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Let Winter Nights Enlarge (until tomorrow, anyway)

Jess Lahey
Jess Lahey
The year is coming to an end and in a twist I never saw coming, 2021 ended on a high note.
My episode of the Tim Ferriss Show finally aired last week and I was delighted with how it turned out. Tim and I talked for hours about everything from Albert Schweitzer to my final drunk (blergh). Here’s the audio and here’s the transcript.
I also published my final article of 2021, and it’s a doozy. A few months back, I wrote about going to a Porter Robinson concert with my 18 year-old son Finn, I was so impressed with Porter both as a musician and as a human being that I got curious about his parents. What’s it like being the parent of a rock star, anyway? Porter started creating music at thirteen, and was out on the road performing by seventeen. How do you not freak out when your kid says they want to be a musician and turns down an acceptance at your very prestigious alma mater?
I asked Porter’s parents (through Porter’s manager) if they would be interested in talking to me about raising creative kids who have to do outrageous, risky dreams.
Miraculously, they were game, so Finn and I few out to San Diego to Porter’s final show of the Nurture tour.
As we descended the ramp into Pechanga Arena, Finn noted how much it looked like the beginning of Almost Famous, where Stillwater opens for Black Sabbath. I looked around for Penny Lane and William Miller but alas, they were not hanging around at the top of the ramp with the Band-Aids.
Porter, Nancy, and Nick Robinson were delightful and generous with their time, and I filled two notebooks with my incessant scribbling.
Delightful Nancy Robinson, scribbler Jess, and euphoric Finn
Delightful Nancy Robinson, scribbler Jess, and euphoric Finn
I wrote the first of what will be at least two pieces on Porter and his family, and “Parenting Creative Children Toward Lofty (and Risky) Goals” was published this week at Grown & Flown, one of my favorite resources for parenting young adults.
The other piece? That one’s a secret for now.
On the flight home home to Vermont, I realized the opening scenes of Almost Famous take place in San Diego, and that ramp was the very same one used by Penny, William, and Stillwater.
Be still my heart.
Love and peace to you and yours on Winter Solstice Eve, the very last night I can rightfully quote bits of Thomas Campion’s “Now Winter Nights Enlarge,” before the sunlight begins to re-stake its claim on our days.
Remember, it only gets brighter from here.
Nick and Nancy Robinson, yours truly, and my younger son, Finn
Nick and Nancy Robinson, yours truly, and my younger son, Finn
P.S. If you are a nonfiction writer interested in putting a proposal together for that book that’s been simmering away on your mental back burner, you might be interested in this nonfiction book incubator class with Author Accelerator founder and book coach extraordinaire Jennie Nash.
Jennie’s book proposal clients have landed book deals at Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Scribner, and Penguin, among others. She’s really good.
Jennie will help you develop your idea, get it out of your head and onto the page, and she’s even lined up five top agents and two hybrid publishers so you can pitch your book to real, live BOOK PEOPLE.
This isn’t sponsored, I’m just a fan of Jennie and her work. She uses the proposal I wrote for The Addition Inoculation as an example of excellence, which makes me so happy! Those things are not easy to write, I tell you.
You can learn about the incubator here and tell Jennie I sent you!
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Jess Lahey
Jess Lahey @jesslahey

I write about all kinds of stuff but if you are into the writing life, the woods of Vermont, life with dogs, or my work in child welfare and substance use prevention, then you are in the right place.

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