Tag Archives: spring

My First Author Photo Shoot

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After the shoot, chilling under my umbrella and eating my lunch

This weekend I had my first author photo shoot. It was so cool! I bought a Groupon coupon for only $29 for an outdoor photo shoot. Then I chose from a list of locations – one was at the beach about 20 minutes from home, so I figured, why not?

I had a few days of being kind of worried – what if it’s a waste of time and I have a wild-eyed, wind-blown, sunburned look for my best picture? (I can get a snap like that on my own.) But really, worst case scenario, I’d waste $39 ($10 for parking at the Cardiff State Beach) and an hour of my time.

But the photographer, Rita Spiegel of Oceanside, was awesome! We met at the beach at Cardiff-by-the-Sea, north of San Diego, and she and her assistant put me at ease immediately. Rita gave me some tips on producing a natural

Cardiff-by-the-Sea

Cardiff State Beach on a beautiful April Saturday

smile (have a conversation in your head that has the attitude you want to express in the picture), and off we went.

My friend Catherine is an actress so I called her last week to ask what I should wear, how I should do my makeup, how I should smile, etc. She gave me tons of great advice, including the conversation-in-your-head part.

I told Rita I was a romance novelist and I needed a picture for my book covers and web site. She said, okay, think of something sexy while I take the photos. I laughed and said, no, my books aren’t sexy, they’re fun. So I

Cardiff-by-the-Sea

We took pictures at the base of the cliff as well as on the beach and near the water

thought of all the people who’ve told me they like my books and, while Rita snapped away, I said things in my head like —

“Really? You liked my book? Yay!”

“Oh, you’re going to love the next one, it’s so fun!”

“Let’s get a drink and I’ll tell you all about it.”

I’ve taken so many mediocre pictures that I’d half-convinced myself these pics would only be moderately better, but at least I’d look half-presentable. But Rita and her assistant (I’m embarrassed to have forgotten her name already, but I am eternally grateful to her for constantly reminding me to push up my glasses!) made the half hour shoot so much fun that I went home thinking surely there are going to be two or three really good pictures there.

Cardiff-by-the-Sea

I brought some work so I wouldn’t feel guilty about staying for a while

Here’s hoping! LOL!

Afterward, I settled into my beach chair under my umbrella and ate lunch, then pulled out some work. I figured since I’d paid for a full day of parking, I might as well enjoy it. But I still needed to get work done for the day. It was fun! I brought something that needed to be pretty creative because I figured the beach and the photo shoot would both be conducive to sparking creativity. πŸ™‚

Cardiff beach dogThen a woman lay down nearby with her dog. But her little black dog apparently didn’t like the sun because he hunkered down in the shade of my umbrella. He wasn’t particularly friendly (not interested in being petted), but at least he wasn’t ill-mannered. He stared at me without blinking the whole time I ate my lunch, but he didn’t try to make a grab for it.

Cardiff flower hillsideWhen it was time to go, I was just about to pull out of the parking lot when I noticed these magnificent flowers blooming on a hill behind a fence. I couldn’t help myself, I turned off the car and held my phone over the top of the fence and aimed.

Aren’t they gorgeous? I don’t know what kind they are, but Rita’s assistant said that if you own a house and plant these outside, you’ll get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance because they are succulents.

Cardiff purple flowersSince they’re full of water, they don’t burn easily and are good around the perimeter during fire season.Β That’s just a bonus. They’re so pretty, why wouldn’t you want them around your house? πŸ™‚

The closeups aren’t quite as good only because the sun was high and washed out some of the color. But they were beautiful. Spring in Carlsbad is magical with all the flowers in bloom. Entire hillsides are covered with so many different kinds of flowers I can’t even enjoy them all without worrying I’ll rear-end someone while I’m driving. LOL!

That reminds me. Carlsbad is famous for its Flower Cardiff yellow flowersFields. We only saw them from a distance last year because we were still in the process of moving in. But I should go check them out soon before it’s too late. From a distance, they were gorgeous. They must be absolutely stunning up close.

Ahhh. Happy Kitty. I love spring and flowers. Maybe there will even be flowers in the background of the picture I choose. We’ll see!

New Beginnings

It’s the day after Easter – Christ has risen! Easter always reminds me that I have a new life now. One that is neither overwhelmed by guilt nor glittery on the outside but empty on the inside. Since it’s also the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s easy to remember how beautiful and exciting a new life can be!

A blatant example of that excitement is moving into a new home – which we’re doing TODAY! Yay!! It’s a new beginning, a new town, a new job for John – new nearly everything! I can’t wait to hand over our check and get our shiny new keys. Then it will be official!

It seems to me that any opportunity to have a new beginning is an opportunity to grow in faith, in joy, in wisdom and knowledge, and in love. We get a new beginning every morning, every week and month and year. Every season comes to us new and full of promise and opportunity, whether the season is of the earth, like spring, or in our lives, like another move.

I’m taking some time today to just sit and smile and be happy with the great gifts in my life. πŸ™‚ There are a lot of things I still need that I don’t yet know how I’ll get. Money’s tight right now, but that is another new opportunity for me – the opportunity to see what God and I can do in my career now that I really need, and not just want, to earn more money.

I’m excited! What kinds of new beginnings are you finding? I hope you find excitement and joy in your life this week!