23 November 2012

"a photo is worth ..."

In the midst of my break, I've been playing. Playing with my hair. Playing with my gadgets. Returning to my karaoke rock star roots. Yesterday, I was blessed to spend Thanksgiving with a few lovely people getting stuffed with delicious food and enjoying the Cowboys-Redskins game. I'm not a big football watcher, but when you sit a couple poets down and let them commence dishing out their own commentary on a sporting event ... well, it's going to be a fun evening.

(I highly recommend, by the way, trying this yourself. Seriously. It is some of the most fun I've ever had watching sports. I love sports. But I love making fun of things more. And when you get at least three other people screaming, pretending to be some of the Dallas Cowboys, "Tony! Tony! Hey, Romo, did you see me?! That was for you!" after every play, like I said ... it's fun-meets-hilarity-meets-fellowship-meets-ridiculousness.)

When I got home I realized ... it was the longest I've gone without writing anything substantial in a long time. I sent a few text messages to family and friends, but there were no blog posts, no poems. I felt the urge to work on my National Novel Writing Month novel, but fought it off long enough to watch the end of The Godfather II on AMC, and then The Godfather immediately after ... and then The Godfather II in its entirety after that. Those who know me know that I'm a huge Godfather fan. I would say I'm the biggest fan in the world, but ... let's not bring on trouble.

I've gotten a lot more reading done in the past few days than expected, too. Starting with the Constitution of the United States. It's, admittedly and perhaps shamefully, the first time I've read the whole thing. I picked up a copy, introduced by R.B. Bernstein, at Barnes & Noble the other day; it also includes the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation. Admittedly, it was in part merely research for my NaNoWriMo novel, but now it's more fascination than investigation.

I also picked up a copy of Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter, which is a delightful and heart-wrenching and relatively-quick and time-halting read from J. Nozipo Maraire. If you are Black, or of African ancestry, you should read this book. If you are white, or Asian, or Middle Eastern, or American, you should read this book. If you have a long-lasting love affair with your mother, you should read this book. If you have lost your mother, you should read this book with tissues. If you are a woman, you should read this book. If you are a man, you should read this book. If you are human, you should read this book.

I picked up Survivors, the third in the "Morningstar Strain" trilogy by Z.A. Recht. It's zombie stuff. I cannot wait to dive in. I probably can anticipate a sleepless night (I plan to read the full text on Saturday). But it will be worth it. And, last, Stephanie Dowrick's Creative Journal Writing. It's a great jump-starter if you're looking to pick up or rekindle a journal-writing habit; I'm prepping to relight my fire in January.

I'll leave you with this photograph I played with yesterday. I've been listening to a lot of affirmation music: songs with messages of loving yourself and being who you are and redefining beauty in and for oneself. This is work I've been trying to do. Whenever I look in the mirror and think, "Thank you, God, I like what I see right now," I've been trying to snap a photo to remember it. Yesterday, I snapped this photo, and got to playing with it. It turned out fun enough to give me enough love for who I am, and who God made me, to help me remember once again I am who I am, and I'm happy with that.

Here's the original:
Earrings: maurices Mini Rhinestone Filligree Earrings
($10) / Dress: Fashion to Figure, my new favorite store!

And here's what it turned into:
I almost never wear lipstick. The color is edited in (along with
a little red in the cheek). But it was still fun to get fake-dolled-up!


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Check out these fascinating reads:
  • I might not call Natasha Trethewey a poetry "cheerleader", but this AP Interview left me cheering
  • In this "oldie but goodie," Katrina Vandenberg shares the "Mix-Tape" Strategy for putting a poetry manuscript in order
  • Poets & Writers' "The Time is Now" creative writing prompts and exercises always inspire me to do something new, something I might not have thought of on my own
  • Thanks to Anne Kimball, I finally understand what a "Blog Hop" is! Learn more in this post for Wordsmith Studio: "Blog Hoppin'"

13 comments:

  1. LOL, fake dolled up, I love it. You've done a wonderful job with the edit Khara. I love that you listen to affirming songs. I should do some of that too.

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    1. Thank you, Veronica! And yes, affirming songs are glorious--just an instant mood lifter (not to mention the impromptu dance parties they often lead to)!

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  2. Love that autographed photo! Signs of good things to come? Happy Thanksgiving to you (a little late), and thanks for a great post and for all you do for us WSS folks.

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    1. Oh, I wish I could call it a sign, Gerry :) Thanks for the comment, and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

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  3. I love your photo, Khara!! Beautiful. ;) I could use a little more affirmation in my life, what are some of your favorite affirmation songs?

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    1. Many thanks, Rebecca! Right now at the top of my list are "Little Things" by India.Arie and "Wanting Memories" by Sweet Honey in the Rock. I've actually been working on compiling a list of my favorite affirming songs to share here. Watch for it!

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    2. Definitely!! Can't wait to see it!

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  4. Glad to hear you had a great Thanksgiving, and congratulations on the new job. I'll be waiting for the list as well, Khara. I love the photo. What software did you use for the touch-up? Maybe it will get rid of some of the lines in my face... ;-)

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    1. Thank you, April! (I don't have a job yet ... but fingers crossed.)

      I used Gimp for the photo. It's essentially a free version of PhotoShop; I love it. (My site graphics--i.e. the top banner--are all designed using Gimp, as well.)

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  5. LOVE IT! You deserved all that "playing!"

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    1. Thank you, Romelle! It's funny that in my time off from regular blogging I spent SO much time playing ... with my site! Ah well, it's fun play. Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment.

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  6. I have now saved Zenzele to my Amazon wish list. It sounds intriguing.
    And what a great photo! That edited one is fun!

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    1. Thank you, Linda. As for Zenzele, hooray! It really is a beautiful book, and beautifully written. (If your reading of it is anything like mine, though, you may want to pack tissues as you read!)

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Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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