Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Guest Post with author Ruth Bainbridge

Morning all!  Today I'm putting you in the capable hands of author Ruth Bainbridge. Enjoy & I'll be back tomorrow.

Are You A Creative Person?

While I can be as rational and down-to-earth as the next person, there’s something in me that drives me to create. It’s a passion that I feel compelled to indulge.

I’ve met quite a few others that have shared this kind of intensity and have often wondered what other traits we creatives of the world share. Just for the fun of it, I’ve compiled a list of ten characteristics that I believe we all possess. So please take the test and see where you rank. If you score more than eight, like it or not, you’re creative.

1. Do you enjoy being alone?

Does going for a long walk or sitting off by yourself with a cup of coffee/tea appeal to you? In other words, do you enjoy being alone with your thoughts? If you do, it means you can entertain yourself and don’t rely on external sources to fuel your enjoyment of life. That’s part of being creative.

2. Do you find yourself changing the endings of books and movies you’ve seen?

I think this one is huge. I constantly rewrite endings I believe miss the mark. I also point out plot holes and inconsistencies in stories. I discuss character’s motivations and get into talking about these fictional beings as if they were real, since to me, their actions must make sense.

Give yourself double bonus points if your friends think your endings are better than the original.

3. Do you carry a notebook?

If you carry a notebook in which to jot down ideas, thoughts, or to sketch, you’re creative. Creative people quickly learn that when these inspirations hit, that they need to be gotten down or they’ll be lost forever. This is especially true of dialogue. If a character is speaking and you think you’ll remember what they have to say, trust me, you won’t. Jotting it down is the only way of preserving the original conversation.

4. Do you have big ideas?
Are you the P.T. Barnum of ideas? If you find yourself dreaming big, give yourself another two points.

I find soaring imaginations and dreaming with abandon go hand in hand. Your friends may categorize this as fantasizing, and yes, it is. The difference is that if you believe you can turn that fantasy into a reality, that’s what sets it apart from wishful thinking.

5. Are you an observer?

If you find yourself observing things others don’t, yup, you’re a creative. So when you go out with your friends, significant other, or spouse, if it’s you that notices the couple in the corner having a fight or that the girl two tables over just started crying, you earn another two points. I guarantee that even when you call everyone’s attention to these occurrences that no one will have any idea what you’re talking about because they’re oblivious to their surroundings.

Creatives are not. We are very aware of what takes place around us, and be careful what you do in front of us because you just might end up in our next book.

6. Are you sensitive?

Do you find yourself blubbering at the end of movies? Or feeling euphoric when you hear about a success someone has achieved? If your emotions are closer to the surface than most, you’re most likely creative.

Creatives use these emotions, since emotions are tied to the limbic system. It’s this system that’s needed to tap into our artsy sides. So go ahead and cry! You’re not just being a weenie … you’re being a weenie with a purpose! Give yourself four points for this one.

7. Are you intuitive?

Are you more likely to pick up on things than your friends, family, and co-workers? When someone announces that your next-door neighbor ran off with the UPS man and that they’re headed to Borneo to dance on the beach, are you the only one not surprised?

If it’s yesterday’s news to you, another two points!
8. Do you love to read?

If you love to sink your teeth into a good book, give yourself ten points.

We creative types love to lose ourselves in alternate universes and get caught up in tragedy’s plight. Whether the story is romantic, built around a mystery, or it’s comedy all the way, it matters not. The point is that it provides a needed break and allows us a chance to escape boring reality.

9. Are you a risk taker?

I refer to creatives as, “the cliff divers of the mind.” Creatives are unafraid of taking chances. In fact, we thrive on it. We think with our hearts and go where they lead. We occasionally end up with scraped knees, but, hey? A little pain builds character. Besides, mistakes are the only way to learn. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves.

10. Do you inspire others?
This is a big one. Usually others are inspired by our fearless approach and what we create. If we’re producing art as a hobby, it’s not long before someone asks us why we’re not doing it for a living and that’s a good question. Why aren’t we? Life is too short not to do what you love, so if you’ve heard this comment more than once, I suggest you take the leap. Go ahead … the water is just fine.

Hope you’ve had fun and compiled your results. And if you think of any more traits, please add to this list by commenting.
A bit about Ruth Bainbridge:
Born in the idyllic, sleepy town of Ithaca, NY, Ruth Bainbridge has been a lover of mysteries for her entire life.

Ever since a child, she has consumed detective stories at regular intervals, becoming enamored with all the superstars of crime. She loved nothing more than to match wits with the likes of Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Thomas Pitt, Lord Peter Wimsey, Richard Jury and Edward X Delaney, becoming inspired by their brilliance. Hoping to emulate her writing idol’s achievements in dreaming up such characters, she started composing her own short stories.

However, life interfered with her plans of becoming the next hopeful to try a life of crime—on paper at least. Devoting herself to her marriage and the raising of four children, the empty nest syndrome gave her the impetus to return to her first love—murder.

SAVAGE SUMMER is Ms. Bainbridge’s debut novel. It introduces Curtis Owen Savage into the world of ink and fury. Savage is engaged and about to be married when the brutal murder of his fiancée sends the world crashing down around him. Depressed, he isolates himself to better deal with the pain, but his beloved Ruthie won’t leave him alone. Haunting him with her presence, he becomes obsessed with finding her killer, and making him pay for taking her away.

With the help of a quirky friend and an old colleague, he takes his first steps, but the poisoning of a next door neighbor’s dog lands him his first case—and into a new profession. Hired as a private detective, he navigates through a complex series of clues to discover why someone attempted to kill the black Pomeranian. In the midst of trying to track down the motive, he receives his first anonymous phone call from a phantom who insists he knows secrets about his fiancé’s death. Dubbing the caller Dr. Shadows, the tidbits scattered become the breadcrumbs that lead Savage down a dark rabbit hole that was never meant to be discovered.

Her next planned project is MURDER MOST FOWL. Alex “Trout” Matthews, is a former NYC detective. Now retired, he moves to the town of Portsmith, Idaho so he can focus on his one passion—fishing. But as Ruth puts it, “Murder rarely leaves an inquisitive mind alone for long.” He soon finds himself pulled back in the stream of things and knee-deep in mystery.

Please be sure to join Ms. Bainbridge’s mailing list to keep updated on exclusive deals.

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A bit about Savage Summer:

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller
Date Published: February 28, 2014

“When life gives you lemons … be sure to spit the pits out of that lemonade you’re making. Otherwise you’ll choke.” – Curt Savage

The past year has not been a good one for Curt Savage. Depressed over the death of a loved one, he’s gone into hiding, becoming entirely too comfortable with saying that he’s in the Witness Protection Program. But the urge to find that elusive killer puts his MIA status on hold. With the help of his new buddy Mike, he delves into the murky world of tracking down a killer — and uncovering who poisoned a neighbor’s dog.

SAVAGE SUMMER is the first in the Curt Savage mystery series. Going from former cop to private dick, he represents a new kind of detective—the reluctant kind. As his best bud Mike puts it, “Private investigation just got Savage.”

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