Archive | March, 2011

Tuesday Tips: Focus Time, Break Time & Linchpin Time!

29 Mar

On his blog last Wednesday, Seth Godin asked: Are you making something?

Making something is work, says Godin and work is making something “that has a lasting value in the market.”

How much measurable work do you get done in a day? What do you make? Godin points out that “More and more, we’re finding it easy to get engaged with activities that feel like work, but aren’t.”

I can relate to this. I’m on the computer all day and often into the night but am I actually making more than comments and posting links of cool stuff I find on facebook?

Most of us use “the same device to do our work as we are to distract ourselves from our work,” says Godin.

The solution he suggests is to use one device for work, and a second for play, commenting, shopping–all those other activities you do on your computer and online that aren’t “real” work–where you’re not actually making something.

Sounds like a great idea to me, but I will be the first to admit that I doubt I will follow it.

What I am taking away from his blog post is the admonition to recognize the difference between actually making something on the computer and doing something on the computer. Starting today, starting now, I am going to challenge myself to spend more of my time and energy making “stuff” that I can actually “ship”–from a cleaner house to more writing.

I am also going to be clear about when I am making connections and supporting my community using social media and when I’m just piddling my day away. So, to once again quote Godin,

Go, make something. We need it!

PS Speaking of Godin, tonight is Linchpin night for Ventura area Linchpins! Learn more about Linchpins–the group and the book–here. The gathering is at 7pm at the Watermark on Chestnut and Main. I’ll have to miss it –I’ll be at the Cobalt Cafe in Canoga Park where Danika Dinsmore is featuring and I’ll be reading in the open mic.

Ojai WordFest: 3/25 Be Well Read! Join Poetry Boot Camp 3/26 with Danika!

25 Mar

I’ve been keeping so busy with Ojai WordFest readings and writing workshops! Here’s an update on how it’s all going and what’s to come including information on Danika Dinsmore’s “Poetry BootCamps” scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, from 9-noon and 2-5pm. I strongly recommend that you attend one or both–they are not just for poets but for anyone who wants a jump start on creativity and some tricks for when the muse steps out of the room!

Ojai WordFest: Be Well Read 3/25! Join Poetry Boot Camp 3/26 with Danika! Ojai WordFest Update! I won the Ojai WordFest slam on Wednesday with my team mate Danika Dinsmore hot on my heals! The event was lots of fun and newby host Georgia Menides did great (with a little tutoring on hosting from Danika and I!) Georgia’s a natural at hosting and I hope she does more. Last night’s Living Room Style Open Mic reading at Big Buddha Lounge also went really well. Danika and I co-hosted it and we had nearly 2 dozen people in at … Read More

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Ojai WordFest Readings: Poetry Slam 3/23, Living Room Open Mic 3/24, Well Red 3/25

23 Mar

Last week’s book launch events went well! Next I have three poetry readings coming up this week where I’ll be sharing work from my new poetry collection and older work as well.

Wednesday, March 23 at 6pm I will be competing in the Ojai WordFest East vs West Poetry Slam at Bart’s Books, 302 W. Matilija Street. Also on the “West” coast team is Danika Dinsmore and Sequoia Hamilton. Individuals will also have a chance to compete; show up early to sign up. FREE!

Thursday, March 24,  at 7pm join Danika Dinsmore and I for the living room style open mic which culminates our day long writing adventure “Message in a Bottle.” (Learn more about “Message in a Bottle” and register here: We’re hosting our living room style open mic at Big Buddha Lounge 530 Ventura Ave, Oak View. A living room style open mic means we will be sitting in a circle and sharing poems. Danika and I met at the Taos Poetry Circus where every afternoon poets gathered in a circle outside Cafe Taza to read work together. On Wednesday, we will also have the opportunity to go on stage and perform with a dj. FREE!

Friday March 25, I am scheduled to read between 8:30 and 9pm in the Ojai WordFest Well Red book launch event at Los Caporales Restaurant & Tequila Bar, 307 E Ojai Ave. I am scheduled to read between 8:30 and 9pm. FREE!

Tuesday Tips: Take Workshops, Take in Readings

22 Mar

No matter what kind of writing you do–business, school or pleasure–taking workshops and classes where you learn more tricks of the trade and taking in readings where you hear writers read and discuss their work will improve your writing. Hearing writers discuss their process will help YOU with your product!

You can find readings and workshops at book stores, colleges, cafes, and even salons held in homes. You can find out about them via online searches or local bulletin boards. Prices range from expensive to inexpensive depending on who is reading or who is giving the workshop.

Three sources I use for finding readings and workshops in California are Poetry Flash, Poetix, and Poets and Writers.

You can also find out about some readings and workshops by subscribing to this blog or to Art Predator. I’ll certainly be posting about my own upcoming readings and workshops! If you know of anything that I should write about, please send me an email or leave the information in the comments.

This week, during Ojai’s WordFest, I am looking forward to attending several readings. (more…)

Get Creative 3/24! Get a discount! Waves! Wines! Words!

21 Mar

We still have room in Thursday’s creativity and writing workshop “Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai” AND we can offer YOU a $24 discount if you put in the code writealley here (more…)

March 2011 Book Launch: St Pat’s party, readings, workshops, book fair!

14 Mar

Tomorrow’s the big day–my new poetry collection comes in! Here’s the schedule for my events in March 2011. I hope to see you at a reading, workshop or book fair! (more…)

3:15 Experiment Reading 3/15 & Other Book Launch Events for “Middle of the Night”

11 Mar

I’m excited about next Tuesday! My new poetry collection will be here just in time for my 7:30pm featured reading 3/15 at the Artists Union Gallery, 330 So. California St, Ventura. Read more about my new poetry collection and other March 2011 book launch events below–including a St Pat’s Day Party Thursday at El Jardin Courtyard!

3:15 Experiment Reading 3/15 & Other Launch Events for "Middle of the Night" Please join me Tuesday March 15, 2011 at 7:30pm in the Artists Union Gallery for the first reading from my new poetry collection Middle of the Night Poems From Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son (en theos press 2011). This is the paperback book edition of the chapbook I produced for the 2010 Women’s Conference. Pictured is a broadside that was published in ArtLife Limited Editions in November 2003; it’s also on the inside cover … Read More

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Creativity Workshop 3/24! Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai –Waves, Wines, Words

9 Mar

Writing instructors Gwendolyn Alley of Ventura, California and Danika Dinsmore of Vancouver, British Columbia join forces Thursday, March 24 to offer a unique writing workshop that engages the senses and ignites the imagination. Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai – Waves, Wines, Words, an event during Ojai’s WordFest, will take its participants on a journey that begins by the ocean near the Channel Islands Visitors Center and continues at a small family owned working ranch and winery.

Using their 40+ years of combined teaching experience, Alley and Dinsmore will draw on the exterior world of the senses to connect writers to the page. The scenery, the company, the spirit of adventure, the food, and the wine will be interwoven with thought-provoking writing prompts and conversation. (more…)

Tuesday Tips: Celebrate International Women’s Day’s 100 Anniversary March 8

8 Mar

March 8  is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating  the economic, political and social achievements of women past,  present and future. The first IWD event was held one hundred years ago, in 1911. According to the International Women’s Day site, it began when women’s oppression and inequality spurred women  to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,  Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status  of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

Find out what’s going on for International Women’s Day’s in your area. (more…)

Robert Peake’s poetry & his review of mine

7 Mar

A week ago Sunday, I exchanged poetry collections with one of my favorite local poets, Robert Peake and on Saturday, Robert Peake published his on-line review of my new book, Middle of the Night Poems from Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son.

Read more about Robert Peake’s new book and his review of mine below. Or just go here to read Robert’s Peake’s review of Middle of the Night.

Robert Peake's glorious poetry collection & glowing review of "Middle of the Night" Last Sunday, we drove my 90 year old father-in-law Ralph up to the 5,000′ pass at Pine Mountain in the Los Padres National Forest to see all the fresh snow, which fell unusually low for our area the previous day–snow actually dusted the streets of Ojai Valley as well as the San Fernando Valley. Then on our way to Boccalli’s for dinner, we swung by Robert Peake’s place in Ojai and he and I exchanged our new poetry books. Robert’s book is part of … Read More

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