Art of the Week: Delta Spring

Delta Spring

(Encaustic)

by Nancy Stone-Street

Delta Branch NLAPW

 

 

 


Attention Pen Women! We’d love to see your best work for possible publication as Art of the Week. Please review the general submission guidelines on our web site and then submit your work in an email to Jamie Tate at arteditor@nlapw.org. Please put Art of the Week Submission in the subject line. Thank you!

Biennial Bulletin: The Value of Membership in NLAPW, Inc.

A message from Laura Walth, 49th Biennial Chair and Des Moines Branch NLAPW President:


Attending the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. 48th Biennial in Washington, DC, changed my mind and my life. I was so close to dropping out of this organization that I asked the Des Moines Branch if they would cover my registration fee, so I could see for myself why I want to remain a member of NLAPW, Inc. It was the workshops and connecting with the other members at the luncheons that made me excited to be a member of this organization of creative women. The concerts were also very inspiring.

 

What changed my life was when Virginia Franklin Campbell asked if I would consider being the National Librarian. As exciting as that was to be offered a position on the National Board, I had to be honest: I’ve been a Reference Librarian for over 25 years and know nothing about cataloging books. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit that, but I told her it’s like a doctor who specializes in a specific medical field–that wasn’t my expertise.

 

After giving my President’s Report for our branch at the biennial meeting and mentioning that there is hope for this organization, another life changing moment happened: Virginia asked if I would be the Outreach Chair for National. As excited as I was, I knew my husband would not like the idea of me spending money to attend board meetings. As some of you know, that was one of my concerns as well. That’s when I discovered Where there’s a will, there’s a way! really works. He saw my desire and supported my decision to be involved at the National level.

 

This experience is so exciting that I am willing to learn from the past, focus on the future, and use the present to accomplish our mission. I’m having so much fun with this, it’s hard to stop thinking about all the possibilities. As a result, our Des Moines branch is gaining new members.

 

The Outreach mission of NLAPW, Inc. is to provide support and promote community-based arts and creative educational programs through our national headquarters, state associations, and branches throughout the United States.

 

 

The purpose of outreach is to advance the creative arts and increase an awareness of the need for all citizens to have access to the enjoyment of the arts and to creative endeavors. It’s my hope that more members discover the value of their membership and have the will to find a way to attend the National League of American Pen Women’s 49th Biennial in Des Moines, Iowa, from April 19th through April 22nd, 2018. This will be the first time the biennial has been held in the Midwest.

 

The photographs above show some of the women I met at the 48th Biennial in DC. There were many more that are not pictured here.

 


Please keep and eye out for more information about our upcoming 48th Biennial in Des Moines, Iowa, in upcoming issues of The Pen Woman and on our web site!

 

It’s a Creative Business: How to Use Copyright-free Images and Sound Without Getting in Trouble

This week, Rodika Tollefson discusses the importance of copyright and creative responsibility.


 

If you create art for a living, you probably feel strongly about protecting your copyrights. After all, even if all that sweat and tears went into the work for the pleasure of it, you have bills to pay.

 

I am constantly surprised how many creatives don’t think twice when the tables are turned. They think it’s perfectly okay to copy a photo from a news or stock site, or an image from social media, and use it for their own website, brochure, etc.; use a song purchased from iTunes for a video promoting their art, event, etc.; or re-purpose someone else’s painting for their book’s cover.

 

Paying 99 cents for a song for your personal music library doesn’t mean you can legally use it as a soundtrack for that great video promo you’re making, and just because it’s easy to copy and paste an image from a website or someone shared a photo on Facebook doesn’t mean you can take it for your own use.

 

This also applies to images from historic archives, including the Library of Congress, because they often have a copyright holder. In these cases, all you may need is to ask permission. Get it in writing!

 

What’s a creative with a limited budget to do in all other cases? If you need free music or images, look either for works in the public domain, or for those that have a Creative Commons license. Many photographers, musicians and artists — even professionals — freely allow others to use their work, often only in exchange for attribution.

 

Some sources of free music:

 

Some sources of free images:

 

Read the license terms carefully because even a Creative Commons license may have restrictions and specific requirements on how to give the artist credit. Some don’t allow use for commercial purposes — and even if you’re not making any money from the product, your purpose may still be considered commercial. If you can’t give attribution to the artists, many of them will let you use their work for a small fee instead.

 

One final point: Don’t let by the term “royalty-free” mislead you. It doesn’t mean “free to take.” Chances are, you need to pay a licensing fee, which comes with certain terms, just like Creative Commons (it may restrict use to news purposes, may require author credit even if you’re paying for the image, and may disallow any editing).

 

And, of course, don’t forget the best resource of all: fellow Pen Women. You may have a composer or photographer in your own branch who would be happy to share her work with you.

 

(Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney and this column isn’t intended as legal advice on copyrights. Do your own research.)

 


Rodika Tollefson is a member-at-large who has a master’s degree in digital media, which included coursework in digital media law. She’s a seasoned journalist who now provides digital media content and strategy, and is currently the editor of The Pen Woman and the National Public Relations Committee Chair.

“Book with Pencil” by winnond/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WANTED: GUEST BLOGGERS! Pen Women are invited to submit guest posts for two new series: Creative Inspirational Wisdom and It’s A Creative Business. Please visit this link for more details. We look forward to reading your material!

Art of the Week: Magenta Waters

Magenta Waters
(Oil on Canvas, 40” x 44”, based on Cape Cod waters at sunset)
by Suzanne M. Packer
Cape Cod Branch NLAPW

 

 

 


Attention Pen Women! We’d love to see your best work for possible publication as Art of the Week. Please review the general submission guidelines on our web site and then submit your work in an email to Jamie Tate at arteditor@nlapw.org. Please put Art of the Week Submission in the subject line. Thank you!

Art of the Week: View from Above

“View from Above”

Bonnie Jo Smith

Santa Clara Branch NLAPW

 

 


Attention Pen Women! We’d love to see your best work for possible publication as Art of the Week. Please review the general submission guidelines on our web site and then submit your work in an email to Jamie Tate at arteditor@nlapw.org. Please put Art of the Week Submission in the subject line. Thank you!

It’s a Creative Business: Business or Unconditional Love

This week, Ronni Miller reflects on her professional journey as a creative.


 

Business What did I know about business? I had been a stay-at-home mother, raising three children after graduation from Boston University with a liberal arts degree, and before that I was a sheltered daughter from a middle class Jewish family whose father was a lawyer and mother was an in-the-closet artist and writer.

 

Determination to achieve whatever it was you wanted had been the operative narrative around the dining room table in my home of origin.  All I ever wanted was to write, publish, marry and raise a family. Writing had been my mainstay, my plumb line since I was six years old.

 

Motherhood absorbed my energies, while creativity found a home in children’s plays I wrote for my children’s school and short stories that were stuffed in file folders. The feminist movement lit my fire, and I began to write articles and essays about the need for women to aspire to their creative potentials. A divorce propelled me into teaching English and theater in a private school, where I continued to hone my experiences by writing curriculum for my sixth and seven grade English courses. Trained in acting, I taught drama. That led to my initiation of a yearly consortium drama festival for six private schools in the area of northern New Jersey, which gave students an opportunity to showcase their talents.

 

I left teaching and landed jobs editing local newspapers and magazines, continued freelance writing and publishing in local and regional publications, and acquired rejections from national magazines that shook my confidence. All the while, I continued to raise my now high school-aged kids.

 

I worked as a temporary secretary while my children attended college, which helped supplement a freelance income so that I could finish my first novel. An epiphany happened after years of struggles to survive that led to my Write It Out® service product, now entering its twenty-fifth year. As founder and director, I facilitate workshops in the U.S., Bermuda, and Italy, guiding individuals to express feelings, memories, and experiences through writing. In my private practice as Book Midwife, I coach individuals to birth their books.

 

I’m thankful every day for that epiphany.  My students and clients have been my inspiration and motivate me to continue offering services. The Program has segued into the healthcare field; it’s used by people affected by cancer as well as those who have suffered loss and life-altering conditions, who want to document their stories in prose, poetry, and theater pieces. Seven published books remind me that joy of creating is a balm to my spirit.

 

Five suggestions to others:

 

  • Dedicate yourself and believe in your product or service.
  • Trust yourself to pursue a dream.
  • Rely on desire as your support system.
  • Listen and observe your efforts as an educational experience.
  • Incorporate your life experiences into a new profession.

 

I’ve translated the word business, still foreign to me, to mean service. That has made all the difference. You can call it business, service, profession or simply unconditional love. I call it being an entrepreneur.

 


 

Ronni Miller, award winning fiction writer, author of seven books of fiction and nonfiction, produced playwright, published essayist is the Founder and Director of Write It Out® a motivational and expressive writing program for individuals of all ages since 1992. She facilitates workshops in the US, Italy and Bermuda and has a private practice as Book Midwife. A NLAPW member since 2008, she serves as board member of her Sarasota, FL Branch and 4th Vice President of our national society. 

 

“Female Writing on Notebook” image by adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

WANTED: GUEST BLOGGERS! Pen Women are invited to submit guest posts for two new series: Creative Inspirational Wisdom and It’s A Creative Business. Please visit this link for more details. We look forward to reading your material!

 

Art of the Week: MWS: Animalia (Homage)

“MWS: Animalia (Homage),” Oil on canvas
by Barbara Peters
Topeka Branch NLAPW

 

 

Attention Pen Women! We’d love to see your best work for possible publication as Art of the Week. Please review the general submission guidelines on our web site and then submit your work in an email to Jamie Tate at arteditor@nlapw.org. Please put Art of the Week Submission in the subject line. Thank you!

 

NLAPW’s Social Media: Come & Connect with Us!

Looking for other Pen Women online? The National League of American Pen Women has expanded and consolidated its social media platform. Click on the links below to access the following sites:

 

Facebook:

Like National League of American Pen Women (Official Page)

Join NLAPW Members Only (Private Group)

Join Friends of National League of American Pen Women (Public Group, includes nonmembers)

Twitter:

Follow @NLAPW

LinkedIn:

Join the group!  National League of American Pen Women

Google+:

Add us to your circles!  National League of American Pen Women, Inc.

YouTube:

Please subscribe!  National League of American Pen Women (Official Channel)

Pinterest:

View our boards at NLAPW 

 

We also seek a few good Pen Women to assist with the management of these platforms. If you’re platform-savvy and would like to add “social media management” to your résumé of marketable skills, please contact the Publications Chair to express interest. We’d be happy to welcome you to the Publications Committee.

 

We’re looking forward to connecting with you!

Creative Inspirational Wisdom: Arranging a Personal Work Zone, Part II

Last time, guest blogger Tricia Pimental explored the merits of a creative garret. This week, she provides tips for maximizing its potential for inspiration.


 

“Mary Tyler Moore in Mafra”

 

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”

– William Faulkner

 

Last time we talked about finding a physical location—your very own garret—for creative endeavors. Now, here are seven tips to help you shape it into the perfect place of inspiration:

 

1. Find a suitable work surface

Whether it’s a table, desk, or counter, something solid is required. Your lap is for children and cats, puppies and pillows, and your laptop—but only for brief periods of time. Checking your email? Fine. Writing a key chapter in your mystery? Probably not.

 

2. Sit in a comfortable chair

Sounds obvious, right? But there’s more to it. What’s your mindset? An office chair that swivels, has armrests, and good back support can make you feel official and in charge of your writing session. Maybe you are more at home in the efficiency of a straight back chair. Are you having trouble committing to getting something on the page? Maybe the temporary nature of a stool will help you dip your toe into the literary water. Whatever you choose, make sure you have an ergonomic match to your writing surface.

 

3. Clear the clutter

Even if you subscribe to the “messy desk is the sign of genius” philosophy, your mind will be clearer if distractions are at a minimum. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo helped me enormously. You’ll never look at “stuff” the same way again.

 

4. Keep things within reach

My cell phone sits in a stand on a section of my L-shaped arrangement because I don’t want to hunt for it when it rings (assuming I haven’t turned it off). I also have three baskets at hand: one for notes on works in progress, another for electronic accessories like extra chargers, cables, and, because I live overseas, adaptors. The third is for vitamins, protein bars, and yes, chocolate.

 

5. Light up your life

Remember Tom Hanks in the opening scene of Joe versus the Volcano? Forego fluorescence and use full-spectrum light bulbs that emulate the sun. You’ll feel happier and more energetic. Similarly, because extended time in front of the computer screen is taxing, consider investing in a pair of tinted glasses designed to reduce eyestrain.

 

6. Bring on nature

Fresh flowers rejuvenate your space. The colors of yellow and orange are especially effective in stimulating the senses. Plants help counteract the energy drain from electronics like your desktop or printer. I opted for orchids, enjoying both living greens and colorful blooms in one unit.

 

7. Sights and sounds

First, sights: Open the windows, not just for fresh air, but to get inspired. I have a view of the Mafra National Palace from my office at home. It always transports me. Have you won writing, speaking, or other recognition? Put these on display on your wall or book shelf. Remind yourself that you have been, are, and will be an achiever. Don’t have any awards yet? Set a goal to get one.

As for sound, this choice is so personal, there is no rule. I have trouble with background music because I start remembering when and where I first heard a song. It’s the worst with oldies. But I have the TV—news, movie, whatever—on almost all the time. I feel like I’m missing something otherwise. I think I’m in the minority on this one, and would love to hear what you think about it.

 

I hope these suggestions will help you construct a new, or improve an existing, creative zone. If your area is public—a corner in your local library or “coffee-ing hole”—then your control over that space is obviously more limited than if you have a dedicated space in your home. Either way, you can do a lot to facilitate your process.

 


Tricia Pimental is the author of three award-winning books. Articles, short stories, and poetry have appeared in The Florida Writer, A Janela (the quarterly magazine of International Women in Portugal), International Living, and anthologies compiled by The Florida Writers Association, NLAPW, and others.  A member of FWA, NLAPW, and SAG-AFTRA, Ms. Pimental is also a former Toastmaster. Follow her on Twitter: @Tricialafille. She blogs on her website: www.triciapimental.com.

Photo provided by Tricia Pimental

WANTED: GUEST BLOGGERS! Pen Women are invited to submit guest posts for two new series: Creative Inspirational Wisdom and It’s A Creative Business. Please visit this link for more details. We look forward to reading your material!

 

Art of the Week: Pulse Source

“Pulse Source,” Acrylic on Canvas (16 x 20)

by Natica Angilly

Diablo/Alameda Branch NLAPW

Artist’s Quote:

What Tools and Materials do I like to use? Brushes, sponges, the side of hand and sometimes the stretch of my arm, help me to spread my color and textures. Rulers and tape help me define areas, lines and give a precise edge.  I like to feel connected to the work.  Acrylic, and especially the liquid acrylic spray, has a tendency to “roam.”  Pallet knife, air brush, and old perfume atomizers help me work the transparent acrylic and achieve various affects.  The assemblages are found and created objects, fabrics, paper mâché, hand sewing, and several types of glues which I gather.  Things seem to “show up” when an idea starts dancing in my head. Affecting a sense of movement is the challenge.  I like to create a look of depth or seeing beyond with multiple transparencies.  For my collages – just about anything goes!  The liquid acrylic moves and can be coaxed across the canvas, which I guide and slide into form.  Getting caught by a compelling poetic idea, motivation or directive seems to be the key.  My Heartistry series, and Pulse Source paintings, speak of dynamism, musicality and the infinite spiral staircase.  The whorls demonstrated in the inner working of some sea shells helped to give me a clue toward painted movement.  The inner spiral is often called the spiral staircase. These shapes are used to enjoy the artistic dance and also teach directed line and motion.

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Attention Pen Women! We’d love to see your best work for possible publication as Art of the Week. Please review the general submission guidelines on our web site and then submit your work in an email to Jamie Tate at arteditor@nlapw.org. Please put Art of the Week Submission in the subject line. Thank you!