When I go through a shelf of books on a subject I begin with the thin volumes. Now and then I find a thin and a thick book by an author on the same subject. Usually, the thin book is of an earlier date; and it often turns out that in the thin book the author reveals what he knows and in the thick book he tries to conceal what he does not know.

— Eric Hoffer, Before the Sabbath

“Tell me your thoughts, not the thinking of your thoughts.” Is that an actual quotation? If not, it should be. I have to say, I find it generally disappointing to hear writers or musicians talk about their “creative process.” As Isaac Brock sang, “I guess all us snakes find our tails pretty damn tasty.” I’m fully aware that a finished artwork can, and often does, grow from banal origins. Analyzing those origins in detail, though, often produces a deflation as undignified as a whoopee cushion. Give us the transcendent result of your imagination, but leave the rest shrouded in mysterious silence, please.