
I have lied about my creativity, inspiration, and originality. It’s all false, a pack of lies to hide a sinister truth. The truth — hiding behind a closet door — is something I’m not sure you’re ready to hear. But confess, I must. The moment you walk into my room, you might realize something is off. There is a standing desk, an all-purpose desk for storage, and a minimalist writing desk by the window. ”Why three desks,” you ask? Because it requires a lot of space to accomplish what I’ve been doing in the cover of night.
Continue reading “The Portal to Creativity”
A tongue-and-cheek examination of America’s dreadful — and virtually non-existent — tea culture • 4 min read
Steam rises from a green mug of lemon ginger tea on a New Zealand morning. To my right, bumpy green feijoas, also known as pineapple guavas, fill my plate. To my left, ginger cookies wait to bathe in warm, gingery liquid. And it leaves me wondering: why do Americans not participate in this glorious routine known as tea time? Ask the average American if they know what an electric water kettle is and receive a blank stare in return. How did America fall to such a pitiful state of ignorance?
Continue reading “America, Let’s Make Tea Time Great Again”
That guy there is Faramir, Boromir’s brother and son of the Steward of Gondor. Remember, Boromir is the guy who got shot with all the arrows in the first movie?” A frozen frame from the final Lord of the Rings movie illuminated the room as I explained the history of Gondor to my dad.
Continue reading “Lord of the Rings and the Power of Storytelling”