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Get your creative life back on track

Get your creative life back on track
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Get your creative life back on track






David Spencer

David Spencer is the creative force behind the Mischief Factory, where he seeks to create fun and adventure through art and illustration. He recently illustrated a new children's book, The Epic Adventures of Huggie and Stick, and also draws his own clever characters as well as commissioned and fandom-based art. Dave embodies the ideas of mischief and fun, and has more creative energy than almost anyone I've ever met. We talk about how he got started in illustration, as well as impostor...


Lela Rohrer Stech

Lela Rohrer Stech is an artist based in New York. Lela’s work is playful and fun, and so is she. (You’ll hear us talk about one painting I could see in the background, from a distance, and I’ve included a photo of that painting in the show notes at so you can see it, too.) In addition to her art, we talk about what she learned from living abroad, and how everything we learn somehow manages to come together in a useful way over time. Check out the show notes at...


Adam Dietz

Adam Dietz grew up in small-town Pennsylvania, went to Westminster Choir College in New Jersey, and then moved to New York to seek his fortune on the Broadway stage. Things didn't go quite the way he'd planned. Adam and I talk about what it's like to audition in New York, how to survive even without your creative dream coming true—and the effects of making that sacrifice—and how you actually can come home again and find work that fulfills your dream, even if home is a rural area rather than...


Nina Hart

Nina Hart is a writer, dancer, stand-up comedian, and improv artist who is also a fellow Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach. Her first collection of surreal short fictions called Somewhere in a Town You Never Knew Existed Somewhere was selected as a Short Stories (Adult Fiction) category finalist in Foreword Reviews' 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Awards. Nina was also an original member of the experimental dance troupe Contraband, in San Francisco and, playing a purple electric bass, has recorded...


Dawn Kotzer

Creativity and curiosity are bigger than just the arts. They're bigger than hobbies. They're vital parts of life, and the quality of our existence. Dawn Kotzer understands how creativity links into the realities of life better than almost anyone I know. She's a coach with multiple backgrounds, including Kaizen-Muse (like me) and Martha Beck. She's also an incredibly wise soul who always seems to have the right insight for the present moment. This is a deep conversation, and I hope you'll...


Robert Smith?

We think of creativity as something associated with the arts—dance, music, poetry, etc. That's why I wanted to talk to Robert Smith?, a mathematician who creates models that help improve disease control. He gained some fame a few years back for modeling zombie outbreaks—and that work has proven useful in the real world. Robert has also written several books about Doctor Who. If you're skeptical about math as a creative pursuit, or a math agnostic/atheist yourself (I hear you!), I promise...


Coaching Call: Maggie B.

This month's coaching call is with my friend and former writing student, Maggie, who has several projects she'd like to be working on, primarily a novel, but also painting and weaving. She's trying to keep track of the elements of her novel, while also figuring out just how to tackle the elements that make a novel work. We also get into some of the blocks that keep her from creating in any medium. I close this episode with Charles Rafferty's poem, "Against Hesitation," which speaks to the...


André Jackson

André Jackson is a former student of mine who has grown into one of the most thoughtful, creative people I know. André got his undergraduate degree in fashion design, but switched to fiber art in graduate school. André is also a scholar and writer. All three pursuits influence each other in deep and fascinating ways. We discuss everything from process and just what "fiber art" means to being kind to ourselves and the value of every attempt, regardless of how successful it might be.


Nancy Norbeck

My guest this week! I asked Domenic Sciortino to interview me, since it seemed only fair to turn the tables on myself, and to give you a chance to get to know me a little better. There's a lot here about my history with writing and music, the folks who inspire me and encouraged me, and even my favorite song. Full show notes are at


Domenic Sciortino

Domenic Sciortino isn't a name you're likely to have heard before, unless you live in York, Pennsylvania. He's an old friend of mine whose day job as a barber belies his experience with art and creative expression, which includes drawing, music, and a Beastie Boys tribute band called the Brass Monkeys. Dom's passion for the arts and his vocal advocacy for creative expression are inspiring and infectious.


Coaching Call: Jamie W.

Our second coaching call is with Jamie—a new writer without a writing background who doesn't let that stop her. We talk about having the courage to navigate the unfamiliar—in this case, a writer’s group that doesn’t always feel entirely friendly. If you participate in any sort of creative group, especially if you’ve ever wondered if it’s the right one or how to get the most out of it, you’ll find ideas here.


Maria James-Thiaw

Maria James-Thiaw is a performance poet, playwright, and professor at Central Penn College. She’s also a friend of mine from the MFA program at Goddard College. Maria has been playing with words since she was old enough to understand them, and has a phenomenal talent for wielding them with power. Her most recent project, the choreopoem Reclaiming My Time, is based on the histories of women who lived through the Jim Crow Era. She’s also the CEO and co-founder of the Reclaim Artist...


Coaching Call: Emily T.

Our first coaching call is with my friend Emily, who moved away from the area about a decade ago, so this is the first time we've spoken in a while. She's feeling like she's totally lost her creative spark and is worried that something's wrong and she might not get it back again. If you've ever felt too tired and overwhelmed to create, you'll definitely want to hear this call.


Kelly Flanagan

Kelly Flanagan, clinical psychologist and author of Loveable: Embracing What is Truest About You So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life, joins me to talk about why following our creative dreams is a vital part of being true to ourselves, and how uncovering and embracing those dreams makes us more human and more whole. Find show notes at and join the conversation on Instagram @fycuriosity.


Robert Shearman

Robert Shearman is the author of numerous books and dramatic pieces for stage, TV, and radio. I met Rob in March and we talked about everything from how he started writing to the process of turning a Doctor Who audio play for adults into a shorter TV show for children, and more. (Warning: spoilers for “Dalek” and “The Chimes of Midnight” within!) Find show notes at and join the conversation on Instagram @fycuriosity.