Archives for August 2017

3Ws – Christina Julian

 

What do you create?

Chaos! At least that’s what my family likes to tell me. But seriously, I create stories. Some are real and others are versions of lives I wished I lived filled with people I hope to one day meet, going to places I’ve only dreamt about. The kind of stuff that wakes me up in the middle of the night and forces me to tap out notes into my phone so I remember what to write about the next day. As a wine and food columnist I like to say that I recreate slices of wine country life. People enjoy sipping and swirling and learning about this grape varietal and that. And some even care about what score something received and if the sip smells like chicory or offers a black cherry bomb finish. But what I find people are most fascinated with, is the lifestyle, what I like to call country-cosmo. On the one hand Napa and its outskirts are farm towns, filled with men and women who work the land. On the other hand, Napa Valley is considered to be one of culinary capitals of the world with its fabulous and infamous food and wine tasting scenes. When I write, I try to create a picture for people who have never been here but hope to one day visit, or for those that have come before and yearn to return.

 

Why do you create?

I will return to my earlier statement about all that chaos I supposedly create/attract. As is often the case, my parents are right. My brain is a very chaotic place to live. It refuses to settle down, ever, which can be intoxicating at times and downright excruciating at others, especially when it’s time to sleep. So, I create as a way to silence the inner chatter and to free my mind so that I can get some rest. I also create as a way to work through the challenges that life presents. When in doubt I turn to humor, living out the cliché, that you can either laugh or cry at the curveballs. I’m all about the former. I’ve found that people enjoy hearing about all the mishaps and how I lived to triumph and talk about it all. So, I think, what the hell, if I can laugh at my own mistakes and then write about it and make other people laugh, cringe or relate, it’s all been worth it.

 

What do you consume?

The list is endless. I am a sugar fiend. Screw an apple a day (though I like those too), I’m all about a piece of candy (or 10) a day, keeps the doctor way. I love sweet and sour, which some would say matches my personality and ever-changing moods. Then I have my obsessions, which are sprinkled all over the country. One such example is the peanut butter cookie at City Bakery in NYC. When I lived there this was a go-to treat for me. When I moved I went searching for a replacement that I would never find. I love this thing so much, I tripped and sprained my ankle running down the street trying to get one of these cookies before screeching out of town to catch a flight. And for those that want to know, the cookie was and is still that good. Then there’s the butterscotch panna cotta at Brasswood Kitchen in Napa, drenched in caramel and sea salt. Equally dizzying is the butterscotch pot at GJelina in Venice, CA. I could go on and on, but I am making myself hungry just writing about this stuff. OK, one more thing. When I write I’ve been known to binge eat Fritos Scoops with hummus and peanut butter pretzel bites. With coffee, lots and lots of coffee. But always decaf. I’m way too crazy on caffeine.

 

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3Ws – Laurel Saville

 

What do you create?

1. Stories that explore some of the ways we get thing wrong in relationships by allowing the limits of our own perception to circumscribe our full awareness of of other people. Hopefully, these stories also offer some observations on how to get things a little more right, as well.

2. Better behaved dogs and better informed dog guardians who are able to have a more fun and fulfilling relationship together. Yup, I’m a dog trainer as well as a writer.

3. Well-worn hiking boots, a dusty, dirty truck, a worn out dog, and lots of visual memories of beautiful places and stunning scenery.

 

Why do you create?

1. I grew up surrounded by people who were artists, designers, gardeners, and makers-of-things. These people were always sketching, painting, sewing, renovating, and spontaneously re-arranging the world around them to express their intensely personal vision. My childhood was highly unconventional and also full of neglect and unkindness, but expressing oneself creatively was held in highest regard, and I’ve carried that value into my day-to-day life.

2. I’ve always had a deep interest in animal cognition and behavior, have studied these topics formally and informally, and am an active volunteer with two rescue groups. I had no intention of becoming a trainer of people and their dogs, but I kept getting requests to help. When the local veterinary’s office asked me to print up cards so they didn’t have to keep scribbling my phone number on sticky notes, well, I gave in and began offering lessons and classes. It’s been some of the most gratifying work I have ever done, as there are few things more happy-making than being around well-adjusted dogs and guardians who are learning how to help their pups be their very best.

3. Solvitur ambulando. I do my best writing when I’m walking.

 

What do you consume?

Lindsey Davis novels.
Books on animal behavior and cognition.
Rainier cherries, blueberries, and avocados.
Cider and ginger beer.
Human habits that get in the way of their canine relationships.
Trails. Lots and lots of trails.

 

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3Ws – David Bell

 

What do you create?

I write suspense novels about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. My goal is to write one of those books that the reader devours late into the night saying, “Even though I have to get up early and go to work, I’m going to read one more chapter.” I’d take it as a huge compliment if my books contributed to reduced productivity in the American workforce.

 

Why do you create?

A lot of reasons. Because I like to do it mainly. I have a low tolerance for doing things I don’t like, so if I didn’t really like to write I wouldn’t. I enjoy the whole process of creating a book from start to finish. And I really, really enjoy hearing from readers. I believe the book isn’t complete until it enters the reader’s mind, so I really need those readers to “finish” the book for me. I also do it because I’m really not good at anything else. I don’t have any other marketable skills, so I better make this work.

 

What do you consume?

On the plus side: almonds, apples, books. And beer. (That’s good in moderation, right? I think my doctor told me that once.) On the negative side: Too much sugar in my tea. Too much news. (Lord, aren’t we all consuming too much news?) Too many stories about my favorite baseball team, The Cincinnati Reds. (They’re bad, so it hurts to read about them, but I keep doing it.) Too many YouTube clips of comedians and 80s New Wave music. (I came of age in the 80s, so my musical tastes stopped progressing there.) Too much social media. (I wish I could moderate my consumption of the internet as well as I moderate my consumption of beer.)

 

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