Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Artist, Jovita Hilliker........Joyce Oroz

  Jovita Hilliker has been chosen “Artist of the Month” for October 2014 at the Dragonfly Gallery, 380 Blohm, Aromas. If you would like to meet Jovita in person, stop by the gallery for a Meet and Greet Saturday, October 18th 2:00 to 4:00 pm. She is a member of the Aromas Hills Artisans and shows her work at the Dragonfly Gallery. Ms. Hilliker is an exceptional watercolorist with her own unique style, which I happen to love. Jovita has an interesting and up-lifting life story to tell. In her own words: 

Art has always been a part of my life. My Grandmother, Pearl Tupper, was a self taught artist from childhood. She included me at a young age, in a lot of her art meetings, classes, and late night drawing and painting sessions. I grew up to feel and think like an artist.

    My grandmother mostly worked in oils and pastels. For many years I believed that if you were to be a true artist,that is what you worked in. I've had experience in many different mediums. About twelve years ago, at my son’s suggestion, I began to doodle in watercolor. At this time I truly found myself, and fell in love with watercolor.
    I received an Associate Degree in Art from Hartnel College, in Salinas California. I studied under the Watercolorist Elizabeth Kinkaid for almost five years. I acquired a lot of confidence and technique from her, such as the technique of using many glazes or color washes, which has become a part of my work.
    Ten years ago I completed treatments for breast cancer. While I was undergoing treatment, I would sit in the chair and paint. During this time a new style began to emerge. Scenes made up of many different shapes, separated by spaces. I have applied this new style to the local scenes I find myself drawn to. Painting both on location and from photographs I take along the way.
   Please join me on my quest as an artist, experiencing something new every day.


I am a hairdresser four days a week at Prunedale Beauty and Barber 8041 San Miguel Canyon Road, Prunedale. 

 I have 9 chickens and 3 cats and a very needy Chihuahua and husband at home. I try to fit in painting when I can. I Paint every Wednesday with some friends in Soquel--that keeps me painting.

I have a website that I'm still getting up and going. Www.jovitahilliker.com And you can always find my current work and card at the salon.
Currently I have a few new paintings at the Dragonfly Gallery in Aromas.

Thank you, Jovita for an inspiring look into you work and your life.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

ABC's by Joyce Riley.........Joyce Oroz

Today is Sunday, a perfect day for inspirational poetry by my dear cousin, Joyce Riley. She knows and shares the ABC's of life.

By Joyce Riley
I Acknowledge, Accept and Appreciate the Astounding, Abounding

Blessings Before me. Beauty, Born of

Caring is Crystal Clear.

Denying the Darkness, I Dance with the

Energy and Essence of life.

Focused on the Flow, I Fearlessly Face my Freedom.

Gently I am Guided

Higher and Higher. Harmony

Infills me and Instills in me

Joy and Jubilation. May

Kindness, the Key, which

Lays the Light of Love before me, be

Magnified through me. I am

Nurtured and Nourished, Now.

Order and

Peace Prevail. I do not

Question but, Quietly,

Receive and Radiate

Strength. As Spirit

Tempers me, my Talents

Unfold. Let me not be

Vague or Vain, but let

Words of Wisdom Work through me, bringing me to

X, the unknown, “yet to be.”
Yes, oh Yes, I feel the

Zip, the Zest and the Zen of Zeal.

From A to Zed

I am loved; I am led.

For more wonderful poems, you can find Joyce's book
"Color This Day Beautiful"
on line at Amazon.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Author Alice Boatwright......Joyce Oroz

She writes wherever she is, here or across the pond, beginning at a tender age. Alice Boatwright works at her mystery novels until she gets them right. She must have gotten Under An English Heaven perfectly right because it has great ratings on Amazon, buckets of gold stars and enthusiastic reviews. Cozy Cat Press is her publisher. "I devoured this delicious mystery in one sitting; I just couldn't put it down! A delightful treat in the Agatha Christie-Dorothy Sayers tradition, this well-written and expertly crafted story of love and murder in an English village is a pleasure from start to finish." by J. Wilson    Now, here is Alice answering my questions:

Alice, please tell us who or what influenced your decision to be a writer?

The two biggest influences were my father and a librarian.  When I was young, my father was writing a textbook, and I loved going to sleep to the plink plunk of his typewriter coming from his study down the hall.  It was such a comforting sound, like rain on the roof, and I loved knowing he was right there.  I still have his old Underwood typewriter, which weighs a ton, and is, to me, a “real” writer’s tool.
When the book came out, W.W. Norton gave him a boxed copy bound in tooled leather. I still remember how it looked sitting on the mantel above the fireplace, and that day I announced that he was not the only Boatwright who was going to publish a book!
In the summer, my father taught at a summer school held in a small Connecticut town. The librarian there was ever kind and patient with us grubby kids who came in from playing outdoors to pick out books. My curiosity pleased her . . . and she always made good suggestions, so I became a passionate reader through her.
     How long have you been writing and what is your method or style?
I wrote my first “novel” when I was nine, and I’ve never stopped. I’ve always done other writing-related work to earn money -- from developing exhibits for a children’s museum to doing PR for arts, education and public health  – so making time to write fiction has required commitment and discipline. This is the flip side of the intense private pleasure it brings.
I am a morning writer – that way the day starts with what is most important to me. I don’t use outlines – I like to discover the story and the meaning as I go along. To me, writing is rewriting, so I enjoy this process. Through the developing drafts each scene (ideally!) comes into focus in terms of the characters’ actions and motivations, its significance in relation to rest of the story, and every aspect of the language.
     You wrote your first novel at nine? Is your protagonist anything like you?

Ellie Kent is more adventurous and inquisitive, more of a risk taker than I am.  That’s why she’s a mystery solver, and I am a mystery writer.  We’re both bookish, smart, funny, and skeptical – and we have a lot of the same values. But she does many things I only wish I would do, such as go for long runs through the countryside and learn to drive on the right.

     Alice, where do you live and why?

After 10 years of living in England and France, I am currently based in woodsy area outside Seattle.  Living in Europe was wonderful, and we still spend time there, but being at home has advantages too.  I love the Northwest. The tall trees and the mountains that are often hidden, but always there, keeping watch. 
     What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I like a quiet life, so I’d say: spend time with my husband and two cats, stay connected to my far-flung family and friends, explore wherever I am living, take photographs, read, walk, nap by the fire.  That said, my work has required me to travel a great deal, and I enjoy that very much.  I especially love Asia.

Please tell us what your idea of a real vacation is?

Total freedom to spend the day anyway I like, wherever I am.  
     Where can we find your books?

Under an English Heaven is available in paperback or as an e-book from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Under-English-Heaven-Ellie-Mystery/dp/193981636X
Collateral Damage (three linked novellas about the impact of the Vietnam War) is also available in both formats can be ordered from Small Press Distribution (www.spdbooks.org), Amazon, and elsewhere.  Learn more at www.collateraldamage.us
On Twitter: @deuxchatsnoirs

Friday, September 19, 2014

Coming Together........Joyce Oroz

As soon as I finished reading this article I knew I had to share it with you. This is an Editorial from a Romanian newspaper. It helped me realize how unique and wonderful we Americans are. 

Why are Americans so united? They don't resemble one another even if you paint them! They speak all the languages of the world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations. Some of them are nearly extinct, others are incompatible with one another, and in matters of religious beliefs, not even God can count how many they are. Still, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people into a hand put on the heart. Nobody rushed to accuse the White House, the army, the secret services that they are only a bunch of losers. Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed on the streets nearby to gape about. The Americans volunteered to donate blood and to give a helping hand. After the first moments of panic, they raised the flag on the smoking ruins, putting on T-shirts, caps and ties in the colours of the national flag. They placed flags on buildings and cars as if in every place and on every car a minister or the president was passing. On every occasion they started singing their traditional song: "God Bless America!".

Silent as a rock, I watched the charity concert broadcast on Saturday once, twice, three times, on different tv channels. There were Clint Eastwood, Willie Nelson, Robert de Niro, Julia Roberts, Cassius Clay, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Silvester Stalone, James Wood, and many others whom no film or producers

could ever bring together. The American's solidarity spirit turned them into a choir. Actually, choir is not the word. What you could hear was the heavy artillery of the American soul. What neither George W. Bush, nor Bill Clinton, nor Colin Powell could say without facing the risk of stumbling over words and sounds, was being heard in a great and unmistakable way in this charity concert. I don't know how it happened that all this obsessive singing of America didn't sound croaky, nationalist, or ostentatious! It made you green with envy because you weren't able to sing for your country without running the risk of being considered chauvinist, ridiculous, or suspected of who-knows-what mean interests. I watched the live broadcast and the rerun of its rerun for hours listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the Californian hockey player, who fought with the terrorists and prevented the plane from hitting a target that would have killed other hundreds of thousands of people. How on earth were they able to bow before a fellow human? Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every phone call, millions and millions of dollars were put in a collection aimed at rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit which nothing can buy.

What on earth can unite the Americans in such a way? Their land? Their galloping history? Their economic power? Money? I tried for hours to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases which risk of sounding like commonplaces. I thought things over, but I reached only one conclusion.

Only freedom can work such miracles!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Corn and Inspiration.......by Joyce Oroz

Josephine and I always say, if you have nothing to say, talk about food. Who in this world doesn't like food? Labor Day was a great food day--so many people and such good food. There were salads of all types to go with BBQ meats and side dishes. There were two unforgettable corn salads, one with avocado and one without. I am about to share the lip-smacking colorful avocado variety with you. Or leave out the avocado.

Vegan • Gluten free • Serves 4-6
1 pint
Cherry of grape tomatoes
1/4 cup
2 cups
Corn, cooked
1/2 tsp
Lime, zest
1/2 cup
Red onion
1 tbsp
Lime juice, fresh
Baking & Spices
1/4 tsp
1/4 tsp
Oils & Vinegars

2 tbsp
Olive oil
Toss it all together and serve

Now for a good book like
"Color This Day Beautiful"

by Joyce Riley 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Fair of Fairs.........Joyce Oroz

The Santa Cruz County Fair opened yesterday, Tuesday, September 9 and runs through Sunday, September 13.
You will find it in Watsonville  at 2601 East Lake Avenue
Watsonville, California 95076
The "good old days" are still here in the form of a terrific county fair. Santa Cruz County has one of the best if not THE best fair in California. It is beautifully landscaped, pristine, and exploding with entertainment. 

New features are added each year, and the old favorites continue, like music, a bazillion food choices, turkey and pig races, 4H livestock, the rose garden, rodeo, flower competitions, baking competitions, art, photography, quilting, historic buildings and displays and on and on.
September is the perfect time of year to enjoy our lovely fair--hope to see you there!

Codiga Center & Museum: Potatoes and wheat were once major crops of the Central Coast of California. Today these fields are growing lettuce, strawberries and raspberries. Years ago, ships and railroads, not today’s trucks, transported the agricultural bounty to markets. Come and visit our museum to learn about the people and crops that made this area so unique.

AHP’s two story California style barn is home to our exhibits, research center, archives, and gift shop, the “Country Corner.” Exhibits include “When Apples Were King,” the story of the once flourishing apple industry; “Pick Now, Eat Later,” food preservation methods for our bountiful production; “Legacy of the Vaqueros,” cattle from the Mission days to current times. There are also extensive fruit jar and milk bottle and dairy artifact displays. The upstairs Santa Cruz County room archive houses a non-circulating collection of agricultural related books, photos and an extensive collection of USDA and UC Extension Service pamphlets. Research by appointment only.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joyce's Blog Hop.........Joyce Oroz

Today I’m bopping along on a character blog hop. I was tagged by Sally Carpenter, author of The Baffled Beatlemaniac CaperThe Sinister Sitcom Caper and The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper (coming soon), mysteries published by Cozy Cat Press. Mystery lovers can find her Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries at Amazon.comVisit Sally Carpenter at


I am a Cozy Cat Press author and I want to tell you a little bit about Josephine Stuart, my protagonist and personal friend. She's my friend because she lives in my head and is the main character in the six mystery stories I have written. Josephine is a fifty-year-old widow who paints murals for a living and solves murder mysteries on the side. She is passionate about both, but usually needs help from her basset, Solow, to sniff out the bad guys and gals.

Josephine enjoys ocean breezes on five acres of grass and oaks surrounding her little house in Aromas, California. She's not much of a cook, her marigolds are dehydrated and her boyfriend next door doesn't understand her. Even her best friend and her mother do not understand her curiosity and strong sense of justice. 

Josephine is quick to judge people--miss-judge I should say, but she is also quick to come to their aid. Her latest caper takes place at the old roller rink in Santa Cruz. She begins her second day on the job, painting a large mural inside the building, when a car crashes through the outer wall, slams through the inner office and Mario sitting at his desk. The driver throws the car into reverse and quickly backs out the hole he came in.

The police and newspaper reporters all think the accident happened when a senior citizen hit the gas instead of the brake. Josephine was the only witness and knows that it was not an accident. Someone killed Mario and she tries to find the person who did it, even though she was not able to see the driver through the debris on the windshield. Read, Roller Rubout for the rest of the story.

I’ve tagged Barbara Jean Coast to continue the blog hop. 
Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. While Andrea and Heather reside in Kelowna, BC, Canada, she is a resident of Santa Lucia, California, which is eerily similar to Santa Barbara. There she enjoys long lunches, cocktail parties, fancy dinner dates with attractive and attentive gentlemen. Her interests include Alfred Hitchcock movies, reading Carolyn Keene, music by popular musicians, such Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, shopping for new dresses, attending society events and always looking fabulous in kitten heels. STRANGLED BY SILK and its follow-up, DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN, in the Poppy Cove Mystery Series are published by Cozy Cat Press. Follow her blog www.welcometopoppycove.wordpress.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/BarbaraJCoast, Friend Barbara Jean Coast and Like Poppy Cove Mysteries on Facebook  More about Barbara Jean Coast