Photography: Sunday Drive

“All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road.” -Jack Kerouac

Yesterday I took a leisurely drive with my daughter through the more undeveloped parts of our area. It was a clear, beautiful autumn day and I stopped occasionally to take photos when the roads provided enough space to pull over. My photos this week are the best of those images. I edited them all to have a similar tone. Is it my best work? No. Is it okay to simply like them and not love them? Sure. I’m learning and growing. It’s all part of the process.

These next few days are the final push to finish up NaNoWriMo. I’m behind. I’ve got to write 7,652 words by Wednesday. I’ve reached the “Brain, activate Deadline mode” phase. Here’s where being an unpublished writer gets tricky. Nobody really cares if I make this deadline except me. I have to be the one continuously digging deep to make my deadlines. There are really no consequences if I fail. Yet, I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to let myself down.

To everyone giving me support and cheering me on, thank you. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. May everyone have a wonderful week filled with the things you love best.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Monochrome Nature

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.” -L.M. Montgomery

Yesterday I took family photographs of a dear friend and her beautiful family. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to stretch my photography skills and offer this service to people I love. What I learned was…I need to learn a lot more. Although it went well, as far as flow and everyone staying in wonderful moods, I didn’t do great with lighting or poses. While some of the photos were beautiful, others fell short. Ultimately, I failed in a lot of big ways.

When I woke up this morning I felt defeated and upset. I wanted to do so much better. While I could let this setback derail me, after coffee and a long hot shower, I’ve decided to keep going. I think after the new year I’ll enroll in some photography classes, invest in some new software, and keep trying. Everything is a learning experience and the only way to get better is to keep going.

My photos this week were all taken before the family shots and were edited to be black-and-white. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful week.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Effie Yeaw Nature Center

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’”―Sylvia Plath

This morning my daughter and I visited the beautiful trails around Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael. A lot of uncertainty circles us right now and being in nature provided a much-needed respite. We saw five baby deer leap across the trail. Two large bucks slam their antlers into each other until one relented and ran off. Squirrels scampering up and down the trees. Salmon jumping out of the river. It felt magical to have this time together.

I hope you enjoy this selection of images and may it bring you a moment of peace.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Autumn Walk

“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Tomorrow I embark on my third adventure into the lands of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For those who don’t know, it’s an annual writing event in which participants write a 50,000-word manuscript during the month of November. It’s a huge undertaking. I’m a bit more nervous this year because of all the things going on in my life but also excited to rise to the challenge.

I spent four hours today outlining my project. The working title is “Bubbles in the Dark” and all of the characters are pulled from short stories I’ve written this year. It’s the tale of a mysterious shadow monster attacking a small coastal town slowly devouring the memories of those it touches. A young circus performer stumbles upon a possible answer but doesn’t know how to use it to help others. It’s a story of people bonding together during a time of crisis. A story of kindness found in chaos.

After my planning session, I took a nice hike near my house. It felt good to move my body and capture some of the beauty of autumn. I’ve included my favorite shots below. I hope they bring a smile to your face. Happy Halloween!


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Poetry: Ghost Flowers

Midnight whispers wake us, voices we know
Call, calling out from generations long ago
Begging us to climb vine-covered walls
Where shadows hide and moonlight falls
To secret gardens where nightmares grow

Hands clasped together—our protective shield
Quick, quickly we cross the vast muddy field
Through scrawny, tawny bramble copse
Where starlight magic jumps and chops
Past broken mushrooms laying half-healed

There we hear the night’s beating heart
Thump, thumping loudly as if tearing apart
Stumble, trip through twisty almost-road
Past two-headed raven and three-footed toad
Where ghost flowers’ bold eyes flit and dart

Luckily these sickly pink flowers can’t shout
Roar, roaring for backup from monsters about
Instead slowly blinking they don’t look away
Following our movements with nothing to say
Until dark gloomy clouds turn the light out

Panicked we run despite no guiding star
Trip, tripping on half-rotted logs where they are
Fingers slip, paths divide—until it’s only me
Standing beneath an unwavering willow tree
Hoping nothing near has the power to mar

The drowsy pink sun eventually rises all sad
Cry, crying for you—my sweet-hearted lad
Lost in the wood where the early bird sings
Days, weeks, and months we look for your things
Until winter wipes clear all the traces we had


  • This week’s poem follows the format of Robert Frost’s “Ghost House” using the same rhyming structure and ending words. The painting was found at Goodwill and my teenage daughter added the eyes and other pen details.

Photography: Aftershock to Elton John

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” -Bob Marley

My last week was entirely about music. It pressed my body to its limits and although I’m exhausted, I am also inspired and grateful.

My nephew, kids and I attended the Aftershock Music Festival on Thursday. If you are unfamiliar, it is a four-day outdoor concert featuring some huge metal and rock bands. This was my first time attending and it was a graduation present for my nephew. We saw some incredible performances including Stone Temple Pilots, Ghostmane, Ice Nine Kills, Evanescence, Slipknot, and Rob Zombie. It was hot, crowded, and smoky, but when the bands were performing none of that mattered. I suppose that’s the power of music.

Then, in total contrast, last night my daughter and I saw Elton John in the Bay Area. My mother gifted us the tickets last minute and when we got there a staff member gave us a complimentary upgrade to really wonderful seats. Although we didn’t get home until 2 a.m., seeing this legendary performer sing some of my favorite songs made me far more emotional than I expected.

Neither of the venues allowed my big camera, so all the photos this week are taken with my iPhone 13. I’ve got a lot to learn about photographing big events, but I do think there’s something interesting in each of the images below. Let me know what you think and have a wonderful week.



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Photography: Morning Hike

This morning after dropping the kids off at school, I took a nature hike by my house. It was a beautiful, peaceful morning and I was greeted by lots of little critters. I saw geese, butterflies, lizards, birds, and dragonflies. Although most were either too far away to capture or moved too quickly, it was a nice morning and a great way to start off my week.

I’ve experimented more than usual with photo editing. Let me know what you think and thank you for stopping by and supporting me on my creative adventures.

Have a great week!


This last photo was a surprise. It wasn’t until it was downloaded that I discovered I’d captured a frog. I love its little wet hopping prints. I wish it was a bit more in focus, but I wanted to share it anyway because it was a happy surprise.

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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