I Am Humbled

My sixth novel is finally released and available on all platforms. It is crazy to think that this whole creative ride came about because I got bored during business travel.

And this latest project was written because my massage therapist wanted more of Maxi and Zach. Just crazy…

MaxTroubleFinalCover2

Oh, and did a mention there is (or will be) a Maximum Trilogy? Maximum Something will be coming soon (I promised my M.T. the next will be ready in less than 5 years).

Until then, please enjoy Maximum Mayhem.

Available at your local independent bookseller, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

Inspiration Process

Greetings Readers-

I can’t believe five years have passed since you first met Zack Brady and Maxi Malone! The inspiration for my second book started with a friend running late and out of boredom, me eavesdropping on the conversation on the next stool at a local dive bar.

Maximum Trouble came about in a bit different fashion.

Maximum Trouble Cover DRAFT

My massage therapist (everyone should have one – especially if you are subjected to migraines…) wasn’t ready to give up Zack and Maxi. She insisted that there must be more to their story. “You can’t leave them in happily for now land.”

I have trouble with endings. I can write an entire book, 60,000+ words, and then write another dozen endings. I never feel like I get it right. Happily, ever after is too sappy. Happily, for now too temporary. In between too I am so done with this!

I think you understand. As a reader I feel ripped off if the ending is too simple. I try really hard not to do that to you.

Anyway, I listened to my MT, looked at a few vacation pictures from Aruba, visualized the boat off the coast, and the rest, well the rest is Maximum Trouble.

And here’s the best part, well for you, for me it is a lot more work… There is a third book with Zack and Maxi on the way! No title, only Maximum Something. Maybe around 6,000+ words in a very, very rough draft, yet the last in the trilogy is coming soon (keep in mind it took five years to get Maximum Trouble).

Maximum Trouble is available at a few places now yet I will do a big IT’S HERE hoopla thingie within the next week.

Peace.

Creating Deliciousness

Greetings Folks! This week’s creative is someone who I have known for, let’s just say a long time. Every Christmas my friend Carrie creates the most amazing variety of sweet treats. A while back she discovered a dairy and gluten intolerance. Instead of giving up sweets, Carrie re-invented her recipes to be healthy for all!

Carrie BlogHere Carrie shares her creative process along with links to her blog and cookbook, Sweets & Treats: Festive Recipes for the Clean Chocolate Lover. 

My creative juices begin flowing when something unexpected inspires me. I’ll often see something on a menu or at a bake shop or food market that’s made from ingredients that a friend, family member or I can’t eat, or would prefer not to eat. I’ll immediately start thinking about what ingredients I can use which will mimic it, while maintaining the taste, texture, color, smell and integrity of the dish.

I’ve always loved to cook and have a large family that I enjoy cooking for. I started imagecreating my own recipes because many of my family members have allergies or sensitivities to gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts or other nuts. Others in my family follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. I personally can’t have dairy, gluten or soy, and feel better when I limit the amount of grains that I eat; so often enjoy eating a Paleo diet.

With so many dietary issues and preferences, it can be tough to try and create recipes which are both healthy and may accommodate many different diets. For me that’s a driving force and what makes it fun!

I like to keep learning about the variety of healthier ingredients out there and how they can be used to in different ways, such as to add some sweetness to a recipe, or used as a substitute for an ingredient I need to replace.

I love to be challenged, experiment with new ingredients and create recipes which are as good or better than those dishes that I’m inspired by! What gratifies me and keeps me inspired is knowing that I’ve helped someone to be able to enjoy something that they may otherwise have not been able to eat!

Here’s a link to Carrie’s website; http://happyhealthybelly.info there’s  a good variety of recipes, wellness tips 😁

This link just goes right to the Amazon page where the cookbook may be purchased on
https://www.amazon.com/Sweets-Treats-Festive-Recipes-Chocolate/dp/1537575058

Relatively Writing…

This week’s creative is young, talented, a writer to watch, and she happens to be my niece.  Amanda has been published in several literary magazines along with a study gig writing for Courthouse News and Westword. Her talents extend beyond the writer into translating and editing. Here is her creative process:

Me, Da

If you haven’t written a word since your last school assignment, you probably think writing is a magical thing that happens to a few gifted people with great grammar. Truth is, I would be lost without spell check and muses are a lot like lightening, if you’re waiting to be struck, you’re probably still waiting.

My process is slow and tedious and involves countless hours of going back and crossing out whatever I finally managed to write down.

On a good day, I’ll wake up a good hour or two before everyone else in the house, make a French press, and get to it. On a bad day, I sleep in and spend the afternoon lying to myself about how I will make up for it later then inevitably go to bed early.

For me, the two most important parts of the story are the ending and the twist. Without those, my character is all dressed up with nowhere to go. In the case of “Two Soups for Table Eight,” I began with the idea that I wanted to write something that might be seen differently on the second reading—either Jean’s a bored waiter with a big imagination or he really is a reporter. I also wanted to capture that angst of being stuck at a day job, when you (feel like you) have more important things to do.

I try to put some truth in every story and challenge myself to experiments with new techniques.

I figure if I keep grinding away like this, the muse just might strike day and I will be ready for it with a kite and a key.”

“Two Soups for Table Eight” is in the August issue of ArtPost. Amanda also has had fiction on the Write Launch and Menacing Hedge. She writes true stories for Courthouse News and Westword.

Creative Love From The Hubz

Greetings and apologies for missing a few weeks. I could fill in some of the excuses my student’s favor, yet I will not. Instead please allow me to introduce this week’s creative, Steve Patarini, also known as the hubz. Our household is creative. Both hubz and the offspring possess musical talents. I write. Together we inspire each other.

Finally, after asking many a times I will discover, with you my readers, how hubz creates.

I hope you enjoy.Steve BLOG

“I am a person whose mind races constantly and the voices in my head seem to never shut down, even when I try to go to sleep at night.  As a middle school teacher my day starts early with a 5:30 wake up to complete my morning routine in time for my commute to work by 7:30 am.  As I speed up a relatively lightly traveled highway at 6:45, I find myself in a uniquely altered state of both sleep deprivation and high caffeination.  The six and a half hours of sleep I routinely get, or less, is insufficient for me. I compensate by gulping down 2 cups of sugar laced coffee by 6 am so that as I drive to work I am practically vibrating.

It is in these state that I find my subconscious mind is enabled by the caffeine and my conscious mind is suppressed by my drowsiness. This is a fertile situation for both verbal and musical creativity. I will get a melody or rhyme in my head and in the interest of safety I will pull out my handy voice recorder to preserve my inspirations.

I often dictate the lyrics to an entire song in one session. I often compose a carefully worded work email, letter, or classroom activity to a degree that very little editing needs happen afterword.

My auditory style of thought basically narrates my daily life like a noir detective novel (“he went to the fridge and poured the iced tea as little droplets of condensation rolled down the side of the pitcher…”).  Using a voice recorder to capture those thoughts and preserve them is crucial since they will soon be pushed from my mind by the next “chapter” of my consciousness.

While I don’t usually recommend sleep deprivation; a combination of lack of sleep, huge quantities of a favorite caffeine source, and a lengthy car ride in silence with a voice recorder nearby can produce interesting creativity.

There is no telling what the voices in your head might inspire.”