Friday, April 17, 2009

A conference invitation...

This unique conference features tracks for writers, artists, actors, musicians and photographers. Two free-to-the-public concerts will feature Russell Fragar and Jared Anderson, and the days will be jam-packed with instruction, hands-on training and encouragement. The faculty includes:

Russell Fragar - song writer and producer

Jared Anderson - recording artist and song writer

Karen Cain-Smith - award-winning pastel and oil artist

Roger Hutley - music pastor, song writer and script writer

Rene' Phelps - actor, scriptwriter, director

Jeannie St. John Taylor - author, speaker and artist

Jacob Gregory - event and fine arts photographer

Sandy Cathcart - writer, artist and photographer

And me!

For more information and registration and hotel info, visit

I hope to see you there!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The tax man cometh...

It's that time when we writers and artists are (many of us) looking at our shoe box of receipts and thinking, "I need to do this better next year." Many of us creative types are just not as strong in the area of record keeping and that "Type A" sort of stuff. I've learned to do it but it's still not one of my favorite things, especially when it comes to inventory tracking. (And sometimes learning means learning to hand it over to someone that understands the tax forms better than we do.)

But there's hope. An interesting blog by Allena Tapia points out some of the more common financial mistakes creators make on the Wow! blog called "The Five Fatal Finance Mistakes Writers Make." And if you want more information about some of those pesky deduction categories, Sandy Cathcart has available "Totally Honest Tax Tips for Writers." It has forms for record keeping, how to calculate home office deductions, handling things like office equipment and phone calls and more info for tax time.

Until then, though, keep that shoebox in a safe place.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A pictorial prompt

One of the blogs I love to follow is Organized Doodles by Rick Green. His sense of humor is a delight and I enjoy his drawings. I even heard a hint that he might be considering moving into book illustration! Rick's "doodles" always spark a story for me, even when he doesn't share the background. And he's pretty generous with his drawings if you flatter him a little bit. (Okay, check out his blog for the real terms.)

Here's one for you to get your creative currents stirring:

My story about this aromatic avenger involves a shortage of blueberries. What story would you write about this caped critter?

"Super Skunk" (c) Rick Green. Used under his copy-and-share-if-you-dare policy. Thanks, Rick!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lazing in the spring sunshine

It's spring here in my part of the world and in the last few days the birds have been picking up volume, the flowers are showing off and the sun keeps coaxing me out of my studio to come just soak up its warmth. It gives me new insights into the lives of cats.

So today I plan to revel for a bit in the fresh spring day. I found a writer that also responded to the allure of nature and I think he benefited from his time out of "the office." I hope you can find time to refresh your muse today too.


Think me not unkind and rude
That I walk alone in grove and glen;
I go to the god of the wood
To fetch his word to men.

Tax not my sloth that I
Fold my arms beside the brook;
Each cloud that floated in the sky
Writes a letter in my book.

Chide me not, laborious hand,
For the idle flowers I brought;
Every aster in my hand
Goes home loaded with a thought.

There was never mystery
But 'tis figured in the flowers;
Was never secret history
But birds tell it in the bowers.

One harvest from thy field
Homeward brought the oxen strong;
A second crop thine acres yield,
Which I gather in a song.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson