Saturday, April 21, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amjoy

Weekend Warriors #amwriting #amediting

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

No one likes it when their family life changes.  This is particularly hard for the Radtke's.  A troublesome girl named Tracey enters their lives and the children are an endless journey to make sure this girl doesn't get into any further trouble or cause their parents to lose their fostering license.  These are snippets from my second novella in the series, "Oh Tracey."

Last week

I turned and said to Zion who was looking over at some customers’ plates lobbed full of  steak fries and kabobs. “I’ll be back in a sec,” he said.
“Nooo Zion,” I managed.
Too late, he was already scooping up leftovers from a bus bin. I rolled my eyes, totally grossed out.
As he licked the leftovers, I cupped my hands to the window.
The braided woman took out her pager and released a chunk of Tracey’s hair. Damn this girl was messing with the wrong woman.
“Are you going to pay for that?” I heard a waiter ask.
This week
I looked back over at Zion who shook his shoulder free from the waiter’s grasp. Then I looked back at Tracey who followed the braided woman into a warehouse that was connected to the mall, the door was opened by a strange tall white man. I grabbed Zion’s shirt sleeve and we headed for the the exit of TGIF.
Once outside Zion said, “We should try that door."
“Alright,” I said.
Zion knocked on it.
"Just open the door.” I said.
A few dozen clothes racks greeted us which stood a few feet away from the door,  all of them filled with red lacy garments and nicely printed shirts and pants, all with the price tags still on them.
“Well, I didn’t expect this.” Nearby were some props from the store’s Santa Claus display: red suits and cardboard stand-ups that were supposed to represent the north pole. 
Readers, please comment below.

Friday, April 20, 2018

#fridayfeeling #fridayfun #San Diego

More pictures from my San Diego trip. Enjoy

Readers, if you were stopping by to read the Luke Daniels interview( narrator for the Kevin Hearnes series) it had to be postponed.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Sunday Post @CaffeinatedBookReviewer #amreading #amjoy

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things  received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


This month has been pretty eventful. Last weekend I went to the Garden Center for Yoga.  I was a bit late so I crept in with my mat and found a place front and center.  I've done this for many years now, but this is the first time I was asked to repeat mantras in a foreign language for fifteen minutes with my eyes closed.  The instructor patiently reminded yogis that people can do anything they put their mind to.  I had twelve of words memorized by the end of the session, including matadori, natadori, senatami, etc. 
Speaking of entertainment, I've been lovin' Matt Steffanina and his dance moves on YouTube. Matt invited Kevin Hart as a guest choreographer, if you can imagine Kevin as a dancer.  Sorta unbelievable. Of course he was adding his spin on things, if you know what I mean.  It would be a dream of mine to meet Kevin or Matt. If you want to check it out.  Go to 

I had my reservations about Kevin at the beginning of his career, but I learned to take what comedians say with a grain of salt.

I also just came back from San Diego, California and decided to write a little list for prospective travelers.

Things to remember in San Diego:

-Pack lots of sweaters.  The ocean is cold and paddling without a jacket at sunset might just give you a chill.  You don't want your lil' one tuckered down at the front of a surf board like a baby bird with their arms slid inside their life jacket, while you do all of the paddling. 
-If you go kayaking on the bay, the person in the lead is probably a bit faster at paddling than you are and may just have you winded by the end. Although, keeping up with them is not such a bad idea as this builds stamina and a competitive spirit.

Some things you might not expect to see on a sunset paddling experience
Drones flying overhead at night being chased by seagulls who follow them as if they were enemy birds trespassing on their territory.  
You may also see the lights to very expensive homes.  This is very pleasing, visually.

Be in the know
-Friends and Family rates at discounted hotel stays may not be cancelled online within 24 hours but if you talk to a receptionists over the phone, they might be able to cancel it for you, especially if you're an employee.
-Also talk to desk personnel when you come in about bad hotel stays you've had in the past.  Say something like "You hope this hotel stay will be a good one." (wink wink.) The receptionist might add you to their text messaging service and frequently text you throughout your stay.
-Compliment air hostess/es at the beginning of your flight on their makeup, hair, jewelry, etc.  This also applies to male hostesses.  Giving compliments may lead you to an extra snack, smile or bag of peanuts and/ or beverage.
-Avoid flight personnel who help customers print their itinerary, as later you'll be asked to check in your too big, bag, even though other flyers managed to avoid checking there's.

Well April's been great so far.  Check back on another Sunday Post and I'll be sure to share even more.


Reading:  Slouching Towards Bethlehem By Joan Didion and The Reason You're Alive, by Matthew Quick

Listening: Food by (comedian) Jim Gaffigan, In the Country (Filipino Short stories) by Mia Alvar, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O'Neill,
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell By (comedian) W. Kamau Bell

Watching:  Siren (Mermaid series),The Billions, and The 911 on xfinity cable.


What Happened:

(Not a whole lot so I'll talk about last week)

Actress Maren Ward was interviewed

Saturday: Weekend Warriors post

Up Coming:
Friday: Interview with actor Luke Daniels, who has narrated over 450 audiobooks, including ones by Nora Roberts and Stephen King.
Saturday:Weekend Warriors 
Sunday:Sunday Post

Readers if you want to comment, please do so below.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Weekend Warriors #amwriting #amediting

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Maren Ward #interview @OpenEyeTheatre #amjoy

Maren Ward is with me today. Maren is an actress who debuted in Constance in the Darkness:A musical in miniature at Open Eye theater in Minneapolis.

What was the most extreme change to personality, hair, body, etc that you have done to prepare for a role?

It's funny that you ask this because what I've been thinking about lately is how much I regret NOT making an extreme change for my once in a lifetime opportunity to play the Jackie Gleason inspired character in To the Moon at Open Eye. I should have cut my hair short and had this horrific mole on the back of my head removed. I was afraid at the time of short hair and instead Sue Haas painstakingly tied my hair up every night.(I'm sorry Sue!!)  I've since had the mole removed and had shorter hair and would make a different choice next time. In 1994 I bleached my hair to play a Courtney Love inspired character. Doesn't feel that extreme to me right now but at the time it was kind of a big deal.

What is a question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?
Ha! Um, funny again. One time I did a radio interview for Marya Morstad on KFAI when she was doing a series for MNartists and I was so nervous and couldn't complete a single sentence and she later confessed it was the worst interview she'd ever had... or at least the hardest to edit.....and since then I've had interview phobia so I can't exactly say that there's anything I've always wanted to be asked.  I think what I want the most to talk about right now is how I've had this extreme pleasure and gift of performing in two plays back to back written by longtime friends/colleagues - Savannah Reich's Hatchet Lady and Josef Evans' Constance in the Darkness . I've had the time of my life immersing in their language and imagination. It's an extraordinary experience to revel so completely inside of words on a page. I've been delighting in it as a very special, particular, intimate form of love.
Do You have any upcoming performances?
My next performance will be at Open Eye again in Michael Sommers' new work in development "Alfred and Me". We start work next week and it goes up April 12-14th. After that I don't have any performing lined up. I direct the zAmya Theater project at St. Stephen's Human Services and we're building street theater pieces to be performed on Nicollet Mall in the Spring and will be making a play for the new ampitheater outside of Minneapolis Central LIbrary that will go up in September.  You can find me there! And, of course, will be seeking more opportunities to perform. 

Of all the roles you played in the past which is your favorite?

This is a really tough question. A couple of people have asked me which character in this current play - in which I have 5 characters -  is my favorite and I have a difficult time answering even that! Because what's really fun is to do all of them as aspects of one. Tana in Freewheeling in the Attic of Whim by John Bueche (Bedlam 2000) and Mucklejohn/Mucklejean Magglepot in Turducken by Josef Evans (Bedlam 2008) are among my favorite character memories.

 If you could give advice to a younger actor/actress what would it be?

Keep learning. Find what you like to do movement wise and do it. Use your body.  Find a path for self inquiry and growth. The more you know yourself the better you can become someone else. Study, learn, practice mindfulness, being completely present. Also pay attention to the parts of your life that have nothing to do with theater! I asked someone else this once and she said "Decide if you want to have children and if you do, get on it!". I think that's really good advice.

Thanks for joining me Maren

Thanks for having me.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amediting #amwriting

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Amanda Ronconi @audible_com ‏@mollyharperauth @authordgarrett

 Amanda Ronconi, actress and audiobook narrator is with me today. Ronconi divides her time between New York City and upstate New York. She has a BFA from NYU, where she studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory. She has performed in theaters around New York City and regionally at the Alley, Capital Rep, and many productions at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.  Her voice-over work encompasses nearly 100 audiobooks available on

And onto the interview...

Amanda, have you recorded from home and if so, what is the process for recording audio books from home?
Yes, I mostly record from my home studio these days.  The process is the same no matter where I am recording except at home I have a second job, I am the narrator AND the engineer, which means I am in charge of recording on ProTools, the computer program I use.  I am in charge of hitting record when I start talking and hitting stop when I mess up or swallow or a big, rumbly truck goes by outside and I can hear it in the headphones. There’s a lot of technical stuff, organizing audio files, uploading them, etc.  That’s an extra responsibility I never thought I’d have. The plus side of working from home (as I am sure everyone who does knows) is that I am just a few steps from my office and I’m in charge of my own schedule. The minus side is that I am just a few steps from my office and I’m in charge of my own schedule.
Having recorded over 100 books on Audible, how do you keep your voice in shape?
You definitely develop vocal stamina.  I do notice, if I’ve had some time off from recording, that it takes a bit for me to put in a full day.  I drink lots and lots of water. Talking that much is dehydrating (when your mouth is dry, the microphone picks that right up).  You also need mental stamina.  Recording audiobooks is the marathon of the voiceover world.  My recording days are usually 10AM to 4PM, and most of that is spent talking into the microphone.  It can get pretty grueling. The better the material, the easier it is to deliver. I try to avoid getting sick, a cold can stay in your voice for two weeks.  I also try not to turn into a freak about worrying about getting sick.

Do you have favorite genre?
I just like a good story.  If the characters are well-developed and their emotional arc is believable, if the story pulls you along and surprises you on the way—that’s my kind of book. For non-fiction, if I learn something new, I love that.

Have you built relationships with authors along the way?
Yes! I have gotten to know several authors (not in person, just through email correspondence and the occasional phone call).  It’s great. I’ve had authors whose books I have done for a while give me a heads-up, before the final draft is even turned in at the publisher’s, to let me know, “hey my next book has a main character with an Australian accent”, or “my next books are all set in the Louisiana bayou, you better get cracking on those accents.”  It’s great to get a little lead time, because often you don’t get a giant window for recording once you have the job.
Are you working on anything now?
Yes, I am just about to start recording a dog-training book, which I am psyched about, because I hope I can apply it to my sweet but incorrigible dog.  I also record a new Molly Harper title for Audible this week, which is always a treat.

More about Amanda Ronconi:

facebook: /amandaDronconi

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amediting

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Monday, March 5, 2018

#Polish Writer Marcin Dolecki #interview #amreading #amjoy

Marcin Dolecki is joining me today. A philosopher, chemist and historian of chemistry (PhD). , Marcin develops his own metaphysical concept – oneiric personalism. He is also interested in political geography and in the history of Ethiopia. He loves cycling and vintage buses.
Philosopher, chemist and historian of chemistry (PhD).

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tinia Moulder #FridayFeeling @mixed_blood @MNTheaterLove #Theater‏

Actress, Tinia Moulder, is with me to discuss her acting career and her most recent performance at Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis Minnesota.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

#Actor Mohammed Hajji Ahmed @HistoryTheatre #amjoy

Actor, Mohammed Hajji Ahmed is with me today to discuss his role in 'A Crack In the Sky' a new play based on Ahmed Ismail Yusuf''s life story and
 his 2013 book, “Somalis in Minnesota,  Yusuf tells the story of a young shepherd boy’s journey from Mogadishu to Minneapolis.
Mohammed Hajji Ahmed (pictured above)

Mohammed, did you find any similarities between your struggles and the character’s?
I’m an immigrant since 2015. I’ve been in the United States for three years, and I’ve worked for six months now, acting,publishing and getting my academics together. I could understand the struggle of juggling many things. (Like the character, Ahmed, from Somalia who sought refuge in Minneapolis).

How long did you practice? About a month.  The lines were never finalized until the first night of the play.  

What makes the character you played so special?
99% of us (Somalis) are nomads.  He (Ahmed) was the only Somali on campus.  For me, he had courage and will.  The people who helped him were human beings so they didn’t look at skin color or religion. He came from Somalia to America and became successful, I don’t even know how describe that.  That made it beautiful.

Will you be in any future performances?  
You know Somalis are great at oral poetry, we’ve entertained hundreds back home without microphones and without technology. I have plans to do some short films and would like to use social media to publicize those.

Last question Mohammed, being that you were so fearless and articulate on stage, what were you like in high school?  I’ve always been outgoing, engaged with people, regardless of race or religion.  Back home I made friends, with D.J’s, sheiks (religious leaders and even the homeless.

Thanks for joining me, Mohammed.

Thanks for having me.

Readers, please comment below.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hawaiian writer, Dustin Stevens @dstevens5408 #amreading #amjoy

Dustin Stevens (pictured above)
Dustin Stevens is with me today to discuss his current writing.  Dustin is the author of more than 20 novels, 15 of them having become #1 Amazon bestsellers, including the Hawk Tate and Zoo Crew series. The Boat Man, the first release in the best-selling Reed & Billie series, was recently named the 2016 Indie Award winner for E-Book fiction and the 3rd Grand Prize Winner for all books – hard cover, paperback and ebook.

He is an award-winning screenwriter in the prestigious Harvardwood and Emerging Screenwriters competitions, as well as the Nashville International Film Festival and the Honolulu Film Awards. In addition, he is the only multi-time finalist at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and Thriller Writers International, he resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.

What have you written?

To date, I have written nearly novels. The vast majority of these are suspense/thriller/mystery novels, and are split between my own name, Dustin Stevens, and my pen name, T.R. Kohler.

They include the 2016 Indie Ebook of the Year The Boat Man, the 2017 Independent Author Network Action/Adventure Novel of the Year Finalist The Debt, the Reed & Billie series, the Hawk Tate series, and the Zoo Crew series.

In the coming months, I am also branching into children’s books with my Danny the Daydreamer series, as well as my first graphic novel.

Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas?  

As I always like to joke with people…ideas are never the problem.

 It’s having the time to get them all down. I can point to particular books and without fail tell you where the original seed sprang from, whether it be something I read, a show I watched, or even a dream of a particular character/scene I had.

From there, I usually take anywhere from a day to a year to let it come together in my mind. Rarely do I sit down to work on something unless I have a pretty clear framework already in place. Once I do, though, I go really fast, as most of my novels take about two weeks to complete. It’s an all-out sprint to get everything down.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?  

I’m not sure if Jodi Picoult originally said it or was just repeating it, but it was, “It’s so much easier to edit a bad page than a blank one. There’s just no way to get around the BIC as a writer. Butt In Chair.”

Most writers now there are definitely days when we don’t feel like doing this. Staring at a screen or trying to work out a plot kink can be tough. But I always come back to this with the general mindset of just keep pushing and something will break loose.

What writer pushed you to think differently about your life?

There’s no way she could possibly know this, but it would definitely be Lisa Gardner. I read an interview she gave once talking about how in the beginning she was slogging through the daily grind of an office job she despised while staying up far too late each night trying to get out that story she had in mind.

Luckily for her (and those of us that love her work), it worked out. Luckily for me, I read that interview at a time when I was going through the same exact thing and it helped me to push through.

I even once sent her an email saying as much, and she was so kind in responding and wishing me well.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Simply put…I want to! I am so fortunate to live in a place like Hawaii and to get to write full time for a living, that I don’t even mind that there is so much to get done each done. I am excited for it, and wake up by 5:30 everyday just to get started.
(It goes without saying that my wonderful friends, family, and critters help tremendously too.)

Last question Jusin, what do your fans mean to you?  

So much more than they could realize. I know sometimes I fall a bit behind on responding to emails and such, but that is merely because I am deep in whatever manuscript I’m working on the time.

I absolutely love the fan interaction aspect of my job and can happily say I have made friends from all over the world doing this. A few years back, readers from Australia were vacationing and asked for travel tips in Hawaii. Each winter, a book blogger in Belgium and I exchange Christmas cards. It has been great fun, and is so, so appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by Dustin.

Thanks for having me

More about Dustin Stevens:

Readers, please comment below.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amediting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shayne Renaud

I'm so excited to have my first guest athlete on my blog today.  Hockey player, Shayne Renaud is here with me to talk about his career and Red Bull Crashed Ice.

Writer, Kitty Honeycutt #amreading #amjoy

Kitty Honeycutt is with me today to talk about her current novel, "Where This World Ends." Kitty is a publisher for over 100 authors, a writer, an entrepreneur, a singer and an animal and human rights activist.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amediting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amediting

  Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Turkey Comes to Trin Carl's Blog

Here is another expat blog, This woman is writing from Turkey. She has a montage of beautiful city pictures of Turkey in her cover page and she has a post called Ex-Pats the TV show.  I like how she describes herself in her blog A married girl married and living in Turkey for 3 years, sadness to happiness. Here you will hear about the struggles and high points of living in another culture, learning the new ways to cook, speak, make friends along with many more.  Now I really thought I heard it all when it comes to reality shows but here we go folks another show to add to your list.  She posts a link of where you can find the show on her page .

Here is another Blog from Turkey called Post Cards from Istanbul.  But the actual site can be found at and she has a cloud a list of words related to Turkey.  One phrase  caught my mind Night Life in Istanbul.  Okay readers, what do we think we'll find here? Yes, of course clubs and more clubs  One of the clubs called Quick China looks very modern and romantic, dark and cavernous.

P is for Plays #AtoZchallenge via @trincarl

My theme for the #AtoZchallenge this year is anything Writer(ly).  It's important as a writer to see arts and performances.  Therefore, these are plays that I've been to in the past ten years that have been adapted from books.  Readers, I included the sites of these performances in case you're ever in Minnesota and are inclined to see a play.

Beauty and the Beast youth performance 
Where? Sabes, JCC in St Louis Park, MN
Memory:A teenage actress played the role of Gaston and she was so incredibly funny with her fake beard and the way she flexed her muscles.

Michigan Writer, Helga Gruendler-Schierloh #amreading #amjoy

Writer, Helga Gruendler-Schierloh is with me today to discuss her writing. Helga is a bilingual writer with a degree in journalism and graduate credits in linguistics.


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