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Connect Ventura Launches At Westside ArtWalk Summer 2012

19 May

The vision for Connect Ventura is a co-working space for free-lance creative entrepreneurs, a place where they can work together, bounce ideas off of each other.

The space is 50 West Main, Ventura, just West of Ventura Avenue–and the space is rapidly becoming a place as Josh Addison and others dream and vision. (more…)

Tuesday Tips: Network, network, network!

23 Aug

Last week, I joined the No More Nylons group for a Women’s Business Social at La Fonte in Ojai and I took some pictures (that’s Jodi in red).

The evening weather was glorious, the pinot grigio (pictured) cold  and excellent, my ceasar salad crisp and refreshing, and the several people who ordered pizzas were very happy (mmn the pizzas smelled so good! I’ve eaten there before and highly recommend it!)

While the location, the staff, the wine and food were all top-notch, we all really came for the company–to be in the company of a group of dynamic women in business who came to meet each other and help each other along.

I had a great conversation with Lisa Casoni who I had recommended to someone looking for a videographer. We talked about that project but then we got into discussing some other ideas. We finally had to drag ourselves off to other commitments!

Tomorrow the Women’s Business Social meets in downtown Ventura at Tutti’s just off Main at Palm. They have a courtyard also and it should be a nice warm summer night.

Tuttis off main
34 N Palm Street
Ventura, California

Women’s Business Socials always meet from 6-8pm. The next one in Ojai is Tues Sept 6 at

Ojai Beverage Company
655 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
Ojai, CA

They are held monthly locally and less often in places including New York and London.

Green Drinks in Ventura is getting off the ground again; they meet this Friday from 6-9pm at

The Refill Shoppe
1068 E. Main St.
Ventura, CA
This network gathering is also social and for people in green businesses or with green interests. Here’s the facebook event link.

Tuesday Tips: On “It’s” & “Its”

21 Jun

Here are two wonderful and important concepts from a blog post I was reading and which inspired me to write this morning:

Social Networking at it’s very foundation is building relationships with people…

Social networking at it’s finest: making friends and helping each other at the same time.

Do you know the difference between “it’s” and “its”? Chances are that you don’t. There’s even a facebook page about it’s and its (that’s where I found the graphic).

Using it is when you mean its and its when you mean it is ranks up there as the most common mistake I see in online and offline writing. My undergrad college students get it wrong and my graduate students in education got it wrong too.

This is the most common spelling, punctuation or grammar mistake that I find online. And I find at least a few examples of it every day in online publishing. In fact, as I mentioned above, this post itself is inspired by a blog post where “it’s” was used wrong more than once and both times in a headline as shown above.

(The second most common mistake? Using semi-colons–I’ll get to that next!)

Most of the time the writer who uses its/it’s wrong has strong content and writing skills (like in this case), but doesn’t know when to use “it’s” or to use “its”; these writers tend to use one or the other all the time, possibly on the false assumption they’d be correct 50% of the time. (If I was to take this strategy, I’d use “its” not “it’s,” by the way…)

Learning how to use “its” or “it’s” is one of the first orders of business when I am working with someone on writing.

So when do you use “it’s” and when do you use “its”? (more…)

TLVC Online Mag Features Gwendolyn Alley & ArtRides

3 Jun

This month’s Totally Local VC online magazine features an article about the ArtRides! Written by James Scolari, it’s based on an interview with me the other day.

Here I am, the leader of the pack, during last month’s ArtRide. Our theme was “Greaser Bicycle Ball.” Photo by Daniel Boggs.

As a writing coach who desires to work with artists and other creative folk, doing the ArtRides gets me out into the community every month to meet people and see what’s going on in our community. Yes, you could see it as networking but instead of attending an event with networkers for the sake of networking, I am participating and creating an event in my community that draws the community together to make various connections. And it’s fun! You should join us sometime–if not this month for the Seersucker Social, maybe next month for “Flower Power”! If you’re interested in learning more about the ArtRides and other fun cycling events, check out and subscribe to my blog “Bikergo Gal”.

Summer Solstice SantaCon & Seersucker Social ArtRide Tonight! Have you figured out what to wear to tonight’s Summer Solstice Seersucker Social & SantaCon ArtRide? Here are some of the seersucker separates I found: from our closets–a Betsey Johnson dress I got at a thrift store many years ago (now too small and up for borrowing!), three pairs of shorts (one pair from Patagonia–they have lots of seersucker this season!), a coat I bought on sale for my son a few years ago for a summer wedding and other d … Read More

via Bikergo Gal

Tuesday Tips: Be a Social Linchpin this week!

17 May

It’s not every day that some of the best, most creative minds doing business today gather where ever they are to discuss ways to be “linchpins” and to bring passion and ingenuity to work and to the world.

But that’s going to happen tomorrow, Wednesday May 18 because Linchpin author Seth Godin has called for a worldwide meetup of Linchpins and linchpins everywhere have responded. Find out where here. Locally, there are a number of Linchpin gatherings. I’ll be at the one organized by David Pu’u and Donna Von Hoesslin at My Florist Cafe in downtown Ventura; it starts at 7pm.

If someone else isn’t organizing a meetup in your corner of the world, do what linchpins do and make one happen!

(What’s a linchpin again? Read about linchpins here. And here. Here too. And here. Heck, just search this site and you’ll see.)

On Thursday, May 19, Jodi Womack (pictured above with Seth Godin and I) has organized another one of her wonderful No More Nylons Women’s Business Socials. (more…)

Tuesday Tips: Do More Networking!

12 Apr

There’s a new networking opportunity –and this one is for artists and the at community! What a great idea! Plus read on for two other fun networking opportunities in Ventura on Thursday and next Wednesday!

Today, Tuesday April 12, is the first in a monthly series of arts and community events in downtown Oxnard led by the formidably creative force Tracy Hudak.

ART PUB happens the 2nd “2zday” of every month  at The Kitchen on A Street in Oxnard from 5 – 7pm with an open call at 6pm for news and announcements plus $3 craft beer, wine and appetizers.

This kid friendly event invites all poets & painters, dj’s & dancers, musicians & mystics, designers & divas ~ creators and community builders of all stripes to join a MONTHLY ONGOING ARTS COMMUNITY HAPPY HOUR in Downtown Oxnard for making connections and sharing news and opportunities.

The Kitchen is family friendly and offers a full menu as well as hand-selected beers and wine. After some Art Pubs, Tracy plans to offer Sneak Peeks of various spaces and special sites in Downtown.

Also this week, Thursday April 14, Roylin Downs and Kama Sutra Closet hosts a networking event upstairs in the El Jardin courtyard in downtown Ventura–an Adult Mixer for those who like to check out the latest in toys, potions, and other sensuous couple’s items: http://www.kamasutracloset.com/index.html

I’ll be at Kama Sutra Closet Thursday from 5-7pm –my art is hanging on the walls, plus I’ll have broadsides and my new books for sale. I’ll be changing out the at soon so please come see this show while it’s up.

Next Weds, April 20, the Ventura’s Women’s Business Social meets from 6-8pm at Jonathan’s on Main across from the Mission in downtown Ventura.

See you around!

Tuesday Tips: Focus Time, Break Time & Linchpin Time!

29 Mar

On his blog last Wednesday, Seth Godin asked: Are you making something?

Making something is work, says Godin and work is making something “that has a lasting value in the market.”

How much measurable work do you get done in a day? What do you make? Godin points out that “More and more, we’re finding it easy to get engaged with activities that feel like work, but aren’t.”

I can relate to this. I’m on the computer all day and often into the night but am I actually making more than comments and posting links of cool stuff I find on facebook?

Most of us use “the same device to do our work as we are to distract ourselves from our work,” says Godin.

The solution he suggests is to use one device for work, and a second for play, commenting, shopping–all those other activities you do on your computer and online that aren’t “real” work–where you’re not actually making something.

Sounds like a great idea to me, but I will be the first to admit that I doubt I will follow it.

What I am taking away from his blog post is the admonition to recognize the difference between actually making something on the computer and doing something on the computer. Starting today, starting now, I am going to challenge myself to spend more of my time and energy making “stuff” that I can actually “ship”–from a cleaner house to more writing.

I am also going to be clear about when I am making connections and supporting my community using social media and when I’m just piddling my day away. So, to once again quote Godin,

Go, make something. We need it!

PS Speaking of Godin, tonight is Linchpin night for Ventura area Linchpins! Learn more about Linchpins–the group and the book–here. The gathering is at 7pm at the Watermark on Chestnut and Main. I’ll have to miss it –I’ll be at the Cobalt Cafe in Canoga Park where Danika Dinsmore is featuring and I’ll be reading in the open mic.

Tuesday Tips: Celebrate International Women’s Day’s 100 Anniversary March 8

8 Mar

March 8  is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating  the economic, political and social achievements of women past,  present and future. The first IWD event was held one hundred years ago, in 1911. According to the International Women’s Day site, it began when women’s oppression and inequality spurred women  to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,  Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status  of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

Find out what’s going on for International Women’s Day’s in your area. (more…)

Tuesday Tips: More Heads are Better Than One on Skype

22 Feb

As I was working on getting information together for the Ojai WordFest writing workshops “Message in a Bottle: Ocean to Ojai” that I am leading with Danika Dinsmore, author of Brigitta of the White Forest, I realized that even though all the details weren’t set, I needed a flyer so I set to work. I thought it was all right, and when I showed it to my husband he thought it was great.

But since more heads are always better than one, I used Skype to see what Danika thought. I emailed her the draft and we talked about it on Skype.

As a writer, I am used to using email as a tool for getting feedback. But about a month ago, Danika walked me through using Skype and I LOVE IT! We skype all the time now; it’s a wonderful tool for communicating with someone–especially someone like Danika who lives in another country. While sometimes we use the video component, we mostly just talk.

Then last night, Tod McCoy of en theos press, Danika and I were working on an en theos ad for the Ojai WordFest Book Fair program Saturday March 19 from 10-4pm. We all got on a Skype group chat and in no time we had that ad figured out.

The take away lesson here: more heads are better than one! Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback or to brainstorm with other people. And if you need more than a little bit of help, or if you don’t have other writers or readers to turn to who can give you substantial constructive criticism, contact me for coaching. We can work on video skype, skype chat, in person, by phone or by email.

See you at WordFest March 19-27, 2011!

Ojai’s Literary Conference “WordFest” Starts March 19

10 Feb

I went to Egypt with Sequoia Hamilton, one of the founders of WordFest, so it probably comes as no surprise that I’m getting deeply involved in this nine day literary extravaganza taking place in the cozy town of Ojai, California from March 19-27, 2011. Registration will begin soon!

In fact, once I caught up with my jet lag, when I haven’t been catching up on blogging, I’ve been thinking about, writing about, and discussing both online and in person various ideas for WordFest!

I’ve attended a number of writers and poetry conferences over the years from the Taos Poetry Circus to Squaw Valley Writers Conference to Seattle Poetry Festival, and I’ve organized my fair share of writerly events too, including hosting Spoken Word Salon for five years. I really enjoy meeting and talking with writers and attending workshops and panels. I also love being a part of events like this–from volunteering to hosting to organizing to presenting.

For Ojai Wordfest 2011, I’ve proposed several different ideas including writing workshops to be held on a whale watching cruise and writing workshops at a winery to an introduction to social media for writers and an advanced blogging workshop for writers who are also bloggers.

I’ll also be doing some readings from my new 3:15 experiment poetry collection, participating in the book, hosting open mics, and helping fellow en theos press writer Danika Dinsmore with her poetry boot camp.

So stay tuned for more news about Ojai’s WordFest 2011! It’s going to be HUGE!

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