Reading & Writing at Fool’s Paradise

books about art and agingWriting for more hours of my days at Fool’s Paradise than I imagined possible left little time for reading and for those intense four weeks I had little interest in any fiction beyond my own. I did, however read three books:

  • Doris McCarthy: Ninety Years Wise by Doris McCarthy
  • Celebrating Life: The Art of Doris McCarthy
  • Treasured Legacies by Irene Borins Ash

Doris McCarthy: Ninety Years Wise made me feel as if I too could go from strength to strength as the years go on, despite the physical diminishment that’s bound to accompany them. Celebrating Life: The Art of Doris McCarthy inspired in me to apply some of her ideas about painting to my photography. Treasured Legacies encouraged me to think more positively about what it means to be old and to embrace the years ahead instead of dreading them.

Reading these books while enjoying the privilege of living and working in Doris’s former home, now the Doris McCarthy Artist-in-Residence Centre, may have heightened my appreciation of them, but I recommend them to anyone with an interest in art or aging.

What about the writing I did at Fool’s Paradise? I added a lot of words to my manuscript, I took out a lot of words too, and my brain is still buzzing with ideas for the project’s ongoing development.

How do you find the time and psychic space you need for your creative pursuits while still being an active participant in the other important parts of your life?

Share this post:

Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Ingrid Ermanovics on April 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    You have made me realize that the question for me is what creative pursuits do I have?? I don't think running and reading qualify. I will be reflecting on this as spring and summer unfold. Any suggestions?

    • Kathy on June 29, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond to your thoughtful comment on this post, Ingrid. There was a glitch in the system for a while that didn’t let me know when someone had commented. Reading and running probably don’t ‘qualify’ as creative pursuits but they will certainly help feed any that you do pursue. I don’t feel qualified to suggest what those pursuits might be for you, but you may already have some. Are you gardening? Cooking? Planning lessons for your students? Creativity isn’t limited to the arts, right? But is there an art you find yourself particularly enjoying? Reading suggests writing as a possibility, and you certainly have lots of experiences to draw on, should you venture in that direction. But maybe you are more drawn to painting or photography? Or music? Wherever you’ve got to in your thinking since April, when you commented here, I hope you have a wonderful summer — creating or not.

Leave a Comment

Please read my Privacy Policy before commenting/subscribing.