Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Official

My speculations have been correct. The company I work for is letting me go at the end of September. Basically, the director of a group that's bigger than mine decided his team would be safer if they also did what we do--he had some meetings, and before we knew it, his group got the go-ahead to absorb my group, and move the positions to North Carolina to sit next to his team (because a group devoted to ecommerce solutions just HAS to work face to face with each other.... yep).

Throw a sinus infection into the mix, and this has just been a fantastic week (my friends say I'm sarcastic... I have no idea why). Oh, and did I mention that today is my two year anniversary with this company too? Not too long, I know, but long enough to get used to the paycheck and benefits.

Time to advertise my portrait photography! Wouldn't it be great if I could actually do something I love on a full-time basis. I've got three months to set it all up! If any of you know of good advertising ideas, do tell!

Friday, June 25, 2010

You should know about this contest

We interrupt this blog break to tell you about a giveaway at Kristi Chestnutt's blog!!  Amazon gift cards!!! HELLO!

CLICK HERE!

Happy Weekend everyone.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bored?

I don't know the last time I was actually bored... but I feel like I've been boring y'all with my posts lately (though some of you have been exceptionally sweet, and I thank you for the grins).  I haven't been offering a whole lot of good writerliness as of late, and I hope to remedy that in the nearish future.  I'm going to unplug from this blog, for possibly a week.  I'm not going to get into detail, but there are some stresses (one in particular) weighing heavy on my mind these days and I found out today it's influencing my blood pressure.  (according to the eye doctor looking at my retinal scan [which was SO COOL!] - he said my blood vessels were larger than they should be, and asked if I was under stress.  Ha.  Let me tell you about my STRESS, I said.)

So I'm cutting back on a few things, to focus on some others and try somehow to calm down and relax.  You know what's funny... is that I'm usually not the one to get stressed about stuff.  If I do, it's temporary, like, a couple hours before something has to get done... but not prolonged like this.  And I feel like over the past several months, I've blogged about being under stress on multiple occasions.  The past couple of weeks, this has magnified, and apparently my body is now telling me to chill out. 

I may be able to share more with y'all next week when the $#@! hits the fan (don't worry, no one is sick or anything). 

As always, thanks for following.  Be back soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tea Party Tuesday?!

I think I found my photographic calling y'all.  TEA PARTIES!!

I had so much fun last night at this photo shoot.  Check it out!



There are quite a few more for those interested at my photography blog.
 www.kristinraephotography.blogspot.com
And I finally got some of the wedding ones up:





And for those of you who are following me because I claimed to be a writer and you don't give a hootenany about all these pictures I keep making you look at, well, writing isn't paying the bills... yet.  Not that photography is, but it's very close to helping out!  And I can't help but be a little excited/enjoy feedback from my lovely blogging friends as I try to start this up and figure out if it's all actually going to happen. (I should be meeting with my accountant later this week or next to get all the taxes and legal stuff in order!)

Fear not fellow writers!!!  The writing fairy did have to visit some other people over the weekend, but she told me I didn't have to wash the sheets in my spare room, for she would be returning soon! 
I will make a better effort this week to visit your blogs and actually comment, as opposed to being the lurker that I am.  So sorry for my lurkiness!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Let's Talk About Stress, Ba-by

Wowza was this weekend HOT.  Literally, 100+ degrees in Dallas.

I shot my first wedding, officially.  My first, and likely my last.  I think if I hadn't sort of inherited the role of wedding coodinator as well as photographer, it wouldn't have been quite so stressful.  But no one there knew what was going on half the time.  I kept having to bother the bride to say, are you cutting a cake?  Do you plan on dancing at all?  Will there be music?  The poor girl was so stressed out, she had at least two melt downs (the bride, not me, although I wasn't far behind).  The ceremony started half an hour late, she never got bridal portraits so we had to try to sneak those in, her computer was lost with all the music on it, one of the flower girl's dresses was MIA for a while.... I mean, think of something that could go wrong and it probably did.  There were shots we wanted to do but never got to... I've had nightmares two nights in a row about that wedding. hahaha.

And I hauled my massive camera around with a speedlight on top for 5 hours and my hand went numb (my middle finger that took most of the weight is STILL numb like I got a shot of novacaine) and it traveled halfway up my arm.  Not a good feeling.

I still have SO much learning to do before taking another wedding gig that's not part of the FFP (free & family package).  I mean, outdoor portraits are one thing... and I feel decently confident in those... but being THE wedding photographer........ I need MUCH more confidence/training before I do that again.

BUT, Amy did look beautiful in her vintage dress!  And it's OVER!  AND I will be sharing my favorite photos soon!  Hopefully tomorrow if I can get my internet to cooperate!

UPDATE** wedding photos are UP!!  www.kristinraephotography.blogspot.com

Happy Monday!

  

Friday, June 18, 2010

Do Your Dreams Make it into Your Stories?

We've all heard about authors who were inspired by dreams, most noteably Stephenie Meyer with her meadow dream that turned her into a millionaire.  And some of you have even mentioned in the comments that you've been inspired by dreams.

Unfortunately, most of my dreams insert me in a movie or TV series, celebrities included, which is hardly original material.  So besides maybe a brief feeling of having acted in a movie, I can take nothing from them. 
Just the other week, my coworker said that we could relax, we would survive the next round of layoffs because her dream told her so (somewhat jokingly... she doesn't actually rely on these dreams).  And my boss said that she had a dream that gave her a similar feeling.  Feeling it was my turn for input I said, "Well, considering my last dream was about an alien-vampire hybrid, I don't think I'm much help here."  (I'd combined The Vampire Diaries, Roswell, and LOST)  It was a very interesting dream, but nothing I can USE.

How far do you allow your dreams to inspire you?  Are your dreams such an original thought that you can write it down, dialogue and all, and use that in your story?  Are you more inspired by the feeling the dream filled you with?  Did it perhaps spark an idea completely separate from the dream itself?  Or are you like me and can't use your dreams for inspiration at all??

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesday Returns! - The Writing Fairy Lives!

First of all, I have to say what a GREAT day Monday was.  Let's face it, Mondays usually stink to the max.  Back to the grind after the weekend that was too short... getting up early... cubicles and doughnut temptations. It's like hitting a brick wall sometimes.  

But this Monday... things in life finally started feeling like they were falling into place.  Like I'm finally figuring how to handle eveything together.  Not only am I now completely obsessed with photoshop 

(visit http://www.kristinraephotography.blogspot.com/ for more from this session!  I'd love to hear what y'all think about them!)

and sort of feel like I may actually go somewhere with photography (I have a wedding to shoot this weekend, and possibly a children's tea party on Monday!), and I'm finally getting back into exercising (did a Hip Hop cardio class last night... I am SORE but WOW it was FUN!!), but also the Writing Fairy came to pay me a visit yesterday. 
I've got to say, I thought she's been mad at me about something, refusing to bless me with inspiration.  But yesterday folks, she smacked me over the head with that wand and I actually wrote!  Not only did I write but the conflict of my Anemone WIP actually made itself known to me... FINALLY!  I've known since the beginning how I wanted the story to end, and various snippets from throughout, but it lacked CONFLICT... where's the drama?  It needed MORE!  I'm very excited about what was revealed to me yesterday, and I hope to have some things for my critique groups soon!  In the meantime... here is a snippet from Anemone.

-----

I gave in to the whirling confusion in my head, buckled over, and curled up into a ball in the grass. Silky tears again clouded my vision and I squeezed my eyelids tight in effort to blink them away, but it only seemed to make it worse.


This was more than short-term memory loss.

A light brush across my shoulder told me that Brady must have swallowed back his temptation to leave. Part of me didn’t want anyone to see me in such a pitiful state, but a bigger part of me knew that I needed him. Because he wasn't just the only person I’d talked to all day, he was the only person I could remember talking to—ever.

Monday, June 14, 2010

When Blogging Buddies Meet!

This past Friday, I drove downtown-ish for the launch party of Tera Lynn Childs new release, "Forgive My Fins."  Not only did I get to meet the author and have her sign a copy of my book...


I also got to meet two good blogger friends of mine, 
Jen from Unedited, and her sister Kim from Under the Umbrella!


Kim, Jen, and me. :)

It was great to meet you ladies! I look forward to next time!

I'll post soon with some good info, directly from Tera Lynn Childs!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What A Weekend!

I just finished up my THIRD photo shoot of the weekend!
I had a maternity shoot yesterday, this morning I had a session with two beautiful children, and another maternity shoot this evening!  I've got the first session's highlights up on my photography blog:

www.kristinraephotography.blogspot.com

Here is a sample to entice you to take a look!




Friday, June 11, 2010

Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration...

6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple... - Mr. Willy Wonka

A friend of mine was recently inspired by a vase her husband gave her for her birthday. I mean, within a day she had a whole synopsis worked out.  From the way her vase looked!  I asked her what I had to do to get the "writing fairy" to visit me.  Knock one of my teeth out and put it under my pillow?   Put my laptop under my pillow?!

I've got two WIPs but besides 6 chapters of one and 2 chapters of the other, I'm not making much progress.  I don't know if it's because I don't have time, or if I'm lacking inspiration.  Maybe it's both.  But I sort of feel like if I had inspiration, I'd make time.  Right?

What sort of things have you been influenced by?  Is it usually inanimate objects?  An overheard conversation?  Something that just popped into your head for seemingly no reason?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back Burner / Front Burner

Writing has taken a bit of a back burner these days.  There's too much other stuff on the brain currently.  I've been reading like crazy to try to escape my own thoughts, haven't been sleeping well, my head is pounding at the moment... but this too shall pass.  (And Mylie's resting her head on my foot--life is sweet isn't it?)

On to other things!  Photography is on the FRONT burner.  It all started, well, when I was 18 and got my first Nikon just before my first trip to Hawaii.  I'm pretty sure I took 12 rolls, and I was HOOKED.... on travel photography.  Fast forward 8 years later and I'm buying my second Nikon (the digital kind!) just before my first trip to Italy... pretty sure I took 1700 pictures, several hundred at the colosseum. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to photograph a wedding - me?  :::looks around::: yes I'm talking to you.  :::swallows:::  but... I shoot travel photos, I'm even selling some on Etsy (shameless plug, check my sidebar for my site if you haven't seen it yet!!)  :::face turns a bit pink, because, well, because they always do::: that sounds like a lot of responsibility.... 

It is folks, and I'm taking it very seriously, so seriously in fact, that I've been in nonstop research/practice mode since she asked me (of course I said yes, come on).  So serious in fact, that I have two photo shoots this weekend.  One maternity shoot, and one for siblings (5 year old and 2 year old).  I don't know what's happening.  Things are going crazy.  I have two more maternity shoots in the works, and guess what.  Those babies will have to be born and guess who gets to take the newborn pics.  See what I mean?  It's turning into something here folks (another reason my brain is hurting).  I'm excited about it, and soon I will reveal a new blog--separate from this one--dedicated to my little photography efforts.  One day I'll be able to afford an actual website! Maybe.

In the meantime, I've been playing with photoshop (LOVING IT), and here is a fun tidbit for you.  A picture I've probably shared in the past of a Luau in Maui, but posterized!!  Just for funsies.

   

Monday, June 7, 2010

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Description from Goodreads.com:

In Mary's world there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and the one who loves her.

And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?



My thoughts:


Wow.  I feel like I'm still trying to fully grasp what happened in this book.  It's intense.  It's emotional.  It's full of flesh-craving zombies.


This was my first zombie-zombie book, and it was horrifying... in a good way... I think.  It was very well written, creative to the extreme, suspenseful, and it will wreck you.  I really can't say anything without giving it away (I wouldn't even know where to start), but if you like zombies, forbidden love, and lots of intense moments, this is for you.

Criticism:

I have a couple of issues with this book.  I feel like too many things were left hanging.  Like we were made to suspect things but never learned if our suspicions were accurate...  And it appears the next book, The Dead-Tossed Waves, doesn't exactly pick up where this one left off.
Another thing; I was sad, often.  Throw us a flippin bone, for crying out loud.  I get surprise twists but man... this was just cruel.  

4/5 - Really Liked It

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May in Review... Hello June!

I feel like I JUST wrote one of these posts.  May has FLOWN by.  We went to yet another wedding (our wedding streak started in October... then one in December, January, March [in Jamaica!], April, May [just this past Friday], and we have one in June - Oh.. and October.  Between all those and the plethora of baby showers I've been to in the past 12 months [4] and wedding showers [2], I'm really surprised we are making mortgage payments. lol), we had house guests in our new guest room, I opened a store on Etsy to sell my travel photos and paintings (check the sidebar!), went to Disney World/Universal Studios in Orlando, I wrote maybe a couple of pages of my WIP, I won a B&N gift card in DL's 300 celebration, and I didn't lose any weight.

I read three books, which is the same number as in April, though 10 pages less, even though TWO of the books had 336 pages each... how FREAKY is that?!

May Books:

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (my first Faerie read) *4/5
Beastly by Alex Flinn *4/5
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins *5/5

Words read in May: 976
YTD: 6716

 How was your May?  Read any good books?  See any good movies (IRON MAN 2 ROCKS MY FACE OFF!)?