Welcome to IdeaJones.com

Articles, radio stories, ads, columns, corporate communications, novels or scripts – we’re never short of ideas. You can see some of our designs in our Redbubble shop. 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 (like 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.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving, Whoever and Wherever You Are

rainbow-heart-circle-neon-ideajones This is long for a post. It doesn’t start out so thankful, but it gets there. As I was telling friends, the other day I spoke with a friend who’s a therapist. She told me she’s working overtime every day because she’s getting referrals from people, LGBT, immigrants, etc., who are losing sleep, scared, worried, to the point where it’s harming their health.

As a relative used to say, “This is some shit.” Mark and I talked about what she said, and wondered whatever happened to minding one’s own business? I mean, a lot of things make me uncomfortable. People in Spandex out in public. Dudes who wear their underwear high and their pants low and so baggy they look like toddlers toting full diapers. Daddy Long Legs spiders.  I have a list.

But.

So long as whatever it is involves consenting adults and nobody’s underaged, under the influence or under coercion, if I don’t have to watch or help, it’s not my business. If it’s legal but it makes me uncomfortable, I get to feel how I feel and avoid it if I can, but when I can’t, the rules of courtesy apply. I don’t get to make that person feel ridiculed, or worse yet, threatened because I’m uncomfortable. My discomfort is not the litmus test by which other human beings must live.

I’ll be straight up here… I don’t get the transgendered thing. I don’t disapprove or approve… I just don’t get it. But I don’t have to. That person is still a person and he/she has a legal right to be who he/she is, and let me say it one more time… *it’s none of my business and I would treat that person with respect.* Because that person is a person, and so am I. My courtesy toward another human being is not dependent on my approval of how he’s living his life. You don’t have to pass a test for me to treat you decently.

You can be okay with me even if I don’t understand how you live your life. I don’t have to. Not my job. It’s not required and I don’t have time to freeze my life until I can make sense of all the things human beings do/are. So if it’s not for me, I keep my nose out of it, wish whoever it is well, and honor that person’s basic humanity.

Anyone who thinks that giving someone else respect and courtesy depends on approving of how that person lives his or her life doesn’t understand respect, or courtesy, or that how you treat people says a hell of a lot more about you than about them.

So what is it I’m thankful for? I’m thankful for people like my friend, who does a difficult job that only gets more difficult during stressful times. She does it with humor, intelligence and compassion.

I’m thankful that mom introduced the idea that I have a variety of options available when dealing with other people, and one of them is to keep my nose out of their business. As mom used to say, “Several billion people would have trouble walking through life hand in hand, so it’s okay that not everyone cottons to everyone else.” But she also told me that just because someone wasn’t for me didn’t mean he had no value at all.

I’m thankful for a minister who, when I was young and impressionable, told us that God loves everyone, even the people we disagree with or dislike. He told us that to deny another person’s dignity was to reduce our own. You don’t have to share my faith to share that idea.

I’m thankful that my life includes people who are intelligent, engaged in the world, passionate, and yet respectful even to people they disagree with.

And I’m thankful for you. You’ve read this far. You’re willing to at least consider what I have to say. You are interested in the world around you and art and other people or you wouldn’t even be here. We may disagree with each other about some things, even some important things, and yet find common ground.

As my friend Mary says, “You are awesome! Own it! Own it!” And you are.

And so are other people, even people who do things that neither you nor I understand. Most people are decent. Confusing, confounding, but decent. And nobody has a monopoly on human decency, intelligence, kindness or worthiness. There’s enough for all of us.

That’s a lot to be thankful for.

Save

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How To Save Your Own Life

hate-is-a-choice-ideajones(Or Break Your Own Heart).

It’s been a scary year. No matter which side of the fence you were on, or if you chose to stay home, or when offered a choice between A and B you decided to order a mongoose, someone has called you a deluded moron, either online or to your face.

We’ve been played, dear ones. And we’re still being played.

We were encouraged to be angry and suspicious of each other. To believe that *our* side held the golden ticket to the 100% pure, diamond-studded Answer From On High, and the people on the other side were idiots, deranged, dangerous, barely human. If you found yourself saying (insert group of your choice) are (stupid, crazy, dangerous, unpatriotic, selfish, lazy, whatever insult you’ve got), say it with me now, “Baaaaaaaa!” We’re growing wool, dear ones.

Doesn’t matter what party you belong to or if you don’t belong to a party at all. If you criticized not the candidates, but their followers, you got played. Because those people you’ve been calling names? They’re the same people you’re going to have to work with if anything is going to get better. No group is big enough to do it alone. And no group is large enough to do it despite the others. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We may have come to this country on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.” He wasn’t wrong.

The riots going on? No matter what party we belong to, we own those. If you’re a Republican, and you spent this last year saying “they” don’t love this country, or “they” want to take away jobs and don’t care about what’s important or are just blindly following the party line, you personally asked your neighbors to refuse to accept it if the GOP candidate won and fight to protect themselves. If you didn’t stand up and loudly refuse to go along when candidates and supporters called other people a threat, then you bought a piece of the discord going on now.

Democrat? Spent the year ridiculing supporters on the other side, saying they’re dangerous, stupid, crazy or all three and want to throw the country back to the Stone Age? Congrats, you helped solidify the opposition’s support and gave those people no good way to simply change their minds.

Third party voter or nonvoter? By not bothering to find out how the Electoral College works, you turned yourself into a cipher. You removed yourself from the process and made it that much easier for the powers that be to ignore you.

If you got this far, first off, thanks, you’re a brave soul. And yes, I count myself in the “us” that screwed everything up. We all belong to this club.

Mason Cooley said “Enjoy an insult as you deliver it, before you learn its cost.” Congratulations, you win a riot, and you win a riot, and we all win a riot! Yay for us?

So what’s next, dear ones? Where do we go from here? What do we want done? Let’s be clear — no matter who won, that person would still be an insider gaming the system. Not that whoever it is would wish you ill, but chances are his first priority would be pleasing the people who got him there. He’s willing to do you some good if it does him no harm.

So let’s not leave it up to whoever’s in charge. Leaders can only lead if followers follow — otherwise that “leader” is just a person going it alone. Talk to your neighbors, yes, even the ones you disagree with. What do you want in your community?  What can you agree on? Find that stuff, take all this wild energy we seem to possess, and let’s get to work. Together.

One thing to remember is that when you’re hurting or unhappy and someone tells you the problem is *that* person *over there,* it’s usually to deflect you from noticing that at least part of the problem is right there, pointing at someone else. People who genuinely want to help you don’t waste time getting you to blame somebody else. They help you.

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The Pumpkin Dance

https://youtu.be/TxthoEideajones-happy-jackmkNi4

Happy Halloween! The link above is to a short (under a minute) video I created to the music of our friends Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers. Mark asked for a bit of animation, so there’s a bit of limited animation in there. Hope your holiday is all kinds of fun — Jj

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Happy H-OWL-oween!

Celebrating the bird of Halloween, the Owl, with owl trivia:

Did you know that a group of owls is called a “parliament of owls?” Probably because they

This is "Harvest Moon," a digital painting based on my acrylic painting, "The Night Watch."

This is “Harvest Moon,” a digital painting based on my acrylic painting, “The Night Watch.”

seem so dignified most of the time (not that most parliaments, or congresses, are all that dignified, but we can hope).

There are over 150 species of owls in the world and some say there are over 200 (depends on how you classify them).

There are owls on every continent except Antarctica.

And owl’s eye is not a sphere. It’s more of a tube, which helps give them better depth perception. They al

My second owl painting, The Night Watch. The first, Did Someone Say Lunch?, is on a market umbrella sold at a charity auction.

My second owl painting, The Night Watch. The first, Did Someone Say Lunch?, is on a market umbrella sold at a charity auction.

so have binocular vision, like humans.

Some owls have “ear tufts” of feathers on their heads — but they aren’t ears. They may be used to communicate (to signal mood, for example). They also help with camouflage.

That flattened facial shape that owls have? It helps funnel sound to their ears.

Owls have three eyelids — one for blinking, one that closes for sleep, and another that cleans the eye.

Owl feet have two toes facing forward and two back (with some rotation). This is called having “zygodactyl” feet.

The largest recorded owl fossil, Orinmegalonyx oteroi, stood about three feet tall (so how big were mice back then?).

A painting and poem from our Redbubble.com shop.

A painting and poem from our Redbubble.com shop.

The moment just before takeoff. Ready to fly, but not yet in the air.

The moment just before takeoff. Ready to fly, but not yet in the air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neon Owl bright against the night sky.

Neon Owl bright against the night sky.

If you’re looking for something “owly,” check out our shop at Redbubble.com

 

 

At our Redbubble shop, you can find tees, purses and tote bags, all sorts of stuff to keep you flying.

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Pumpkin Dances and Good Vibrations

ideajones-happy-jackI created this short video as a holiday greeting for our Facebook page. It’s set to the music of Mick Martin & The Blues Rockers.

 

Fortunately, we have good working relationships with a few artists who allow us to use their music for non-commercial projects.

 

Too often, what could be a good moment, or a good project, goes down in flames for lack of basic courtesy. Case in point…

My friend Janice and I volunteered to hand out information for a charity at a concert. We wanted to go to the concert (The Monkees, supporting their “Good Times” cd and the band’s 50th anniversary). The charity, The Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation, supports a herd of horses left behind by one of the founding members of the band (Davy Jones).

We wanted to approach people who came for the concert and tell them about the charity. From the venue’s perspective, this can go very wrong. We could have arrived and just started approaching people in line — people who might not have want to be bothered. We might have slowed down the line of people entering for the concert, talking to people who were interested, and making things harder on the people charged with seating the audience and getting the show started.

Janice and I went the day before, explained what we were going to do, and asked who we should speak with. Because we approached the people at the venue when they weren’t too busy to talk to us, and asked politely (1) if we could and (2) how they’d like us to do it, they were receptive.

Eventually, we spoke with the head of Operations for the venue and he had the staff set up a table and chairs for us inside, and allowed us to enter early to set up. We were told a few times by various people at the venue that they appreciated how we went about it — that we asked beforehand, and were mindful of not wanting to interrupt the jobs other people needed to do. They checked on us a few times to see if we needed anything. When the wind picked up, they even taped the back of our poster to our table so we wouldn’t have to chase it.

Janice and I had a great time. Lots of people who are fans of Davy Jones learned about his charity, and we enjoyed the concert. We also enjoyed working with the staff at Vino Robles.

Which is how Mark and I approached people about using their music for videos. We did it far enough ahead so that nobody was rushed, explained what we wanted to do briefly and clearly, and asked permission. It sounds simple, but I’ve seen people just charge ahead without asking more times than I can count — and it usually doesn’t end well.

Mom used to say “Respect other people’s work and don’t get in the way of it.” Good manners are good sense. They don’t guarantee you’ll get a “yes,” but they take a lot of obstacles out of the way and make that “yes” more likely.

Btw, I can’t say enough about Vino Robles, which is a lovely venue, and Paso Robles, a lovely small town on the California coast. If you’re making vacation plans, it’s worth checking their event calendar, picking a concert, and making a trip. We stayed at the Best Western Black Oaks, which was clean, comfortable and has a friendly, efficient staff.

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