What to Do When Your Gingerbread House Collapses

I have no idea what went through the mind of whoever built this gingerbread house when it collapsed. But I'm guessing she (or he) didn't get all self-critical and perfectionist about it. Perfectionism is an obstacle to creative problem solving, admirably on display here. Happy holidays, and remember that the secret ingredient is always compassionate objectivity (nonperfectionism). … [Read more...]

Fan Mail From Novosibirsk

I was thrilled to get some fan mail from Novosibirsk today: Hello, miss Rettig! My name is Alexander, I’m writer from Russia. Couple weeks ago I found your book - and it was like a revelation for me. I always want to be a writer. I was started to write seriously three or four times - and always crashed myself down with fears and doubts. In January I started it again, now more seriously than ever, I really worked hard, but in June I started to feel the ghost of defeat again… And then I find your book. All my fears, all my doubts, all unspoken words about my writing was there! I couldn’t believe it! I was searching for things that you wrote FOR YEARS (it’s true!). Now I have it all in one book on my shelf! Amazing! Procrastination is not defeated, but now I have a deadly weapon for it. So I just want to say my biggest thanks to you for this book. Here it is: THANK YOU VERY VERY VERY MUCH!!!:) And one more little thanks for preface for the Russian edition;) Writing is so solitary and it can be easy to … [Read more...]

If We Could Turn Back Time: Cher Models Nonperfectionism!

I've always loved Cher's tweets: they're so playful and sincere, even when she's making a sharp political point, which she does often. So naturally, I loved this New York Times piece about her Twitter style: She pays little to no attention to rules of grammar, like punctuation or sentence structure, and she capitalizes many words individually, causing her messages to read like bad novelty T-shirts or mock propaganda posters. She frequently — and comically — tacks on extra signoffs at the end of her tweets (“I was looking at tweets & saw that i really hurt someones feelings ! Im sorry. It was light blue background with white egg shape . Bye” ). She loves to load her tweets with emojis — her favorites include the birthday cake, sweat droplets, prayer hands and the American flag — even if they aren’t related to the subject matter of her message....The day after Christmas, she wrote, “Adults are SO PACMAN,” and a few weeks before that, she posted a message that simply said: “We Should B Vigilant, Aware Of … [Read more...]

Some Awesome Links and See You in Colorado and Missouri!

Busy preparing for my Colorado and Missouri trip. As my Facebook friends know—and, by the way, you're invited to become one—I've morphed into a mushroom fanatic since moving to the midwest, and will be attending the Telluride Mushroom Festival. Oh yeah, and I'll also be giving a bunch of writing-productivity and joyful-activism workshops, and would love to see you at one if you're in the area. Please check my calendar for dates for these and my upcoming Michigan workshops! I've got some great articles queued up for September, to get us all revved for the new work year. In the meantime, below are some really awesome links. I hope you enjoy them, and please, please, please enjoy the rest of your summer! If you haven't yet been to the beach or the woods or the mountains, that's your homework. :-) The Links: Success at any Age YES! Perfectionists often feel bad about what they perceive to be a lack of life progress—a tendency hugely exacerbated by many societies' youth fixation. This article offers a … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Seduce a Writer

No, not that way, silly!           They're all fine suggestions, but they missed the best one of all: Buy his/her book! … [Read more...]

Hello Crewel World!

And knitting world, scrapbooking world, decoupage world, etc.! Check out my post on How to Get More Crafting Done in 2014. Many thanks to Lois Winston, author of the fun Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, for the opportunity to guest blog at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers. … [Read more...]

A Great Day for Mushrooms, and Alliteration

Woke up to find it's raining again, for the upteenth time this fall. At first, I had my normal reaction, "Aw, crap." But this time I quickly corrected myself, "All right! More mushrooms!" Michigan is apparently great for mushrooms. Maybe today, Monday, I will make manifest a marvelous Michigan morel. … [Read more...]

Mushroom Picking in Michigan

We found...                               … [Read more...]

I Bought the World’s Best Coffee Mug at Goodwill Recently, and The Best Part is…

              no matter what J says to me, I can respond simply by pointing at it. … [Read more...]

Dave Barry on How to Cope With Post-Pulitzer Prize Situational Perfectionism

Situational perfectionism is when something causes your perfectionism to spike. It can be a failure, of course, but it can also be a success. Here's J.K. Rowling, quoted in Salon: “For the first time ever in my life, I got writer’s block. The stakes seemed to have gone up a lot, and I attracted a lot of publicity in Britain for which I was utterly unprepared.” Turns out humorist Dave Barry got into a similar fix after winning the Pulitzer Prize: “I had this feeling like, You know, jeez, does this mean that I'm still allowed to write stupid columns? Because my column won in the distinguished commentary category. No one had ever called my writing “distinguished.” So I wrestled with my first columns after winning.” (From And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft, by Mike Sacks.) (Also an example of how labels and arbitrary categorizations can screw you up. Save them for your marketing--and even then, don't take them too seriously. Just take your writing at face … [Read more...]

Unidentified Purple Object #2 (Ditto)

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Unidentified Purple Object #1 (Anyone know what it is?)

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Do You Suffer from Procatination?

          It's so deeply unfair to the cat... More procatination here. And here! … [Read more...]

If You’ve Ever Wanted to See a Seven-Tuba Pileup, Now is Your Chance

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I don’t often repurpose a blanket rack as a scarf and jewelry holder…

...but when I do, the result is so good I just have to share it...             I have this preconception about myself that I'm not so good at home decor, so when I do come up with a clever idea it feels great. Plus, the rack was $10 off CraigsList - so score! … [Read more...]