I Love Little Kittens & I Hate Poison Oak

Beauty needs no reward.


I love little kittens and I hate poison oak. Turns out, I ended up with more than cat scratches last weekend. Aidan—my son—and David, a friend, and I had just finished a long day working at our 12 acre organic lemon and avocado grove.

Shoveling tons of dirt into the back of my truck, chain-sawing railroad ties, and stacking retaining wall bricks, we were building an entertainment patio space for our grove artist getaways. What could have been a long hot day had been minimized by a cool, soothing breeze that drifted over the rolling country hills from the Pacific. And so, it was just a long day lifting heavy things with lunch, laughter and a few water breaks.

At the end of the day, after locking our chain-link gate, we drove down the narrow road that borders our property. We quickly came to a halt by a small blue car stopped in the middle of the road. Two Hispanic ladies stood outside the car, peering into the bushes.

Tell Me Your Story

Your Story Adds Beauty to the World

Tell me your story and I’ll tell you mine. This past summer, I went to the Eastern Congo to discover and film stories of beauty and hope coming out of a desperate and war-torn land. There’s a whole lot of pain and brokenness in the Eastern Congo, a place the United Nations has called, “the rape capital of the world.”

In my travels, I heard gut-wrenching stories and met the victims of atrocities so horrific that I won’t repeat them to certain family and friends. Truly terrible and horrific stories.

But that’s not the end of the story. There’s more to it, you see…

3 Steps to Marketing Your Art

business plan concept

How can you take solid, deliberate steps to market your art with confidence and professionalism? In this guest post by artist and marketing consultant, Margot Rogers, you will learn 3 practical steps to help you market your art in a way that fits for you. If you’d like more tools to cultivate your marketing skills, I’d like to invite you to join me this Thursday, September 19 when I interview Margot for Marketing Your Art with Margot Rogers. This one-hour online class (phone and web) by The Grove Center for the Arts & Media will be packed with practical information designed to help you cultivate your marketing skills. I hope you can join us. Margot writes…

Dare to Fail Greatly

With your art, are you willing to fail greatly? In your life, do you have a deep inner conviction that you really are on the right track? Even though it all may blow up in your face? Are you willing to appear wrong because what you’re doing is right?  Even if you’re doing the unthinkable, will you forge ahead even though you may fail? Our willingness to risk great things and fail in the process says a lot about our faith and who we are. Read on…



3 Key Qualities of Every Olympic Athlete

[L]ike many of you, I have loved watching the Olympic athletes compete in London. My family and I have viewed more television in the past two weeks than the entire year. Staying up to midnight, watching the Olympics has completely messed up my sleeping schedule. (Not a good thing as I train for my first Half-Ironman.)


Whether it’s beach volleyball, gymnastics, diving, track & field, badminton…you name the sport, what makes the Olympics so inspirational to me are three key qualities I see in every athlete. Who isn’t inspired by their intensity of focus, discipline, commitment and the sacrifices these athletes have made to get to London? We could name many, but here are three key qualities of every Olympic athlete that can make a big difference in your life as well. Read on…

Welcome to Art, Life & Faith by Joey O’Connor

Maybe it’s a bit redundant to say “Welcome to my new Welcome Video,” but welcome! I thought it was about time to develop a more personalized introduction to my Art, Life & Faith blog, so I took a few minutes to create this video to engage with you in a different way.  Whether you stop by on a regular basis or if it’s your first time here, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch this video to learn more about why I created Art, Life & Faith.

A Must-Have Screenwriting Book

If you’re a screenwriter or you want to write screenplays, you need this screenwriting book: The Hollywood Standard. Yes, this one book. Why? You can read dozens of screenwriting books and spend months laboring over a great screenplay, but if you don’t read The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style by Christopher Riley, you’re script probably won’t get past those infamous Hollywood readers. Hands down, this is the BEST book I’ve read about script format and style.

When I’m writing, I literally keep this book right next to me. Here’s what makes this a great book…