photography

Fall Wallpapers from Radnor Lake

It’s my favorite time of year!

The leaves are turning beautiful colors, every TV channel is full of creepy delights, and rainy days make it perfect for staying under a blanket with a book and a cup of coffee. Plus my birthday is in October. Maybe I’ll skip that this year. Is that allowed?

In most Octobers, when I’m not living a pretend Pinterest lifestyle, I’m trying to write something coherent (not always successful) or taking pictures.

Here’s a couple of free wallpapers from Radnor Lake State Park in Nashville that are phone/tablet ready.

Hope you’re all enjoying your fall days!

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reflections

In Which I Am Unemployed

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Well, long story short, I am a member of the Recently Unemployed.

It is a good thing, and it was by choice, but nevertheless it’s not really something I was expecting to deal with right now.

While I love writing stories and working on my blog, capturing images, and working on my side project Just Live Simple, I’m like anybody who is doing creative work, I gotta have that regular job to pay the bills. And I’m okay with that, that’s life right now, and those student loans have gotta get paid off somehow so I’m not paying them off when I’m 55.

So when I was offered the most recent job, I thought I had found a challenging, but manageable position that would allow me to do all those things. Unfortunately what I thought would be a great fit ended up being in an abusive, toxic work environment. Humiliation and scare tactics were used on a daily basis to motivate me to do more, to ask for less, and to dehumanize me on every level. I won’t say the name of the company because it’s just not even worth the headache.

After spending the past few months feeling like my life was slowly slipping away from me under stress and depression I finally said enough was enough. It sucks, but sometimes in life you have to stand up and say you will not accept being treated like you are less. Getting a paycheck does not make it okay to for anyone to treat you like garbage either. Stand up for yourself, lean on your support system, and don’t settle.

So what now? Well, I hopefully will not be out of work for too long, I still have student loans to pay. I’m taking steps to make sure that doesn’t happen. But I’ll be honest and say I’m enjoying the rare break. I’m doing a lot of reading and writing too. Throw in James Altucher’s Daily Practice too. There’s some decompressing that needs to happens as well. But I’m hopeful for the future.

In the meantime, if you like my stuff and want to help me out while I’m between jobs, don’t forget my first publication, Zodiac, is still up on the Kindle Store. If you’re one of the awesome people who’ve already picked put it, THANK YOU! You rock!

If you can help me out and leave a review, I will personally thank you. Even if you didn’t like it (but I hope you did!), I appreciate you taking the time to be honest. That’s what it’s all about.

I’m also still selling prints if you need something for that bare wall of yours, you know the one.

I hope you read this and remember that you are a valuable person, you deserve to be respected and if there’s an area in your life where that is lacking, then do what you have to do to either stand up for yourself or remove yourself from a harmful situation.

Take care!

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art, music & design

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 2

guardians of the galaxy awesome mix vol. 2

How bad ass was Guardians of the Galaxy? I mean, really. It was TOTALLY bad ass.

And that soundtrack? It’s like a gateway drug into the era of sweet 70’s lite rock jams. It’s a soundtrack made for dancing around your house in your underwear, singing into a toothpaste tube, and hoping your neighbors can’t see through the curtains. I mean, not that I do that kind of thing…but I can see it.

After jamming out to the soundtrack for the past two months I’ve been left with a hole where only an Awesome Mix Volume 2 can fill. But I’ll be waiting 2-3 more years for that to appear! What will I do until then?!

So I thought I’d assemble what would make for an AWESOME Awesome Mix Vol. 2. You hear that Marvel Studio/Disney execs?? Let me know if you need me on the media time *wink wink*.

1. Boogie Shoes by KC and The Sunshine Band

Guardians of the Galaxy started on all the right notes. Come and Get Your Love was the perfect introduction the man known only to himself as Starlord and Guardians 2 has to start off the same way. Fun, familiar, but Sci-Fi. Boogie Shoes plays as Starlord, Gamora, and the rest of the Guardians liberate (steal) an important device that some alien race could use to be real jerks. So what if they get paid a finder’s fee? They’re doing the universe a favor here…

2. Goodbye Girl by David Gates

This plays during a really fun scene. It’s Peter’s birthday and everybody wants to do something nice for him, well maybe not Rocket, but almost everyone. So they keep him blindfolded and fly to his birthday present…the Earth! They brought him to Earth for one night of memories and general good times before they have to zip off under the cover of darkness so they aren’t discovered by some guys wearing suits with “S.H.I.E.L.D.” on their business cards. The Men in Black of the Marvel U are always watching. Peter and Gamora dance chastely to a dusty boombox playing this song from the Awesome Mix Vol. 2 tape. Baby/Teenage Groot waters itself from a watering can it found. Rocket doesn’t know about this new Groot. Drax looks weepy and wistful and not so tough for one sweet moment. It was a nice night on Earth.

3. The Joker by Steve Miller Band

Come on, you know this has to be in the movie, it starts with “Some people call me the Space Cowboy, some people call me the Gangster of Love“, this is Peter Quill/Starlord in song version. This will play when the Guardians get to their “Mos Eisley bar scene” to find the buyer for whatever they stole, er rescued from bad people/aliens…

4. I Got a Name by Jim Croce

This plays when Gamora is looking dejected after being forced to meet with her intergalactic tyrant father Thanos and told she has to betray the Guardians or they will all be killed. Can an assassin change her ways…?

5. Sara Smile by Daryl Hall and John Oates

This is from a scene showing a romantic interlude between Starlord and Gamora. Things are getting spicy. Don’t worry though, Peter will screw it up…

6. Brick House by The Commodores

This is from the scene where Drax has to dress up in drag. I don’t know why either. But he’s going to dress up in drag to entice some guy the Guardians need to get to. Comedy ensues. It will make sense. I promise…

7. Jet Airliner by The Steve Miller Band

This songs plays from the onboard tape deck on the Guardians spaceship as they make off with the sweet rewards from their dealings in the last scene. Damn, they are good. Gamora has other plans though…

8. How Deep is Your Love by The Bee Gees

This is from the scene where the Guardians are all looking dejected because Gamora has revealed herself as a traitor. How could she do this?? Rocket never trusted her anyway…

9. Desperado by The Eagles

This song plays after Gamora has been revealed as the traitor in the Guardians’ midst (don’t worry, Thanos made her do it) and tries to save the Guardians and Peter by telling them she is evil and just not a nice person and takes off in their own ship leaving the Guardians stranded. Peter has his doubts though…

10. Just The Way You Are by Billy Joel

This is the song where the lovably valiant and hopeless Peter Quill seeks out Gamora after she was forced to betray the Guardians into Thanos’ trap. She assumes that the team and Peter hate her and want her dead, but she’s part of the family and means a lot more to Peter…

11. December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

This song plays after the Guardians avert intergalactic disaster yet again. High fives all around! A bunch of rubble surrounds the cast. Somebody got their butt kicked…

12. Best of My Love by The Emotions

The credits song! This is the song that plays as the Guardians triumphantly cruise off into space in their intergalactic Winnebago while we see Peter Quill and Gamora just out of view of the cockpit with their arms intertwined looking all romantical at each other and the like. Awww. Rocket sleeps peacefully around Baby Groot’s neck.

Be sure to wait for the after credits teaser for Avengers 3: Infinity War. No spoilers since this is all in my head, but it’s going to be the Avengers, Vision, and Adam Warlock vs. Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. Oh yeah, he’s gettin’ all dem gems…

Don’t forget the after AFTER credits scene! It’s got Gamora giving Peter his belated birthday present: Awesome Mix Vol. 3! This one is on a flash drive with the S.H.I.E.L.D. emblem on it, because Director Coulson gave it to her. What a sweetie.

Hope you liked my take on Guardians of the Galaxy 2! Let’s meet back here in 2016 and see how close I was.

Until then, listen to Awesome Mix Vol. 2 on Spotify by using the player below. Enjoy!

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books & writing

Adventures in Self-Publishing: Week 1 Results

Well the first week has past since I took the plunge into the self-publishing pool, put a short story out there, and here’s the results:

Sold 9 copies of my short story, not all of which were to people I know (huzzah!) and 1 Kindle Unlimited borrow.

That’s a total success in my book! That’s 9 more pieces of writing than I have ever sold previously and I’m pretty thrilled about it. Sometimes it’s the smallest win that can propel you. This week has definitely been a win. It’s amazing how different I am looking at my writing after seeing a couple of numbers tick up on a line graph.

It just goes to show that these days the gatekeepers don’t exist anymore. The only thing that you can hold you back is not trying or believing in what you can do.

Thanks all for the support!

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show your work, austin kleon
books & writing

Should You Read It? Show Your Work

I just finished reading Show Your Work (10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered), by Austin Kleon today. Austin is the same guy who wrote Steal Like An Artist which I haven’t read YET, but keep hearing about on my favorite podcasts.

Before I talk about the book. YES, you should read it.

If you’re a creative in any way, you should be reading this book. Show Your Work is one of the reasons I’m back to blogging full time on this site. I stopped talking about what I was doing and just wanted to work on finished products. Then I got stuck. I felt like I had to start censoring the process because if anyone was to find out that I’m just a schmo and the whole idea of “being a writer” would come crashing down around me.

I think pulling the curtains back is completely necessary. I think when people want to become a creative in some fashion they get caught up in a lot of schemes. They tell themselves they need to read 100 books on how to write before every putting pen to paper. They think they need to attend Art School before ever making anything solely for their own enjoyment or saying something that’s important to them.

Show Your Work is the kind of short read that you pick up on days when you’re stuck, read a couple of chapters, then use that mental cappuccino and get back to business. It should be in the top five books every creative keeps in their vintage leather messenger bags. The ones next to the MacBook.

So in conclusion, why aren’t you already getting the book?? YES, YOU SHOULD READ IT.

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