Archive for the ‘Travel Inspires Writing and Art!’ Category

Best of California Travel Photo Contest

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

California Mendocino Photo

Taking pictures is a true art. Photos solidify memories and show specific details, which helps your writing become more specific.

If you live in California, are 18 or older, and not employed as full-time professional photographers, enter this contest! Photos are due by 5 p.m., May 3.   You can submit as many as you like, but if you enter more than one of the same shot, judges will select their favorite.  They will choose and publish only one photo per reader.  Judges won’t consider photos with time stamps, water marks, obtrusive copyrights and alterations (beyond minimal photo editing).

Winners:  Seven winners will have their pictures featured in the May 31 Eat Drink Play section and online at  Grand prize winner receives a three-night stay for two at the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara.  Six other winners will receive $100 gift certificates from Mike’s Camera.  In addition to the seven winners, there will be Best of the Rest honorable mention photos to be featured in an online slide show.  Entries, as they come in, will be displayed at

For more information, visit the above site.  Good luck!

Writing Prompts:

  1. Choose a photo you have taken as a prompt for a short story, poem, or other art work.
  2. Take your camera everywhere.  Practice taking shots.  Discover what makes the best ones. Write about your experiences.
  3. Take a photo class and read about photo techniques.  Become aware of the details that count.  How can this help your writing and other art?

Vacations: How They Inspire Writing & Art

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Where can we find the tastiest shrimp in the United States?  Why, in Louisiana!  The seafood melted in our mouths, sauces made us swoon, and restaurant menus enticed us to loosen our belts.  On a recent trip, my husband and I along with our friends, Paula and Jerry, traveled to New Orleans and Lafayette, LA, Vicksburg, MS, and Little Rock, AR. 

The live Cajun bands in Louisiana, set our bodies to boogey-ing! 

Mississippi’s National History Site of Vicksburg and the gunboat U.S.S. Cairo, sunk in 1862 and raised in 1964, brings the Civil War battles here to life.    

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitors’ Center created an emotionally packed step-back-in-time experience.  In the fall of 1957, nine courageous African-American students attempted to de-segregate the all-white high school.  What followed is highlighted at this center, with videos of interviews and conversations with all nine students and several white students who interacted with them.   President Clinton’s Library took most of a day, and if we had time we could have stayed longer.  Not a dull moment in either place. 

The people we met were among the friendliest, ever.  But many had no desire to ever step foot out of their favorite place:  wherever they lived.  Returning home, I discovered lots of people from various parts of our country have no urge to visit the south. 

Yes, we may love where we live best of all.  But turn down a trip to somewhere we’ve never been before? 

Do we have preconceived thoughts and images?  Discover by travel, real life experiences which can never be taught, shown, or explained.

And now, with my love of animals of any kind, I’ll share a photo of this fine fellow, who greeted us on a swamp tour.

My Louisiana Buddy

Keep your eyes peeled on all of your journeys.  Take a dip now and then, into unfamiliar territories.   You’ll broaden your life, your writing, and your art. 

Writing Prompts:

1.  With any trip, whether near or far, carry a notebook or device in which to jot down the details, sensory images, and thoughts.  Let your mind wander to soak up the surroundings.  This will spark so many ideas, you’ll need a lifetime to carry out your creative projects.  Don’t you feel terrific when you have too many ideas?

2.  Write down anecdotes.  Who did you encounter?  What happened?  Who said what?   You can develop this into a personal experience essay, part of a memoir, or even fodder for novel scenes. 

3.  Interested in writing for a magazine on your trips?  Propose an article before you arrive!  The editor’s specific needs will help you jot down your notes.  And the money from the assignment may pay your way.

4.  Your photos will help you bring back the moment to you.  Take more than you’ll need.  Not only do they serve as inspiration, but you may sell them with your article, too. 

5.  Finally, enjoy your trip.  Sometimes you have to set down your pen and notebook or device and LIVE!