Tag Archives: photography

June: In Review

Gosh, June, where on earth did you go? Heck, the first half of 2012, please freaking come back! It is ridiculous how fast time is passing this year. I know I say this every month, but I swear time is listening and challenging me even more with every month that passes. Curse you, Time! *shakes fist angrily*
But enough of my disappointment with time… I’m sure I’m not alone with this lost time thing, so let’s just get on to the review of what was accomplished in the short period of time known as June. 
Writing – It’s not spectacular, but at least there’s a number this month. Total: 822. I should feel ashamed, I know, but I’m just happy to have written anything. It’s summer after all and even though I was struck with the lovely shiny-new Summer Novel idea last month, I wasn’t sure I’d actually achieve anything. But the first half of that number can be applied to Summer Novel (currently being referred to Beyond the Trees), and the second half can be applied to a short story I’m working on. Something, that sadly, might make you cry, but in a good way (hopefully). 
Reading – I didn’t read nearly as many books as I’d hoped to read in June. I started more than I actually finished honestly, but I did finish four, which isn’t a terribly embarrassing number to report. Included in those four, are: The Carrie Diaries, Book 1 by Candace Bushnell, Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors, Book 1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan, and Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 1) by Charlaine Harris. *Clicking those titles will take you to my thoughts on each book*

Photography – With June being Gideon’s birthday month, and his 1st birthday no less, there were a lot of opportunities for great pictures. I’ve bundled the pictures via instagram, but clicking on them will take you to their full albums if you’re interested in seeing more. Also, crazy things happened this month in regards to my photography. Things that both excite me and scare the crap out of me. Like, PEOPLE WANT ME TO PHOTOGRAPH THEM! People I hardly even know. They’ve been asking my family and friends and even approaching me about photographing their families or children. I am feeling super honored and scared like you can’t believe. I truly hope I don’t let them down. The other crazy thing is detailed under the first picture so without further ado, June’s notable moments in pictures:
Gideon’s 1st Birthday Photo Shoot
The cupcake used for the shoot was from Cupcake Wars Winner and local bakery, “Flavor Cupcakery.” When I was buying it, I mentioned what I’d be using it for and they asked me to bring in a copy of the picture. When I posted it on their FB page the following day they were so in-love with it that they used the photo to advertise their cupcake flavors for that day! So many total strangers ‘liked’ the photo on FB. It was a really cool feeling for me.
The Huff Family
My sister, Rachel, and brother-in-law, Steve, and their most recent tattoos, and then the both of them, with Gideon, at his 1st birthday party. The last time I shot pictures of them like this was their wedding party. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already.
Gideon’s 1st Birthday Party
It was Pirate Themed, as to be expected based on the birthday invitations I shot last month. He received two of those pirate ship rides and my sister made all the adorable cupcakes and birthday cakes. Overall, it was a successful event! 
Music – As always, music never lets me down. And June was no exception. I wish I could limit this list to a more reasonable number because I know by posting as many as I’m about to post, I’m probably losing readers, but seriously, I just can’t. There were THAT many great bands in June that you MUST know about. If you pass up this list, well, you’ve totally lost out. Just saying.
Artifex Pereo – Liable for Tragedy
It’s always a wonderful thing when one of your favorite bands randomly releases a new track featuring their new singer, for no reason at all, and you love it just the same as all their other tracks with their old singer. It’s even more awesome when they offer you a link to said song for free, even when you’re willing to pay for it, just because you want to listen to it on repeat. Yeah. One of my favorite bands. You get why, right? 😉

Anthony Green – “Get Yours While You Can”

I had wanted his solo album for some time now, but the guilt over the money I’d spend to buy it always got the best of me before. This month, though, I finally let desire win over quilt and Oh, gosh, I wasn’t let down. I had no doubt that Anthony Green was talented. I was well aware of his skill with Saosin and Circa Survive, but this solo record was really something special and I am so happy to finally own it. 

Circa Survive – “Suitcase”

Technically this should probably be the last track listed since it hit me at the end of the month, but since we’re talking about Anthony Green already, I might as well follow up with this gem. Apparently Circa Survive is releasing their next own on their own and it’s coming in in AUGUST! Oh, you don’t even know my excitement over this. Seriously. Expect lots of Circa Survive come August. Just warning you. 

Grouplove – “Tongue Tied”

A friend from high school who actually participates in Music Friday on Facebook suggested I give Grouplove a listen and since their album was on sale, I went ahead and bought it. And I’ll be honest, it’s stellar. If you’re looking for that happy summer sound, Grouplove just might be the band you’re looking for. Check them out, really. 

City and Colour – “Weightless”
So many times I’d heard of this artist, but it wasn’t until this past month that I finally gave them a listen. And of the two albums I now own, I can confirm their absolute awesomeness. If you haven’t check out this artist, you’re missing out. Period. 

Imagine Dragons – “Round and Round”
After expressing my interest in City and Colour my sister exposed me to Imagine Dragons and while there’s only an EP’s worth of tracks to love, OMG, I love them all. If you like indie, and also love a little beat, this might be a band for you. I can’t wait for an entire albums worth of tracks. I’m pretty sure they won’t let me down. 

Letter Kills – “Brand New Man”
If you’ve followed me long enough you know that 1) I steal music from whoever is advertising it, and 2) rarely like a band enough to enjoy every song by them. Well, this band was stolen from the drummer of Artifex Pereo, and were they still around, they may just qualify as one of the bands I like every song by. Too bad they didn’t last. 

Of Mice & Men – “The Depths”
Of Mice & Men announced the re-issue of their album, “The Flood,” and while I already own it and have no intentions of buying the whole album all over again, I am definitely anticipating the new tracks that are slated to accompany it, especially if they’re anywhere as awesome as this one.

Chantal Claret – “Light it Up”

It really sucks that I have no youtube link for this track because I promise you it’s so worth listening to and I fear you won’t follow THIS link to actually check it out. But you really, really should. While Chantal’s solo sound will never be in league with her Morningwood sound (IMO), the modern soul thing she’s doing now is really great, and I have no regrets over buying her new album this month!
In case you missed that link above, click HERE to HEAR “Light it Up”

And so, I guess that’s all I have to report this month. It feels like I had more to say, but this is already ridiculously long, so I’m guessing I probably covered it all. What were all of you up to in June?! Please sound off in the comments. I’d love to hear all about it! 

Peace & Love – Sarah

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May: In Review

May was a pretty productive month for me. It might have not been completely productive in all the areas I like to focus on, but I’m not feeling any guilt at the end of it, as if I did nothing. For starters, I read. A lot. My theory was that if I wasn’t going to be writing again for a while, I might as well use the time to read a lot so that when writing is flowing again, I won’t feel compelled to read a bunch alongside writing. Because of this, I read seven books this month! I started an eighth too, but I didn’t get to finish it in time so it will count towards my June reads. 

Pictured above (click the titles to see my thoughts on each book over at GoodReads): Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson, Endure (Need, Book 4) by Carrie Jones, Purity by Jackson Pearce, Body & Soul (Ghost & the Goth, Book 3) by Stacey Kade, Spell Bound (Hex Hall, Book 3) by Rachel Hawkins, Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, & The Walking Dead, Book 2 by Robert Kirkman

In addition to reading a lot, I went a little wild with acquiring new music. Luckily, some of it was gifted to me by my BFF and critique partner . Her corruption is at it again, but I am hardly complaining!

First band to live on repeat in May was Thousand Foot Krutch, a Christian rock band. There were so many favorites from this band, but I’m posting the first track I knew I loved for sure.

Thousand Foot Krutch – “Go”

Then I couldn’t get enough of the Papa Roach. I had loved this band growing up, but forgot to keep up with them over the years. Thanks to Heather, I’ve caught up! And this song, which got so very many plays, could easily be used for both Crack the Sky and Dreamsters so whenever I do get back to writing them, it will be nice to have a new song on their playlists. 

Papa Roach – “Blood (Empty Promises)”

While perusing the library recently I stumbled upon some Arcade Fire albums and I know I’d heard of them, though I don’t remember where now, so I snatched them up to give a shot and oh was I happy I had. They have a really chill, summer feel to them. I’ve enjoyed many favorites this month, but the one currently holding the highest play counts is this.

Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”

I saw a fitblr I follow on tumblr mention a band they liked alongside other bands I like and Amazon had their album on sale this month so I figured I’d give it a shot. Instantly I fell in-love with this song. The album as a whole did not disappoint either.

Of Monsters and Men – “From Finner”

I’ve posted a song by this group before, a couple years ago when my sister got me into them. They released a new album this week and since it’s tone fit perfectly with the previous two bands listed I went ahead and bought it. While I don’t love it as much as their first album, it has some great tracks like this one that made it totally worth the purchase.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – “That’s What’s Up”

This last band came in at the very end of the month. A friend at work heard me listening to the three groups above and suggested I check this one out too. It’s more southern rock than indie, but it does play nicely with the indie crowd and I am already so in love with them. I’m hoping to corrupt my sister and father into liking them too. Maybe we could see them live.

Alabama Shakes – “Rise to the Sun”

I had some successful photoshoots with Gideon this month, the most successful being the birthday party invitations I already posted HERE. I imagine June will have a lot of successful shots because Gideon will be one year old! Can you believe that? How has a whole year passed so quickly already? Anyway, so that I’m not double posting, here’s a picture from my second favorite shoot. 

Lastly, you’re probably expecting me to say very little about writing. To say something along the lines of, “woe is me, when will fall be here so I can write again?” and you would have been right, but at the tail end of May I totally had an epiphany. One that I can thank my heavily indie based music choices this month for. The music feels like summer to me and I started to feel this yearning for summer as a whole which is odd considering I am totally a fall girl. But it got me thinking…. Maybe the reason I can only write in the fall and winter is because all of my books take place in the fall and winter. Maybe what I needed was a summer book. And it was like the instant I let the theory exist, a story presented itself. And over the course of a few days I had a fully fledged summer story. I’m part way through the outline/synopsis, and really hope to start writing it this month. So that I don’t jinx it yet I’ll only share that it takes place in the south (which I’ve always wanted to write a story in), and it involves the woods – both mysterious and dangerous. I really hope this isn’t some fluke that is just getting my hopes up. I’d really love to write this summer for a change! Wish me luck, please?

I’ll leave you with a preview of the two main lead girls “look” – Lorelei is 17 and Adelyn is 15. The story will be in Adelyn’s POV. 😉

So how was May for all of you? Sound off in the comments!

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Photography

Something's been on my mind a lot lately, in regards to my photography efforts. See, I study it lots. I practice it a lot, too. But the more and more I read, the more I see a trend in these beautiful pictures not just being beautiful because they were shot perfectly, but because they've been edited in photoshop or some other photo editing program. And, honestly, this bothers me. 

I rarely ever edit my photos. I might invert the photo to black and white, or add a blur effect in Instagram when I upload it there, but my photos are almost always raw and I prefer them that way. I don't even have photoshop or some sort of editing software to tamper with an image if I wanted to. 

And I think that's what makes a good photographer. Not the editing software they play with after the shoot, but the raw photos they capture in the purest forms of their camera's ability. I mean, back in the day, these editing software's didn't even exist and yet we found photos by great photographers magnificent. 

Am I alone in the theory that a good photographer doesn't need software to enhance their ability?

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Also, as a bonus, and because it's what spawned this post, today I did a photoshoot with my nephew, Gideon, for his 1st Birthday Party Invitations. Can you guys believe it's already been a year? I can't! 


Click the Photos for MORE!

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Me, the Slacker?

You’ve probably noticed I’ve failed to make an April: In Review post yet and it’s already the 12th of May…. Yeah, I’ll cover that in this post first (quickly).

        Nothing to report here, April was useless.        

Okay, no, I’m kidding. I mean I don’t have a ton of things to report, but I have a few things to reflect on. Like…

I managed to read two books, neither of which were the completion of those two books I started back in February. (Who knows when I’ll ever finish them?) You can see what I thought about the two books I did read though by clicking the title: Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, Book 3) by Sherrilyn Kenyon & The Walking Dead (Book 1 (Vol. 1-2) by Robert Kirkman 

With my birthday, Easter, and some beautiful Spring weather all going down in April, I put my camera to use more than usual and tested my photography skills on more than just Gideon for a change (though there are some adorable ones of him, too). Rather than post an excess of “favorite” pictures that will likely slow down your feed, I’ll post one from each of the albums and if you want to see more, feel free to venture to the albums by clicking each of the pictures below. 

‘A Mother-Son Bond through the Glass’
Rachel & Gideon, Easter 2012


Me in the Smithsonian Gardens, Washington DC
(Technically Heath took this, but I set up the shot)


Mariner Point Park


Best of Instagram
(Oh, yeah, I’m on Instagram now. Follow me @swhisted)

Music in April was glorious as usual. It’s one of the constants in my life that never lets me down.

Arctic Monkeys released a new track….

“Electricity”

I fell hook, line, and sinker for Four Year Strong and Circa Survive.

“Falling on You”

“Semi Constructive Criticism” 

Saosin and letlive. demanded my ears attention and are still screaming, “Play Me NOW!” despite my attempts to listen to the new loot Heather () sent me for my birthday.

“Sleepers”

“Homeless Jazz”

And I checked out a number of new (to me) stuff by bands like Cage the Elephant, Arcade Fire, and Sleeping with Sirens. (Clicking those names will take you to a song, FYI.)

The oddest song that found itself on repeat in April had to be this, though:

Sleigh Bells – “Comeback Kid”

As for writing (notice how I saved that one for last?), well it didn’t happen. At ALL. And while I’ll admit to it bothering me greatly (like self-doubt is at an all-time high), I realized that it’s Spring, and while I’d love to deny a truth I settled on last year, it means I probably won’t write anything of value or substance until Fall comes around again. The idea of this makes me feel a little insane. If you are a writer, you know what it’s like to have words trapped inside of you with no way of escaping. If you’re not, I probably just sound like a crazy person, but whatever. I really hope that I can somehow break this seasonal writer curse I seem to have placed on me, but my outlook is pretty grim.

Anyway, the real purpose of this post was to tell you what I’ve been up too because it’s been a while since I did a ‘general life’ post.

Last week I had an HBO marathon of the entire series of Bored to Death and The Game of Thrones. Bored to Death was a terribly hilarious series that was canceled too soon in my opinion. Ted Danson is a riot in it. And I’ve already seen most of Season 1 of The Game of Thrones, but I needed a refresher course before I finished what I’d missed. That show is crazy good. I’m glad I can finally keep up with it instead of having all of Twitter and Tumblr spoil it for me. I plan to finally catch up on True Blood next, as the new season begins in June and I’d like the net to not ruin it for me by still being behind.

I’ve also been watching a lot of hockey. I always keep up with the Washington Caps (my team, duh), but since they’d made it into the playoffs, I was paying even more attention than usual. Sadly, they played their last playoff game tonight. I can’t pretend I’m not disappointed, but I can at least conclude that 3rd string goalie, Braden Holtby, is amazing in the way that Olaf Kolzig was back when I first got into hockey and this thrills me. The caps would be foolish to let his talent remain in 3rd string standings come next season.

Today I just finished reading the funniest book I’ve ever read, and it’s a memoir which is not my typical read, so I’m delighted to have enjoyed it the way I did. I’m not lying when I say I’ve literally laughed out loud, to the point of tears, every couple of pages in this book. It is full of comedic value, even at times when you wouldn’t expect there to be anything funny. You should totally check it out. 

“Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” by Jenny Lawson
(otherwise known as The Bloggess)

Immediately after I started reading Carrie Jones’ ENDURE (the final NEED book) and am already half way through it. I’ll likely finish it tomorrow because it’s so great you just can’t put it down, but I’m sure I’ll regret speeding through the last book so quickly because it’s always sad saying goodbye to a great series.

My weight loss effort has been heavier than ever on my mind. In fact, I’ve become a bit obsessive about it, but like all other things in my life that I let my OCD take over, I can’t see this being a bad thing because it’s keeping me on track more than I’ve been in the past. I’ve been finding all of these people who are as big as me or even bigger who have made remarkable progress – the right way – and it inspires me greatly. If they can do it, there is no reason I can’t believe I can’t do the same. Still, the time it will take can be frustrating. There are days when I feel like I must have made a great progress and the scale has nothing positive to say to me. This can be discouraging, but overall I know I’m making healthier choices and it’s doing something really cool to my mentality. I hope I really keep it up this time. I’d love to post before and after picture with major evidence of my journey.

And, so, that’s pretty much it. My life is so exciting, right? (That’s sarcasm, obviously.) What have all of YOU been up to these days? Please sound off in the comments!

Peace – Sarah

P.S. I know I'm behind on LJ comments. I plan to work on that this week, so sorry in advance if your blog gets a ton of late love.

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March: In Review

So March was full of unexpected stresses that I handled oddly well, but it bit into my typical goals a great deal and in that manner I didn’t handle it well. I know that life sneaks up on you at times and you have to just accept it for what it is, but this month it made me sad that I wasn’t able to juggle it all.

Reading

I started several books this month, but my desire to read died as my stress level increased. Any time I tried to pick up and finish any of the books I’d started, I’d quickly put them back down feeling meh about them as a whole. I’m not sure if it just says they’re not good books or whether my mood just made them feel that way. Hopefully my urge to finish them will return in April and they won’t still have that boring feel to them.

Anyway, since it’d look too lonely being photographed alone, I’ll just link to the review for the only book I did manage to complete this month: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce.

Writing

Considering how successful I was writing last month, this is the most disappointing thing to report this month. I’d like to say that I tried hard and failed, but in most cases when I should have been trying, my brain was too fried with stress to even open my books documents. As a result my official word count for March is only 1669, and I’m pretty positive that almost 1000 of those words are total crap, likely to be deleted. I really, really hope I can come out of April with something more worthy of reporting because this month’s number is making me feel pretty pathetic right now.

Music: On Repeat

Since everything else hasn’t really been worth mentioning, I will let music get a little more shine because it certainly didn’t let me down this month!

The Black Keys – “Hell of a Season”

I kept forgetting to buy this album and finally caved at the start of March. Overall, it is a fantastic record. Every bit of it is easy to listen to; it’s music that feels like summer. I highly suggest giving it a shot.

Alex Clare – “Too Close”

I’m still not sure how I feel about dubstep. Sometimes I think I like it because it makes me want to dance and you must know how much I love to dance, but overall I can’t really see myself just listening to it to listen to it. This song isn’t completely dubstep though so I was able to just listen to it without feeling the urge to pop wherever I was. I blame Internet Explorer’s recent commercial for this song being purchased and played so many times this month. 

White Rabbits – “Danny Come Inside”

The much anticipated “Milk Famous” came out at the beginning of the month and previous posts should have made you guess I’d be snatching that up right away. The album definitely has a different feel than its predecessors, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. My favorite track so far is one I’d heard them perform back in December at the show I attended. I’m still feeling the album out for other favorites.

Chantal Claret – “Bite Your Tongue”

While I’m sad to discover that Chantal’s previous band Morningwood is officially dead, I’m excited that she’s making music on her own now, music that’s being released on an EP in April and a full album in June! As a way to lure listeners in, two songs from the upcoming album have been released, one of which, “Bite Your Tongue,” was released for free download. Because I can’t find an actual video to show you, “Bite Your Tongue,” I’m going to share the video for the other released track, which is equally as awesome anyway (I just have no way of recording how many times I've watched it – ha!).

“Pop Pop Bang Bang” *Warning: Video is a little morbid.

Alice Anna – “Standing in the Rain”

This is a local Baltimore band I stumbled upon this month and part of me wanted to love them solely for being from my home town, but even if they hadn't been I couldn’t deny their amazing talent. I bought every bit of music they’ve released and have been telling anyone I can to check them out. It’s a piano based rock band, with a lead singer with such a smooth voice. What’s not to love?

Blouse – “Time Travel”

A track that somehow slipped in at the very end of the month, suggested by a friend from tumblr. I’m not sure how much I’ll love the entire album, but there’s this great 80’s feel to this track that’s impossible not to bob your head to and step back into time with.

Photography

As always, Gideon is a nearly perfect subject for our photo shoots. I think I've trained him pretty well. There were lots of great shots this month, but I think this one is the sweetest because it captured both his dimple and bottom teeth! He is such a happy baby.

Hopefully life is finished toying with me and April will be a little more rewarding. It is my birthday month after all. That means the universe must play nice with me, right? *fingers crossed*

How successful (or not) was your March?

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February: In Review

For as short as February is, I had a pretty successful month. I worked really hard at time management this month, and the effort paid off. It’s a very gratifying feeling. With that being said, I have lots to report. :) 

 

Reading

Since I tried to focus more on writing than reading this month, I was only able to squeeze in three books. But they were great reads, all of which you can see my opinion on by clicking the links below the picture! 

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade, Queen of the Dead (Ghost and the Goth, Book 2) by Stacey Kade, and Vanish (Firelight, Book 2) by Sophie Jordan

Writing

 At the start of the month, I found myself rather addicted to the site Polyvore. After pinning (on Pinterest) a variety of outfits people had created that I felt represented my style I started thinking that creating outfits for my characters might be an awesome way to keep them visually in my head. See, often times when I’m writing I can usually associate an actor or actress who might play that character should the book ever be a movie, but with the two books I’m currently writing, I have no celeb faces to attach to the people in my head. Creating outfits based on their style though has really kept them alive this month.

 

For those curious this is what the Dreamsters cast “looks like” – 

And this is what the Crack the Sky cast “looks like” – 

I truly dedicated my weekends to writing this month and as a result wrote a total of 15,518 words (13,448 of which belong to Crack to the Sky (which, btw, is now 20,519 words long!) and 2,070 of which belong to Dreamsters). Admittedly, I’m excited about this because I’m pretty sure the last time I wrote so much in one month was probably late 2010. If I can keep up this weekend pattern of 4K+ words, there should be no reason I can’t actually finish a book this year. I really hope this wasn't a fluke and March is equally as generous to me.

 

 

Music: On Repeat

It’s been another strange month when it comes to music for me. Some days I couldn't get enough (sometimes listening to just the same song over and over again relentlessly), and then other days I preferred silence. And despite listening to a lot of new* music, I found myself craving some of the older stuff I've loved for a long time, too. Because of this, the top three played songs are sort of a happy mixture of old and new.  

*new = new to me, not necessarily new to the world

Hurt – “Rapture” 

This is a band  actually introduced me to last year (you may remember “Overdose”?), but I’m just now getting to enjoy a whole album. This song will be featured on Crack the Sky’s playlist and because of that, it got played on a loop while writing this month.

Shearwater – “Breaking the Yearling” 

Currently the most played track of the year so far with 220 plays, credit can go to for this track. While I’m still not sure how I feel about the rest of Shearwater’s music, I know I love this track without question!

Underoath – “A Fault Line, A Fault of Mine” 

This one snuck in towards the end of February. I woke up one day craving a band I’ve loved for quite some time now and once satisfying my craving, realized so many of their songs were perfect for my books. This song, in particular, got over 150 plays already while working on Crack the Sky. No doubt the play count will continue to climb until this books complete. 

**Obviously, the latest Arctic Monkeys track, "R U Mine?" has already been played equally as many times as the tracks listed above, but since I just posted it two days ago here, I didn't see a need for re-posting it. 

Photography

No, I’m not a professional, but I have been spending a great deal of time researching and learning new techniques to take my nephew’s pictures every week. Like the effort I put into writing this month, I think the effort I’m putting into being a better photographer is paying off, too. Check out the ‘Best Of’ from February of Gideon!

And that’s all from me! I can only hope to have an equally, if not more successful month in March. *fingers crossed*

How did you fare in February, friends? Anything exciting to report? 

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Anonymous Success

Lately my parents have been saying things in regards to my creative side and dreams that leave me confused and a bit sad.

First, there was all this push for self-publishing, which I have no intentions of doing (because we all know how unsuccessful that can be). I want to believe my work is good enough to actually be published by a real publishing house, not just fall back after a few queries and self-publish because I think I know I’m good enough. I have no interest in self-publishing. Period.

Then, around Christmas, when briefly explaining my old book to my father he cut me off to ask why I wasn’t using a penname. The question struck me odd because why would I? I mean I’ve even already had conversations with my fiancé about the fact that if I’m published after we’re married, that I will still use my maiden name (Whisted) instead of my married name (Harris) because 1. Whisted is a lot more unusual than Harris and 2. It’s the end of the line for the Whisted name in our family. There are no boys to carry it on. I would have thought it’d make my family proud to see the Whisted name on a bookshelf.

Last weekend both of my parents approached me about ghost writing and how they’d read that it’s one of the best jobs for older people, bringing in an income around 200K a year to write books for others, without your name being attached. They seemed to love this idea, saying that who cares if you don’t get credit for it, 200K a year is worth it. All I kept thinking was: when did this dream career hold any monetary value? It’s not about the money it will bring in. Sure, I’d love to make enough to work from home and write books for the rest of my life, but if I can’t that doesn’t automatically persuade me to just give up the dream. It’s not about making it rich. When was it ever?

And then yesterday, after having another really successful photo shoot with my nephew on Monday, I asked my parents if they’d seen the pictures. First my father said that I have all these creative abilities that I hardly take advantage of (I’m sure the piano is included in that, as if I have an option to still play when I currently don’t have a piano). When I corrected him and said that I’ve actually been studying photography lately to improve my skills and actually giving thought to taking pictures of people other than my family since I’m getting so much better he said, “That's good,” but then followed it up with, “But it’d be better if you posted these pictures anonymously. You shouldn’t need to be credited for this.” What?!  Then the same comment was thrown at me in regards to my book. He wondered why I couldn’t just be satisfied with only my family enjoying it (which is just baffling in itself since none of them read my work). It really feels like they’re trying to talk me out of my dreams or something.

I am so confused right now. I’m trying to tell myself that there’s not some deeper meaning to this sudden push for anonymity in regards to my creativity, but honestly all it feels like is that my family will be ashamed having a tie to my name if/when I make it out in the world.

What does that say about me and the talents I think I have?

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January: In Review

It’s February already? How the heck did that happen? I guess 2012 will be no different than 2011 in the way that time slips by far too fast for my taste. Because of its quick nature, it doesn’t really feel like I did anything very notable in January, but according to my “lists” (I am forever making lists), I have a few things worth reporting.

Reading

I read six books in the first two weeks of January. Six! I don’t think I was really trying to; I just got lucky that the books I chose to read were so good it made them easy to blow through quickly. 

Starstruck by Cyn Balog, Winter Town by Stephen Emond, Dull Boy by Sarah Cross, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay)

*The titles of the books above are links to my ratings & thoughts on each over at Goodreads.

Writing

I took a break from reading after the first two weeks of January and tried to channel my Crack the Sky cast to catch up on some much overdue writing. That, however, did not happen. What did happen was the attack of a new plot bunny (oh, joy, right?). 

While I was intrigued by the plot idea and cast (who, oddly enough, came toting names already which almost never happens for me), I was not interested in giving this book a shot at the moment because I do not write multiple books at the same time and I really want to finish Crack the Sky. New plot bunny didn’t care about what I wanted though and by the end of January I found myself listening to the first song(s) to make the playlist on repeat and writing a little over 2,000 words of what I’m currently calling, Dreamsters.

So I guess I am going to be working on two books side by side this year? Lord, help me.

Music: On Repeat

Music was on and off for me this month. Some days I couldn’t get enough of it, others I never even turned it on. The few songs that currently hold play counts wildly higher than the other songs that graced my ears this month include:

White Rabbits – “Heavy Metal”

Back in December I got a chance to see White Rabbits live and it was extra awesome because they played a bunch of new, unreleased tracks, all slated to be released this March on their next album, Milk Famous. This month they offered one of those new songs as a free download and not only was I quick to snatch it up, I loved it enough to let it live on repeat more than 100 times. Can’t wait for March!

*I find it sort of funny that my “on repeat” list for both this year and last starts with a White Rabbits track.

Closure in Moscow – “The Impeccable Beast”

Closure in Moscow is a band I just recently fell in-love with in the end of 2011. While I’m still enjoying their previous albums tons, I will be blessed with a new album this year too! In anticipation of the next album, they released a new single this month for free download and like the White Rabbits freebie, I just had to take advantage of this opportunity. And good thing, too, because I loved it so much I listened to nothing else but it for several days! So pumped for more!

Mindless Self Indulgence – “Tornado”

The only song of this bunch that’s definitely not new (to me or otherwise). This is the first song the Dreamsters cast claimed as their own and with claiming it, they became impossible to avoid. I have loved this song since I first heard it over 8 years ago now, but outside of my enjoyment it never had a purpose. Now it belongs to an intense and action packed scene that I can’t wait to write!

*In addition to this song, “Diabolical” from the same album was also played ad nauseam.

Photography

This isn’t usually something I boast about because Lord knows I’m no professional photographer, but I do have a fancy camera and I practice lots with it, especially on my nephew Gideon. Every week since his birth I’ve done little photo sessions with him and because of this regularity he is already very aware of the camera, almost as if he knows to pose for it. This month we had one of the best photo sessions in the seven months of his life. Not only is he such an adorable ham for the camera, the lighting and coloring were really good too making the pictures extra crisp. I’ve been researching shooting babies in particular and watching little tutorials. I think I’m getting better as a result! :)

*Click the image above to see more photos from this session

That’s pretty much it on the excitement factor for my month. I realize this is the first post of the 2012 here and I apologize for that. I’m still in that deciding phase, not sure where I should be blogging full time. I will say that I’ve been super active on Tumblr if you’re interested in more day-to-day updates from me until I figure out where I’ll blog like this more frequently. I’ll try to pop in here more often this month too.

What notable things do you have to report for January? 

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My Christmas!

My Christmas was amazing! Partially because of my nephew, Gideon, though. There is just something about watching children experience Christmas that makes it so much more rewarding. I can’t wait for next year, when he’s 1-1/2 years old and far more entertained by the event.

I truly hope all of you had as perfect of a Christmas as I had!

*If you’d like to see the rest of my family Christmas album, click HERE!