Coming in December
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!
“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 creating 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
Thank you to San Fransisco Review of Books for their fabulous look at Uncle Neddy’s Funeral! Click here to read.
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:
“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.”
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.
“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.”
I apologize for the late post. I was out getting a recharge at a four-day music festival during which I experienced the inspirational message of Michael Franti and Spearhead. If you haven’t heard of him, click here for a music video. I also encourage you to read his lyrics. Franti’s message is one of encouragement, kindness, and a reminder to all, especially today, to stay human.
He spoke to the crowd about what motivates him. He connected with his audience on multiple levels by acknowledging different groups within society. “I have a sister who is a lesbian and a brother who is a police officer. My family covers the spectrum.”
Franti produced a film titled Stay Human. He spoke about his creative motivation being the world we are in and how we treat each other. From the website, “During these turbulent times, the feeling of hopelessness is an epidemic. In a quest to hold on to humanity in the craziness of the world we live in today, my new documentary STAY HUMAN takes us on an experiential journey through music and stories of some of the most inspiring people on the planet that I’ve met along my travels, who have chosen to overcome cynicism with optimism and hope —and remind us all what it means to STAY HUMAN.”
After his set, Franti took the time for multiple selfies and hugs, exemplifying the concept of staying human by connecting further with his audience. I personally received a lot of inspiration and one sweaty hug.
I am fortunate to have many wonderful writer’s who work with me on my projects, inspire me to reach further, and encourage me to continue honing my craft. It’s a great life.
Way back during my undergrad at UConn, several writing professors had the book
Writing Down The Bones on their optional reading list. Since I first purchased this classic, I have re-read it a dozen or so times. Natalie Goldberg’s classic inspires, directs, and assists writers through the process of writing.
I had the honor to meet Ms. Goldberg at The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar in Lenox Massachusetts where she was promoting her latest book, Let The Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir. Here she shares her cancer journey through writing and Zen. I bought her new one yet got my 1986 copy of WDTB signed.
I learned a few important things during her session. 1. When I asked a writing question, she answered, “one must just shut up and write” (she really wanted to talk about her new book) and 2. Ms. Goldberg doesn’t like cameras.
About WDTB from Amazon: “With insight, humor, and practicality, Natalie Goldberg inspires writers and would-be writers to take the leap into writing skillfully and creatively. She offers suggestions, encouragement, and solid advice on many aspects of the writer’s craft: on writing from “first thoughts” (keep your hand moving, don’t cross out, just get it on paper), on listening (writing is ninety percent listening; the deeper you listen, the better you write), on using verbs (verbs provide the energy of the sentence), on overcoming doubts (doubt is torture; don’t listen to it)—even on choosing a restaurant in which to write. Goldberg sees writing as a practice that helps writers comprehend the value of their lives. The advice in her book, provided in short, easy-to-read chapters with titles that reflect the author’s witty approach (“Writing Is Not a McDonald’s Hamburger,” “Man Eats Car,” “Be an Animal”), will inspire anyone who writes—or who longs to.”