Be Real

Be unique. Be awesome. Be you.  

Do whatever it is that is true.  

Take chances. Make mistakes. Step out.

No one else knows what you are about.

Encourage. Give a hand. Be kind.

Speak gently, of what’s on your mind.

Do what’s right, when others go wrong.

You matter. You’re here. You Belong.

Being phony will fracture your soul,

So be real. Be authentic. Be whole.

—Janet

Word of the Day Challenge: Phony

Eclectic Thoughts

How does one decipher,

Mixed messages conveyed?

Go where there is no path,

But be careful not to stray.

Reach for the stars is guidance…

That often goes around,

But can this be achieved…

When keeping both feet on the ground?

Am I shooting for the moon…

If I aim to rise above the crowd?

Or is this evidence…

That my head is in the clouds?

Unraveling ancient proverbs,

Double edged, their meanings dual,

Will knowledge bring me power…

Or the wisdom of a fool?

—Janet

Written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Eclectic

Helter-Skelter

The midnight oil is burning. Scribbled words on shreds of notepaper litter the floor beneath my seat. I let out a yelp as the computer warns of pending doom: “Online storage approaching maximum capacity; purchase upgrade for more space!

Perhaps I shouldn’t write tonight.

Shuffling through images from my past, I contemplate long and hard about which ones to retain, and which ones to throw out. Some of the photos seem so sad, so grainy. I look beyond the flaws, and into the memories that they bring. Perhaps I should save them all, it’s so hard to let go.

Attempting to consolidate only creates more commotion, more chaos…

I’ll finish tomorrow.

Weekend Writing Prompt #91: Helter-Skelter
Word Count: 111

Word of the Day Challenge: Yelp

I don’t know if it’s cheating the 111 word count to go on like this, but I’m a rebel anyway so who cares. 🙂

I wanted to say something about my collage. I actually thought about writing a Haiku for this, because it reminded me of how little boys dream… usually about what they will be or do when they grow up, and how—once they reach a certain age—they tend to dream about being young again.

Anyway, my grandson and son are actually a part of this creation and I’ve shared both images in different forms. That’s what got me thinking. I worked on it for hours last night, and again this morning, and finally decided it was time to move on to the next order of business.

That’s all for now. Today is softball Sunday, so off I go……

Peace & Love Everyone!
—Janet

Metamorphosis

Sometimes I look back at my life, and I laugh about my dreams. When I was young, I wanted to be a cheetah. That dream led me to depression though, because cheetahs run so fast and no matter how hard I tried… it seemed as though it took me forever just to get from here to there.

As I got a little older, I realized that I needed to be something else. I decided that I’d be much better off if I could be a lion. Lions are so courageous, and they have such strong muscles! I dreamed about being a lion for quite a long time, but it seemed to me that I didn’t have a single bone in my body. How could I wander bravely through the jungle if I didn’t have any bones?

I envied lions for that. Eventually reality sunk in, and I just knew that I’d never be a lion. Maybe I was just being immature, wanting to be fast and strong like those animals that I admired. I was getting older after all, so speed and strength weren’t necessarily the things that I needed.

After careful thought, I knew in my heart that I should be a dolphin. Besides the fact that they get to spend all of their time in the water, dolphins are smart. I heard that their brains are very complex, almost like humans! Then a friend told me she heard someone say that one day our brains would turn into soup, so there was no way I could ever be a dolphin. I just about lost it after that.

Sometimes, when my mom would catch me daydreaming, she would ask me what I was thinking about. I’d tell her about all of the animals I wanted to be when I grew up, and my mom would just giggle. She’d tell me that all I really needed to do was relax, eat my vegetables, and let nature take its course. That always made me mad, and I would often wonder— what does nature have to do with any of this?!

Then, it happened.

I woke up one day, and I was BEAUTIFUL. Now… as I flutter my wings and fly about… I can’t imagine being anything other than who I am.

the Butterfly, from “Memoir of a Caterpillar”

Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: Metamorphosis

Word of the Day Challenge: Immature

I think this kind of sounds like something from a children’s book, so maybe that’s what today’s accomplishment is. On the other hand, I think I learned a little something about myself writing this. It sort of parallels my own thoughts lately; about trying to be something I’m not.

On another note: I’ve reached 1037 days—exactly 2 years & 10 months sober today. That’s certainly something to acknowledge and be grateful for…

Life is good, and God is great!
—Janet

Ghost Town

Facades and foundations are all that remain,

Of the city from which her spirit once came.

Underneath the dust, and the rubble there lay,

Narrow streets lined with gold… least that’s what they say.

During one summer, when the moon shone just right,

A man’s said to have seen her,

There dancing at night.

It’s believed that their hearts were at once set on fire,

On top of that mountain, beyond the old mire.

Now legend it goes… that once every June,

Some see their shadows, up in the full moon.

— by Janet
Word Count: 91

Weekend Writing Prompt #88: Foundations

I’ve decided to make a commitment this month. I’m going to “write something every day,” and “work on things that I find challenging.”

Today’s Accomplishment: Write an Acrostic Poem (and I just learned what that was yesterday, so this was a challenge indeed!)

Peace & Love Everyone!

Madness

Everything is spinning,

And things are upside down.

Do my eyes deceive me?

Or are crazies running ’round?

They like to taunt and tease me,

They’ll never leave, I dread…

No one else can see them,

Here hiding in my head.

Inspired by Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: Madness

I got excited when I saw today’s word because I knew it was the perfect opportunity to put one of my ‘zoo light’ photographs to use. A little spin here, a little blur there… and voila! It’s madness!

Peace & Love!
—Janet

Melting Time

I’m actually getting a late start on word prompts tonight. I really do enjoy those, but trying to fit multiple words into a poem or story is—to be honest—exhausting me.

I think I need a word for the “week,” so that I have time to digest it, and ponder what the word really means to me. That rush-rush to get it written in one day gives me a weird adrenaline rush!

Anyway, I thought I would give the mind a rest tonight—so I did an image for the word Segue: to make a transition without interruption from one activity, topic, scene.

It’s a bit abstract (duh!), but it’s a really cool tree that I visited at Christmas, with lights dangling from it, and fireworks exploding behind it in the night sky—celebrating our segue into the new year.

I’m actually happy with this one! If I ever had to settle on any specific style, I think I’d do more of these crazy pieces.

That’s about all for tonight! We have 2 hours to go here, and there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll still be awake to welcome in 2019.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!
(… and that’s the last time I’ll say that this year)

Peace & Love!
—Janet

Timeless

Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge: Infinity

After going through the photographs of my recent zoo trip, I’m a little disappointed with my “shooting” skills. Lights seem to be the hardest thing for me to capture on camera; even harder than moving birds.

True to form, however, I wasn’t going to let a few bad images spoil the bunch. I’ve wanted to do something to transform some of the not so bad shots into something better—and tonight I discovered the “radial blur” tool. What a fun discovery THAT was!

I don’t know… but I think it looks like light trails came in to visit us, straight from the 60’s. It also makes my tummy hurt a little when I stare at it; like I’m moving through infinity.

Anyway, there is still hope. Tomorrow night I’m going out to see more lights, I’ll have my camera in hand, and I’m going to give it one more shot.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Finding Harmony

I think winter break is starting to take its toll on me, and I’ve only been out of school for a week now! I’m not quite sure what to do with myself some days—I find myself overthinking a lot—and lately I’ve been questioning my decision to major in psychology.  

Fortunately, I’ve been visiting my sister the last few days, and being away from my ‘normal’ surroundings has given me much needed stillness and some peace of mind. Continue reading Finding Harmony

Happy Thoughts

Just think happy thoughts and you’ll fly. 

Peter Pan

A couple of days ago I set out to write a poem inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge; the word being “dubious.” While wandering around the house, sentences and phrases welled up inside of me, and I sat down numerous times to jot down my thoughts and get them out of my head. As I sifted through memories—thinking of the people I’ve encountered whose intentions were quite dubious—I couldn’t help but feel as though I was drifting to a place that was now off limits.

Struggling to remember the people and events from that particular space in time seemed a bit taboo, and I wondered if I was taking a risk by trying to peer in at it. My life is awesome right now… so, why go back there?! Besides, it’s a very DARK place, and it’s a part of my past that seems so distant now that on occasion I wonder whether it was real or imagined. Continue reading Happy Thoughts

Moonstruck

moon·struck/adjective
1. unable to think or act normally, especially because of being in love.

Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge.

Every now and then I check out the word of the day challenge, hoping it will inspire me to start writing poetry. As you can see by my recent posts… that hasn’t really worked out for me!

Anyway, I was inspired by today’s word: Moonstruck, and now it’s a half hour before midnight and I’m barely getting started! I wanted to do the featured image first—and it took me much longer than I had expected—so it looks like the poetry will have to wait. I think the image captures the “moonstruck” mood though, so it’s all good.

Have a beautiful week everyone…

Peace and Love!

Carpe Noctem

I realized this evening that I stay up much later than I used to. I wanted to work on this image tonight because I just love the trees. The next thing I knew it was after midnight again! If you ask me, I think all of the lines from the leafless branches seem to make their own art. I love how nature does that; flaunts its beauty without shame, even in the most vulnerable and unexpected places.

I was never quite sure if the trees were even alive when I took the photograph, because as far as my eyes could see, it looked like sticks… upon sticks… upon sticks! Still, it looked beautiful to me. I think it has to do with growing up in the city. When all you really know of nature is what’s in your own backyard—or in the neighborhood park—glimpses of natural landscapes, untouched by man, create a sense of awe and wonder that’s truly unforgettable. I love that.

Anyway, the later it got, the more I thought about how I’m becoming a night owl again. I’ve always loved the night. Of course, I used to love the wild night life. Now… it’s my quiet time… when I can think without interruption. That’s when I decided that I needed to add the finishing touch. Something personal. A little night owl… hanging out with the trees… just like me.

Seize the Night!

It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day.

Vincent van Gogh

Cryptic Clouds

This world is but a canvas to our imagination. Henry David Thoreau

I’m hoping to write something exciting here on the blog soon. I’ve been doing a lot in my English class, and I’ve gotten so many new ideas, but lately I feel fortunate just to have enough ‘leisure time’ to work on a creative image at night. Eventually I’ll get there!

I have several cloud photographs that I took about a year ago—and I’ve never known exactly what to do with them—so I decided to add a little interest to this one. I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking I might just do a little “cryptic cloud series.”

Have a beautiful weekend everyone … Peace and Love!!

A Song in my Soul

What I have in my heart and soul — must find a way out. That’s the reason for music. Ludwig van Beethoven

Today has been such a good day! It felt like there was a little celebration going on inside of my soul, and I wanted to burst out in song! Believe it or not, I actually wrote that before I found the Beethoven quote. How perfect is that?!

I mentioned before that I was done apologizing or explaining what went wrong with my images, but I have to be honest and say that this design wasn’t exactly what I envisioned. I love the rust tones though, so I decided that it was time to call it finished. It’s funny, sometimes when people ask me what my favorite color is, I wonder if they think it’s strange when I tell them rust, or brown. I just love those earthy shades!

I used some clouds and an old moon shot to start it out because today I was able to withdraw from my Biology class (which was killing me!), and I found the perfect replacement course that starts in two weeks; Astronomy.

Instead of peering through a microscope at bacteria, I’ll be gazing up at the moon and stars! My soul has been singing all day!

Life is beautiful… and God is so, so good!

The earth has music for those who will listen. Reginald Vincent Holmes

Urban Oasis

Big Leaf Designs

This summer I went on an interesting hike with my son and daughter-in-law. My plan was to stroll through Ferndell Nature Trail which is basically flat, covered by shade trees, and brimming with plants from all over the world. I guess you could call it an urban oasis.

I shot this Elephant Ear there, and finally got around to working on it. I didn’t get as many photographs as I would have liked because my cohorts had other plans (unbeknownst to me), and my leisurely stroll turned into a 2 mile round trip hike up the hill to the Griffith Park Observatory and back.

Anyway, tomorrow I have a Biology exam. I’m learning about cells and photosynthesis (yawn), so plant leaves kind of fit into the mix today. After a full day of studying, I really needed a breather—so… I decided to add a little magic to the image and make the giant leaves look a little less real. What can I say, it’s Hollywood!

Peace and Love!

I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic. Andy Warhol

Empty Promises


I’ve been thinking (for a while now) about doing recovery images; pictures that portray the feelings of freedom and joy that come with getting—and living—sober.

I think my mind was in too many different places, or I didn’t plan it out well, because this one could actually go either way. Is she trying to climb into the bottle, or is she climbing out? Is she about to jump off—into the beauty of freedom and life; or is she holding on—longing to stay close to the forbidden fruit that leads her only to death? Maybe it’s supposed to be thought provoking and open to personal interpretation… I don’t know.

Regardless, I’m happy with it. I’m hoping that it’s the first in a new “Recovery Series,” but don’t quote me on that just yet. I’ve also been thinking about dabbling in poetry again. My English class this semester is really stirring up some creative thoughts!

That’s about all for now. Life is good, God is great, and it’s a beautiful day to be alive!

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. Raymond Lindquist

Let’s Dance!

InHiding
Today is my first day off and I’m still trying to get into the groove of the changes. All of my classes over the summer were online, so my face-to-face socializing was minimal. Now I’m surrounded by young people in their late teens and early 20’s, and every class has group activities. Talk about culture shock!

I wasn’t sure if I would get on the blog much during fall semester, but I just finished purchasing all of my textbooks and I’m not in the mood for homework yet. Ha! Tomorrow. Anyway, I was trying out a new paint program today and this image seemed perfect for my state of mind. It looks to me like there’s a man with a rather large nose, sunglasses, and some facial hair, peeking through—right around the center of the image.

I thought it was amusing; it reminded me of how it feels to try something new. Sometimes you peek inside first, but you take a little step—and you feel the the newness of the experience—then before you know it, you’re right smack dab in the middle of an awesome new adventure.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. Alan Watts

Don’t feel bad if you can’t see the dude.
Maybe it’s just my own perspective.

Peace & Love!

A Handful of Dew

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop were not there, I think the ocean would be less by that missing drop. Mother Teresa

Greetings Everyone! It’s been a couple of months since I opened up any of my Adobe programs, so I thought I would give it a shot today and see if the right side of my brain still works. I took this photo of an orange and dew drop when I was in my photography class, so today I added the hand and used scale and some paint effects to make it look larger than life. I thought it was fun.

My second year of school starts in two weeks, and once that’s finished I’ll be just one class shy of earning my Associates Degree in Psychology, so this time next year I should be finishing up and planning for my graduation and University transfer.

I’ve been contemplating what I want to do with my blog these days. I seem to be at a place where the only thing I have to talk about are my day to day activities; not exactly exciting material, but today just happens to be my two year and five months “sober anniversary,” so that’s something I thought was worth mentioning. Time just keeps flying by!

Once I figure out a more concrete direction for the blog, I hope to be posting more. For now, I’ll just keep checking in to say hello now and then, and share any photos or art that I drum up on my days off.

Peace and Love!

It’s a Beautiful Day

It’s been about 2 months since I’ve been online here in the blog world and I wanted to check in and say HELLO you beautiful people! 

I miss you all, and hope to browse around this weekend and see what all of you have been up to. School is AWESOME! Keeps me super busy but I just love every minute of it. I’m learning so much!!

Anyway, most of this piece is constructed out of appropriated images (from an image share site), but it was one of my latest Photoshop projects in my visual communication class… and I wanted to post something other than words this evening.

I’ve got 3 classes right now and in about a week I start my fourth: a digital photography class. So… as you might guess I will be posting more images once that gets going!

That’s about all. Miss you and love you all!! Hope you are all doing wonderful…

Life is good and God is great! OH, and I hit one year and seven months sober TODAY! Boy time is flying!!