Photography Challenge: Love

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Capturing something as abstract as emotion can be a difficult feat, but I found the challenge to be invigorating.  As usual, my muse took me on a path I did not expect as she reminded me past efforts can be reinvented into new adventures, while hidden treasure waits to be discovered in the creative soul.

Prompt: Capture a moment of love

For the last seven years, I’ve walked to work almost every morning.  About a block from my house I always remember to look down, so I can see a heart that’s carved into the pavement.  I can’t help but wonder if LH and KH are still together, (the sidewalk is dated 1986).  I hope so.

Photo by: c.b.w.

Prompt: Capture something sensual

No matter how many times I tried to play with this prompt in my surroundings, my mind kept returning to a past shot I took of Rodin’s masterpiece, The Kiss.  I’ve seen more than one version of this sculpture and it always makes me think of the word, “sensual.”  Maybe I’m cheating a bit, but sometimes an older picture deserves to be new again.

The Kiss by Auguste Rodin, (Tate Modern)
Photo by: c.b.w.

Prompt: Capture something hidden.

I had a worse than usual bout with insomnia this week, but it lead to something quite remarkable.  A drawing tablet I’ve had in my closet for at least 10 years wandered onto my table along with a box of crayons.  The girl who never believed she could draw, discovered a hidden love for filling a page with whimsical art.

Photo and Whimsy by c.b.w.

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To see all the details of the photography challenge, go here.

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c.b.w. 2012

Breaking The Stats Habit

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It’s interesting how a number can influence so much.  For some, the number of birthdays they’ve had can lead to depression and for others the number on the inside of a waistband literally deflates all hope of retaining a drop of self-esteem.  The same is true for bloggers.  For the last few days my stats have been a little wonky and its driving my crazy.  This little bout of insanity has made me realize my confidence as a writer hinges entirely too much on one number.

The bar graph that threatens to define my worth.

I fully admit that I am a total stats addict.  The bar graph, sparkline, and full stats page are an intergral part of my life as I check them periodically throughout the day.  I make sure I have access to my stats via laptop, smartphone, and tablet, so no matter where I am I can check my numbers. Part of my obsession comes from pure habit, but the rest runs much deeper.  My inner critic likes to play with my confidence and she loves to cackle when the numbers are low.  The only relief I get from her is when the numbers are normal or keep climbing.

It’s ridiculous and I know it.

So, why do I allow one number to determine my worth?  Easy.  In this realm, higher numbers are equated with success. Interesting topics and high quality writing attract more readers, right?  More readers means I am a success.  This is the driving force behind checking those stats.  Like any writer, I crave the gratification that comes from knowing I’ve written something worthwhile.

As I said before, it’s ridiculous.

In order to put my focus back where it belongs – on writing and creating – I’m challenging myself to ignore my stats for a full week.  No numbers, charts, or averages are going to determine my level of success.  I am going to minimize the bar graph on my dashboard and abstain from visiting the full statistics page.  The sparkline is impossible to avoid, but luckily it doesn’t provide specific information.  In addition, I’ll be removing the WordPress app from my  Kindle Fire carousel. This week it’s all about writing and creating as well as I can without thinking about “the number.”

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If you’d like to join me on this challenge, sound off in the comments section!

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c.b.w.  2012

Summer Garden Haikus

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The sunflowers are in full bloom . . .

A glowing face beams
Waiting for the buzzing bees
swirls of new seeds

He loves me, he loves me not . . .
Photo by: c.b.w.

Today’s forecast: Sunny with clear skies.
Photo by: c.b.w.

. . . while my little rabbit causes some trouble!

Sunflower petals
Zucchini, cucumber bites
My tummy is full

Bad bunny! Next thing you know, he’ll be stealing the seeds!

Where did he get the knife?? I better keep the zucchini and cucumbers hidden from now on!

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What’s growing in your garden?

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c.b.w. 2012

Listening to the Wall: Part 2

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Listening to the Wall is a series dedicated to showcasing pieces of student art that helped create an incarnate of the Lennon Wall  in my classroom.

This piece includes a number of fantastic quotes, but my eye always goes to the shackled hands releasing a butterfly.  To this day I wonder what “butterfly” was hiding deep inside of the girl who drew this image.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of teaching a student who thrived on art and drawing.  I have watched him grow into an incredibly talented artist and I’m quite honored to have a few pieces of his early work.  For the Lennon Wall he chose to do something simple, but his ability to create atmosphere explodes across the page.

The bold colors of this piece totally reflect the spirit of the student who created it.  Every day, a little ball of sunshine sat in the front row of my classroom.

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For further information about the Listening to the Wall series, please visit these links:

Reconstructing the Lennon Wall

Listening to the Wall: Part 1

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c.b.w. 2012