Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Effective Websites for Artists

My book, Effective Websites for Artists and Art Groups (2nd Edition) was published in 2010.

Things on the Internet change so fast that the book is already a little dated.  Rather than update the book for a 3rd edition, I've decided to post the entire contents of the book online, for free.

Although some of the details are out of date, the book is still a very useful resource.  You'll find the complete book at:

Effective Websites for Artists and Art Groups

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's Your Chinese Zodiac Sign?

The Chinese 'Zodiac' holds a strange fascination for westerners.

The animals of the zodiac are best known as part of the cycle of years.  Years of the Chinese lunar calendar are known as the "Year of the Dragon" or the "Year of the Horse."

We've added a new feature to the Chinatown Directory website to find your Chinese Zodiac sign based on your birthdate.

You can also find out about Chinese New Year celebrations in the largest Chinatowns throughout North America.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

The Magic of the California Redwoods

California's redwood forests are a glimpse into a primeval world.  The groves of ancient, towering trees have stood, virtually unchanged, for millennia.

Nestled in the heart of the redwoods is a 31-mile-long stretch of highway, the Avenue of the Giants. This road was originally built as a stagecoach and wagon road in the 1880s, and later became a state highway.

The road was bypassed by the modern Highway 101, leaving the route as a kind of time capsule. Along the avenue you'll find campgrounds and cabins dating back to the 1930's, as well as souvenir shops and attractions like the famous drive-through tree.

There's also a Redwoods Visitor's Center, and dozens of places to picnic and hike.  If you're traveling in Northern California, take the time to drive the Avenue of the Giants; it will add only a couple of hours to your trip.

Better yet, plan on spending a few days to explore the area and enjoy the incredible beauty of the ancient redwoods.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The California Missions

The California Missions are integral to the history and culture of California.  The missions were built over the period from 1769 to 1823, and they grew and evolved into some of California's most important cities.  The trail that connected the missions, El Camino Real, became California's first "highway."

I've visited 14 of the 21 missions, and each was fascinating in its own way.  My favorites include:

  • Mission San Juan Bautista, which is located in a small town and surrounded by well-preserved historical buildings.  There is also a small stretch of dirt trail that was part of the original El Camino Real.
  • Mission La Pur√≠sima Concepci√≥n, which has been restored and is now operated as a California State Historic Park.   Today it is the best example of a working mission community.

My interest in the missions eventually grew into a website, the California Mission Guide, which I continue to maintain and expand.

Recently, I packaged the information from the site into a book, a kind of "field guide" to the missions.  It's available at

Learn more about the California Missions at