Tag Archives: fall

Parker Family Fall Shoot

(Click through the slideshow below!)


Hoerr/Bittner Family Fall Shoot

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What’s Happening

I realize I’m pretty bad at this blogging thing. I go months between posts and I say that it’s partially because no one reads this blog, but maybe if I wrote more they would.  Anyway, it’s October and fall has arrived, which means I’m busier than ever and yet somehow far more productive than ever too. I don’t really understand the power the weather has over me, but in the exact moment that fall shows it’s face, everything about me changes. There’s a peace hovering around me in everything I do and my creative juices start flowing in excess, making me want to do ALL the things.


I’m not complaining.


I am, however, far busier than I’ve ever been in years past. And it’s strange because I hadn’t even planned to be, it just sort of happened. It started in September with shooting a vow renewal, a wedding, and a sunflower field. I also attended a writing conference (my first ever) and learned quite a bit about querying, finding an agent, and publishing in general. It was hosted by the Harford County Public Library and the classes were taught by published authors, agents, and small publishing houses (so, you know, people who actually know what they’re talking about). There seemed to be a heavy emphasis on self-publishing, which was a bit of a disappointment for me since I don’t intend on going that route, but overall there was a lot to be learned. I would definitely sign up for the event again. I would say, though, that the facts about publishing were a bit discouraging. I’d say it was a good way to weed out the people who are actually interested in putting forth the effort from the people with pipe dreams because the facts about just how many people try to get published vs. how many actually do is alarming. I wish I’d been brave enough to connect with a few local writers, since all of my writer friends live states away, but my introverted self was too nervous by just being there to step further outside of my comfort zone. Maybe next time.


Neff Family || Fall 2014

October’s wasting no time with the busy. Yesterday I did my first fall shoot and there are five more already scheduled. There’s also Abel’s 1st birthday shoot & party on Halloween, new cookies to bake for all my friends with October birthday’s, Halloween gifts to wrap and send out, Trunk or Treat to help with at church, a pumpkin patch to take my nephews to, and meeting Maggie Stiefvater for the second time this year at my local library (I’m far less scared this time)! Somehow, writing has to fit itself into this schedule too, because my characters are louder than usual, begging for some horror fueled attention that I really want to give them!


I have to be honest, I’m the most shocked by how heavy my photography schedule is lately. In addition to all the October shoots on the schedule there are five more scheduled for Christmas Cards already in November and December. When I made a resolution to shoot more in 2013, I was happy with the handful I did that year – with those few Christmas cards hanging on the back of my door, but I had no idea I’d more than double that in 2014 without even trying. Now I go into people’s houses and my work is actually framed on their walls and it’s a form of flattery I never imagined feeling. It amazes me that people trust me with their memories like this.


I’m sure I’ll blink and October will be over already, because that’s the unfortunate thing about my favorite time of the year. It moves too fast. But I’ll try to record the memories and report back before the month’s end. I’m going to have some cool things to share (like custom art my BFF Heather Holden is making me!) and I want to make sure I post it all while it’s still relevant.


What happening around your way these days?


Neff Family Fall Shoot 2014

A perfect October Sunday for a fall shoot!


(Click through the slideshow below!)



Take me somewhere colder, please.

The first day of Spring was last week and while it's still relatively cold here, you can feel the essence of Spring beaming on you from the sun during the peak of most days. Everyone I know is fired up over warmer days, enthusiastic about the longer lasting daylight and the prospect of our landscape coming alive again.

Everyone but me.

Don't get me wrong, Spring is pretty and it's more tolerable than Summer at least (which I loathe like the plague). But I'm a Fall/Winter girl. It's like I have the opposite of seasonal depression. I'm my happiest, most productive self when it's cold outside. So when the weather starts to show signs of change into Spring/Summer, mentally I start to drift into dark places. And I hate it.

It's especially bad here in MD because our colder months are shorter than our warmer months and those warmer months go from freezing cold to blazing heat almost overnight. There's not really a gradual shift from Winter to Summer where Spring should exist. It's disappointing.

Anyway, needless to say, my mood hasn't been all that stellar lately. My sleep schedule is still out of whack thanks to Daylights Savings and the warmer days have left me mourning over Winter's passing. So imagine my surprise and delight when I woke up to this today:

IMG_1718 [50%]
It's like Winter said, "Take that, Spring!" And I totally cheered it on all day long. I know it won't last. The temperature will continue to creep into warmer days, but it felt so good to get one last great cold day, full of snow, before I had to truly say goodbye to my favorite season(s) of the year.

October: In Review

For the first time this year, I’m not actually surprised that October was over in a flash. In fact, I’ll be surprised if the next two months don’t pass by just as quickly, if not faster. It’s just the nature of holiday season. This sucks for me since the beginning of fall marks the beginning of my favorite time of the year, but I try to not waste time moping about its fast nature and just soak up as much of it as I can while it’s here.

Writing: Even if the weather wasn’t an indicator of the changing season, I’d be able to tell it’s definitely fall because the writing bug is alive and well within me. Thank you, Autumn!

The month started off with me completing my Halloween short story. If you missed it, click HERE to read Intrusion! I’m rather fond of it and mostly because it came from a dream and while I often draw inspiration from dreams, stories rarely ever present themselves from start to finish the way this one did.

Since I finished my short story earlier than expected, I got to working on Dreamsters. After outlining the better part of the book I decided that the first two chapters I had written just didn't work so I deleted over 4K words. I haven’t added them all back yet, but I’m working on it.

Towards the end of the month we were hit with Hurricane Sandy, which left us without power for 48 hours. I used some of this powerless time to finally read my printed Crack the Sky manuscript (27 chapters worth) and see where I needed to pick it back up. It’s been a while since I read/wrote anything for Crack the Sky (like since March O_O), so I definitely needed a full read through before I could move forward. I was surprised to find that there was little to nothing I wanted to change at all, in fact I found myself captivated by the story which I hope can only be a good thing. But as I reached chapter 25, I shook my head in disturbed amusement over the remaining chapters. It is obvious to me that I must have written them when I still drank because they were horrible. The idea is there, but the execution is laughable. Needless to say, I’ve decided to can the last three chapters (3K words) and try again, not intoxicated.

So, where does that leave me for overall word count for the month? 3,895 words for October. Maybe you’re not completely wowed by that number, but I’m pretty okay with it considering it’s more than the month before. Plus, I’m hopeful that November will be even better.

Reading: For the most part I read the books I’d hoped to read this month. I am still in the middle of one unfortunately because it’s not really that good. Luckily I was smart enough not to let it keep me from other books and was able to read 7 books this month as a result! The titles of each below the picture are links to my Goodreads reviews on each book, if you’re interested.  

October Reads (Smaller)

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Gatekeepers (Dreamhouse Kings, Book 3) by Robert Liparulo
Timescape (Dreamhouse Kings, Book 4) by Robert Liparulo
Whirlwind (Dreamhouse Kings, Book 5) by Robert Liparulo
Frenzy (Dreamhouse Kings, Book 6) by Robert Liparulo
Vampire Knight, Vol. 1 by Matsuri Hino

Photography: I tried to take pictures of more than just Gideon this month. It’s fall, after all, which in my opinion is the prettiest time of the year. Because of this, I have lots to share this month! 

Gideon Pumpkin Patch
Gideon at the Pumpkin Patch

Milburn Orchard
Milburn Orchard

The Huff's
The Huff Family

Hurricane Sandy
Flooding in my walkway during Hurricane Sandy

If you’re wondering why there aren’t pictures of Gideon on Halloween, the reason is sad. As Hurricane Sandy struck Maryland, Gideon was rushed to the hospital with a 104 degree temperature and a potential meningitis scare. After several tests (including the all-painful spinal tap) they discovered an infectious sac in his neck obstructing his breathing and mobility. They decided to transfer him to the University of Maryland’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and attempt aggressive antibiotics before deciding if he needed surgery or not. Luckily, the antibiotics seem to be working, however he is still in PICU. This situation made the hurricane even worse than it already was. Halloween was nearly forgotten in the grand scheme of things, not that we could have celebrated it the way we’d intended to anyway. 

Music: It seems strange to say I don’t really have a lot to report in this area this month, but it’s sort of true. It doesn’t mean that music didn’t make me happy and that it wasn’t played non-stop like usual, it’s just that I spent more time listening to things I’ve already posted before than anything new, and mostly because Dreamsters playlist lived on repeat A LOT! But the one band I did listen to TONS was Relief in Sleep. And you’ll never believe what characters they woke up from a year long nap: The Cleaphytes. 😀

Relief in Sleep – “Collide”

Misc. Other: For anyone following my weight loss journey, I’m now officially in a smaller size of pants and at a total weight loss of 18 lbs. It’s a slow journey, I realize, but I didn’t gain the weight overnight and I won’t lose it that way either – at least not if I plan to keep it off (which I do). I’m impressed mostly in this past month to have still maintained a successful loss despite my seasonal favorite – pumpkin – being in everything. I even baked every weekend this month, but felt no obligation to keep the baked goods and found more reward in sharing them with others. I’m feeling rather proud of myself for this.

So, what kind of accomplishments did you have in October? What do you hope to achieve in November? Sound off in the comments!