There’s still time to be a part of the La Mesa Oktoberfest

Booths and banner placements inside the beer garden at the 42nd Annual La Mesa Oktoberfest are still available. Contact for more information.  Over 100,000 people are expected to attend this popular event.


Was Father Junipero Serra A Friend To The Indians?

Pope Francis’ scheduled arrival in the United States to canonize the Franciscan missionary Junipero Serra this month has sparked controversy about whether Serra was a saint or was responsible for many deaths to Native Americans.

Jim Downs spent five years researching and writing about the Mission San Luis Rey to produce the book The Real World of Mission San Luis Rey.   Purchase book through this link. Downs will discuss the controversial history of Mission San Luis Rey at three events in San Diego this September.


Make Sure To Grab Your Spot At San Diego Writers, Ink’s Annual Fundraiser Blazing Laptops Or Support My Page

It’s going to be another great year of fundraising efforts for the San Diego Writers Ink’s Blazing Laptops event. I’ve signed up to raise funds and hope you will consider donating to a great writing center community in San Diego.  Come out to my spontaneous writing prompt session on Tuesday, May 26 at noon Details Here and just by showing up and paying the regular $5 fee you’ll be contributing to the fund.
Go to my fundraising page here Click Here To Go To Page.
Here’s more information about the fun event.
The excitement is building for San Diego Writers, Ink’s (SDWI) annual fundraiser Blazing Laptops. The all day writing marathon helps support writing programs for the non-profit. Twenty-three participants have already signed up for the event on June 7, and the group has achieved 15% of its fundraising goal so far. Spots have filled in past years because of the energy of writing as part of a community and the extra events and food scheduled throughout the day. It is a day to support SDWI but the writers gain a lot too, which is evidenced by many of them returning year after year.
If you’re wondering why you should sign up or support someone who is participating, there are a lot of good reasons. For one, if you go to any of the workshops or classes the group facilitates you might overhear a comment about how this literary community is unique and not available in many other cities. Another reason might be that you finally author that novel on your life goals list or help someone fulfill his or hers. Finally, the group is a non-profit so it’s a great reason for a tax break.

SDWI has various incentives that fundraising writers can win for registering for the marathon or reaching fundraising goals. Prizes include lunch with a published author or editor (10 local authors have signed up to meet with someone who wins this incentive), copies of SDWI’s award-winning anthology, t-shirts or book bags, signed books, and entries into raffles to be drawn on the day of the event. All marathon writers also get a certificate of participation and get to enjoy the day of the marathon with free breakfast and lunch plus chair yoga, a short lunch talk, and other fun.

Many of the writers participating also offer incentives to those who donate to them. One writer has promised to sing karaoke in public with the largest donor choosing the song to be performed. Other writers do thank you notes or take writing prompt suggestions from donors. Team Ink, made up of SDWI staff, is offering a small handmade booklet featuring the lines of a sonnet to any donor of $100 or more to their fundraising page.


A New Book About the Mission San Luis Rey

 By Kenneth Noonan, member of Old Mission San Luis Rey Historic Foundation
The full story of Mission San Luis Rey is now complete with publication of the new book, The Real World of Mission San Luis Rey, published by the Old Mission San Luis Rey Historical Foundation.  Author, educator and historian Jim Downs of Oceanside spent the last five years researching and writing the book in order to counter extremist points of view about the Mission and the Franciscans as well as the native Americans of the San Luis Rey River Valley.  Downs, who admits he knew little about the Mission before writing the book researched archives and met with archaeologists, authors and Native Americans to educate himself. His book includes the real story of the Mission and Mission Indians from the period of the Spanish arrival and the Mexican and California periods as well.A book about the Mission would not be credible without the story of how Friar Junipero Serra founded the mission system.  The first six chapters focus on this aspect and how it impacted the Native Americans and their culture.  As the canonization of Father Serra nears this story about our own Mission San Luis Rey becomes even more relevant to us.Proceeds from sales of the book will go to support the work of The Foundation; the maintenance and preservation of the old Mission and education of the public about our Mission San Luis Rey.Available soon in bookstores or now by clicking here.

Check out the Facebook Page and keep updated by liking it.  Facebook


No Cost Writing Events Scheduled All Day During Bookfair Fundraiser

A full day of no cost events is scheduled for the San Diego Writers, Ink’s (SDWI) fundraiser at the Barnes & Noble’s Point Loma Bookstar location on Saturday, March 7. Starting at 11 a.m. hear about the Junipero Serra controversy by author Jim Downs of the recently published The Real World of Mission San Luis Rey. About the book

At noon, participate in a writing prompt session with SDWI’s Brown Bag facilitator Janene Roberts. Brown Bag (at SDWI every Tuesday at noon) is a time for writing practice where participants are invited to write to a given prompt; writing free from editing and critique. No experience necessary. About Janene

At one, listen to a reading from T. Greenwood’s new book The Forever Bridge. Greenwood is the author of eight novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. Her novel TWO RIVERS was named Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards in 2009, and her novel GRACE won the same award in 2012. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks. Her eighth novel, BODIES OF WATER, was released last fall. She teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer’s, Ink.  About T. Greenwood

Following the Forever Bridge reading at 2 p.m., get a peek into how to pitch your book idea with Jennifer Silva Redmond. As Redmond states, “’What’s your book about?”’ We get asked that question all the time, but most of us spend very little time figuring out how to effectively answer it. Pitching your book is key to selling it—whether you are an author-entrepreneur-publisher or are pitching your book to agents and editors.” Jennifer is a long-time acquisitions editor and popular “Pitch Witch”. She will listen to one-minute book pitches and work her “magic” on them.  About Redmond

Later that afternoon at 3 p.m. and then again at 5 p.m. participate in more writing practice exercises with Writers by the Beach host Louise Julig at 3 p.m. Writers by the Beach regularly meets at the Encinitas Library Thursdays at 11 a.m. About Louise

Judy Reeves, founder of Brown Bag and Host of Thursday Writers (at Lestats West every Thursday at 5 p.m.) will host a writing prompt session at 5 p.m. Thursday Writers drop in for lively and fast-paced writing practice sessions where they can expect evocative prompts to get their pen moving. There is focused time for writing in a safe and friendly community of like-minded writers.  About Judy

The daylong event will end with live three-minute stories from DimeStories’ writers. Dime Stories are three-minute stories (prose, not poetry) read by the author. They’re funny. They’re heart-rending. Fictional or factual, they’re always true. Readings will go from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. that evening. DimeStories meets every 2nd Friday at SDWI.  About DimeStories

Participants attending the event are encouraged to support the group by buying books that day at the store. Purchases that day in-store or online, and online through Wednesday, March 11, will earn San Diego Writers, Ink a 10-15% cash reward. Use code 11567120 for the percentage to be applied to SDWI. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bookstar is located at 3150 Rosecrans Place, Point Loma. For more information and details (Some restrictions apply) or to print out a voucher for purchases go to


Help Keep Christmas in La Mesa

Here’s an opportunity to be a part of the La Mesa Christmas in the Village event in La Mesa, California. Did you know that there are only a few events left in San Diego that use Christmas in their name?

The La Mesa Christmas in the Village celebrates Christmas by turning La Mesa Boulevard into a Victorian-era village with lots of pretty lights and shows throughout the evening as well as a parade that starts at 5 p.m. each night of the event.

You or your business can be a part of the celebration by becoming a sponsor.  Ad exposure and booth space come with each of the sponsor levels included here, but we’re open to any level of giving you’d like.  It’s a great way to be a part of a local community effort that is being promoted throughout the San Diego market. Please make out checks to LMVMA and send your sponsorship to:  Attn:  Janene c/o La Mesa Merchant’s Association, 8030 La Mesa Boulevard, PMB#176, La Mesa, CA  91942.  Thank you.


Develop Your Writing Skills

Are you someone that has always wanted to write a novel but has never taken the time, or you started one and never picked it back up again? Maybe you’re charged with writing your company’s newsletter but you haven’t been formally trained in prose. There are a few opportunities coming up that might be of interest to you.  Every other week I host Tuesday Brown Bag at the San Diego Writers, Ink from noon to 1 p.m.. The sessions are geared to get your writing hand moving and creating content with a prompt. Some of the Brown Baggers have gone on to become New York Times Bestselling authors. Go here for more information. Brown Bag

If you already have some writing done and want feedback, I will be hosting a once-a-month Sunday Evening Read & Critique. It starts the last Sunday of this month, September 28.  We’ll be eating and critiquing simultaneously. It should be fun.  Go here for more information. Sunday Critique

Or, if you just want to check out all that San Diego Writers, Ink has to offer, you can attend one session or an entire weekend of writing and related workshops with a finale reading from Barbarella Fokos’ new book Diary of a Diva, this weekend September 12-14. And, I’m teaching a class on low cost ways to promote your creative projects Fall For Writing


Sponsor the La Mesa Christmas in the Village

Your business can be a part of the La Mesa Christmas in the Village event December 12 and 13, 2014. Booths start at $200 for both evenings, sponsorship packages are also available, or ask how you can be a part of the Christmas Parade.  Efforts are underway to televise the parade this year.  Contact for more information.


Hispanic Audience Growth

According to Nielsen ratings, “Hispanics have the highest propensity to listen to the radio of any ethnic group.”  The research firm’s findings reported “94.2 percent of all Hispanics (aged 12+) listen to the radio during the week.”  Nielsen found the most significant growth in Hispanic radio listening was during the morning drive time (6-10 a.m). It would appear that with the growth of so many vehicles to consume media that radio listenership would be on the decrease, but surprisingly Nielsen found that “Radio consumption across the U.S. continues to grow, as nearly 92 percent of Americans 12 or older are tuning in each week. That’s 244.4 million of us, a record high.”

The top 5 Markets in the U.S. for Hispanic TV Viewing according to Nielsen are the following.

1.  Los Angeles

2.  New York

3.  Miami-Ft. Lauderdale

4.  Houston

5.  Dallas-Ft. Worth

Note: Since we’re located in San Diego, that market ranks 12th.



Writing Blog Posts That Get Attention

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts lately are suggesting looking at Google Trends to see what people are searching for and then writing a blog post on that same theme. So how can your target audience relate to some of these trends?  Recently, the top trends on Google Trends were.

1.  Joan Rivers

2.  NFL

3.  Dancing with the Stars

4.  Gustavo Cerati

5.  Federer

6.  Beyonce

7.  Josh Gordon

8. Russell Wilson

9.  Johnathan Bennett

10.  Andy Murray

You can look at the trends for a longer period than just a few days to see if they’re consistent and not just a one time fluke. Dancing with the Stars, for example, has been a highly rated prime TV show for a long time.  In March 2014 the ABC show garnered 15.4 million viewers nationally and was ranked #2 after CBS’s NCIS.  Maybe your business can’t afford to air a national ad on Dancing with the Stars, but you can find other ways to be associated with the show. There are pre-roll ads that can be placed locally in front of the show as viewers watch online, or you can write a blog post showing how one of the dancers used your product on their hair while on the show. Get creative.  You just might find a way to have a connection with these top trends while potentially increasing traffic to your site.