Links last updated 1/1/16
When I got serious about wanting to write songs, the first thing I did was join West Cost Songwriters. (Back then, they were called the Northern California Songwriter's Association.) This organization offers many resources to the songwriter, including songwriting classes, judged open mics, and song screenings (where people who shop songs to the film, TV, and recording industries listen to members' songs). They're at westcoastsongwriters.org.
When I lived in Sunnyvale, I frequently attended open mics hosted by South Bay Folks, a group of acoustically inclined musicians in the San Jose, CA area. They're at southbayfolks.org. I don't make it down there as often after moving to Hayward, but I still think they're one of the best groups around.
Several members of my family are involved in creative pursuits.
My husband Gary's all-around artistry website, which includes stained and etched glass designs, murals, illustrations, cover art for my CDs, and more: garyleeparks.com
My dad's award-winning computer art: john-art.com
My aunt's and uncle's paintings: littlelavatelli.net
My sister's blog for her award-winning quilts: websterquilt.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html
My stepmother doesn't have a blog or website for her award-winning quilts, but search for "Kathy Shier Quilts" and you'll find quite a few.
Working and Bad Boss Blues - Related Links
For those who barely get by: Nickel and Dimed
For those who do better but still find work humiliating at best: dilbert.com
World in His Pocket and This Town Is Dead - Related Links
This movie goes into much greater detail than I can in a three-minute song: thecorporation.tv
Here's a company that's a leader in striving to do the right thing: interfaceglobal.com
Playing God and Messiah Refugee - Related Links
I recommend this book, which attempts to be balanced in describing the academic cult controversy: Misunderstanding Cults: Searching for Objectivity in a Controversial Field.
Some of my favorite cult websites are freedomofmind.com, icsahome.com, and xenu.net.
If you really want cults in a nutshell, though, a short video called Mind Control Made Easy explains it all. It's funny in a twisted sort of way.
Kill His Memory - Related Links
For those seeking to recover from past abuse: snapnetwork.org
Fade to Black - Related Links
Here's an excellent recovery website with a holistic approach that includes nutrition: myaddiction.com
Here's another very inclusive website on recovery: soberrecovery.com
Here are nationwide databases of recovery resources: treatment4addiction.com and withdrawal.net
Here are resources that are local: treatment4addiction.com/rehab/california/ and very local: withdrawal.net/resources/withdrawal/hayward-ca/
Other Ways to Fight - Related Links
This site documents the hidden heroes who saved Jews from the Holocaust: holocaustrescuers.com. Other websites on moral courage are globalethics.org and moralcourage.org.
I Will Be Remembered - Related Links
The Northern California chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt is a good place to start learning about Egyptology: www.arce-nc.org. The chapter sponsors monthly lectures at the University of California at Berkeley. Gary and I are members.
Taking the First - Related Links
Here is Schoolhouse Rock, which inspired my song: schoolhouserock.tv
This organization is bringing First Amendment rights into the Internet age: freepress.net
Sisters and Strangers - Related Links
I recommend these two books on family relations: The Perfect Sister and I Only Say This Because I Love You
Beth Doesn't Know - Related Links
Beth's mom recommends these resources for parents of kids with Down's Syndrome: National Down Syndrome Society and National Association for Down Syndrome. For transgender issues, she recommends Laura's Playground. For families with gay or transgender members, there's PFLAG.