Friday, November 13, 2015

AHA Holiday Art Festival.......Joyce Oroz

Holiday Art Festival

Of all the events in Aromas, my favorite is the annual Holiday Art Festival, 
Saturday, November 21st and Sunday November 22nd. What a wonderful 
way to spend a day in the newly refurbished Aromas Grange, by the fire, 
sipping hot cider, surrounded by artwork. This year the Aromas Hills Artisans 
are going beyond just baked goods and hot drinks, all the way to lunch.
Moving on from the fireplace and food, visitors will have opportunities 
to learn a craft and make something wonderful to take home. Christine West 
will offer instruction on making multi-layered cards, Diedra Kmetovic will 
demonstrate making an easy scarf or God’s eye ornament and Andrea McCann 
will show us how to make cards with relief printing. Kay will offer guidance 
in painting with wax to make greeting cards. They are so beautiful!
Back to the main event, the Aroma Grange has a large room that will be 
chock full of booths loaded with original art such as wood carvings, embroidery, 
silver jewelry, fused glass, stained glass, pottery, succulents, garden art, quilts, 
paintings, photography, greeting cards, handmade Christmas ornaments and 
fabric gifts and local authors selling their books. My latest book in the Josephine 
Stuart Mystery Series will be available at a special Holiday price. Debra Smith 
will be signing her wonderful teen fantasy books. 
As if that’s not enough, tickets 
for the raffle will be on sale until 
Sunday at 2:00. 
The prizes are wonderful pieces 
of art donated by the Aromas Hills 
It is an amazing collection of paintings, 
pottery, carved wood, jewelry and 
much more.
This is a festival you won’t want to miss. 
The lovely little town of Aromas 
is located just off  highway 129, 
halfway between Watsonville and 
highway 101. 
While you’re in town, check out the six AHA murals. One of them is new this year. 
I’ll give you a hint—it’s at the library. See you there!
For information call Kay at 831-594-0033

Monday, November 2, 2015

Boris Joyce Oroz

Here is a sneak preview of Scent of a $windle

Chapter One

Barely awake Sunday morning, September fifth, I stumbled down an unfamiliar hallway, moving toward glints of moonlight from a bank of kitchen windows. Why was my cell phone ringing at three a.m.? “Should have left it by the bed,” I grumbled to Solow. Images of emergencies, disasters and my elderly parents shot through sleep-deprived brain cells. I found my purse hooked on a chair and frantically fumbled through the clutter inside, tossing aside tissues, receipts, gum wrappers, a checkbook, a half-eaten power bar and some loose change.
Solow put his nose to the back door and barked.
“Not now, I have to answer…oh darn it; it’s going to be a message.” I put the cell phone down, let my basset out the back door and thought I found a light switch, but it turned out to be a garbage disposal that jarred the bananas out of me. As I stood by the door waiting for Solow to reappear, my hand found the real light switch.
“What in Sam Hill?” a voice screamed.
“Quiet, bird!” I snapped at the large cockatoo perched on a dowel stretching across his three-foot by three-foot by six-foot tall wire cage, wedged between a loaded china cabinet on the left and a fearful portrait of Tom Trippy’s grandmother on the right. Solow and I were in the Trippys’ home at three in the morning because I had agreed to babysit their house and a newly-acquired cockatoo named Boris, better known as Bad Boy.
“Sorry, Boris, calm down, and don’t screech at me!” Clutching the phone in one hand, I pushed the light switch down. Instantly, quiet darkness returned. I let Solow back into the kitchen and felt my way along the hall to my assigned room, a three-hundred-square-foot guest bedroom featuring rosewood furniture with fancy silk, lace and ruffled accessories. Fancy had no place in my “normal” life as a country girl artist.
White carpet prevailed in the four-thousand-square-foot, single-story house on top of a knoll in Prunedale, California. Tom and Lois Trippy had planned a thirty-day trip to Europe long before they’d unexpectedly inherited Boris from their neighbor at the bottom of the hill. Their neighbor, ninety-seven-year-old Henry Hobblestone had died from an accidental gunshot wound, the local newspaper reported. “The elderly man was obviously cleaning his rifle when it accidentally went off.”
Henry had promised to give Lois his bird when he died. Or maybe he made Lois promise to take the bird if he died. Either way, Lois was tied to the care of an eighteen-year-old snowy white cockatoo with peach-colored cheeks and under-wings. After forty years of a childless marriage with no pets and plenty of white carpet, the Trippy life style would certainly change now that Boris had arrived.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bill McQuary's Joyce Oroz

I am here today to talk about passion. Without passion books would be dull, 
paintings blah and life would be lived in black and white instead of Technicolor. 
Whenever you read an especially good story or see a painting that captures your 
soul, you can bet the creator of such work loved the creative process. 
When all the skill and passion come 
together perfectly, we have lift-off, the “aha” moment, a faster heart beat.
Speaking of passion and creativity, I want to tell you about Bill McQuary, 
a valued member of the Aromas Hills Artisans group. He and his wife Edita 
live in Watsonville, where he creates pictures of Yosemite with paint on 
canvas and pen on paper drawings suitable for framing. More than suitable, 
beautiful would be more like it. Much of his work represents scenes of 
Yosemite because Bill is an avid hiker, in love with the most 
amazing park in California or anywhere.

Bill began his artistic adventure when he was thirteen years old with a 
paint-by-number picture. His neighbor encouraged him to paint and by the 
time he was a senior in high school he knew he wanted to major in art. 
He attended West Hills College in Coalinga, 
California where he was active in sports, especially basketball, music, 
jazz and “the big bands” in particular and of course art.
Bill went on to study at Fresno State under artist, Darwin Musselman. 
He earned a BA in art and went on to the San Francisco Art Institute 
where he studied abstract art and figure drawing. The abstract art loosened
up his work, although Bill is best known for his realistic style.
Many people are able to find a career where they can use their art training,
but Bill was able to use his training working for US Geological Survey. 
He worked as a technical illustrator for the scientists. 
King Huber was a scientist for Yosemite Valley, working on plate-tech-tonics.
Bill later went to work for FEMA and after that held interesting positions at 
Mono Lake and then with the Parks dept. His love of art and music never 
wavered. He studied art history for many years—most of his life, actually. 
Frederick Edmond Church is one of his favorite American artists. 
He believes that America, especially the western states have inspired great 
landscaping because of their diversity and grandeur. 
As an avid nature-lover, Bill hikes, 
backpacks, photographs and sketches 
the Sierras. When he is at home in 
Watsonville, outside on his patio, 
he turns the sketches and photographs 
into beautiful paintings.
Bill is currently working as a 
docent at the Di Young Museum in San 
Francisco, helping visitors to be 
inspired by great artists, learn from 
the past and study contemporary artists 
such as Larry Hill.
If you would like to drop Bill a line:
A call to AHA artisans! I have openings for interviews. 
Please contact me at

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Great Joyce Riley

By Joyce Riley
I am sorry to see October go,
To look ahead at rain and snow,
To see another red leaf falling
And hear the last, late bluebird calling.
I’m sorry for our garden bed,
For frost on roses and pumpkin heads,
For shorter days and longer nights,
Our stove’s voracious appetite.
Still, there is much to be grateful for:
A cord of wood outside our door,
A fire in the fire place,
A cozy bed, a warm embrace,
Soon, the silence of snowflakes falling,
The telephone, a neighbor calling.
When November slips from sight
I will settle down to read and write,
Remembering that winter brings,
The promise of another spring.

                                                         Cuddle-up, winter's coming

There’s a touch of autumn in the air,
Not much but it is there,
Soothing a sun parched land.
There’s a ripple in the trees.
Tired leaves are touched
And tinted by a gold tipped hand.
The painter’s hand is crimson, now.
Transforming leaves and boughs
From a dusty green to gold and umber.
Frost turns the landscape into flame
And game obeys an urge
Awakened from its slumber.
There’s a touch of winter in the air,
Not much, but the trees are bare
And geese have flown from sight
Now, where the picnic table stood
Fire wood is stacked and ready
To give us warmth and fire light.
Autumn’s story, now completed,
Will, in time, be repeated.

I trace them ‘til bright beams of light
Sweep the tears and rain from sight.
                                                            I smell the rain coming!

Thank you, Joyce Riley for your lovely poems.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Author Joyce Oroz: Joyce Oroz

Author Joyce Oroz: Joyce Oroz: What if the Hokey-Pokey really is what it’s all about? Actually I took the hokey-pokey from my latest book, Roller Rubout.  If you ... Joyce Oroz

What if the Hokey-Pokey really is what it’s all about?
Actually I took the hokey-pokey from my latest book, Roller Rubout. 
If you have ever skated at a roller rink, you probably know all about 
the hokey-pokey. But I doubt your rink was as exciting as the one in 
Santa Cruz where Josephine is painting a mural.

For some, the old Roller Rink has its charm. 
Sometimes I hold real still, close my eyes and 
feel the memories. I picture the skaters 
rounding the turn at the far end of the rink. 
The floor vibrates as the pack roars toward 
me and turns, rounding the corner in 
complete unison like a school of sardines 
chased by a hungry shark. The roar dies 
down for a moment, and then increases as 
the pack takes the curve again, close to 
where I sit.

And then there is the sub-pack, younger and less astute 
skaters who wobble around the rink, clunkity clunck, sticking 
close to the rails. One or two rounds of plodding and they’re 
Funny how people clump together. I see a roomy rink, but 
most of the skaters are packed together, yet careful to 
leave a bit of elbow room. And then the final song of the 
evening, the Hokey-Pokey. After the Hokey-Pokey, the 
pack disperses.

I recently watched Capitola’s famous rowboat races. 
Two rowboats, each carrying a couple half-grown 
children, race each other around a buoy about ten 
yards away and ten yards back. What could happen?
Two little boats churned across a placid, duck 
infested river. The boats automatically bunch together 
like Siamese twins, twisting their ores together until they 
come to a full stop.  Yes, one boat finally finished first. 
But what fun would it be for the spectators without 
boat-bunching and ore-tangling?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Author Joyce Oroz: Big Jim had a Dream.........Joyce Oroz

Author Joyce Oroz: Big Jim had a Dream.........Joyce Oroz: Today it's me, the computer and my old friend, Author Big Jim Williams. He says he had a dream he wants to share. I love the way he squi...