Tag Archives: Creativity

Interview with Matteo Pericoli, Author of WINDOWS ON THE WORLD

Posted by November 19th, 2014

WINDOWS ON THE WORLD by Matteo Pericoli

As someone who loves looking out the window, I was excited to learn about how 50 of the world’s prominent writers relate to their own window views in Matteo Pericoli’s WINDOWS ON THE WORLD, published by Penguin Press. While reading through various profiles, from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to T.C. Boyle, I got to experience a small slice of the daily lives of writers through their own eyes. In the interview below, Matteo Pericoli shares the inspiration behind WINDOWS ON THE WORLD and the insights he gained from working on this project.

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Q: You are an architect, teacher, and, of course, the author and illustrator of many books. How did you form the idea for WINDOWS ON THE WORLD?

Matteo Pericoli: In 2004 I paused in front of the window at my Upper West Side apartment and felt an urge to take the view with me. I had looked out that window for seven years, day after day, taking in that particular arrangement of buildings, and, now, I was about to move out. Without knowing it, this view had become my most familiar image of the city. So, on that day, I finally paid attention. I drew it, frame and all, on a large sheet of brown paper noticing for the first time the quantity of things I didn’t know I had been looking at for so long. Since then, I’ve spent years drawing window views. Continue reading

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1 Weird Trick For Creativity by Adam J. Kurtz

Posted by October 28th, 2014

1 page at a time We’re happy to have Adam J. Kurtz on the Book Country blog! Adam is the author of 1 PAGE AT A TIME : A Daily Creative Companion, published by Perigee Books. With NaNoWriMo 2014 coming up, we all need a boost of creativity! You can download a free page from the book at adamjkurtz.com

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Many people struggle to be creative. We see creative people and their work around us and compare ourselves. We don’t know how to be creative, or worse, we did once, and now we’re feeling blocked, bored or unsure.  Tired of this happening to you? Continue reading

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Last Day to Enter the Write Your Best Book Creativity Kit Sweepstakes!

Posted by September 29th, 2014

Write Your Best Book Creativity Kit

Today is your LAST chance to enter Book Country’s Write Your Best Book Creativity Kit Sweepstakes! Enter for a chance to win a set of tote bags, journals, a lovely Penguin mug, and a wide selection of books to help unleash your creativity! Books include WRECK THIS JOURNAL by Keri Smith, MANUSCRIPT MAKEOVER by Elizabeth Lyon, and EVERY IDEA IS A GOOD IDEA by Tom Sturges. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 PM ET! Continue reading

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Elizabeth Loupas: Six and a Half Ways to be a Writer Even When You’re Not Writing

Posted by April 1st, 2014

Writers write. That’s true. We’ve all been admonished a million times to park our behinds in our chairs and just write. Sometimes—maybe even most of the time—that’s what we need to do.

But nobody can write all the time, unless you want to end up like Jack Torrance in The Shining, typing pages and pages of madness and hacking down doors with axes. In order to define our writing as writing and hang on to our sanity in the process, we have to have non-writing to surround it. The rich shadowy darkness of creativity is only visible when it’s contrasted with the light of everyday life.

The trick to this is to have an arsenal of non-writing things you can depend on to refresh your spirit. The list will be different for everyone. Here are six things from my list:

Walking. Not power walking for exercise, but just ambling through the neighborhood, picking a different route every time. Sure, the exercise gets my blood circulating, but the solitude, the fresh air, the sunshine (or the rain)—it’s a great way to get away from the computer, but at the same time a terrific incubator for new ideas. I like to recite dialog as I walk, to hear what it sounds like. Yes, the neighbors wonder about me.

Showers. Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces, but water does a lot more for me than get me clean. The solitude again, the sound, the primitive rushing feel of the water—when a particular plot point is blocking my progress, it’s amazing how often I figure it out in the shower. I keep a notepad in the bathroom so I can get things written down before I forget them. I tried one of those waterproof-notepad gadgets but I kept dropping the special underwater pen. If I get a really good idea I just scramble out of the shower and drip all over everything while I write.

9780451418876_large_The_Red_Lily_CrownStargazing. I learned the constellations as a child, but you don’t have to know Ursa Major from Cassiopeia to appreciate the enormity of the night sky. After a while it makes writing-related problems seem much less important. You can muse on what your characters would see and think at night—the stars will be pretty much the same (well, in the northern hemisphere…and a star map will show you constellations in the southern hemisphere) to anyone in any time and place. I thought of this when I wrote a scene for THE RED LILY CROWN in which my heroine awakens from being drugged and abducted and looks up at the sky to orient herself:

There, that was the North Star, just as Ruan had taught her. Her own stars, the curling tail and spread claws of the Scorpion, were on the opposite horizon, so that was south…

I felt that scene because I knew what the sky would have looked like, deep in the darkness. Continue reading

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