I’m going to go out on a limb here and share that I loved ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi.’ I thought it was fun and engaging, funny and more than a bit swashbuckling. I know there are plenty of people out there who disagree with me, which is fine, but there’s one theme in the film I wanted to write about today: hope.

Bucking the trend of the second-film in a trilogy being the bummer (‘Empire Strikes Back’ didn’t exactly finish on a high note), The Last Jedi ends on a very hopeful tone. The now-infamous “broom kid” looks to the stars and Rian Johnson leaves viewers hopeful for the rebellion. It’s a nice ending, a nice sentiment.

After a year that left a lot of people worn down – either because of their politics or the fact that Mother Nature seems bound and determined to destroy our civilization – hope seems to be trading on the demand side of the supply/demand curve. (more…)

“Write drunk, edit sober.”

Hemingway didn’t say it, though this quote is often attributed to him. And, to be sure, it’s bad advice. Have you ever tried to write while drunk? I have and, I’ll tell you, the output was no bueno. It was a jumbled mess of half-thoughts and homonyms which no amount of editing could salvage.

But, like many quotes real or fake, there is a lot of truth in this brief, four-word sentiment. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with intoxication. It’s about the merits of uninhibited creativity. Writing drunk, to me, means letting your mind wander, letting your thoughts be your thoughts and getting them out without judging them. Writing drunk means writing freely and not worrying about getting anything right.  (more…)

I was having a conversation about the future with my mom recently. We talked about my work, my family, all the possibility that lies ahead and all the work I’ve done and will do to get us there. She’s always been supportive, but she knows the road has not always been easy for me and my family. She’s also not one to offer a lot of wisdom or advice. She’s more likely to simply say that she believes in me and hopes for the best.

That’s probably why it was profound when she interrupted me and said something I can’t get out of my head.  (more…)

Life can be crazy in our house. With four children of ages from newborn to teenager, a busy professional life and a bustling social calendar, it can seem like I am constantly going from place to place, dropping off, picking up, checking off boxes on a seemingly never-ending list of to-dos.

If you have a family, chances are pretty good that you know the feeling. Everything begins to swirl together to the point where days fade from pre-dawn alarm clocks to falling into bed without much having been accomplished and, yet, a million things being done. Modern life is a constant uphill struggle to keep up and trying to keep your head above water, deliver on commitments and get through the days leaves precious little time to reflect or look forward. (more…)


I was in New York last week for work and, as I tend to do every time I am in the City, I had breakfast with an editor of mine – Adam Korn, of WilliamMorrow/HarperCollins. On the surface, Adam and I could not be more different. I am a six-foot-four corn-fed Catholic child of the Midwest who would rather spend a week in the woods than a weekend on the Upper East Side. He’s a five-foot-six Jewish kid who has never lived anywhere but New York. And, yet, our friendship is one the most treasured relationships in my life. Every time we get together, we talk about books and ideas. We finish each other’s sentences like old school chums. We talk with rampant enthusiasm and our hands, so much so that we often draw stares. (more…)

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The Good Life Project podcast has been sitting, undisturbed, in my iTunes account and on my iPhone for weeks. It was an impulse subscribe, just browsing the titles one night while sitting on the couch, avoiding writing. But, it’s been a couple of days since I’ve synced my phone and this evening I was all out of new episodes of other shows, so I decided to give it a try.

Host Jonathan Fields sounded familiar – I’m pretty sure I saw him speak at a conference a couple of years ago – and introduced his guest as hotel visionary and world-traveling festival guru Chip Conley. (more…)