Archive for the ‘Inspiration!’ 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?

Advice from the Pros: Be a More Productive Writer NOW!

Thursday, December 11th, 2014


  1. What is your number one career “bliss-maker?” How can you spend more time inside your moments of bliss?

Your goal is to focus on that bliss.


  1. While attending a writer’s retreat, a fellow writer advised, “Honor thy workplace.”    The theory is if you clean your papers and stuff away, you’re allowing space for creativity.  Yes, it sounds woo-woo, but stick with me.  Another author suggested, “Un-clutter your office as though you were doing it for someone else. “


I’m here to report this works!  However, un-cluttering is a gradual procedure.  Once you begin, you realize you need less in your life than you thought.


Writing Prompts:

  1.  List your activities and jobs throughout the week.
  2. Prioritize.  What can you “let go” of  allowing more time, space, and energy with your creative process/ bliss?
  3. Choose one activity you can delegate or remove from your schedule.
  4. How can you “do” your bliss first in your day?  A number of people I know have had full lives teaching, plumbing, cleaning houses, etc. while writing or creating their art at 4 a.m.
  5. If 4 a.m. won’t allow you your full creativity, choose a time when you CAN make it your priority.



Ten Steps to Enthusiasm

Monday, November 3rd, 2014


Panda sleeps in tree Are you finding it hard to feel enthusiastic?

Once reality settles in, you might feel despair. Sad bride on bus 

Don’t give up hope! Try Attitude Adjustment!

Steps to Enthusiasm:  

1. What inspired you in the first place? Write WHY you chose this idea.

2. Next, highlight the parts of your project you love.

3. Read good examples in the genre which is most like yours. Soak in the voice, style, and word choice.

4. Retype a paragraph, description, or sensory image which you admire about this work.

5. Model a specific scene/line in your writing using this example.

6. Illustrate a few scenes or lines. Breaking it down often helps diagnose problems.

7. Read your scene/line/story out loud. Tape it. Play it back. What sounds good?

8. Circle active verbs; highlight a vivid image in the text.

9. Feeling better? If not, time is your friend. Put it away for a while. Rest. Rejuvenate.

10. Share your work with a trusted writing partner or group. Specific suggestions can motivate.

 There now. You feel great!   It’s time to revise!

501 Dogs Hyper