Aftab Pureval interviewing Aaron Sorkin for the Niehoff Lecture at the Hyatt Hotel

Lessons From Aaron Sorkin

Last Saturday night I went to the Mercantile Library’s Niehoff Lecture. It’s their annual fundraising event, and it’s glorious. The men wear tuxes or dark suits in fine cloth, the women and the non-binary wear sparkles. The pre-lecture chatter on the second-floor atrium of the Hyatt Hotel is deafening. Previous Niehoff speakers I’ve heard include …

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Close up of bright red cranberries, cooking

Too Much Time

Sometimes help comes from friends. Sometimes it comes from books. This time it came from a book. Even with all the GOADS (Get Out And Do Stuff) work, with all the dancing and pickleball, I felt myself sliding backwards toward the miasma of lethargy and despondency. The book that helped? Happier Hour, by Cassie Holmes. …

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Black converse sneakers with white laces and toes on a train, the floor black and speckled with white.

Self On The Dance Floor

Three weeks ago Saturday, I finally went back to the African dance class. Summer camp was in session, so the class was me and four eight-year-olds. They had so much energy. In the pause between dances, while I caught my breath, they did cartwheels. In the second dance, the one about planting seeds, the one …

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A field with tall yellow goldenrod and a few scattered trees

Cabin Exploration

After writing about the container cabin, I was energized. Based on the emails some of you sent, you were, too. Even now, as I write this, thinking about the long cabin gets me excited. “What now?” “If I proceeded as if I was going to build the kind of cabin I’d like in Kentucky, what …

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green leaves backlit by sun, so close up it is abstract

I Believe

A few weeks ago, I was in a webinar with Jane Friedman and Dan Blank related to book marketing. Blank said that when someone asks you what your book is about, don’t launch into a description of the plot or characters. Instead, talk about what it’s About. When we write, we write from our beliefs, …

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multiple trunks of one tree


Some parts of a journey are downhill, with a light breeze at our backs. Some are uphill, over a rocky path and with the sun beating down on our sweltering heads, the empty rattle of the canteen reminding us that we should have packed more water. I’m being overly dramatic. I’m not on a life-threatening …

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