J.K. Riki

Comparisons

I have three locations set up on my phone, to be able to check weather at a glance. These are my three favorite places on Earth. One is my hometown of Pittsburgh. There’s also Montreal, Canada and Honolulu, Hawaii. As you can imagine, weather in these locations can vary quite a bit. Currently if I look at Montreal weather, it’s 22 degrees and snowing. Suddenly Pittsburgh’s overcast 60-degrees is looking…
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Buddhist Monks at Costco

As I was wheeling a 24-pack of water bottles towards the exit of Costco Wholesalers this past week, my eye caught the bright, saffron robes of a group of Buddhist monks. Three of them sat at a small plastic table by the cafe, having lunch. I’ve traveled to China in the past, and the sight of such monks is not uncommon while walking through the country’s ancient temples. It was…
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Thinking Story: Which Life is Better?

Today we have a creative exercise revolving around what I call a “Thinking Story.” A Thinking Story is a made up hypothetical situation that allows you to sit back for a minute and stretch your mind. So here’s a “Thinking Story” for you: Say two people live the exact same lives. Somehow, in the land of Hypothetical, everything about their days- every day- are parallel. Both individuals also share a…
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When You Turn Your Personal Switch to “Off”

Originally I was planning to write this post about an encounter I had with a person online who refused to think outside of the tiny box they had welded themselves into. Then I realized I don’t need to talk about someone else’s stubborn failings, I can talk about my own. For many years I had my “New Ideas” switch flipped to “off.” There were certain aspects of my life that…
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That Time I was on Fox News

Let’s just start here: Okay, now let’s back up a step and see how this madness occurred. On Tuesday November 3rd, 2015, Twitter changed its “Favorite” icon of a star to a “Liked” icon of a heart. Personally I preferred the star. Still, in the grand scheme, this sort of thing is absolutely meaningless, so I spent the day having fun with the hashtag #bringbackthestar by tweeting more and more…
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How Much Do You Want It?

National Novel Writing Month has begun. Day 1 produced 3,332 words, several main characters, and a location. Before beginning to type yesterday afternoon, I had no idea what the novel was about. When November 30th rolls around, I will have a 50,000+ word novel that I did not have at the end of October. Whether it’s ever published or not, it will exist. If you want to realize a dream,…
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Note to Self

I recently started the research process for a potential future book. I won’t go into details, because there’s no way to know this early in the game if anything will come from it or be taken all the way through to book-form, but there’s one thing that continued to stick out as I went along. I found myself, multiple times, writing down thoughts and ideas for different aspects of the…
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Limitations

For my birthday this year, my wife got me $100 in iTunes gift cards. It was a fantastic gift because I have a tendency to listen to the same 12 songs on my phone over and over until either I get sick of them (unlikely) or the people I’m in the car with go crazy (pretty likely). It’s also helpful because songs take up no physical space, and I don’t…
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The Most Terrifying Compliment Ever Received

If you’ve been around since the days of FredtheMonkey.com you probably know Mr. Deutsch. He’s the math teacher character who pops in now and then to inject some numerical humor into the cartoons. What you may not know is that he’s a real person as well as a cartoon character. Mr. Deutsch the character is voiced by my old math teacher Mr. Deutsch the human being. I don’t get to…
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The 15 Day Creativity Boot Camp is Here!

After quite a bit of time in the works, my book the 15 Day Creativity Boot Camp has arrived! You can find and order a copy right here in both print and e-Book versions. The book is designed to walk the reader step by step through the creative process. It begins by explaining the necessary shift in mindset to work in “Creativity Mode.” Without this mental change, creativity is hampered,…
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