creativity

A Year of Yes: What does your dream day look like?

Have you ever had a dream day? What happened? Who were you with? What lasting effect did it have on you?

I had one of my dream days yesterday and it was magical:

  • Interviewed a radiation oncologist for a piece I’m writing for The Washington Post about an innovative new cancer treatment that uses protons.
  • I spent the morning getting a private tour and digging through the archives at The Explorer’s Club. I was doing research for my second Emerson Page novel, and got to see art, travel diaries, photographs, and artifacts from around the world that were collected by our most intrepid explorers.
  • Then I had a fun meeting with the fine people at Untapped Cities about a new live performance project we’re working on together. Cannot wait to share more details with you!
  • Had a long overdue visit with a magical man who’s saved my life several times, and taught me to stand in my own light.
  • Dinner with my best friend.

To write, to research, to tell stories, to collaborate with others on creative projects, and to spend time with people who are central to my life. That is the perfect day for me.

creativity

A Year of Yes: What’s on your bookshelf?

“What is a bookshelf other than a treasure chest for a curious mind.” ~Anonymous

I buy a lot of e-books but every once in a while, there’s a book I have to buy in traditional print. It’s a book that I want to refer to again and again. A book I feel I need to hold, to underline, and write in the margins of. Mine is getting more eclectic all of the time—science, fairy tales, biographies, yoga, New York City history, books about writing, business books, ancient philosophy, every sub-genre of fiction. It says a lot about who I am—always changing, always learning, always curious. What’s on your bookshelf?

creativity

A Year of Yes: What you see, you feel – why I collect art

“What fills the eyes fills the heart.” ~Irish Proverb

Is it wrong to realize you may need to get a new apartment to fit all of your art? I still have a fair amount of wall space, but honestly at the rate I acquire and make art, I’m going to need a new place at the end of my lease. It’s starting to look like the old Barnes Collection in here but I can’t help it. I love to make art, and to support artists by buying their work. My art makes this apartment more than just a place to sleep. It’s the place where I do most of my creative work. I wake up every morning surrounded by work that makes me happy. When I travel, I always make a point to buy art from the places I visit. It supports the local artists and provides me with a way to relive my travel memories every day. I acquired these four pieces in Vancouver, all by Native artists.

 

 

creativity

A Year of Yes: The 3 C’s of life

Don't quit - do it!
Don’t quit – do it!

“The 3 C’s in life: choice, chance, change. You must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change.” ~anonymous

This weekend I said yes to a very big chance. I never imagined this kind of opportunity was out there. I never imagined I’d be asked to take it. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out. But something in me knew this was not a coincidence, that I had to try, despite the fact that it’s a very long shot that it would work out. And you know what? It felt liberating. It felt empowering to just try. And no matter how this goes, maybe that’s the lesson—say yes and try.

 

creativity

A Year of Yes: Don’t take yourself out of the running—a lesson from author Jodi Picoult

“I wondered about the explorers who’d sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover, instead, places they had seen only in their dreams.” ~Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

Sometimes we don’t know what we’re driving toward. We just have the insatiable desire to try something new, to explore, to discover. Don’t worry that it won’t work, that you won’t be right for an opportunity. Leave yourself in the running to have a new experience. Trust that who you are in this moment is enough to become who you want to be in the next moment. Take a chance. Be an explorer. That’s the only choice that fosters change and creates a new reality out of dreams.

creativity

A Year of Yes: What story do you want to be?

“In the end, we’ll all become stories.” ~Margaret Atwood

Stories are so intrinsic to our culture, to the structure of our lives, that it’s impossible to separate ourselves from them. We are defined by our stories, the ones we tell about ourselves and others, and the ones others tell about us. It’s how we connect and share with each other. They stir every emotion we can possibly have. Friendship and love both grow from stories. We are our stories, and our stories are us. Let’s make sure the ones we choose are really the ones we want.

creativity

A Year of Yes: NYC’s Secrets & Lies partners with Untapped Cities

http://caveat.nyc/event/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-2/
http://caveat.nyc/event/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-2/

I’m so excited to tell you that my monthly storytelling show, New York City’s Secrets and Lies at Caveat (next show on April 17th at 7pm!), has partnered with Untapped Cities, an online publication that “unearths New York City’s most unique and surprising places, stories and events for the inquisitive reader. We are a community of over 600 passionate contributors, interested in what’s hidden and unnoticed, and how our history informs city life now and in the future.”

What does that mean?

  • 20 members of Untapped Cities Insiders get a free ticket to the show
  • Untapped Cities will offer the fantastic prize to the winner of our show
  • Untapped Cities will feature the show on their media channels before and during the show

I am absolutely in love with the work that Untapped Cities does to showcase our amazing city, and I’m honored to have them partner with us to bring to life the most wild stories about New York City.

creativity

A Year of Yes: Using this time for reflection

“Something will grow from all you are going through. And it will be you.” ~TobyMac

My medical emergency this week has offered me an opportunity for intense reflection time in every area of my life. I don’t have any answers or revelations yet. I’m still down in the weeds of it all. But I’m trying and healing. And right now, that’s enough.

creativity

A Year of Yes: A near-death experience this week changed my life

I’m posting these embarrassing selfies for your benefit:

I got off a plane from vacation in Vancouver. It was a fantastic trip—more on that later. This post is about you. Well, it’s about you via a story about me. I’ll be brief. My eye started to hurt on the plane. Nothing big; just noticeable. I got home, picked up my dog from boarding, and decided to take a nap. I woke up with my eye crusted shut. My doctor, via video call, thought it was a case of pink eye and prescribed antibiotics. 24 hours later, the swelling, redness, and oozing got much worse, and then spread to my second eye. I got on a video call with my doctor again, and she was alarmed to see how much my condition had deteriorated. She sent me to the emergency room.

I didn’t have pink eye. I had a condition known as periorbital cellulitis. It’s an extremely dangerous infection if left untreated, and can be lethal by causing sepsis or meningitis. It’s usually caused by an insect bite or another similar kind of trauma. I’m immensely lucky that I have access to great, timely medical care. Again, my gut instinct to get help saved me, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

Now the bit about you:

1.) If you’re sick, please, please, please get medical help quickly. Don’t worry that you’re being a hypochondriac. If you think something is wrong, it’s much better to get it checked.

2.) Do what you love. Please. What you’re passionate about, what lights you up, what makes you curious to learn more and more. Create beautiful art. Write. See your friends. Help people. Share what you have. Fall in love. Adopt a dog. Live. If you’re in a job or a relationship you don’t love, go. Quickly. Don’t waste your time. You never know how much of it you have. Your life can turn on a dime, from something as insignificant as an insect bite. So wear bug repellent and sunscreen because you might as well give yourself your best shot at your best life.

creativity

A Year of Yes: Museum of Vancouver’s Haida Now exhibit

I understand that museums have engaged in some unfortunate practices when it comes appropriating items from other cultures. It’s impossible to erase the past; we can make amends with respect, understanding, and concern. The Museum of Vancouver has begun the process of repatriation with the Haida Now exhibit, a thoughtfully curated exhibit done in collaboration with the Haida people. I was fortunate enough to see the exhibit while I was there this weekend. I’m still processing my thoughts and feelings about everything I learned, and I wanted to share these photos with you. Visit the exhibit’s website by clicking here.