a”Life Glows On: Reconnecting With Your Creativity to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life” is yet another terrific piece of non-fiction by popular and prolific women’s lit author Claire Cook. It’s one that happily invites re-reading — several times — to thoroughly dig into Cook’s many thoughtful ideas about creativity. In her first nonfiction book, “Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention,” Cook shares her story of reinvention. And regarding her subsequent nonfiction book, “Shine On: How to Grow Awesome Instead of Old,” I said, “….we are fortunate enough to be served double and triple helpings of good and wise advice, humor-filled entertainment, lovely and touching memories of events from the author’s very full life, and dollops of her unique ability to communicate ideas for helping “forty-to-forever” women face the challenges and vagaries of advancing age. And to become more awesome to boot.”
This one, her third piece of non-fiction, concentrates on the concept of creativity, how to activate your own creative ideas, and especially Cook’s on-the-mark suggestions about specific ideas to find that sometimes deeply hidden creative spark that resides in all of us. It’s a how-to “Cook-book” filled with wonderful ideas to help you locate that spark and use that new-found innate creativity to keep yourself busy, productive — and happy — during difficult times like pandemic shutdowns and post-shutdowns. Offering helpful suggestions, much useful advice, and some “down-home” but often profound philosophy, it should be a must-read for Cook’s many fans and anybody else who could use some wise assistance in getting through those inevitable rough patches that we all encounter. And with the unfortunate re-emergence of the pandemic, the wisdom in Cook’s pages are an even more vital ingredient in keeping yourself occupied and productive. It is, in other words, the perfect positive antithesis of the “Netflix Syndrome.”
Even though the author’s immediate inspiration was the emergence of the virus and the clear necessity of avoiding the boredom and inertia that seemed to engulf so many of us, note the important “demand” of the sub-title: “Make the rest of your life the best of your life.” And, as always, Cook’s implied promise to help you do exactly that is profoundly fulfilled. Read the detailed instructions for each creative activity she presents; carefully consider those “easy-to-follow” directions; then go to it yourself.
The profusion of imaginative suggestions will inspire you and pull you away from the TV and from the ennui that so often catches us in its web. She convinces us that if you really apply yourself and give it your all and never give up even if you hit a wall, the rewards may well be more satisfying than you can even imagine. And even though you took specific instructions on how to get there, you will have arrived at your ultimate goal via your own imagination, your own unique creative genius; and the exhilaration you’ll feel is indescribable. And beautiful. Just like the product you’ve created. You will not regret the effort. And you will thank one Claire Cook for the inspiration. Satisfaction guaranteed!
Review by Jack and Pamela Kramer