Conversations: Creative & Inventive

Interviewed by Faborplumbs Funtastic Finds

Storytime for Grownups – Author Spotlight: Christina Francine, ‘Special Memory’

Published by Adam J. Sinclair, Nov. 12th, 2019

Since we partnered with Waldorf Publishing, we have brought you insight into authors and poets, storytellers and biographers. Today, however, we bring you into the person behind a special sort of book, a picture book.


1) How did you get your start in the literary world? I first fell in love with writing stories in 4th grade and later pursued it seriously when my daughters were little.                            —-To continue with the interview

Deep Psychologist Michael Penn Explains How Imagination is Essential to Our Happiness in Parabola

Professor Penn is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College.

Just one more reason imagination is good for us. In his article on Hope and Hopelessness on Oct. 27, 2018, deep psychologist Michael Penn shares why imagination is crucial for our happiness and stability. In an interview in Parabola, a publication known for work in “the search for meaning,” Penn says “the power of imagination is absolutely critical in order to envision a life that’s different from the life that one is living.” I believe he is saying imagination is tied to hope. If we don’t have hope, continuing on is quite difficult. We have to have a positive vision and a belief in that vision to continue on with life, especially when we feel beaten up. He also shares his thoughts on the human spirit’s importance in keeping us going “in spite of the stress and the difficulties.” This is in a paper he wrote titled “Mind, Medicine, and Metaphysics.” The vision Penn sees for our birthing new world is there too.

A recommend read.

Check out the interview here

Interviewed by A Blue Million Books

July 13, 2019

Interviewed by Amy Metz, of A Blue Million Books.

A Blue Million Books

A Blue Million Books website

For the full Interview:



~ Preview of the interview ~


A few of your favorite things: coffee, herbal tea, nature.

Things you need to throw out: old to-do lists.

Things you need in order to write: coffee, quiet time alone or at a coffee shop, and longer periods of time without pressure of the to-do list.

Things that hamper your writing: day job, too much noise, and too much on my to-do list.

Things you love about writing:
I’ve always had a great imagination, and it’s fun to create. Learning that others were entertained and had fun reading my stories.

Things you hate about writing: the time it takes to do a good job without interference.

Easiest thing about being a writer: the creating has always been the easiest and most fun.

Hardest thing about being a writer: finding the long periods of time to create and then polishing the finished product. It is difficult to finally set a work down and say it’s ready to send out for publication. I think I’m my worst critic.

Things you love about where you live:
in the spring and summer everything is so green, emerald really.

Things that make you want to move: although the Great Lakes have so many pluses, they are snow-making machines. Too much snow in the winter and too much humidity in the summer.
Taxes in New York State are terribly high.

Things you never want to run out of
: nature, coffee, herbal tea, pens, pencils, paper, family & friends.

Things you wish you’d never bought: this is difficult because I usually plan out purchases.
Words that describe you: deep thinker, studious, light-hearted and serious at the same time, determined. My daughters say I’m kind and their opinion is very important to me.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: too serious sometimes. I try to think about what my action and others have and make the best decision based on those. My aim is to be prepared and to do and give the best that I can.

Favorite foods: coffee, herbal tea, a wide variety of nuts and seeds, vegetables (love salads), most fruits, Kefer (high potency yogurt), chocolate.

Things that make you want to throw up: I’ve never liked asparagus or okra. This second is like eating snot. Who can check out the flavor when the consistency is slimy?

Something you’re really good at: teaching college/academic writing, riding horses, and being versatile.

Something you’re really bad at: letting people fall. I’m a helper.

Things that make you happy: spending time with my family and friends, digging in flower, herbal, and vegetable gardens.

Things that drive you crazy: other drivers on the interstate who take chances and decide to put my life in danger  because they think they’re Nash car drivers or in a video game where “do-overs” are freely available.

Five Sources to Help First College Students’ Essays

First year college students need to know how to document their research. Whatever they have to say in their essay is strengthened with quotes and paraphrases from specialists in that particular area. Sharing who that person is strengthens a student’s paper. Think of it this way:  a juror will put more stock into what a doctor on the witness stand says about how to fix a broken arm more than they will a dog-groomer. If a student makes a claim, a well-placed specific “witness” will strengthen that claim. By adding credentials to beside the quote or paraphrase and then at the end of the essay in the Bibliography/Works Cited/Resources (which label to use is determined by the area topic or class), a reader (juror) is more likely to believe the author’s claim/opinion. So, documentation is important for this reason, but, it’s also important because not doing so is committing plagiarism. describes plagiarism as “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author:  It is said that he plagiarized Thoreau’s plagiarism of a line written by Montaigne” ( Plagiarizing in an academic setting can get a student in a lot of trouble.

I have been teaching first year college students how to write a proper college essay, how and where to do research, and then how to document that research for a number of years. There are five sources I often share with my students:

  1.  The Broadview Pocket Guide to citation and Documentation by Maureen Okun & Nora Ruddock. This handy little book is small, is ring-bound, and is only about $12 on Amazon or from Broadview Press who is the publisher. This handy book covers all three styles:  MLA, APA, Chicago Manual.
  2. Purdue OWL/Purdue Online Writing Lab from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. offers a wealth of free information on citation and documentation in a variety of styles (APA, MLA, Chicago Manual).
  3. John Hopkins Sheridan Libraries offers information on Evaluating Internet Resources
    Johns Hopkins University
    410-516-8335 (Library Info Desk)
  4. The Library of which ever college a student attends will have tons of information, guides, and help.
  5. For students whose instructor requires specific styles. These are the 3 most used, but there are others:

1- The Modern Language Association (MLA)

2- American Psychological Association (APA)


3- The Chicago Manual of Style (online

version and other information)


Creative Minds Are Rarely Tidy


When up to my neck in real work, like writing or planning for a writing class, I’m messy. At times I look up and notice papers; books; calendar; and various pens, markers, and pencils covering the whole table. It is here I have to remind myself creative minds are rarely tidy.

Anyone else find this happen when really in the creative/work mode? Do you feel guilty, or do you have to remind yourself mess comes with true creativity/work?