S1 Ep27: Christie Purifoy

Christie Purifoy is the author of Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace. She says, “I believe that life, in all its pain and beauty and mystery, is a journey of love. Writing keeps my eyes wide-open to this astonishing reality.”

In this episode, Jonathan and Christie discuss the analogy between writing and gardening, how to name and and rename “weeds,” and what it means to extend hospitality to your reader.

S1 Ep26: Tish Harrison Warren with Doug McKelvey

Tish Harrison Warren is an Anglican priest and the author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, winner of Christianity Today’s Book of the Year Award for Spiritual Formation. She is joined by Doug McKelvey, author of Every Moment Holy.

In this episode, Jonathan Rogers talks with Tish and Doug about what Tish means by the word “ordinary,” the power of liturgical rhythms to quietly transform our daily lives, and personal liturgies surrounding the practice of writing.

Writers who make Tish want to write:

  • Flannery O’Connor
  • Annie Dillard
  • Scott Cairns
  • C. S. Lewis
  • Rich Mullins
  • Eugene Peterson
  • Anne Patchett

S1 Ep25: Ron Block

Ron Block is a banjo player and a long-time member of Alison Kraus’s band, Union Station. He is also an amateur theologian, a George MacDonald aficionado, and the star of O Brother, Where Art Thou? (he’s the banjo player in this scene).

In this episode, Jonathan Rogers and Ron Block discuss the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, the “try-harder cycle,” and how to turn that negative cycle into a positive cycle that liberates our creativity rather than suffocating it.

Writers who make Ron want to write:

  • C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia)
  • George MacDonald 

S1 Ep24: JJ Heller

JJ Heller‘s songs remind people that they are loved. She and her husband Dave have been writing together since before they were married. Lately they have taken up a new discipline: On the first Friday of every month, they release a new song to the various digital platforms.

In this episode, Jonathan talks with JJ and Dave Heller about the quest of finding one’s voice, anxiety, the tension between wanting to be impressive and wanting to make something that lasts, and the liberating gift of collaboration.

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S1 Ep23: John Hendrix

John Hendrix is a much-decorated author and illustrator and an art professor at Washington University in St. Louis. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Esquire, The New York Times, and elsewhere. His most recent book, The Faithful Spy, is a graphic novel about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the plot to kill Adolph Hitler. It won a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. In today’s episode, Jonathan and John discuss the painstaking process of crafting The Faithful Spy, the interdependence of text and image, and the many motivations for making things.

Writer who makes John Hendrix want to write: 

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S1 Ep22: Maryrose Wood

Maryrose Wood is the author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, an exceedingly funny six-book series about a governess whose three young charges have been raised by wolves. She is also the proprietor of The Swanburne Academy, an online academy for families who love to learn and grow together. In this episode, Jonathan and Maryrose discuss the ways that stage acting has impacted Maryrose’s writing, the implications of improv for overcoming writer’s block, and some ways to get comfortable with uncertainty in the writing process.

Writers who make Maryrose want to write:

  • William Shakespeare
  • Stephen Sondheim
  • Charlotte Bronte
  • E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)

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S1 Ep21: Drew Miller

Drew Miller is a Nashville singer-songwriter, content developer for the Rabbit Room, and the producer of this podcast. This fall and winter he is releasing two EPs, Desolation and Consolation. In this episode, Jonathan and Drew discuss the interdependence of desolation and consolation, how to evoke genuine emotion in listeners, and the importance of truth-telling in a world full of false consolations.

Writers who make Drew Miller want to write:

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S1 Ep20: Jonny Jimison

Jonny Jimison is a graphic novelist and the author of The Dragon Lord Saga. In October of 2019, Rabbit Room Press is re-releasing Martin and Marco, Book 1 of Jonny’s Saga, in full-color. In this episode, Jonathan and Jonny discuss visual storytelling, the age-old search for authentic voice, and board games.

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S1 Ep19: James K.A. Smith

James K.A. (Jamie) Smith is a philosophy professor at Calvin College and the author of many important books, including Desiring the Kingdom, You Are What You Love, How (Not) To Be Secular, and (most recently) On the Road with Saint Augustine. In this episode, Jonathan and Jamie discuss Augustine’s account of human desire and its implications for fiction-writing; the ever-elusive mystery of the self; and the drama of redemption as the re-directing of our deepest loves.

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S1 Ep18: Sarah MacKenzie

Sarah MacKenzie is the host of Read-Aloud Revival and the author of The Read-Aloud Family. In this episode, Jonathan and Sarah discuss the curious connection between the writer who works in quiet solitude and the family reading aloud together, the instructive power of life’s limitations, and Sarah’s recent forays into writing picture books.

Writers who make Sarah want to write:

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