Thursday, April 7, 2016

AHA at Open Studios

2016 Open Studios Art Tour!
Dear friends, this is a reminder for you. Please mark your calendar and come to San Benito County Arts Council’s annual Open Studios Art Tour Saturday & Sunday, April 23rd- 24th from 10 am- 4 pm.  Along with Hollister and San Juan Bautista, Aromas provides many fabulous artists and studios because the little town has one foot in Monterey County and the other foot in San Benito County and because the Aromas Hills Artisans love to be involved.
stained glass by Linda Bjornson

This year’s tour features 21 local artists and artisans and showcases works in painting, photography, pottery & ceramics, stained-glass, jewelry and more!  Open Studios is a great way for locals and out of town visitors to meet the artists, view and purchase original works of art, learn more about the processes and materials of art-making and enjoy a scenic tour throughout San Benito County, including Hollister, San Juan Bautista and the lovely hills of Aromas.
You may also enjoy a sneak peak of Open Studios at the Preview Exhibition from April 8- May 26th at ARTspace at 240 Fifth St. in Hollister with a special Kick-Off Party from 6-8 pm on Friday April 8th! The Kick-Off Party is an opportunity for the community to view the artwork, enjoy food and drinks and celebrate this year’s group of talented, dynamic artists. These events are free and open to the public.
Christine West, paper arts

A map of the artists’ studios & the artist directory can be downloaded online at  Maps are also available at ARTspace at 240 Fifth St. in downtown Hollister or at the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce.  Please call 831.636.2787 or email for more information.
Here is a full list of the participating artists: Alia Outrey, Amber Henderson, Andrea McCann, Clay Peer, Eric Tapley, Frank Haseloff, Gayle Sleznick, Georgesse Gomez, Gloria Sipes, Jane 
Rekedal, Kathleen Sheridan, Kent Child, Laurie Tholen, Leslie Holtaway, Linda Bjornson, Lisa Rivaollon, Louise Roy, Robb Lee, Sally Diggory, SanDee Adams and Susan Shirley.
Open Studios is made possible by the California Arts Council, Community Foundation for San Benito County, Rotary of San Juan Bautista, San Juan Oaks, Aromas Hills Artisans, Sally Street Studios, Jane Rekedal Pottery, Gayle Sleznick and Andrea McCann.
copper jewelry by Laurie Tholen

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Author Joyce Oroz: Don't Give Up..........Joyce Oroz

Author Joyce Oroz: Don't Give Up..........Joyce Oroz: Best-Sellers Initially Rejected Mural from previous life Add caption I recently came across this information and want to share ...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Don't Give Up..........Joyce Oroz

Best-Sellers Initially Rejected

Mural from previous lifeAdd caption
I recently came across this information and want to share it with my reader and writer friends. 
Some writers continually submit the same manuscript until it is accepted. Others chose to do a more polished draft before sending it out again. A select few learn from the lessons of submissions, to write a completely new book.

What they all have in common is a persistence to never give up on their dream; a dream that has elevated them from writer, to best-selling author.

They have written some of the most critically praised and commercially successful books of all time. In some cases their enormous sales were so consistent that they even kept their publishers afloat.

Yet in spite of this phenomenal success, every single one of these best-selling authors was initially rejected. Literary agents and publishers informed them in an endless stream of rejection letters that nobody would be interested in reading their book.

Here is an extenstive collection of the some of the biggest errors of judgement in publishing history.

After 5 years of continual rejection, the writer finally lands a publishing deal: Agatha Christie. Her book sales are now in excess of $2 billion. Only William Shakespeare has sold more.

The Christopher Little Literary Agency receives 12 publishing rejections in a row for their new client, until the eight-year-old daughter of a Bloomsbury editor demands to read the rest of the book. The editor agrees to publish but advises the writer to get a day job since she has little chance of making money in children’s books. Yet Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling spawns a series where the last four novels consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, on both sides of the Atlantic, with combined sales of 450 million.

Louis L’Amour received 200 rejections before Bantam took a chance on him. He is now their best ever selling author with 330 million sales.

“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.” A rejection letter sent to Dr Seuss. 300 million sales and the 9th best-selling fiction author of all time.

“You have no business being a writer and should give up.” Zane Grey ignores the advice. There are believed to be over 250 million copies of his books in print.

140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell” until the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen sells 125 million copies.

The years of rejection do not break his spirit. He only becomes more determined to succeed. When he eventually lands a publishing deal, such is the demand for his fiction that it is translated into over 47 languages, as The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis goes on to sell over 100 million copies.

“It is so badly written.” The author tries Doubleday instead and his little book makes an impression. The Da Vinci Code sells 80 million.

After two years of rejections stating that her fiction would have no readership, Reilly and Lee agree to publish The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo, launching the career of the best-selling author Judy Blume. Combined sales: 80 million.

Having sold only 800 copies on its limited first release, the author finds a new publisher and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho sells 75 million.

“We feel that we don’t know the central character well enough.” The author does a rewrite and his protagonist becomes an icon for a generation as The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger sells 65 million.

5 publishers reject L.M. Montgomery‘s debut novel. Two years after this rejection, she removes it from a hat box and resubmits. L.C. Page & Company agree to publish Anne of Green Gables and it goes on to sell 50 million copies.

“I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.” Shunned by all the major publishers, the author goes to France and lands a deal with Olympia Press. The first 5000 copies quickly sell out. But the author Vladimir Nabokov now sees his novel, Lolita, published by all those that initially turned it down, with combined sales of 50 million.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was rejected so many times she decided to self-publish 250 copies. It has now sold 45 million.

“Nobody will want to read a book about a seagull.” Richard Bach‘s Jonathan Livingston Seagull goes on to sell 44 million copies.

“Undisciplined, rambling and thoroughly amateurish writer.” But Jacqueline Susann refuses to give up and her book the Valley of the Dolls sells 30 million.

Margaret Mitchell gets 38 rejections from publishers before finding one to publish her novel Gone With The Wind. It sells 30 million copies.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Being "Different" Joyce Oroz

As a long-time mural artist 
and author I have written 
articles and interviews 
about fellow artists and 
writers. What surprises 
me most about these people 
is how many of them are 
dyslectic or were dyslectic 
as children. I don’t have a PHD
behind my name, but I have 
taken my own survey on 
the subject because….
you guessed it, I’m 
dyslexic—not so much these 
days as a senior adult but very 
much growing up. Reading, 
writing and arithmetic were the 
scariest things in my preteen world. I hated school and 
the embarrassment of trying to read out loud in class. 
My attention span was minus zero and I couldn’t even 
play the kazoo.

In the second grade I decided, the heck 
with school and walked home, one mile 
along the edge of the Big Basin Highway. 
Mom just about had heart failure when 
she saw me. I thought it was cool to be 
home and see what she did around the house while 
my brother and sister were at school. I remember 
Mom trying to teach me how to tie my shoes. 
I just didn’t get it, so when I was alone I figured 
out a way to get the job done. To this day I have 
never seen anyone tie a bow the way I do.
The one thing that saved me and kept me in school 
was art. I was able to draw and paint pretty well 
at an early age. I won the Smokey the Bear poster 
contest in third and sixth grades. When the three 
R’s became too much for me, I would retreat 
to my coloring books, clay sculpture and day-dreaming.  
Being dyslexic is tough on young people. One must 
think “outside the box” in order to keep up with 
one’s peers. Dyslexic people work twice as hard 
to accomplish half as much. But as we age we 
are blessed with a creativity brought on out 
of need. Some of us find happiness and success
 in the “Art” world, some in creative writing 
and others invent things. Dyslexia can be a great 
gift once a person makes it through school—then 
the learning begins. All the information thrown at 
us in elementary school and high school suddenly 
makes sense.

Dyslexic people often 
function very well in 
today’s computer world. 
They are the inventors. 
Their spelling might be 
sub-standard, but there 
is no limit to what their 
creative, inventive minds 
will come up with next. 
I discovered there is a 
lot of dyslexia in my 
family, many 
“late bloomers” such as me, 
thankful for the odd gift 
of being different. The gift that keeps on giving—
sorry for the cliché.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Borrowed Poem...........Joyce Oroz

Getting old is relative. You can always find someone younger to envy, but you can always find someone older too. Whatever your age, be happy now, today, we don't know what tomorrow will bring.
Here is "A Little Poem", so true it hurts!
Another year has passed And we're all a little older.
Last summer felt hotter
And winter seems much colder.

There was a time not long ago
When life was quite a blast.              
Now I fully understand
About 'Living in the Past'

We used to go to weddings,
Football games and lunches..
Now we go to funeral homes
And after-funeral brunches.

We used to have hangovers,
From parties that were gay.
Now we suffer body aches
And wile the night away.

We used to go out dining,
And couldn't get our fill.                                

Now we ask for doggie bags,
Come home and take a pill.

We used to often travel
To places near and far.
Now we get sore arses
From riding in the car.

We used to go to nightclubs
And drink a little booze.
Now we stay home at night
And watch the evening news.

That, my friend is how life is,
And now my tale is told.
So, enjoy each day and live it up...
Before you're too darn old!
author unknown
Hope you all have a healthy 
& prosperous New Year !!!! (2016)..

Friday, December 18, 2015

A story by Carolyn Carnell........Joyce Oroz

During the holiday season, the cleverest thing one can do is reuse last years gift bags and last years gifts and gadgets in the name of saving money and the planet. Win, win. However, some things should never be stashed away in the first place, like the card I received from my friend Carolyn Carnell. Some things are so good they must be shared immediately. Carolyn is muti-multi talented in health and healing and so many other areas. And now she writes!
mural by Linda Bjornson

Greetings From Krampus

What does it mean? I hear a knock at the door, and opening it up I see it's Krampus, and invite him in for a cup of tea. Krampus enters, but isn't interested in a cup of tea. But I insist, and he obliges. Hmm...does this mean Krampus has a soft spot behind the scary facade of goat-like face with long spindly horns? He is three times my size and has a bit of a drool on the left side of his open mouth, making visible all his pointed teeth ready to gnaw into anything that perturbs him.
It seems possible that could even be me. Why else would he be here? We already know it's not for the tea, and while waiting for the water to boil, I learn Krampus is not into small talk. I ask, how's the weather been where you come from? The response (grunt) is a bit vague, if you ask me. I pour each of us a cup of tea and, feeling a bit anxious, I take a sip of Earl Grey, which has wonderful healing properties, with bergamot-orange, known for calming down the nervous system and uplifting one's spirits. I definitely could use that right now just like Krampus could use a pedicure for those unruly hoofs of his. I ask Krampus how he likes the tea. I get a disgruntled grunt - a not so subtle hint: Can we get back to matters at hand?
Yes, of course.
I sit face to face with this beast and after taking a deep breath I say, "Krampus, I've heard a lot about you, but this is the first time I've met you. Why have you come now?" The grunts and groans are coming at an alarming rate, raising and lowering in tone. But something else is happening as well. Somehow I am able to understand what it all means. It is all my aches and pains and feelings of frustration. As this realization hits my mind, Krampus begins getting smaller right in front of my very eyes. Could it be Krampus really me? He is shrinking even faster now, the more I understand and forgive myself. Krampus is now the size of a baby. I bend over and pick-up baby Krampus and hold him in my arms. I tell him I Love him and kiss him on the forehead. He playfully giggle-grunts and with a blink of an eye disappears completely, leaving only the tea cup behind as a reminder that in order to be free you just need to invite Krampus in for a cup of tea.

Thank you, Carolyn, and Merry Christmas
hand carved Santa by Barbara Scoles

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A recent Interview.........Joyce Oroz

A recent interview
When did you realize you wanted to write?
People probably think a writer pops out of the womb with a big “W” imprinted on her forehead, and the smell of ink on her baby-breath. Not always true. The first sixty years of my life were spent avoiding reading and writing, probably because I hated school so much, which was probably because I was an introverted dyslectic child. The only exception to the “no-read-no-write” rule was the Nancy Drew series and letters to Mom.
Decades later, thanks to modern technology and spell-check, I am able to appreciate the joys and frustrations of writing. I happened onto writing when my long-time mural painting career suddenly and unexpectedly ended. I had painted my whole life. I thought, dreamed and lived to paint. I felt lost without a brush in my hand and needed a way to express myself. It just happened that my dusty computer was feeling alone and under-used. I settled into my roll-around chair and never looked back. I had discovered a universal truth. Writing is just like painting but without the mess.
Did you originally want to write cozy mysteries or did you try other types of writing as well?
My first timid crack at writing was a series of children’s stories written for my grandchildren. Twenty-seven stories later, I longed to write a real book. Nancy Drew came to mind. She had made a permanent mark on my impressionable little twelve-year-old brain. I took a few college courses in creative writing, and somewhere along the way I had an epiphany. If I wrote a page a day I would have a 350-page book in a year’s time.  Secure the Ranch was born nine months later with 410 pages. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had written my first “cozy” mystery because I hate ugly language and blood. I create a clean murder and emphasize the shenanigans, adventure and character interaction that go with every mystery.

What inspires you to write? Are there places or jobs have made an impact on your writing?
My previous life of painting murals inspires my new life of writing about a gal who paints murals and solves mysteries on the side. I gave Josephine my red truck and my best brushes. She can handle the work because she’s younger, stronger and smarter than I. I didn’t want my protagonist to be exactly like me, so I left out husband, children, grandchildren, gardening and gophers. I write in first person which allows me to control Josephine’s brain and her craving for donuts.

What is your writing process like?
My writing style is “by the seat of my pajama pants” style. I’m retired so I write when I can find the time—between 10 grandchildren, husband, dog, friends, garden and gophers. I try to write for an hour or two everyday. I average six days a week. That’s why it takes the better part of a year to write a book, but that’s OK because the ideas come slowly.

How do you get over writer’s block?
Sometimes new ideas refuse to come at all. I tell myself to relax, clear my brain, kind of like meditation. Unfortunately, the best ideas come to mind while I’m in the shower or driving in heavy traffic. Sometimes they come from just sitting at the computer, waiting and waiting. One good idea can lead to many pages of adventure. Writing is the greatest adventure of all because through all the excitement the writer is safe at her desk.

How have your characters developed and grown throughout your series?
Josephine is still making mistakes, pre-judging people and chasing bad guys in the wrong direction, but she has a few things in her favor; her boy friend, her best girlfriend, her very smart dog and luck. I wish I could say that she has evolved, grown, matured. Actually she is a really good person with a few flaws. Without flaws and bad judgment there could be no story. Josephine would figure out the murder mystery on the first page.
Fortunately, her best friend has all her ores in the water. Alicia is bright and uses common sense. Jo’s boyfriend, David is a solid, steady influence. Even the dog is grounded. It’s Josephine and the new people she meets who keep us entertained.  

What does it feel like to finish a novel?
When I finally finish a book, which I have done seven times at this point, I feel like I just kicked the ball over the goal post in front of 50,000 people. But the feeling only lasts a week or two and then I’m driven to start writing all over again. It’s like a box of chocolate—can’t stop at just one.

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?
Once you decide to be a writer, put your heart and time into it. Write between classes, on your lunch hour, soaking in the tub. Think about your story and characters in the shower and driving in traffic. You won’t even remember the drive. It’s one thing to talk about being a writer, it’s another thing to jump into the muddy trenches and work your computer into a frenzy.

Do you have any plans/ideas for your next novel?
I am between books this week. #7 is finished and #8 has not revealed itself.  

How do you try to connect with your readers?
I am taking a break from writing for a second reason, it’s the book selling season. I have several book signings lined up—lots of people to meet, lots to talk about.

writing a book is like riding a turtle--slow but steady
What would you say is the most difficult and the most enjoyable thing about writing is?
Writing has a tendency to put the writer into the spotlight. I had avoided such things my whole life, now I embrace the opportunity to meet people. There is no sweeter sound than a fan saying, “I loved your last book.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add about your novel(s) or anything else you’d like readers to know?

I want to give a big thank you to my publisher, Cozy Cat Press.
All seven books in my Josephine Stuart Mystery Series are available at Amazon and Kindle.