3Ws – Kaira Rouda

 

 

What do you create?

I create piles.

Creative piles, mostly. My husband and I have been married for 27 years. My warning to him when we married: Love me love my piles. For me the creative process is messy, but fun.
That sort of describes me, too.

 

Why do you create?

Because I must create. Here’s the thing. If you know you want to write, have dreamed of doing so, and you’re not: it’s time. I waited a long time to actually pursue my writing career. It’s ok, because it happened. I would be inconsolable if it never happened. Please, if you’re reading this and it’s your dream, find a way to make it happen. Your dreams are worth it.

 

What do you consume?

Until I watched the documentary, What the Health, I consumed cheese. If you love cheese, don’t watch that movie. If you love the planet, you probably should. As for other things I consume. Novels, of almost any kind. Time spent with friends and family. And life. We’re so blessed to be here.

 

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3Ws – Linda Stasi

 

What do you create?

Every day as a newspaper columnist, I get to create an alternate spin on a news story that’s real and often unbelievable—the who, the what, the-what-the-hell of it. Some true stories though, are so inexplicable that if I wrote them as fiction, I’d be drummed out of the business.

Ah, but then in my other life, the novelist one, I get to create stories about a newspaper columnist based on the mystical research I’ve done. Hopefully, I create compelling and believable stories—not ones that will make readers ask, “What the hell?”

When I’m not typing, I’m taking pictures. My photos are reflective of what I do in life…except my photos ask a question without answering it.

 

Why do you create?

Because I have no choice. If I couldn’t write, I couldn’t breathe. I began tooling around with writing fiction when I was going through a very bad period and was out of work. I’ve always worked as a writer, and when I didn’t have a job I literally felt that I couldn’t catch my breath. So I started writing fiction to try to find myself again. I was shocked to discover that writing fiction is the opposite of reporting. Tabloid journalism means you have to compact the most information into the fewest words. Writing novels meant I had to learn to luxuriate in taking two whole sentences instead of two measly words to describe something. Without noticing it, I started to breathe again. Then I got a job.

 

What do you consume?

At the risk of sounding like a fool, I consume adventures like other people consume coffee. For my first novel, I drove through five countries by myself, (consuming too much gas), took a road trip with an exorcist priest of the Vatican, (again more gas), hiked a mountain twice (no gas) and consumed too much of food and wine along the way. For my new novel, I traveled to the Middle East, went into a 3,000 year old burial tomb discovered under a distant relative’s home in the desert of Israel, consumed everything in sight, and consumed way too much wine. My husband and I just got back from climbing Machu Pichu and seeing all the stuff in Bolivia that couldn’t have been created by humans. There isn’t much air to breathe at 14,500 feet above sea level so I consumed coca leaves like a native, and consumed oxygen from a can like a sissy tourist.

 

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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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3Ws – Camille Di Maio

 

What do you create?

I create stories that are tinged with heartache but end with joy. I grew up devouring the British classics. Jane Eyre is a favorite, and a good example of what I model my writing on. I like a character who is upright, but whose resolve is tested through difficult circumstances. On the crafty end of things, I love embroidering tapestry pillows. I work from a pattern – I’m not enough of a visual artist to create the image, but it does take a lot of focus and dedication to complete a project. Most will be about 33,000 stitches and take me about a year.

 

Why do you create?

I write because I love beautiful words. One of my favorite authors is Kate Morton. Her stories are enthralling, but even more poignant to me are her word choices. They are exactly right. My mother drilled me in vocabulary growing up and I get a charge finding the precise word needed in a given moment. I also thoroughly enjoy the research that goes into historical fiction. I have learned about a Welsh patron saint of lovers, how to change a diaper on a train in the early 20th century, and how to best cultivate broccoli. Just to name a few of the strange places that writing can take an author! For the tapestries, I make them because there is something so satisfying about working with your hands and seeing instant results of your labors. I am struck by how tapestries are analogous to life. We often see the messy side not knowing how beautiful the other side will be if we only press on.

 

What do you consume?

Dr Pepper! As any good Texan girl will know, there is no period after Dr in that brand. I love it chilled, I love it with crushed ice, I love the ones bottled in Dublin, TX, and I love drinking it through a frozen Twizzlers straw. (Try it!) I also go to a farmers’ market nearly every weekend. It is such a treat to try locally made and sourced products and to talk to the farmers/artists/crafters themselves. Finally, I consume travel. I’ve been to most of the states and four continents and have a bucket list that is ever-growing. The world is a beautiful place, and I love meeting its people.

 

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3Ws – Susan Bernardo & Courtenay Fletcher

 

Susan Bernardo

What do you create?

I write poetry and children’s books intended to heal and inspire. I also sculpt, paint, garden, collage, concoct vegan curry, and try to make an eclectic home sanctuary for my family and petite menagerie of two cats, an excitable terrier and our hens Ruby and Raven (I built their coop, too!). I craft the occasional vision board, magic wand or fairy house, and I even created two awesome sons, from scratch! And clutter — I create a LOT of clutter. I’m versatile.

  

 

Why do you create?

Writing and creating art help me make meaning out of events that don’t make sense (like divorce, miscarriage, losing loved ones and other trauma). This whole being-a-human experience gets intense sometimes, and I am an emotional creature. Instead of letting all those emotions swirl around inside like a tornado, I find ways to release them onto the page or into clay or by planting seedlings in my vegetable beds. Everything seems like metaphor to me – composting, vertigo, pruning rosebushes, butterflies. I believe it’s my responsibility as a writer to figure out how to process my own pain and fear, transmute those feelings into poetry or art, and then offer it back into the world to help others coping with similar issues. I am also constantly inspired by the world around me – museums, travel, art, parenting, nature, love, science – and writing books and poetry gives me a way to share those experiences and my sense of wonder and gratitude.

 

What do you consume?

At the moment, I am devouring fantasy and sci fi novels by Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K Le Guin. I just turned 50, so this might be my version of a midlife crisis – I dream of riding dragons instead of a Harley Davidson. These books are filling the well and taking me back to my adolescence – which is perfect as I dive into writing a YA series for the first time. I’m also an information junkie with a “need to know WHY???.” I might be a teeny-tiny-totally bit addicted to my smartphone, especially the ability it gives me to Google anything, anytime, anywhere. And, of course, I consume chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Dark. With almonds and sea salt. You know, because of the antioxidants. And the dementors.

 

Courtenay Fletcher

What do you create?

I love making children’s books because as a visual storyteller, I can create imaginary worlds that my inner child would like to jump into and explore. I love entire process of actually making a book…the design, finding the right fonts, picking the paper, watching huge machines print it out and assemble it and then holding that finished art piece in my hands. That’s super satisfying. Like most creative people, I wear many hats depending on my mood or needs. Baking, knitting, painting, gardening, photography, doing graphic design projects are all ways I help soothe my restless creativity (and pay the bills).

 

 

Why do you create?

My grandpa was a homesteader so I come from a family of carpenters, farmers, canners, quilters and wonderful storytellers.They were independent people who worked hard and made things with their hands. They never thought of themselves as creative, but they definitely were and they inspired my imaginative spirit. I think I create things as a way of keeping my busy brain happy. Once for my daughter’s Alice in Wonderland birthday, I painted and cut out all the characters on huge plywood boards and put them all over the yard. Then I strung up 75 brightly colored paper lanterns that I’d spent a week making in my den. I probably should have been a set builder at a studio-I love power tools and make-believe! The ability to bring something from your imagination into being is really wonderful, whether it be a log cabin or a doodle. It provides many opportunities to stand back and say, “Wow, look what I made!”

 

What do you consume?

Because I’ve been working on a book about a tiny house for the last year, I’ve really become aware of my consumption of stuff…asking myself how much I really need something before I buy it. At the moment, though, I’m feeling overwhelmed with info and emails and to-do lists. I feel like if you opened up my brain, it would look like an episode of the Hoarders! To find escape, I turn to old movies (preferably BW), jazz, walks in nature or a good book. Lately I’ve been reading lots of fiction set in WWll…The Plum Tree, All the Light We Cannot See, The Summer Before the War, The Winter of the World, but I also love sci-fi and YA novels. Sometimes as a way to mellow out while I’m illustrating under a super tight deadline, I’ll put on Native American flute music and visualize standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon. Of course, trips to art museums, local botanical gardens or just looking up at the night sky help bring back a sense of peace, balance and perspective.

 

3Ws- Glen Phillips

 

What do you create?

I make songs, mostly. When I was a kid I was in love with the theater, but by a series of fateful twists music became my job. I love writing and performing just about equally, and I love collaboration. Being a singer songwriter is a peculiar relationship with creativity because you keep returning to your work and reinterpreting it. It’s not just one and done – you carry your past with you and get to keep re-examining it from your current perspective.

  

 

Why do you create?

I have a noisy head. There have always been a lot of things bouncing around in it, and sometimes that noise is pretty overwhelming. The two best ways to bring the noise down are to get really still and quiet by being in nature or meditating or to shoot the rapids and get lost in making something. If I’m performing or writing or recording I’m usually in the present tense, and that is the most fulfilling way for me to be. Sometimes I’ll start in the quiet mode and things will emerge from the silence. I like that too.

 

What do you consume?

I consume too much, generally. I have too many things. I drive a lot, and consume more gas than I am comfortable with. But on the positive side there are songs, stories, music, podcasts (touring musicians live on podcasts), good food, company, conversation. Experience. I love learning about how people think and act. I love learning about the natural world. My father gave me the gift of fascination, so I get interested in many things. I can’t bring myself to care what team won a particular game but give me an article on the physiology of a fastball pitch and I’ll be very happy. I love talking to people who are passionate and hearing their stories and insights.

 

 

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3Ws – Karen B. Winnick

 

What do you create?

I create stories and pictures for children bound together in picture books I hope they’ll read and love.

 

  

 

Why do you create?

More than anything it keeps the child in me alive. Sometimes, in fact, I can’t find the adult! Looking at the world through a child’s eyes, I feel wonderment at nature, animals and so much else. I love children, books, art, animals and history. And my picture books connect me with all of these.

 

 

 

What do you consume?

Nuts! When I don’t want to stop working, a cup of unsalted mixed nuts fuel me for a good few hours of work without a break. Mugs of coffee in the morning and often an apple, too.
Oh, and with a scissors I cut up magazines, newspapers, anything with photos or stories that fuel an idea, a thought or image. They’re all stuffed in an ever- expanding file I use all the time. I guess that’s a form of consumption.

 

 

Links

Website: KarenBWinnick.com 
Instagram: @KarenBWinnick
Pinterest: @KarenBWinnick
Buy the Book: http://bit.ly/KBWGNBA
 

 
 
 
 

3Ws – Holly Brown

What do you create?

I am the least crafty person I know, and I say this with genuine sadness. I can’t draw or paint, I can barely color, I can’t sew, ditto for knitting and crochet…the list goes on. But I can create a killer bourbon-based cocktail, with only minor modifications to other people’s recipes. Creative copying is an art, right? There’s that great book by Austin Kleon called “Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” I highly recommend it (plus, at the moment, it takes the heat off me.)

 

 

Why do you create?

Mae West said, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, and rich is better.” To paraphase (inelegantly), I’ve been a writer and I’ve not been a writer, and being a writer has been better. The times I’ve strayed from writing and exclusively focused on other things just haven’t been nearly as satisfying or fulfilling. So I come back, and I create.

 

 

What do you consume?

Every morning, I eat two huge spoonfuls of Trader Joe’s Better’n Peanut Butter (kind of love the throwback name.) What I love most, though, is that it’s the most instantly filling and efficient breakfast, which is key since it feels like I’m always in a mad rush in the morning. Might have something to do with my five-year-old…

 

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