Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Panel Says

It was a honor to be part of a recent panel discussion at the last Santa Barbara chapter meeting of Women in Communication. I was invited to participate thanks to my role as editor of "Carpinteria Magazine."

Myself and three other local magazine editors were part of the program “Magazine Publishing and Writing in a 2.0 World,” which was held at Antioch University in downtown Santa Barbara. The panel’s focus was to share insights on publication trends, business advantages, and strategic challenges facing today’s magazine industry. Read more about it in Coastal View News (turn to page 20).

Photo by r.s.thurston photography. From left are Lynn K. Jones, president of the Santa Barbara chapter of Women in Communication; Nansie Chapman, editor of “Family Life Magazine;” Maria Streshinsky, editor of “Pacific Standard;” moi; Sally Barr, editor of “MUSIC! The Sounds of Santa Barbara;” Leslie Dinaberg, editor of “Santa Barbara SEASONS;” and Leslie Westbrook the program moderator.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Steal This Book

I'm much better at meeting someone else's deadline than my own. That's a good thing when it comes to retaining clients. It's a bad thing when I need to keep the creative juices flowing in order to keep the clients happy. My deadlines usually are related to the things I want to get done that don't pay anything in dollars and cents.

An important part of my job is keeping an eye out for inspiration. (Equally important is tapping the inspiration!) Needless to say I was quite happy to come across the little book "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. It's a fun and easy read.

Kleon gives 10 ways to unlock creativity. I really like the fact that the book is simply worded and doesn't reveal anything new. A review of the basics, which, according to my dad, is something that professionals do all the time. My dad was referring to professional athletes and movie stars, people like that. I was about 10 at the time but his words stayed with me. It's about time I put them into practice.

My biggest challenge is #9, Be Boring (It's the only way to get work done.). I really need to work on that. Doing the necessary mundane things and showing up regularly is not my forte. I'll work on it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

When all else fails ... Eat

I believe it was the “Artist’s Way” where Julia Cameron wrote that she bakes a cake when she is feeling stuck with her writing, when she needs a break. The baking the cake part is an example of how leaving the task at hand and doing something else for a bit just may help foster a rush of creativity. So, I thought I’d give it a try.

Hence, Amy’s Sliders were born. Well, that’s what my husband christened them. The sliders are turkey burgers on a sesame bun with avocado, tomato, lettuce, grilled onion, Cheddar cheese, and dill pickle slices. The bun was lightly toasted and spread with spicy mustard.

I must say, they were delicious, and they were a welcome diversion from the looming deadline. But, did the sliders stimulate a fountain of creativity? No, not really. I do think, however, that putting together a good dinner was better than hanging out at my keyboard and slugging back beers.

Oh, why is Cheddar capitalized in Cheddar cheese, you may ask. Because it is the name of a place, i.e. a proper noun, like chicken Kiev, French fry, Boston cream pie, and the like.

Monday, October 8, 2012

More Cat Chat

Quick update on National Feral Cat Day

First, don't panic. The day remains Oct. 16. The update I want to give is that a letter to the editor from Randi Fairbrother, president and founder of Catalyst for Cats, has been posted to Noozhawk.com. Click on this link and read it.

I can't take credit for writing the letter. It is from the Alley Cat Allies publicity kit. I can take credit, however, for making it Catalyst-specific and sending it out. Another writer-related piece of volunteer work.

This photo is of a couple of the cats from a colony we maintain. All the cats are spayed/neutered, healthy, well fed, and seem to be enjoying life. The colony will die out, and thousands of unwanted kittens didn't litter the landscape.