memory thief

This is a photo of the oldest, dearest man in my life, my dad, and the newest, sweetest boy in my life, my little grandson taken two weeks ago at Ashton’s 1st birthday party. This is why I fell in love with photography when I was just a teenager. Because a photograph is never just a photograph. The light and shadows of an image hold the mercy and vulnerability of life itself, the beginning and the end, a single breath—in one hundredth of a second the shutter is released and a secret is revealed. Sometimes I think it’s almost selfish, the way the camera allows us to capture a moment like this, snatch it right out of thin air before it disappears forever in a stream of faded memory. And yet…this is why I fell in love with photography when I was just a teenager.

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lunar love

I’m participating in my first blog hop, the Lunar Love Giveaway Hop hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Bookworm Lisa. The blog hosting my book is Laurie Here and we are giving away 2 signed paperbacks and 2 e-books to the four lucky winners who enter the drawing on her blog! I did this interview for the hop, Laurie is one of the many kind and generous readers I’ve met on this book writing adventure!

Each chapter in this book is in the voice of a different character, all of them family members of the main character, Bobby, who is in a coma. Was it difficult to write from the different age and sex perspectives of so many characters and then also change your writing style in the novel Bobby was finishing?

It wasn’t really difficult, but I did find it best to work in one voice at a time. In other words, I rarely jumped from say, Chloe’s 4 year old perspective to her mom to her grandpa’s voice, it would have been confusing to have so many people wandering around in my head all in the same day! As the narrative of the 24 hour period of Bobby’s life unfolded, having multiple points of view was inevitable and became central to the theme of connection. Writing from Bobby’s viewpoint was unique since he was bedridden, in a coma, and was deteriorating both physically and mentally as the book progressed. The murder mystery he was finishing was a little tricky since that was a different genre and I was narrating it in another author’s completely different style of writing…come to think of it, this was actually a very complicated book to write!

Are any of the characters based on people you know? How do you think you would get along with the main character, Bobby, if you met him? Do you think he would want to hang out with you?

More than being based on people I know, each of the characters in this book seem to be the embodiment of a small part of me. Of course, there are some moments and traits plagiarized from the lives of people in my life, but when the book was done I realized many of the characters were fleshed out pieces of my own personality, which was totally unintentional but not surprising I suppose since I created them! Bobby however, is the least like me I think, and no, he probably wouldn’t be interested in hanging out with me. He’s a young man in his 30s, a successful (somewhat arrogant) writer, a poker-playing-beer-drinking-cigar-smoking guys-guy, while I am a rather reserved middle-aged woman, a first time author who doesn’t smoke cigars, drink beer, and who hates playing cards (although I do like solitaire). The truth is, while I like Bobby and think he made for a compelling protagonist, we are very different and I was actually relieved to get his ADHD, testosterone driven persona out of my head by the time the book was finished! Continue reading

rad radko’s

Many years ago, my husband and I started a tradition at the small company we own. We give the employees (and ourselves!) a Christopher Radko ornament for Christmas. We all have a nice collection of them now and I decided to take photos of some of them today and do a post for the You Capture blog meme. The theme this week was “Holiday Decor”.  I used my little Canon G9, hand-held with no flash, and then filtered the images with Topaz Labs Adjust and Totally Rad Dirty Pictures, two plug-ins for Photoshop. It was a lot of fun just “playing” with these photos, especially since so much of my photography is for Getty and iStock, who have pretty strict criteria for what you can upload. Happy holidays everyone, hope you had a fun, peace filled weekend!

friday fill-ins

1. We need to let go of the past and live in the moment.
2. My new granddaughter laughed and it made me smile.
3. If you want “others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~ Dalai Lama
4. I bite the candy coating off Tootsie Pops because I have no patience and want to get to the chocolate middle.
5. Massachusetts has a proposed 5% sales tax on elective cosmetic surgery; I think we should all have to pay the price for beauty.
6. Family coming together makes for a happy holiday.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to dinner with the bitches (a.k.a. the PTO ladies) , tomorrow my plans include Costco for shopping, new glasses, and contacts and Sunday, I want to relax and get ready for out of town company to arrive for Thanksgiving!

Click on the pic to see more Friday Fill-ins! FridayFillIn-Graphic2


I asked my dad a couple of times before the one year anniversary of my mother’s death if he wanted to do anything on that day. The first time I asked him he simply shook his head. A week later when I brought it up he said, “No, it isn’t something to celebrate.”  I wanted to say I wasn’t thinking we’d go out to the bar or anything, but I let it go, knowing we each need to grieve in our own way.  When the date arrived I went to the store and bought one white balloon like the ones we released at her memorial service. I drove to the park where the service was held and I walked up the hill to the clearing where we all had gathered. I held the balloon under my arm, cradling it close to my body so the brisk fall breeze wouldn’t take it from me until I was ready to let it go.

I’m not sure if I went to the park to honor my mother, remember that sad day, or if it wasn’t really for more selfish reasons. Because the prayer I murmured out loud to myself that afternoon was for me, not my mom. I prayed that the anger I had been feeling since her death would go away once and for all, and I asked that my nighttime dreams be about my healthy mom and not my sick mom – the mom who’s suffering broke my heart over and over again, day after day during the last months of her life.

As the autumn wind swallowed my words I let the balloon go. It sailed almost straight up into the blue September sky. I stood squinting in the bright sunlight and watched as it rose higher and higher, determined not to take my eyes off it until it was lost from sight. Several minutes passed, and then, at the exact moment the balloon left my view for good, a hawk swooped in just over the treeline and flew directly over my head. It was the only bird within sight, the only bird I saw the entire time I stood on that lonely hillside. The hawk soared and dipped on an invisible current of air and I turned and watched as it flew in the opposite direction of the white balloon.

7 degress of moi

kreativ-blogger-award2Joann, a new blogger buddy of mine, passed along the Kreative Blogger Award to me recently. If I accept the award I have to share seven of my favorite things with you. So here we go…

1. Well, if you read my blog regularly you can probably guess the first one, my new baby granddaughter, Brooklyn. She came over on Sunday for her first family birthday dinner and her poor mommy had to beg  to get a turn to hold her own baby!

2. Spell check. I’m actually a pretty good speller but for some reason I love to see the little red underline appear under words and then get that drop down list of choices, I find it very satisfying. It’s weird, I know.

3. The moment every day when my husband comes home…I hear the back door open and his footsteps as he walks in, the soft swishing sound as he slides his briefcase under the desk in the kitchen, and then his voice, tired but relieved to be done with another busy day as he looks for me and says, “I’m home!”

4. My new camera, I carry it around in the crook of my arm like it’s a baby. It’s weird, I know.

5. Having sisters. I feel like I gypped my daughter Lizzi only giving her a brother. Maybe if I named my camera Samantha, Lizzi could think of it as her little sister?

6. The first cup of coffee in the morning (if it’s snowing or raining outside it tastes twice as good!).

7. Losing myself in a good book, which hasn’t happened in a long time. Partly because my brain is a bit fried from the past year’s ups and downs, and partly because I just haven’t found the right book:(

teaser tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. I’m reading The Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks.  I won the book at a giveaway from the book blog Reading with Ti as well as a pretty shawl like the one on the book cover, thanks again Ti! It’s about a woman whose life is turned upside down when her boyfriend dies in a mysterious accident. She takes off in an attempt to reinvent herself and begin a new life. My book club just finished Paul Auster’s, The Book of Illusions, which is a much darker take on the same theme. A character leaving a life of sorrow behind, isolating themselves from their grief and from other people. We had an interesting discussion in book club about this, about how we deal with what life throws at us and about identity, who we would be if you took away our families, jobs, and friends. My two sentences from this book are from page 282, I feel disorientated, one foot in Aromina, the other in Harmony. And the memories will be back soon enough. I did the photo-mainpluation a while ago and thought it illustrated this idea perfectly!

friday fill-in

friday fill in

I’m participating in a new (for me) Friday blog meme today, Friday Fill-ins. Blog memes are fun because as well as giving you inspiration for posts, you also get to meet other bloggers who are playing along. So this one is pretty self explanatory. The host gives you a list of blanks and you fill them in, so here I go…

1. It’s cold and…rainy this week and my newly planted flowers are loving it!

2. Every summer I look forward to sliced mozzarella cheese layered with garden fresh…tomatoes.

3. My favorite health and beauty product is…the next magic (overpriced) facial lotion I will try that is supposed to erase wrinkles and roll back the clock!

4. I love grabbing my camera and my hubby and going for…a nice long ride.

5. Well, first of all…if you’ve never even watched Dancing with the Stars you shouldn’t knock it!

6. Bob Saget, my husband, a huge mansion on the beach;…those were the cast of characters in a recent dream and it was…life altering.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to chillin’ with Doug, tomorrow my plans include…a wedding shower, dinner with friends, then watching the Wings beat the Penguins and Sunday, I want to…watch the Wings do it again!