The Creative Compass

“A wonderfully insightful guide to the art of transforming ideas and stories into books. It presents old narrative and stylistic truths in a new, highly imaginative way.”

Stephen Kinzer, author of Poisoner in Chief

A guide should give clear directions, then get out of your way. In this unique collaboration, my father and I draw on our own experiences and the wisdom of our fellow writers to orient you on a quest through five universal stages of creativity:

Dream: “You need to know more than you’ll ever tell.”

Draft: “Can’t stay within lines you’ve set? Move them.”

Develop: “Turn away from the labyrinth of infinite possibilities. Speed toward the story’s one true form.”

Refine: “Once you know what you need to say, then do so with all the power and grace you can muster.”

Share: “If necessary, go back in order to move forward…”

“A wonderfully insightful guide to the art of transforming ideas and stories into books. It presents old narrative and stylistic truths in a new, highly imaginative way.”

Stephen Kinzer, author of Poisoner in Chief

A guide should give clear directions, then get out of your way. In this unique collaboration, my father and I draw on our own experiences and the wisdom of our fellow writers to orient you on a quest through five universal stages of creativity:

Dream: “You need to know more than you’ll ever tell.”

Draft: “Can’t stay within the lines you’ve set? Move them”

Develop: “Turn away from the labyrinth of infinite possibilities. Speed toward the story’s one true form.”

Refine: “Once you’ve figured out what you need to say, then do so with all the power and grace you can muster.”

Share: “If necessary, go back in order to move forward…”

 Creative Lives

“The profiles are crisp, fascinating and full of telling details.”

Roseanne Saad Khalaf, in her foreword

An American in Beirut, I wrote a book about Lebanese artists while covering art and politics as a freelance journalist and broadcaster. These thirty-one portraits speak to pivotal moments in time, shared desires, varied rituals, hard-won insights—and the resilience of a small country that will never surrender.

“When you start a piece of art…it’s a struggle, a fight with yourself. And after you finish, the joy that you get is incredible.”

Anachar Basbous, Sculptor

“You get connected and you feel in a different way, you smell in a different way, you see in a different way, you listen in a different way… You go behind space and time.”

Hiba Al-Kawas, Singer and Composer

“The profiles are crisp, fascinating and full of telling details.”

Roseanne Saad Khalaf, in her foreword

An American in Beirut, I wrote a book about Lebanese artists, while covering art and politics as a freelance journalist and broadcaster. These thirty-one portraits speak to pivotal moments in time, shared desires, varied rituals, hard-won insights—and the resilience of a small country that will never surrender.

“When you start a piece of art…it’s a struggle, a fight with yourself. And after you finish, the joy that you get is incredible.”

Anachar Basbous, Sculptor

“You get connected and you feel in a different way, you smell in a different way, you see in a different way, you listen in a different way… You go behind space and time.”

Hiba Al-Kawas, Singer and Composer