On Emptiness

There is a zen koan about a visitor asking a monk about zen. 
The monk pours the visitor a cup of tea until the cup is overflowing. 
“It’s full!” the visitor says. 
“Like this cup,” the monk says, “you are full of your own thoughts and obsessions. I can only show you zen when your cup is empty.” 
The same is true with writing. 
You sit and you wait. Maybe you read a little, or look out the window. In other words, you write out of silence, and staring into space, and total undistracted attention. Great ideas come out of emptiness.

Kelly Easton's novels have won many awards, among them, the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award, the ASTAL Middle School Book of the Year Award, NYPL Book For the Teen Age, Kentucky Bluegrass Masterlist (Hiroshima Dreams); an ALA Quick Pick listing, and nomination for the ABE award, 2010 (Aftershock); Atlanta parents Best Book, and NYPL Book for the Teen Age (White Magic); a Boston Author’s Club Award, Westcherster’s Choice Best Book, CCBC Best Books selection (Walking on Air); and a Golden Kite Honor, Booksense Top Ten (The Life History of a Star). Her newest book, The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes, is a Jr. Library Guild selection.

Kelly Easton is retired from the MFAC faculty.