Sometimes a child can make you see things a whole different way, simply because she doesn’t want to see things a whole different way. Sadie and I were playing with Play-Doh the other day, and she had a fit if I changed the shape of the stuff. Rolled it like a hotdog? Shriek. Flattened it like a pancake? Shriek. Cut it in half? Double shriek. She wanted the purple blob just the same way it came out of the can and was crabby when she couldn’t get her way.

Most of us are like Sadie—we want the comfort of our known world. We buy our favorite authors, we watch our favorite shows, we hang out with our favorite friends, we visit our favorite blogs (and thank you if you’re reading this). We know what we like, and that’s not a bad thing. But I never want to get too comfortable. My next book will be a challenge I hope to pull off. My hero will be kind of unheroic—a morally challenged, damaged man who will be transformed by the love of a good woman (the still first nameless Miss Peartree). What have you done lately to stretch your Play-Doh?

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t. ~Henry Ward Beecher