The Halloween Candy

Candy 003bb

This is just a simple way to display the office candy or treats. It is very easy to do and requires little to no extra purchases.

Here’s What you need:

  • candy (your choice)
  • vase or glass container (ideally you want it to be clear so everyone can what’s in it)
  • decor (if you like, though not required)

Here’s What You Do:

  • place the goodies in the container
  • decorate with ribbon or other themed decorations
  • enjoy!

I love ideas like this one because it’s not specifically tied to one holiday or time of the year. This works year-round and is very easy to do. Even the kiddos can help!

The Homecoming Game

Sometimes the assignment you are on doesn’t really pan out as you hoped. Sometimes the best image isn’t from the actual assignment. It comes from random inspiration while you are shooting. For me, that’s exactly what happened while shooting Arkansas State University’s homecoming game against the University of Louisiana  at Monroe Saturday, Oct. 4.

I’m a sucker for a good sunset image. I love them. They make for great shots, they are easy to shoot, and I enjoy shooting them.  As I was down on the field shooting action and other photos, I caught a glimpse of pink streaks in the sky over my shoulder. I knew instantly I needed to get on the other other side of the stadium and up into the stands. While I took many photos of the sunset, this one is my favorite. It was the last shot I took before heading back down to the field for halftime.

ULM 146b

There is little to no editing. It’s cropped and that’s it. I played around with the HDR toning option and while it looked neat, this what it looked like at that moment, and I wanted the photo to be true.

The Songs of My World

Reba and Kelly Clarkson in 2006 at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Reba and Kelly Clarkson in 2006 at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Today’s task is another free write session with a target subject. The task is to list three songs that have had a lasting impact in your life. Ok, Writing 101, my question is why just three? Geez Louise, Doc! They’ve also asked us to free write. I don’t necessarily think the intent for the free write session was to write about the songs. Though, I admit, it’s possible. That’s what I am going to do. I think a few others may do this too.

Before I begin, picking the first two songs was quite easy. The third? Not so much. Very hard to choose only one more.

Lord, I Lift Your Name on High: Written by Founds and Rick Doyle

I learned this song at church camp as a teenager and it had stayed with me through the years. It has brought me comfort and peace countless times. I sing to myself when I am happy, stressed, or when my soul needs comfort. I always go back this song.

She Will Be Loved: Maroon 5

When this song was released, I was 24. I didn’t know it at the time, but the transition to becoming an adult and all its character building traits were about to kick my ass. Seriously. I found myself passing the time on the midnight shift at a manufacturing company by singing this song to myself. It was loud. No one could hear me. I didn’t care if they could. At the time, I only knew the chorus, but it helped me get through the long, tedious nights of the midnight shift. I bought the album shortly after its release and 10 years later it remains one of my favorites.

Springsteen: Eric Church

This is another song I fell in love with while at a baseball game (click here to read more about that). I’ll admit this song hasn’t really been out long enough to have a “lasting” impact, but it’s a great song. There’s a line in the song: “funny how a melody sounds like a memory” that simply resonates with me. It’s a true statement. It’s a great song.


The Place I’d Rather Be


I stand at the waters’ edge while the last of the tide’s energy splash over my feet. My newly painted toenails match the sea foam colors of the water. Over my shoulder, children screech with laughter and joy as they charge full speed into the calm, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Some are content playing chase with the breaking waves, giggling with joy from the ceaseless game. The bigger kids covered from head to toe with beach gear including hats, goggles, swim trunks, and sunscreen — SPF 50 — charge the gentle waters with boogie boards in tow while mom and dad setup the umbrellas and chairs for a day in the summer sun.

My wet feet collect the small white grains of sand for which this area of the Gulf is famous. The cloth material on my chair matches my toes and the waters before me. Such a beautiful, rich color. As I settle into my chair and reach for my sunglasses, I find peace in the music of my surroundings. The music from the waves reaching the shore, children laughing and enjoying the water, and the sound of the wind as it reaches my ears and pushes my ponytail sideways. It’s all music.

This is my room with a view. It’s a never ending view. It is my peace; my happy place.

The Free Write Session


My lunch today.

My lunch today.

I’ve set my timer on my phone to start a 20-minute countdown for the free write. I am very concerned about what I’ve gotten myself into with this WordPress Writing 101 Blog, or what ever it’s called. I thought it would be a good idea to try this, but as life happens there’s another project at work that will take up my time during the same time frame as this challenge. My hope is that this blogging challenge will help me with both my writing skills (which are pretty weak right now) and break up the day for a little bit while I work this project. Let’s hope.

My subconscious must have known that this writing challenge started today. I had a dream last night that I was writing. The words were coming beautifully and flowed freely and easily from my brain to my hand. I was actually, physically writing in this dream. In my dream, it seemed so easy to free write …. now? Nope. Not too easy, but that’s challenge.

Six minutes down … Fourteen to go.

Pause. Nothing. Silence apparently. There are sentences in my brain. It’s not like there’s not up there, even though some may disagree. I am looking at a photo of my mom. I miss her. It’s been almost three half years since she passed. I’m sure within this challenge I’ll write about her, but not today. Today is about a free write. I need to move on.

The weather here is strange this year. It’s June and it’s not hot yet. Don’t worry. It will be. It’s only a matter of time before walking to the car covers you in a hot, sticky, sweaty mess. Yep. Welcome to the South, ya’ll!

Eleven and a half minutes down …. Eight and a half to go.

The water in the kitchen is running and my co-worker is typing on her keyboard. Silence. Both stop simultaneously. The phone should ring. It should have already done so. Why? Because I’m in the middle of something else. That’s how it always happens at work, right? Yes, I’m at work. I’m at work and I’m writing a free write and thinking about what I will eat at lunch. Sometimes it works like that.

More silence. I should turn the radio on, but I won’t.

I am still thinking about lunch. I’m thinking I should have gone to get food already, but I am challenging myself. I am free writing, or so, that’s what I think I’m doing. I took a literal interpretation of the assignment today. I hope I don’t do that the whole time. I might. What was the twist? Oh well, I don’t think it matters.

I gotta have a photo on here, OH! I will take a photo of my lunch! That’ll go great with this one.

Time! Pencils down (not literally.)


The Archived Photos

I searched and searched for some more of my Main Street photos for a part 2 post, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Instead, I came across some old photos that I had forgotten about. I spent a few hours searching and browsing through about 20 discs full photos and decided to share these with you. I’ll admit these photos are not timely and have no purpose other than to show them to you. I had forgotten about a few of these photos, while others I could not locate when I actually needed them. Isn’t that how it always goes?



The Main Street View, part 1

Back in 2006 I took a walk in downtown Jonesboro. I remember it rather distinctly. It was a beautiful April spring day and I spent several hours shooting and walking around. (This was before Harley, so I had plenty of time to spare.) That idea seems pretty normal to me now: take some time to walk around and shoot photos, but this walk was different. This was the first one. This was the first walk after deciding to pursue photography. Yes, there was time in my adult life where photography was not a normal part of my daily life. GASP!

My goal, at that time, was color. I was looking for color. I think I found it in a few places. Other things simply caught my attention and i took a picture of it. I’m sharing these now because another blogger’s photos reminded me of these photos. I took joy in viewing his photos. (You can find his blog here. Make sure and look at his street photography.) I took joy in shooting these photos. I find joy in photography.

These are not the only photos I have of Main Street in Jonesboro, Arkansas. That’s why I called it part 1. I plan to share more. I hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking and seeing them again after several years.

The First Sentence

PJ Book2

My ninth grade English teacher challenged me. She forced me to think outside of the box — outside of my very small-minded comfort zone — and open my mind. She forced to me answer  questions in which the response I gave was neither satisfying or, at times, tolerant of others’ opinions. Her assignments taught me there was more to the world than the two mile trek from my home to school. There were assignments I didn’t fully understand until I became an adult. There were assignments I still don’t understand — even as an adult. There were assignments to this day I am still proud to read.  This is profound — to me — because there are photography gigs from last month I can’t remember, but I can recall a handful of assignments from nearly 20 years ago! Needless to say, her teaching methods had a lasting impact.

One of the more confusing tasks was what I’ve grown to call the first sentence assignment. We were to choose 10 books and list the first sentence of the book and explain why we chose that book. In theory, I believe the task was associated with dramatic writing and first impressions. I think she was teaching us how a well written single sentence can captivate a reader well enough to continue reading although the subject may not be all that captivating. Personally, it forced me to think. Why was this important to me? What about this moved me?

As I was reading through the many blogs I follow, one post jogged my memory of this assignment. A blogger, Andrea Badgley, posted quotes from a book (one of many it seems) she reads. For some reason, that post spoke to me and reminded me of that long ago assignment.

There’s no way I could remember all 10 of those books on the decades-old list, but I wanted to share the ones I knew were listed. If you had to do this assignment which books would you list and why? It’s a lot harder to list than you may first think.

From 1994’s List:

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry” by Mildred D. Taylor: “Little Man, would you come on? You keep it up and you’re gonna make us late.”

The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton: “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.”

The Giver” by Lois Lowry: “It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.”

The Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (New International Version)

Sati” by Christopher Pike: “I once knew this girl who thought she was God.”

(The photos on this post are of a notebook created and shared by a group of Pearl Jam fans who have, over time, bonded through through this book, their love of the band, and the friendships forged from both. I was able to see this book and have it explained to me in detail last year. I took a few shots of thinking I would write a blog post about it. I didn’t get around to writing the post, but I thought the photos fit here. These are dedicated, long-term Pearl Jam fans who are moved by the members’ music, writing, and causes. Just as the first sentence of a book can speak to us.)

PJ Book