CREATE-tivity: What The World Needs Now

Pool parties were a fun fixture in my growing-up years—a time before e-mails and texts. When party time rolled around, I’d dive into making the invitations. 

With a VHS tape of As the World Turns playing on a TV the size of a washing machine, I’d cut images from magazines and newspapers, then tape them on to a piece of paper outlining all the party details. Then (when ATWT was over, of course), off to the local drug store I’d go to photocopy my creation on just the right setting so you couldn’t see the edges of the tape on the copies. And, voila! Time to circulate the invites. 

I’m guessing the thirteen-year-old invitees didn’t appreciate all this effort, especially when a “Hey can you come to a pool party this Saturday?” in the school hallway or over the phone would have sufficed. But we all have our process.  

I’ve basically been making collages since. Not the photocopy pool party kind. But in other areas of my life—a lot of them.


In every writing workshop I’ve led, there’s always a stack of magazines for storyboards and brainstorming. I’ve kept a bottle of Modge Podge around for the spontaneous project for as long as I can remember. 

Recently, I re-upped my supply with new-fangled varieties. (When recuperation necessitated a lot of sitting, what better activity is there than decoupaging? I’m here to tell you, you can Modge Podge anything.)

Heck, my house is one big collage. The ‘eclectic’ style that began with ragtag garage sale acquisitions in my twenties, is now loosely curated around one principle: welcome in what you love and hope it looks good together. 

So, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when collaging found its way into my latest middle grade novel. I wasn’t thinking, I want to write about collaging. But somehow, I did.

Excerpt from LUCKY:

“We’re making collages,” I say.

“What are collages?” Claire asks.

“Disorganized art,” Tim says. 

I laugh before realizing he looks genuinely afraid of the art supplies in front of us.

That’s one of the many glorious things about writing—creating. All scraps are welcomed, or at least the parts and pieces ready for exploring.

Writing, painting, improv, music, quilting, coloring, doodling, sculpting, jewelry making, repurposed puzzling (yes, that’s a thing!). Any activity that puts something new into the world…is CREATE-tivity. And I’d say the world could use as much as we can collectively muster. 


A worldwide collage of inspiration. 

What CREATE-tivities are you into these days?