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Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination Paperback – May 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Phil Cousineau is a bestselling author, editor, photographer, award-winning documentary filmmaker, adventure travel leader, and independant scholar who lectures around the world on a wide range of topics from mythology, mentorship, and soul. His books include The Art of Pilgrimage, Soul Moments, Riddle Me This, and The Soul Aflame. A protege of the late Joseph Campbell, Cousineau is also the author of The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work. He lives in San Francisco, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Conari Press (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573242993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573242998
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

PHIL COUSINEAU is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer, storyteller and TV host. His fascination with the art, literature, and history of culture has taken him from Michigan to Marrakesh, Iceland to the Amazon, in a worldwide search for what the ancients called the "soul of the world." With more than 25 books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name, the "omnipresent influence of myth in modern life" is a thread that runs through all of his work.

BOOKS: Cousineau's books include STOKING THE CREATIVE FIRES, ONCE AND FUTURE MYTHS, THE ART OF PILGRIMAGE, THE HERO'S JOURNEY: JOSEPH CAMPBELL ON HIS LIFE AND WORK, SOUL: AN ARCHAEOLOGY, and WORDCATCHER: AN ODYSSEY INTO THE WORLD OF WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WORDS. A book of essays and reflections on healing, restitution and atonement titled BEYOND FORGIVENESS published in 2011; a book of colorful words and word stories, THE PAINTED WORD: A TREASURE CHEST OF REMARKABLE WORDS AND THEIR ORIGINS, published in 2012; and BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: ILLUMINATING WORDS FOR THE LONG NIGHT'S JOURNEY INTO DAY released in December 2013. Cousineau's books have been translated into nine languages, and he is a contributor to more than 30 other books.

TALKS & TRAVELS: Phil Cousineau lectures frequently on a wide spectrum of topics that reflect his mythic and scholarly journeys, including mythology, movies, writing, mentorship, beauty, language, travel, sports, and creativity. He has been the keynote speaker at major conferences as diverse as the Ansel Adams Centennial Celebration in Yosemite National Park and the Global View Symposium at Michigan State University. He has been invited to lecture at distinguished venues around the world and has collaborated and appeared with some of the great thinkers and philosophers of our time, including with mentors Joseph Campbell and Huston Smith. Cousineau enjoys collaborating with musicians and artists. An expert in pilgrimage and meaningful travel, Cousineau occasionally leads small group journeys to sacred and culturally rich places; in the Fall of 2014 he will take groups to Greece and Turkey.

FILMS: Phil Cousineau's screenwriting credits in documentary films have won more than 25 international awards and include: A SEAT AT THE TABLE, ECOLOGICAL DESIGN, WAYFINDERS, THE PEYOTE ROAD, WIPING THE TEARS OF SEVEN GENERATIONS, THE HERO'S JOURNEY; and the Academy Award-nominated FOREVER ACTIVISTS.

TV & APPEARANCES: He is currently the co-writer and host of GLOBAL SPIRIT, Link TV's "internal travel" television series broadcasting now on World and Local PBS stations. Cousineau has also appeared on CNN, The Discovery Channel, Fox News, and NFL Films, and been featured on Voice of America, PRI's The World, CBC's Tapestry, Deepak Chopra's Wellness Radio, and NPR's Weekend Edition. He has been interviewed for stories in TIME and NEWSWEEK as well as the NEW YORK TIMES. He has been a judge for the Emmys, the San Francisco Film Festival, and the PEN-WEST literary awards. Look for his expert commentary and mythic take on film among the special features on several Warner Brothers DVDs--from THE NATURAL and CONSTANTINE to BATMAN and SUPERMAN.

CONSULTING: An expert on mythology and film and the "hero journey" structure of screenplays, Cousineau consults on all types of writing projects.

Cousineau lives with his family in North Beach in San Francisco, California. He has just finished writing an ambitious book on beauty. Learn more about his work at http://www.philcousineau.net.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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27%
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See all 11 customer reviews
I got the book for a class and really enjoyed reading it.
Matthew Johnson
"At the core of this book is the passionate conviction that, if you long to live a life of purpose and meaning, you must have a creative vision."
Linda Ballou
I find his warm, conversational style and his universal insights appealing.
Arcturus70

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Arcturus70 on April 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I confess to being a big fan of Phil Cousineau and his books. I find his warm, conversational style and his universal insights appealing. Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination offers the engaged reader the timely "flint" and the mighty "strike" that can light the fire of his / her own journeys into self expression. Cousineau issues the direct challenge for the reader to get going--now--with his / her own project: "Your task in life is to express yourself--to make a mark, as boldly, honestly, and as often as you can. You have to stoke your creative fire, keep it alive long enough to make something that expresses you and then learn to pass it on to others who are reaching out for the torch" (19) and "Give us something the world's never seen before: you" (37). The following pages in the book serve as encouraging guides, reality checks, and comforts for the dynamic, sometimes consuming process of creation in the life that seeks to live creatively.

Enhancing the book's teachings are quotable quotes from great writers / thinkers / artists and cleverly selected, black / white images of places, objects, and human expressions from around the world. Here are some examples of the photographs: Stepping Stones--Kyoto Rock Garden; Irish Knot of Eternity Tombstone; Fire Within, Self-Portrait by Laila Carlson; Casa Grande Ruins; Faded Angel; The Liquid Hour; Dancer in Bliss; The Thinker. Another great feature of the book is the "Recommended Reading and Viewing" list at the back. All these written and visual tidbits are well placed to underscore the messages of the given section or chapter as well as to provoke individual thinking...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christian R. Long on May 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Its been over a year since I've read this book, and I recently moved... in the process of re-organizing my shelf, Stoking my Creative Fires began to flicker. I remember picking it up in a Spiritual Bookstore in the New York City and what I most enjoyed about the author was his rich experiences that came through the pages. How taking simple day to day events and looking at them from multiple angles, turning them upside down and inside out enabled us to increase our inner joy. I love mythology and story-telling, even though I've never studied it to any great degree. One of my favorite chapters is 5, about Creative Space. He describes the process and importance of having a space in your home where you can work, meditate, and create. Reading this book sparked a warm, luminescent flame in my heart...this allowed me to connect to the ancient aspect of what it is that makes us human, that makes us united, that makes us one. Pick it up.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Elisa Robyn on July 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this book on vacation and was inspired to start my next book. The book helped me focus on living the artistic life I desire. The exercises made me feel that this life is possible.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda Ballou VINE VOICE on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Cousineau, a prolific author with an encyclopedic knowledge of other writers and artists, puts forth a roadmap to help guide you on your creative journey. A large portion of the book deals with the establishing the value of art in our lives. "At the core of this book is the passionate conviction that, if you long to live a life of purpose and meaning, you must have a creative vision." Once you agree that the pursuit is worthy, you will be eager to know more about the nine steps towards igniting your imagination that will take you to your "real work." He suggests that the creative work that you care about deeply is the work that you were meant to do. A friend of Joseph Campbell, and author of The Hero's Journey, Cousineau is grounded in the mythic implications of story. I used this model for the journey of my protagonist in my historic novel, Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawaii, in hopes of achieving a universal connection with readers. I am pleased that Cousineau is picking up where Campbell left off with the message that art is not just a pastime. It has been an essential expression of cultures though out history. What is more important is that art gives deeper meaning to the lives of individuals who dare to take the creative journey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Madorit K. on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book for an Expressive Arts Training course and really loved it both to get oneself into the creative mindset as well as being a strong pull for creativity in a really short time. I have done The Artist's Way book by Julia Cameron which has the same intention (and I also love and recommend), of bringing out creativity and I found Stoking the Creative Fires a faster access to getting right to your art.

Loved it!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Chadwick on September 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"I also, wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the wonderful book you gave me -"Stoking the Creative Fires". The book has been so inspirational to me. Ever since I read it, I can't stop painting. I've learned so much from it. This was just what I needed to open up my horizons."
- Isabel Roberts, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
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