From Kate's Writing Crate…
It's a busy time of year. Hopefully, you are making time to write. For some inspiration and a break from the frenetic holiday season, take time to watch Super Soul Sundays and/or Well Read, two more TV shows highlighting writers. Both are weekly programs.
In Hawaii, Oprah Winfrey hosts Super Soul Sundays on Sunday mornings on her channel, OWN. Please note: there is a philosophical/spiritual theme to the show so it may not appeal to everyone.
Guests on the show have included authors Steven Pressfield discussing The War of Art; Anne Lamott discussing Bird By Bird and Stitches; Mariel Hemingway and Bobby Williams discussing Running in Nature: Stepping Into the Life You Were Meant to Live; and Mark Nepo discussing The Book of Awakening, to mention only a few. Songwriters like India.Arie have also appeared.
There are a variety of views presented on the show by many people, not just writers, but I especially enjoy hearing from the wide array of authors about their work.
Anne Lamott was a recent guest discussing many things including her latest book, Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair. She writes with passion about her takes on religion and politics among many other topics. If you read her hilarious and heartbreaking book Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, you were introduced to Lamott's best friend, Pammy. In Stitches, you learn more about her.
One passage in Stitches jumped out at me.
On page 28 Lamott writes: As far as I can recall, none of the adults in my life ever remembered to say, "Some people have a thick skin and you don't. Your heart is really open and that is going to cause pain, but that is an appropriate response to this world. The cost is high, but the blessing of being compassionate is beyond your wildest dreams. However, you're not going to feel that a lot in seventh grade. Just hang on."
Many writers I know would have benefited from an adult spilling that secret.
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Well Read is a PBS show hosted by Terry Tazioli who interviews an author each week for the first two thirds of the show. Both fiction and non-fiction books are covered. Some recent interviews included The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, Ian Rankin about his Inspector Rebus series, and The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean.
After each interview, Mary Ann Gwinn joins Tazioli on set to discuss other books on the same topic or in the same genre. Gwinn is a former VP of the National Book Critics Circle and a book reviewer for The Seattle Times so she offers six or more recommendations.
Both Tazioli and Gwinn are passionate about books. I learn about many authors new to me from this show.