Archive | February, 2007

If You Want to Write – Brenda Ueland

I pulled this great little book off the shelf, again, as it’s an oldie but a goodie. And I like the description on the cover: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit.

I wouldn’t have thought of it, except Guy Kawasaki recommends it on his blog for entrepreneurs, as one of the best books he’s ever read about writing. Guy’s one of the first Apple Computer advocates.

What I like, personally, is that this book confirms several principles I present in my Goosing Your Muse seminars.

For example, the late author/writing teacher, Brenda Ueland, (deceased in 1985 at the age of 93), reiterates that each of us possesses imagination, innate creativity. Some people believe that creativity is a rare gift, found only in certain people … when, in fact, it’s what you do with YOUR creativity that is the unique expression. Judging what is a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ expression is what deters most of us from continuing to grow and develop our individual art/craft.

Secondly, she reminds us of the difference between writing for the love of it versus writing with the idea of getting published or earning money from doing it. Need I tell you of the obstacles this causes each of us … to put a carrot at the end of a stick that has nothing to do with ‘art.’

Another valid reminder is about the benefit of being quiet … finding that quiet time … so memories and ideas can rise to the top. I’m sure she never would have imagined the amount of distractions each of us has today.

At any rate, I’m enjoing this book all over again, especially considering that it was first published in 1938!

It’s a quick and easy read, guaranteed to inspire you all over again, whether you’re a writer or any other kind of artist.



Pitching Your Songs to TV/Film – John Braheny at Songsalive – March 4, 2007

[Pictured: John & JoAnn Braheny with John’s book agent, Ronny Schiff, left, at the BMI-hosted book-signing party in October ’06, to celebrate the new 3rd edition of John’s best-selling book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting.]

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, come hear John Braheny‘s presentation about How to Pitch Your Songs to TV/Film.

He’ll explain differences between and relative merits of pitching to music libraries, song placement companies, music publishers or directly to music supervisors as routes to audio visual media.

What’s the role of the music supervisor in the selection process?
What kind of material works?
How is your music used?
What constitutes broadcast quality?
How do you research the users?
What are the best tip sheets for audio/visual projects worldwide?
What are the legal issues (including work-for-hire agreements with musicians and singers)? What licenses are needed?
How do you prepare and present your music?
How do you get paid?

This class will answer those questions.
Handouts include: Film/TV tip-sheet list, sample combined Synchronization/Master Use License, sample cue sheet, sample Work-For Hire Agreement.

It’s for the Songsalive workshop on Sunday, March 4th, 2007…at The Coffee Junction in Tarzana.

The event is 1:00-5:00 and, aside from his presentation, there will be time for your songs to be critiqued (by John and the participants there). Please bring your song on CD and lyric sheets! Non-members $5.

The Coffee JunctionClick for Map!
19221 Ventura Blvd. (San Fernando Valley/Los Angeles)
Tarzana, CA 91356

Songsalive is an international organization for songwriters/performers and continues to have excellent programs at each of their chapters, with guest speakers, workshops, retreats, and critique sessions. Check out how you can become involved!

Also upcoming: Sunday, April 1, 2007 — 1:00-4:00pm — The Coffee Junction — Computer guru, guest speaker/columnist/author, Douglas E. Welch, will be speaking about Podcasting – Your Own Private/Public Radio Station. Not to be missed!

You have no excuse! Superb resources are all around you!


How to Conquer Writer’s Block – The Ultimate Guide

[Photo I took in a restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia – translation on wall from the French: “I have never seen the ocean when it was the color of Laura’s eyes.” ]

Every once in a while, I discover an online resource containing more info than I can digest in one sitting, or maybe even a whole lifetime — know what I mean?

Bookmark and return often to this link about Writer’s Block:

How to Conquer Writer’s Block – The Ultimate Guide

The main site is: Bestseller Interviews — “Interviews with bestselling authors about how to write bestselling books.”



8 Irresistible Principles of Fun

[Jan. 2007 – Photo of me taken by John Braheny at an Arizona desert rest stop on I-10 … I’m gritting my teeth to smile after reading what’s posted on the sign. This is how we have fun?]

Take a minute to see this beautifully-designed animated piece (link below) about creativity. It’s so simple, yet effective:

Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun


Chema Madoz – Most Creative Photography

Sometimes I just happen upon the greatest sites.

Wish I could recall exactly how I found this one, but it contains some of the most creative photography I’ve seen in a long, long time.

And it seems I’m late to get on the bandwagon. Who knew?

Be sure to look carefully at his use of light/shadow, composition, fun choice of materials combined with his delightful sense of humor.

Chema Madoz was born in Madrid in 1958. From 1980-83 he studied Art History and photography at la Universidad Complutense and El Centro de EnseƱanza de la Imagen in Madrid. 1985 marked the year of his first solo exhibition.

And here’s a book (May 2005) about him, in case you’re looking for more. Enjoy!


What Is Foley? Sound Effects for Film/TV

The below link to an article (print and audio) on NPR (National Public Radio) is worth a special mention …

Check it out: How Hollywood Makes Noise.

It’s about one more on the long list of fascinating jobs (you rarely hear about) in the entertainment business – Foley artists. You’d really miss them if they weren’t there!

I’ve always enjoyed learning just how they make those incredible sound effects that contribute so much “life” to films and TV shows.

One of my favorites mentioned is how to make the sound of stomping through the snow. Just fill a sock with cornstarch, tie a knot to keep it closed, and squeeze. Crunch, crunch. A good microphone helps!



LIVE Online Interview with MEEE! Feb. 28 – 6pm West Coast time

Hello all,

I’ve been invited to be interviewed — including a question/answer session that YOU can participate in — “live” online, on Career Opportunities — which is a weekly online column created/written by our good friend, computer wizard, author/teacher Douglas E. Welch.

Douglas is a true Renaissance human being … exploring all areas of the computer world (to help connect us all better, or connect us to helpful tools and info) … and is an avid podcaster and enjoyer of others’ podcasts. (He also cooks, plays music, sketches a lot, is a photographer, and more …)

Here’s my first opportunity to participate in one of these … by just talking. I actually do remember when we first started with the Internet, sitting and furiously typing everything everyone said in an interview (including my own comments), as none of us had online audio capability yet …

The topic (loosely) will be about Building Your Creative Career.
Tune in (on your computer) Wednesday, February 28th, 2007, at 6pm (Los Angeles time). That’s 9pm for our East Coast friends … we’ll be on for about an hour!

In Doug’s words:
“Much like I believe that every career is a high-tech career, every career is also becoming a creative career. I’ll discuss this topic and more with JoAnn Braheny.”

The link below allows you to get “on the phone” to ask questions, make comments, with us at TalkShoe via telephone, cell or online software. Just follow the steps…

Of course, if you do happen to miss this “live” interview, you can still go back to listen or download it after it happens … just click here:

Look forward to talking with you ONLINE!!


To continue, if you love the Blues, then you’ve got to check out, where you’ll hear entertaining stories, interviews, music from all the world’s greats … both new and archived. This site is created and powered by our dear friend, John Rhys (record producer, musician, songwriter) who has deep history in the music biz and draws a devoted international audience.

You’ll want to bookmark this one for sure.

[My photo of John Rhys in Santa Monica, 2006]



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