Episode Date October 10, 2023
Featured Guest Miranda Keeling
Featured Book "Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present" by Charlotte Zolotow

Episode Summary

Miranda Keeling reading from Charlotte Zolotow’s Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present,’ and discussing the art of slowing down as a writer and elevating the ordinary.

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The very first hotel that I got quarantined into, I looked out over Darling Harbour in Sydney. I knew just over the rise was the Sydney Opera House. It was my only view for two weeks. It changed constantly. It was on fire, lit up by a sunset. It was looming with threat as a storm passed by. It became lit up at night. It was actually a Ferris wheel, a carnival, like an underworld at my feet. We’re constantly searching for what’s new. We’re constantly distracted. And sometimes it’s wonderful to be forced to look and look again at what’s right there in front of you.

Miranda Keeling trained as an artist, initially with a degree in glass making, but has gone on to grace the big stage and to attack the tyranny of the blank page. Seeing small differences is Miranda’s thing; noticing the details of everyday life and elevating them with the various forms of art that she makes. And to be honest, this is something Miranda’s done from the very start.

Miranda reads two pages from Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present by Charlotte Zolotow. [reading begins at 14:54]

Hear us discuss:

  • What do you have to let go of to fully embrace the identity of being a writer? [8:36]
  • Writing and courage: “You’re not swept along by somebody else’s agenda in the same way you’ve got to set your own agenda, you’ve got to go into wherever you work and start and look at that blank page and it’s a very different way of being.” [11:16]
  • “The simple things that you might not notice are the things that could be the most important.” [18:23]
  • How to ‘slow down’ and get in tune with your thoughts: “There’s a meditation technique I did years ago, and I sometimes do still where you imagine that your mind is a blank theater and the curtains are open and you just wait to see what comes onto the stage. You try not to follow it or get too emotionally entangled, but you notice the players move across the stage.” [26:40]
  • Elevating the ordinary: “In the hot shop, there’d be lots of debris left over from [the glass blowers’] work, and I would take that glass debris from the floor and use it in my pieces… And my point being that’s, again, me taking something pretty ordinary. … And I’m trying to get the best I can out of it and elevate it into something else.” [32:42]

Get access to full transcripts and past episodes at www.MBS.works/podcast

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Mentioned Episodes | Ep.140 –  McKinley Valentine: How You Get Good at Something  | Ep. 139 – Neil Heyde: How to Practice

Miranda Keeling on LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | The Year I Stopped to Notice | 100 Voices

Charlotte Zolotow | Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present

Follow Michael on | Instagram | Twitter | YouTubeLinkedIn | Facebook

Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

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