Fun with Self-Promotion. #photoshoot

I like the fact that most of Stephen King’s author photos include him wearing a t-shirt and sometimes a leather jacket.  They don’t always shows his pants, but I assume they are jeans except for the one photo I saw with him in a tux.  He is a good example of what the author business is really about.  It is about the writer being a good writer, and I am aspiring to that.  It doesn’t matter that my hair can’t be symmetrical!

Seriously, I have no business wearing a power suit for my author photos.  It is just not me.  I wore those briefly as a retail manager in the 1990s, at a time when I could still wear heels and pantyhose didn’t make me feel claustrophobic.  I also had a better waistline.  Twenty years later, sciatica sometimes bites (as well as robbing me of comfortable sleep), and I am not built like I used to be.  I also believe, in all my earned wisdom, that I deserve to be comfortable.  So, here are my most current author photos.  Sarah at Pace Photography did a great job, and we went to shadier spots when the sunlight and greenery made my eyes water; that’s also when we decided on some cool looks or fun shots.  We battled the eye bags and puffiness as well as my allergies.  The right lighting was everything.  Her pricing was quite reasonable!  This is who I am now.  My author photos were last taken in 2016; my hair was darker and longer and I look a bit different now.  Time to show the world, this is who I am, please read my book! 🙂

Pam85450895F163 2016 Photo.

DetoursTimeRevisionV6[1625] with logo Would you like a free sample of my book, Detours in Time, with an exclusive chapter?  Go to this link:  Detours in Time Exclusive Sample

Detours in Time is now available in Kindle, paperback, and Audiobook!  Watch for a new installment in the series in Spring, 2020.

DetoursInTimeAudibleRevisedwithNarrator Detours in Time in Audiobook.

O is for Ocean. #AtoZChallenge

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*I own the rights to this photo.

This photo was taken in April of 2015.  My son walks on the beach with a bird fluttering behind him.  He has had a wonderful love and curiosity of birds through childhood.  I have many pictures documenting that!  The ocean has been a common ground for us, even through his tumultuous teens.  It has always been a place of peace.  We spent a day at the beach on this particular weekend surrounding his 19th birthday.  While most teens might prefer partying with their friends, he is a quiet fellow, and he loved this.

img_0284.jpg  Digging on a beach in St. Petersburg, Fla. 2007. Note the chubby cheeks of childhood.  🙂

I used to take him to the ocean quite regularly at certain times of our life.  It is not as frequent lately since we live a little further away and I don’t enjoy long drives, not to mention, my life is packed full of work, volunteer activities, and writing goals.  But I still make it a point to get there over the summer.  It is the first acknowledgment for me that summer is here and it is time to relax.

Coincidentally, it is my son’s birthday again tomorrow.  So far, the only plans are to take him to a Brazilian Steakhouse.  He is turning 21.  I am praying for sound decisions now that he is going to be legal.  I also need to make a beach appointment with him soon!

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2006 Sunrise beach visit.  Always a special time!  Note the birds in the background.  🙂

**The AtoZ Challenge theme for my blog is “Who I am.” Yes, it’s wide open.  In April, I will blog from A to Z to include little tidbits about me, poems I’ll share, and stories. Each day I will write something based on the next letter in the alphabet.  It’s been fun so far, yet it has really given me a chance to pause for reflection as well.

Want to know more about the A-Z blog challenge?  Visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

B is for Bumblebee. #AtoZChallenge

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Where?  Providence, Rhode Island.  When?  Summer, 2009.  It happened when I lay my camera down.  The next time I saw it, there were all these new shots of everyday things at new angles.  My dad’s shed (my son and I were visiting him), a porch step, a flower.  Said flower happened to have a happy bumblebee hovering over it.  I applauded my son’s photography skills.  He had just turned fourteen.  The curiosity of his eyes through the camera lens shows through.  But, alas, he soon became a full-fledged teenager and grew interested in other things.  Nonetheless, I own the rights to this photo, and I am happy to share. 🙂

“Bumblebee of Wonder,” also posted at https://niume.com/post/294528

New Year’s #weekendcoffeeshare 12/31, Care to Share a Morning Walk? Glimpses of Morning Miracles, 2016

img_0250Our “decorated fern,” on a misty Dec. morning.

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com, and since I am being ambitious about a new year and looking back at what was good in 2016, let’s do something different and just walk to the coffee shop!  It’s right down the road.  The sweet, cream laden latte will be our reward for the exercise!  Even have a danish if you so desire!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about things that happened for me this year, about how I got inspired, and maybe, I’d show you some pictures of some my best morning walks.  The year started with me in a sad and anxious state, but that’s a whole other story. For now I’ll just tell you that there was, and always is, light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.  I’d started seriously writing in Nov., 2015 and just kept on, despite, and to the betterment of, my emotions.  Along that and other tools in my kit, these morning walks became a practice of greeting each new day as a miracle, for one cannot fathom just how many scientific feats have conspired to bring about a rising sun.  God and Science are things I can’t fathom yet affect me in so many ways.  I pray that I will never take such a miracle as a new day for granted, no matter the weather, and that the New Year enables me with the ability to continue enjoying it.  I wish the same for you, my friend!  All photographs presented here were taken in 2016 and are my own, representing my morning walks or meditations with my coffee.  Happy New Year!

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Many of these morning walks were inspired by my dog anxiously pawing me or staring me down for a walk outside.  And look at the beauty I have witnessed because of it!  Other photos are from morning beach walks in the summer and my morning view with coffee in Warm Springs, Ga. Each photo here represents my area in the Southeast and our weather patterns, from sunny to foggy to post-Hurricane Matthew.  I hope you have enjoyed these glimpses!  I hope you’ll walk with me again sometime in 2017, and please forgive what the humidity will do to your hair.  🙂

Feel inspired?  How about your #weekendcoffeeshare?  Visit parttimemonsterblog.com and leave your link and make sure to tag it with #weekendcoffeeshare!  Yes, I know, I added so much more than a weekly update.  Suffice it to say, I felt like doing something different, as this is what is on my mind today, looking back at this amazing year.  Happy New Year, my friend!

 

Echoes of My Neighborhood, Sept. Entry

Sept. 9th in Jacksonville, Fl, at a lovely 91 degrees!  It was a lovely day to be outdoors in my simple, yet beautiful neighborhood.img_0186-2

Maybe the only thing that tells me Fall is coming is the drop in humidity lately.  For sure, the sun was still quite hot on this September day.  Yet I found the drier air to be a relief.  It seems a little more bearable, now that the storms and rainy aftermath of Hermine have left us.  It felt quite comfortable sitting outside today, for about 15 minutes, anyway!  This picture shows off some of our lovely flora and fauna in my neighborhood, as well as my neighbor’s lovely, lush green grass.  Looks just like summer, but the air is much lighter today!

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Even Bixby enjoyed sitting out in the lovely air!  This photo showcases our crepe myrtle tree, still in bloom!  The grass was freshly mowed, hence the grass cuttings still sitting on top of our lawn.  It accentuates the contrast with our neighbor’s yard.  They have the best on the street!  By the way, our lawn hasn’t won any awards yet.  🙂  Now, if only this picture could fully illustrate Bixby’s sniffer going wild, as it does every time we are sitting outside….

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Not a very good representation of my neighborhood, but here is where I’ll end my photo illustration of this day in my neighborhood.  My dog, Bixby, ended up on alert after seeing some neighbors walk by with their dogs.  You can see his ears perked up, as he sits on edge ready to strike in the spirit of protecting me from these wild dogs and their unknown owners.  (That’s in his point of view).  You’ve got to love their protective instincts!  At any rate, it grew pretty warm and I sat in the shade for the last few minutes, then decided we should go inside since my dog simply would not come next to me to relax in the shade.  Always on guard!

“Echoes of My Neighborhood” is a weekly blog challenge started by Jacqueline Obyikocha at her blog, A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales.  Her most recent entry can be found at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/category/travel-2/dubai/echos-of-my-neighbourhood/ and illustrates her life in Dubai quite well!  Go and give it a look!

Having participated regularly over the summer in this blog challenge, I may perhaps join in every few weeks or monthly now that I’m back at work.  I am hoping my brief entry here showcases what life is like here in Florida!  That, and there’s the lovely profile of my favorite dog. 🙂

-Pamela

The River. #echoesofmyneighborhood, #5

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Is there anything as beautiful as a sunset on the water?  Well, maybe sunrise on the water.  I’d have to say they are equally beautiful.  Living in Jacksonville, Fl, I am able to enjoy both.  Above is a photo of a sunset on the St. Johns River at a county dock.  This is just a little ways down the road from me, heading out of my neighborhood, down a main street, and turning into another residential area.  However, our huge river winds all around town.  This county dock, on my side of town,  has a park and historical site.  It’s a great place to go and relax, take a short walk, and stop and gaze.  Many people also go to fish off of that dock.  It’s a beautiful location.

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Walking back through the trails into the park, you still get a little glimpse of the river through the trees.  This photograph was taken on a day that had been rainy and stormy, and it was just winding down. There would have been a sunset, except for the clouds. You can almost see the breeze stirring through the Spanish moss.  The dark and light images made a wonderful contrast.

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Here is the county dock again, pictured on a sweltering hot summer day, mid-day to be exact, from another angle.  I mean, it’s one of those days the heat seems to be cooking the wood, and some of the wood was new at that point, which may have accounted for the smell, but in my mind’s eye, it was the sun baking the wood.  I was also dripping with sweat.  No one goes out there too often on hot summer days. 🙂 Those from out of town don’t either.  You can sort of tell how bright and intense the sun is on this day, because a lot of the colors look faded, as if every color is reflecting so much light.

Such is the mixture of bright, sunny, cloudy, dark, and rainy that we get around here, in this place I call home.  You can get beautiful views on any sort of day.  Just keep your eyes wide open, and especially head for the water.

Echoes of My Neighborhood is a Thursday blog challenge, initiated by fellow blogger Jacqueline Obyikocha, who blogs at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com .  Jacqueline is very supportive of other bloggers and always inspires me with her poetry and photography.  Please stop by and peruse her blog.  While there, you should also visit her Echoes of My Neighborhood posts, or you can get to them directly at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/category/travel-2/dubai/echos-of-my-neighbourhood/   You won’t be disappointed!

Our Downtown Scene, Jacksonville, Fl #echoesofmyneighborhood, 3

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Photo taken at the Dowtown Jacksonville Landing during Artwalk.

Jacksonville, Florida has a budding Arts scene.  We also have an NFL football team, but I’ll focus on the arts, as that is more of my interest.  We have had three or four One Spark Crowdfunding arts festivals, and not just any city can claim that honor.  On the first Wednesday of every month, there is an Artwalk in downtown Jacksonville.  Artists show their creations, and crafters and small businesses peddle their wares, giving samples and demonstrations.  Music fills the air, from amateur to promising, talented bands.  The man on the corner with his saxophone, who seems to only know variations of old t.v. show theme songs such as I Dream of Jeannie, is a welcome piece of the amosphere.  Homeless folks park themselves in Hemming Plaza, and at nightfall, they head to the Sulzbacher Center or City Rescue Mission.  (Those are the ones I know of).  A year or two ago, our mayor decided to have seating in Hemming Plaza that is bolted down.  It is now hard to tell a homeless man from the guy who has gathered with his old buddies to play chess in the park.  Yes, I believe this is a good change for our downtown area!

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There are beautiful historical buildings.

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There are signs of art fused with everyday images.

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There are shops, bookstores, a library, an art museum, and galleries.  Chamblin’s Uptown bookstore shown above.

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Art of all mediums is displayed at The Art Center in the downtown Jacksonville Landing.  Pictured here: a porpoise, of recycled mechanical and metal parts.  Artist:  Kenneth Balser. (I happen to know him.  Let me know if you’re interested in his work 🙂 ).

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I’ll admit, we do have some impressive architecture.  (Part of the Library in downtown Jax.)

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*Capoeira demonstration by a local Jacksonville Ji Jitsu business during One Spark Festival, downtown.  If you didn’t know, Capoeira is a Bazilian martial art.

Let’s not forget our people.  We are diverse, represented by people of many nations, countries, ethnicities, etc.  We have lifetime Jacksonville natives, we have people of many countries or from different states who came here to our Navy base, and we have retirees who came for the weather, from any of the states.  There are even snowbirds who live here during the winter and spring months, going back home from May to October for a cooler breeze.  How I envy them!  Jacksonville is the ultimate melting pot.  Just look at the many variations presented in this photograph alone.  Our people are beautiful.

And the homeless folks I mentioned, they are part of it. Diverse, unexpectedly intelligent.  They are you, and me, with a one-degree difference……….but that is a topic for a whole other blog entry.

I know I have tended to loosely define neighborhood.  Yet, one of its definitions is “district or locality.”  Our city covers such a huge square mile area.  So, my neighborhood is huge.  My city is beautiful.  It is also imperfect.  Just like every city.  But I am glad to be here.

*This post is in response to Jacqueline Obyikocha’s Thursday challenge.  Jacqueline is super supportive of her fellow bloggers and inspires me without fail.  Peruse her blog, and subscribe, at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/   Please show her some love.  Start by looking at her “Echoes of My Neighborhood” responses at this link:  http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/category/travel-2/dubai/echos-of-my-neighbourhood/.  They will be sure to amaze you!