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The Write Alley Goes Dark to Protest SOPA & PIPA

18 Jan

The Write Alley Protests The Protect IP Act

Many websites are blacked out today Weds. January 18, 2012 to protest proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
From personal blogs to giants like WordPress and Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including this one — are asking you to help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed. Learn how this legislation will affect internet freedom and please take action.

According to Gizmodo,  “The momentum behind the anti-SOPA movement has been slow to build, but we’re finally at a saturation point. Wikipedia, BoingBoing, WordPress, TwitPic: they’ll all be dark on January 18th. An anti-SOPA rally has been planned for tomorrow afternoon in New York. The list of companies supporting SOPA is long but shrinking, thanks in no small part to the emails and phone calls they’ve received in the last few months.”

So what is SOPA? or PIPA? At first, it sounds like a good idea–it is supposed to protect content providers. But Gizmodo argues that “SOPA is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress that would grant content creators extraordinary power over the internet which would go almost comedically unchecked to the point of potentially creating an “Internet Blacklist” while exacting a huge cost from nearly every site you use daily and potentially disappearing your entire digital life while still managing to be both unnecessary and ineffective but stands a shockingly good chance of passing unless we do something about it.”

So call. Or email.

After I post this and publicize this, by 9am I am planning on joining in as well and staying off the internet today. This site will be “dark” from 8am-8pm and post a flag about the issue until January 24, 2012.

The Write Alley: 2011 in review

9 Jan

Happy New Year!

The Write Alley Highlights from 2011 included:
–travel to Egypt where I taught a writing workshop on the Nile in January
the release of my 3:15 Experiment Middle of the Night Poems From Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son from en theos press in March followed by several featured readings and positive reviews
–co-leading a “Message in a Bottle” writing workshop with Danika Dinsmore in March
–creating and officiating a wedding in May
–writing about wine and travel in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California
–researching my book on family and sustainability in the wine industry in July
–returning to school for a PhD in psychology in October
–serving on a panel about wine and food at the International Food Bloggers Conference in November
–participating all year in many online twitter tastings to review wine samples
–being featured in several articles online and in print during the year

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for my blog, The Write Alley.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,200 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I am so busy right now that I am not taking on any new projects or clients until May. However, I would be happy to meet at our earliest mutual convenience to discuss working together during May through August on your writing project whether it be a manuscript, book, blogging, family history or for business!

I hope to continue posting valuable content on a weekly basis here; for more regular updates and links about writing and social media, subscribe to my Twitter feed and “like” my page on Facebook. And of course, if you are not already, please subscribe to this blog!

I also plan to post weekly on my other blogs: Compassionate Rebel, Bikergogal, Wine Predator, and Art Predator. With my teaching load, my PhD classes, my family, and my writing projects, 2012 looks to be an exciting and busy year!

How was 2011 for you? What are looking forward to in 2012?

Tuesday Tips: Break It Down

24 May

Recently I found myself giving similar writing advice to two different people. These two women are both working on BIG projects and finding themselves overwhelmed. They have lots of content that they’re anxious to share with the world but not sure how to go about it.

“Break that big writing project down,” I recommended. “Write part of it. And blog about it along the way.”

This made sense to them and makes sense for their projects too. I had already taught one woman how to blog and to do research and organize it. For her, I suggested taking the parts that are most interesting and immediate and turn them into blog posts making her research immediately available to others online.

For the second person, (more…)

May 4 Readings & Radio

4 May

Today is a busy one! I will be giving a talk about the 3:15 Experiment and giving a reading at Ventura College then run over to give a radio interview about where we’re going on the ArtRide and read some Mother’s Day poetry from my new book, Middle of the Night Poems From Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son. Then, later in the afternoon, at 4pm I return to Ventura College to hear one of my students read in the library–her writing was selected for the College anthology VC Voices. (Congrats, Caitlin Scoles!)

Here are the details:

MAY 4 8:30am
Ventura College, Telegraph Rd, Ventura CA 93001 *** reading + discussion of 3:15 Experiment *** free + open to the public + LRC classroom (library building downstairs past the computers)

MAY 4 11am
KKZZ 1400AM Radio interview and reading in the 11am hour. Online and Live.

MAY 4 4pm
Ventura College, Telegraph Rd, Ventura CA 93001 *** VC Voices reading *** free + open to the public + LRC (library building in the library second floor)

Read on to read more about the radio program.

Tuesday Tips: Remember Radio! While I may write a lot about using social media tools here on this blog, it’s important to remember to connect and use traditional media like radio, television and print sources as well. I’ve done a lot of radio in the past and it’s lots of fun! Tomorrow Weds. April 20 around 11am I will be featured on a live radio show; you can also listen online to: Radio Buzz Women talk, Men Don’t Listen with Your Hostess S. Lyn Fairly and co-hostess Cynthia … Read More

via The Write Alley

Tues Tips: Be Generous, Lucky

3 May

For all those moms and dads out there, you may have already noticed that April and May seem to be the key month’s for school fundraisers.

You’ve been tapped to donate time, money and goods–and your friends want you to go to THEIR kid’s fundraisers too!

Plus there’s Earth Day events and garden parties and who knows what all else going on that you feel you should support.

Well, my message today is simple: Be generous.

You don’t always know the benefits. They may be personal or professional!

In our case, we got lucky: at Earth Play at Oak Grove School, my husband donated $20 and we won a big rafflel. Now we will be trying out a lot of goods and services that we wouldn’t have normally. Then the following Saturday we attended a Garden Tour and bought raffle tickets and we won tickets to the Rubicon Theater to see a show plus dinner at Aloha Steakhouse.

Then my husband donated $10 at our son’s school–and he won a prize worth $250 there too!

At our son’s school, I also put together a basket that included two signed books from en theos press (my poetry collection and Danika Dinsmore’s tween fantasy novel), a facial from my amazing aesthetician Rose Latourelle, plus a bottle of Syrah, a wine glass and a star shaped frame.

At school fundraisers, your product or service is exposed to new people as they peruse the raffle table or silent auction items. Take advantage of it! So be generous, get lucky! With goods, services and time!

Writing made easy with Writing Helper (via WordPress.com News)

27 Apr

I’m super excited about this new WordPress feature that helps me help you with your writing before you publish that blog post to the world!

If you’ve been reluctant to blog because you need help minding your p’s and q’s, need someone to make sure you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, or would like feedback on whether an image works with your text or not, connect with me by twitter or email today about how we can work together in person or online.

Whether you’re working on personal projects or for your business or career, let’s discuss today how we can improve your writing, your blogging, and your confidence!

Writing made easy with Writing Helper We know the hardest part of blogging is actually writing posts. And most blogging software,  and even word processors, do little to help writers write. Today at WordPress.com we’re  proud to announce a new kind of feature, aimed at helping the writing process, called Writing Helper. It’s a new box that appears underneath the edit box on the Add a Post Screen … Read More

via WordPress.com News

Creativity Workshop 3/24! Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai –Waves, Wines, Words

9 Mar

Writing instructors Gwendolyn Alley of Ventura, California and Danika Dinsmore of Vancouver, British Columbia join forces Thursday, March 24 to offer a unique writing workshop that engages the senses and ignites the imagination. Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai – Waves, Wines, Words, an event during Ojai’s WordFest, will take its participants on a journey that begins by the ocean near the Channel Islands Visitors Center and continues at a small family owned working ranch and winery.

Using their 40+ years of combined teaching experience, Alley and Dinsmore will draw on the exterior world of the senses to connect writers to the page. The scenery, the company, the spirit of adventure, the food, and the wine will be interwoven with thought-provoking writing prompts and conversation. (more…)

back from EGYPT

24 Jan

Now that I’m back from Egypt and about recovered from jet lag, I plan to get back on track blogging regularly, including a post about the writing workshop I taught while on a Nile Cruise!

You can read more about my trip to Egypt over at Art Predator where I will be posting pictures and stories about my adventure as soon as possible!

back from birthday bash & more in EGYPT After celebrating my birthday with the pyramids and doing two rituals with my mother’s ashes, plus visiting a lot of Temples and more, I returned from Egypt last night and I spent most of today sleeping it off… As you may have noticed, I wasn’t able to blog or get online like I had hoped while I was in Egypt. I do plan to do some blogging about my Egypt experience so stay tuned for blog posts as soon as I am more recovered from jet lag, plus a … Read More

via art predator

The Write Alley 2010 in Review: Wow!

7 Jan

This year WordPress.com did something new: they summarized the action on the blogs that use their platform and sent an email with their results. The email was formatted in such a way to make it easy to post on our blogs. (Read about my other blog Art Predator’s 2010 in review http://artpredator.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/2010-in-review/which I was able to post from my iPhone’s email!)

So how can your blog get a WOW rating in 2011? Blog regularly!

According to report on business blogging mistakes I read recently, 90% of businesses which blog daily get customers that way while if you blog less than once a month, you have a 13% chance of getting a customer. (More from that report and a link to where you can get it yourself in an upcoming blog post!)

My goal on this blog is to post daily Monday-Friday except for legal US holidays and the occasional break (like for last week’s vacation in Baja Mexico!) I achieved my goal most weeks in 2010; let’s see how I do in 2011!

It definitely helps to set a goal for how frequently you will update your blog. If you plan to blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for example, your creative self will help you! But if you blog randomly, your writer self will have a harder time than if you blog on a regular schedule. Your readers will also come to expect and look forward to your blog posts!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 93 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 60 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 42mb. That’s about a picture per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 21st with 319 views. The most popular post that day was winter solstice lunar eclipse: rituals for self, world, business!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, artpredator.wordpress.com, twitter.com, mail.yahoo.com, and mail.live.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for winter solstice rituals, lunar eclipse rituals, the write alley, how to be an effective writer, and write alley.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


winter solstice lunar eclipse: rituals for self, world, business! December 2010


Keeping Track of Friends, Unfriends & Twitter Followers November 2010


Tuesday Tips: The Writing Process & Lamott’s “Sh*tty First Drafts” June 2010


How To Be An Effective Writer: 26 Tips from Meg Maker June 2010


So “How Do I Look?” October 2010
1 comment and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

Thank you for being one of my readers and subscribers in 2010! Please join us in 2011 by subscribing to this blog and joining the conversation on facebook!

The Write Alley Goes To Egypt!

5 Jan

Sometimes you just have to say “yes.”

Well, yesterday was one of those days for me: it was a yes day when I said yes to going to Egypt with Sequoia Hamilton and to teaching three writing workshops on a cruise on the Nile. There was a last minute cancellation by one of the co-leaders and thankfully, Sequoia thought of me!

I leave for Egypt Monday January 10 and arrive on Tuesday 1-11-11 which is my birthday! More details to follow!

Learn more about Sequoia Hamilton Travels and the Sacred Journeys she leads. That’s where I found this photo, too.

Follow my Sacred Journey to Egypt by subscribing to my Art Predator blog.

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