That first encouragement…

When I opened this page up I had a completely different post I had planned on writing. Funny how the mind can wander and take you someplace you did not expect but you just possibly needed to go.

I remember my senior year, ’90-’91, as one that was all over the map. There was a lot of drama along with a lot of good times, just like most peoples senior years. But that year I was blessed with three amazing teachers that I still think about to this day, one of them was my English teacher named Ms. Ann Habeeb. She was passionate about literature. She made us look at it and turn it around and realize it was more than just words on a page, that it was an experience to be lived. I was always an ravenous reader who devouring anything I could find, but she made slow down and appreciate it. I learned the language of the words above and beyond the feelings they could invoke.

I had one of those moments which, years later, could only be called a turning point in her class. We had been assigned to write a story, I can’t remember the guidelines, but it was only to be about a page or so. I wrote about a deserted town and a young boy who was the only one with the power to defeat the rolling evil that was coming down the shadows of Main Street. I wrote it, turned it in and about forgot it. The next day, or maybe a few days later, Ms. Habeeb was passing the assignments back out to the class, walking up and down the rows of desks as she did. She matched the story with the writer as she handed them back, sometimes with a comment, sometimes not. When she came to me she stopped and looked down at me.

“I am so mad at you.”



The Six Month Jump…

So it’s been six months.

That’s quite awhile in the life of a blog. Blogs come and go in less time. Celebrities rise and fall. Seasons come and go…

You get the idea.

I haven’t been dead, just busy. Wife, kids, work… all been taking up some time.

But I’ve been writing.

I’ve completed four short stories and have been alternating between a couple of longer works. I’ll update the wordcounts to the right as some point in the future… well before six months is gone. Most likely in the next few days.

So, what’s new?

Well, I’ve decided to start doing book reviews again. I’ve got a few lined up, and am hopeful to get some advanced reading copies of others.

I’ve mainly been writing, but  my photography has gone to the wayside. This is intentional on my part. Sometimes you just gotta stop beating a deadhorse.

But, more on all that later.

I’m going to be reposting some Star Wars articles I wrote awhile back, well before we knew as much about the new movie as we do now. Let me know what you think.

When I post them.

Which I promise will not be in six months.


Hi there, it’s been a while…

This year has been a crazy, busy year for me and my photography. I participated in several big gigs, was offered some great opportunities, and my name was out there more than any point in probably last ten years. I turned down more jobs than I accepted, and I accepted a select few. I had a blast working with some extremely creative people, and I took time to open myself up to some new venues. Overall, it was a successful year, but not really a satisfying one.

I found out several things about myself, my photography, and people in general.

I can still perform under extreme pressure and deliver quality.

I should trust my instincts more often.

I can stand up for myself and my art.

When I stand on my convictions, my art is more satisfying.

No matter how much of professional someone puts themselves forth to be, it is their actions and how they treat others which will prove or disprove it.

Just because a person says they are listening, it doesn’t mean they are, no matter how important the conversation is.

If asking questions is seen as undermining someone’s authority, then there are issues that have nothing to do with the job at hand, much less me.

It is okay for me to set terms and conditions, and refuse or accept a proposed job based on how those terms and conditions are handled, no matter how unprofessional the other party sees it.

Some people have more faith in an unthinking tool than in the people around them.

Set your price and stick to it. Negotiations after the deal has been struck only degrade your worth.

If you don’t like the answers you are getting, then the problem may not actually be your questions, but the person giving the answers.

There are more, but these are the ones that made a big impression. Some of them may seem trivial; some of them are things we tell ourselves over and over anyway, things we swear by. The thing is, when you are standing in front of somebody with whom you are trying to work and it is a gig that you have wanted forever and a day and they start to say things that set your spidey-sense off, sometimes you just bury it and keep nodding your head, despite the uneasiness. I had several of those this year, and it took me multiple … “experiences”… to promise myself not to do that again. Trust your instincts.


Just a few more weeks in the year and I have a couple of more things to post about before I write 2014 off. Stay tuned, got some changes on the way.



A few months back I ran into an old friend.

The wife and I had been at the bookstore and this old friend walked up smiling and chatting just like we had seen each other a few days before instead the year or more it had been. He’s one of those people who always seemed gung-ho and raring to go, had a plan and was always advancing on his goal.

“Whatcha’ doing up here?” I asked.

“Picking up this magazine,” he held it up and opened it to a page toward the center. “They did an article on me and my company and I just needed to pick up a copy.” We talked for a few minutes about the article, checked out the images that were accompanying it, and he pointed out some interesting stuff about it. Then we moved on to some of the photos I had seen on his Facebook account, him with famous people, and how impressed I was.

“Well,” I said, “Looks like a must read, let me grab a copy too.”

“Cool, let me know what you think.” Then he asked, with absolutely no trace of arrogance, damnation, or a holy-than-thou attitude, with honest curiosity “How’s the photography going? You still writing?”

I hesitated for a moment. I had some good things happen with my photography as of late; a nice series of gigs with a music promoter shooting shows and a few other unrelated gigs with local musicians. I even had been collaborating with a local artist on a graphic novel. Despite the fact that I had completed the script and the artist never bothered to do any of the art for various real world reasons (is that still collaboration?) I was damn proud of the work. But, I felt, it was nothing compared to the accomplishments he had made since we had really seen each other. I told him about it, and I swear I could see just a hair of disappointment, which he quickly covered up with a flashy smile. We agreed to get together later that night at a skate park and hang out.

For the next few weeks, I watched him online through his social media accounts. He was travelling to various shows related to his business, posting pictures of himself and the people he met, showing the masses his latest work that was in the pipe, and all the time having that confident smile on his face. I admit, I was jealous; not because of what he had and was experiencing, but because I had not pulled the trigger myself to take the steps I needed to advance my own passions.

I sent him a text a few weeks ago, asking if I could get a little time to come out to his shop and photograph him and some of his latest projects. The message back was positive and inviting, and I ended up spending 6 hours in the middle of the night photographing him at work and his products. We asked questions of each other and closed the gap of time a little more. Then he brought up my own works.

“I’m just having a time getting it going.” I said. I knew it was an excuse. “I work my real world job and try and squeeze in writing time when I can, try and get out and take some photos when the obligations allow. It’s tough. An 8 plus hour day and then my family, which I love, it’s hard to make time.” He looked at me, and I knew he didn’t buy it.

“I haven’t work for anyone but myself in sixteen years.” He looked at me for a moment. “Man, you just got to get it out there! Even if you don’t feel it’s your best, get it out there, sell it, and replace it when you got something better to show!” We talked about it a little more, and I honestly felt deflated.

Now, I didn’t feel deflated because of anything he said, it was because of what I had said. His words were inspiring. Mine, on the other hand… I was using my family and the real world job as an excuse. I knew this. But this guy, without actually using the words, called me out on it. You see, while he has not been married quite as long as I have, he has more kids than me, and is younger than me.

Yea, talk about a kick to the pants.

I got home and was going over some of the photos with my wife. She was amazed, but after a little bit, sensed something was wrong. So I told her. I told her about what I had said to my friend, his reply, and how right he was.

She looked at me with that look that was known to send student into cold sweats. The, quietly, she said, “Oh, so you’ll listen to him.” then she swatted the back of my head as she got up to get a drink.

Damn, I love her.

I’ve got people in my circle of friends who are the types to go out, kill it, and bring it back to the cave. I also have the kind that waits around for the zookeeper to throw their prepared meal into the cage. I’ve decided that I want to be one of the ones who are killing it.

Wish me luck.