“The dreaded clear-your-head myth is responsible for untold numbers of aborted meditation careers.”

–Dan Harris, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics

That includes me!

But I learned from the book that I’ve been doing mindfulness meditation for four years without realizing it. I just thought of it as “That thing where I focus on the sounds all around me until I can map my place in the world by sound.” I was aware this had a mindfulness component, but it was just something I started doing in my kayak one day. It helped me to feel some peace when my grandma was in her final days.

Time is money; money is power; power is pizza; pizza is knowledge. Let’s go!

— April Ludgate, Parks and Recreation, Season 6: Second Chunce

The way you do anything is the way you do everything.

Tom Waits

I’d seen this quote a number of times, usually in articles about productivity, before I discovered that it came from Tom Waits. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot.

If you’re a perfectionist in your art or writing, it’s worth searching the rest of your life for the same patterns.

It’s taken years to realize that I’ve been living in an incredibly stilted manner

I’m not interested in the texture of a rock, but in its shadow.

–Ellsworth Kelly

This resonated with my mostly because of my main character in Stars Fall Out, a failed printmaker whose tendency to see the light and shadow in everything ends up revealing something important about a newly-engineered magic.

My drawings have to be quick. If they don’t happen in 20 minutes or a half hour, then they’re no good.

–Ellsworth Kelly

I discovered the same thing a few months ago when I started setting time limits for myself just so I would draw more. Longer drawing times equal stilted drawings.