Welcome to IdeaJones.com

Articles, radio stories, ads, columns, corporate communications, novels or scripts – we’re never short of ideas. We also have a small shop at Etsy.com.


Joey Jones is the published author and editor of many newspaper and magazine articles, radio stories, advertisements and commentaries, and has ghostwritten everything from speeches to love letters. She is a past Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting semifinalist and Fade In: Screenwriting Awards quarterfinalist. She also gathers sound and conducts interviews as a freelance field producer in the Sacramento area, and her on-air performance as “The Dying Fish” can be heard in the Water Education commercial series.

Mark Jones makes a living producing radio shows (check out Connections on Capital Public Radio’s Music Station). As Martin Jenkins, he’s heard weekday evenings on CapRadio’s four news stations, and Sunday mornings on 91.3FM KUOP Stockton/Modesto. Mark has also sung, acted and directed local theater and TV.


We’re about the story. Whether it’s the facts and figures of nonfiction, or the deeper truth of fiction, we want to find just the right words, sounds, and/or images to get it across.

We’re also about the process. “Do the work right, and on time.” Life’s too short to make things harder than they have to be.


Like IdeaJones on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter:

Posted in Books, IdeaJones, Screenplays | 5 Comments

Doing Your Civic Doody

We will never forget this election year. Oh, we'll try, but we'll never forget.

We will never forget this election year. Oh, we’ll try, but we’ll never forget.

Lord, I’m looking forward to the end of this election.

I envy people who came of age in the 60s. Who knows what kind of President JFK would have been long-term, but they at least had the chance to be idealistic.

It was bad enough when the “bleeding heart liberals” faced off against the “heartless right-wingers.” The language has gotten harsher. This time, it sounds as if all sides believe the other side is no longer human, not just mistaken, but evil. Only one side gets heard in the end, because the winning side continues to paint the losing side as tainted, untouchable. We’re giving up the ability to become one country after the votes are tallied.

While I’ve spoken out about the issues and the candidates in this election, I’ve tried to avoid demonizing or deifying any side. Back someone into a corner, and his only way out is to fight you. Everyone is worried, scared, tense and tired. Not the best condition in which to make decisions. We have to leave each other room to negotiate our shared future regardless of who wins the election.

My tolerance does not extend to the candidates themselves and their handlers. One especially. I understand how someone could support Donald Trump in the beginning, and once there, with people saying you’re stupid or worse, switching requires eating a huge slice of humble pie. They didn’t leave you any way out with your pride intact.

But if you can do it, if you can manage to choke down that much humility and admit he fooled you, know that at least one person admires you for that. It is hard to say you’re wrong. I hate admitting I’m wrong. So if you look at the way he hasn’t released his tax records when he’s the only candidate in decades not to do that, the way he says things and then says he didn’t say them when they’ve been recorded and it’s irrefutable that he did, if you can see that you thought you were getting a can-do businessman, but what he’s selling you is a hazardous, toxic man-baby who would lie to your face, use you and discard you in a  heartbeat, then I and every other reasonable, decent person in this country, possibly around the world, will owe you our respect.  Everyone gets fooled from time to time, but it takes a lot to admit it.

It’s not you I don’t respect — it’s him. You’re not evil. You’re not stupid. You got conned. It happens to most of us. Even if you can’t quite admit it publicly, which is even harder, admit it when you vote your ballot and kick this toxic con artist where it will pain him most — in his ego. You’re in the position to give him the lesson he desperately needs.

And once it’s over, we all need to put down our darts and knives and come together to keep our government working on the problems we need it to handle. So those who have been demonizing the opposition will have to swallow those “I told you so’s” unsaid, refrain from saying or posting that perfect insult, stop being unmitigated asshats, and work for the common good without name-calling. Mason Cooley once said, “Enjoy an insult as you deliver it, before you learn its cost.” The people you demonize will not work with you. If you want things to get better, you’re going to have to leave those witty barbs unsaid.

We need to get back to working with each other, talking to each other, and admiring posts of each others’ lunches and pets. It won’t be easy, but it will feel good.

If we’ve ever wanted to be superheroes, now’s our chance.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back To The 60s

This poster, just finished, celebrates some great 60s memories.

This poster, just finished, celebrates some great 60s memories.

This is the 50th anniversary year of a lot of 60s stuff:

The Monkees tv show (and band) launched September of 1966;

Star Trek (the original) debuted the same year;

The Chevrolet Camaro, The National Historic Preservation Act (preserving sites with historic significance in the U.S.), the last official Beatles concert, the Batman tv series, and Francie, the Barbie doll’s “hipper” cousin, all made their bows in 1966.

I was in kindergarten and Mom said that my older sister would be taking me to see The Monkees in San Francisco, CA the following January. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.  They were playing The Cow Palace and I hadn’t been there. They were playing San Francisco and I hadn’t been there (even though we lived in Santa Cruz, which isn’t that far away). And they were The Monkees. I played their records until they were so fuzzy it sounded like static.

Then Mom told me the concert had been canceled. Someone was sick. That was that.

Well, that wasn’t really that — Mom lied. I think she got a look at the chaos that was the audience at a Monkees concert and decided that she didn’t want her five-year-old daughter to be trampled to death. Or my sister, who was a hippie, adamantly refused to take me. I’ll never know. Either way, it would be years before I’d hear them live. I got to see “the Threekees,” which is any three members of the band, a couple of times in the 80s. Those times it was Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones. The shows were a lot of fun. I even got pranked by Davy, which is a very special memory for me.

This year, Mark took me to see “the Threekees” again, in Monterey. Initially it was to have been “the Twokees,” in this case Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz, but Mike Nesmith came onstage for the last part of the concert. It was in an old “golden age” movie theater, The beautiful Golden State Theatre in Monterey, and we got to meet up with friends. Thanks to our friend Janice, we even ended up center stage, second row, and we had a lot of fun. And while I didn’t get to see them in San Francisco, I will be seeing them in Paso Robles, CA with Janice — which is why Mark and I made this poster.

Davy Jones died suddenly, leaving his daughters and a herd of horses, some of them rescues, behind. Horses are expensive to maintain (I grew up with them and it’s both labor-intensive and expensive to keep a horse), and his daughters set up a charity to keep their father’s little herd together. As my time in fandom comes to a close, it seemed like the right note to do something to support the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Fund. So Janice and I will be out in front of the theater before the show, passing out information.

This poster of Davy Jones is also a nod to one of my favorite artists of the 60s, Peter Max. I’ve been a fan of his work since I was a little kid.  It’s colorful, flowing, and when I was a kid in Santa Cruz, psychedelic art was everywhere. Of course, I was much too young for the “tune in, turn on, drop out” 60s, but the aesthetic was in magazines, on tv, in the music, clothes, movies…  Since Max’s work and The Monkees both came out of the 60s, it seemed right to mix a bit of Peter Max into the style. I’ve also got a thing for stained glass. Most often associated with churches, there’s something about stained glass that makes the subject more of a statement.

Stained glass is bold in its use of color and light, but fragile. It also forces the eye and brain to do one of the things they do best — find patterns. The face here is rendered minimally, but it’s clear what and who it is.

So I’ll be standing around this weekend in Paso Robles, hoping this encourages people to approach us and get information about Davy Jones’s charity (yep, official charity, 501(c)3, I checked), and making people smile. If you’re in the area I hope you stop by!



Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We thank you, they thank you…

(Quick note — if you haven’t gone to Rebubble.com and signed up for their emails, you really should. For example, they have a sitewide 20% sale going today. Getting great stuff from talented artists is wonderful, but getting a deal on it? Awesome!).

If you've made a purchase from us, you've helped a refugee start a new life in America!

If you’ve made a purchase from us, you’ve helped a refugee start a new life in America!

If you’ve bought anything from our Redbubble store, or from our Etsy store, in the past three months, you just did something very cool.

Four times a year, we take 25% of everything we’ve sold and buy something for a charity. Right now, we’re supporting Opening Doors, a charity that helps refugees resettling in California. These people arrive in the U.S. with next to nothing. They’re often fleeing violence and the threat of death, so they don’t get to bring much. The charity finds them housing and helps them get started with language classes, help navigating getting the kids into school, how to get around using public transportation, etc.

So what did you do? You helped buy bus passes so that people who don’t have the money even to ride the bus can get to the doctor, or get the kids enrolled in school, or buy groceries. Often refugees arrive from places that don’t have much in the way of public transportation, and they don’t know the city. Volunteers show them how to use public transit to get where they need to go, taking them to appointments. It makes a new and intimidating place just a bit more familiar.

Opening Doors also collects items for “welcome kits,” including pots and pans, dishes, etc. When it’s time to turn part of our sales into donations, we contact the charity and ask what they need most. This time, Opening Doors asked for bus passes, so that’s what we donated.

We. Not just Mark and me… if you bought anything from us in the last three months, you’re part of “we.” You bought bus passes and donated them to a charity. You are part of the day someone gets a bus pass, leaving $7 in his or her budget for food, or school supplies for the kids, or medicine.

So thank you. We thank you, and they thank you. Enjoy being a patron of the arts (buying something from a small arts business like ours makes you a patron of the arts), and a humanitarian. As a friend of ours says, “You are awesome! Own it! Own it!”

Posted in Art, IdeaJones | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pop Music, Pop Art

stained-glass-monkees-2-ideajonesThis being the 50th anniversary of the launch of both The Monkees and Star Trek on tv, I’ve been enjoying the shows again and revisiting the music that surrounded me as a kid. It was like life had a soundtrack. There were radios on (and thankfully, not the booming bass we get subjected to now. It was just music, not an assault on the people around you) in the car, in the house. We had portable transistor radios that gave us tinny versions of the popular songs, portable record players (a big deal with the record player in the living room was a substantial piece of furniture)…  stores weren’t always full of Muzak warbling The Living Strings play Jimmy Hendricks Very Softly, but there was music almost everywhere you went.

Listening to The Beach Boys, Chad & Jeremy, The Hollies, The Grass Roots, The Monkees, etc. takes me back to a very happy time in my life. I can smell the redwood trees and hear the ocean. For a moment, I’m riding my horse through a forest vibrating with life, singing along with the radio, young, strong and joyful.

While I do get the need for people to express whatever they’re feeling, good or bad, love or anger, I realize now that whatever you listen to most often will be what brings back memories later. Had I listened to a lot of angry music back then, those would be the memories that would come back to me now. As it is, I just have to put on a certain song to be transported out of whatever is bothering me to a better moment, and I’m grateful for that.

I was creating fan art for a while, using the projects as practice to improve my skills, posting them to amuse friends. I’m not doing it much any more, but I did create this to celebrate the wonderful, infectious pop music of the 60s. This is how that bouncy, fun music makes me feel. I think it’s fitting that this print is available on, among other things, a miniskirt.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Working Dark

Working with old photos is an art in itself.

Working with old photos is an art in itself.

I don’t usually create dark, moody artwork. Perhaps there are elements of “Simran: Altar of Memory” which are bittersweet, even sad (it’s about dementia, after all), but it’s not spooky. Recently, however, I decided to work with old tintypes and photos my grandmother gave me, and one in particular just seemed to pick up on the fact that it’ll be Halloween soon.

This started with a scan of that old tintype. I work with old photos from time to time, healing scratches, brightening faded images. Working with this photo, I tried to heal some of the damage of time while only brightening it enough to reveal details. Once I did, I discovered details I wanted to emphasize, like the skull in the lower left. This might not have been a skull at the time the photo was taken, but when the image emerged in working with it, that became the theme of the picture, so I repeated it.

That led to other repetitions. Ordinarily, I would smooth out the background, eliminating visual “stutter.” In this case, I cause the stutter. Patterns repeat in the background, in the setting, giving the photo a cluttered, neurotic feeling.

When it felt like I’d reached that point, I turned it into a digital watercolor and continued painting, sometimes pixel by pixel. As I worked, I gave him a backstory. A brave boy, the son of parents who hunt the things that go bump in the night, he is comfortable in the graveyard, knowing his parents have banished evil and confident that one day, he will take his place beside them.

His image is available in our IdeaJones Redbubble shop.

Posted in Art, IdeaJones, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment