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 – 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 – 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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