Five For Friday: Char-a’tee Pryce

Five For Friday: Char-a’tee Pryce

Yes, I have been slacking on my interview segment. I promised myself I would get a bunch of interviews lined up and ready to roll for 2013. But that was in 2012, when I was behind the 8-ball on just about everything. So instead of admitting how unprepared I am, I’m going to flip it around and be “creative” instead. Why not, right?

My guest today pops right from the pages of my novel, The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything. It’s not Mina, because, while you may or may not know this, people with amnesia give dreadful interviews. It’s not Alex, because of course cagey people make horrible interview subjects as well. So let’s hope third choice is a charm. And how could she not be. This character was Mina’s core. Kept her grounded and, well, sane… Maybe… Please put your hands together and welcome the incomparable, the indomitable Char-a’tee Q. Pryce!

Yes, this is Mo’Nique but this is exactly who came to mind in writing Char-a’tee! So just play along, okay?

1. I’m so honored you could join us today, Ms. Pryce. I’m such a big fan! I mean, I know technically I wrote you and everything. But to be honest, I have no idea where you came from. I mean, you weren’t even in the original plan I had for the book. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hmmph.

Can you elaborate on that?

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Okay…?

Third choice? Third? For realz? Shee-it. Ain’t no one more important to that story than me and you know it. Not Lily. Not Stalin. Not no one.

Well, technically Lily, or Mina, is the protagonist. And it is a story about her vague, suspicious relationship with Alex, who you call Stalin, among other names, so…

Well that may be, but I give the book color. Texture! Without Char-a’tee Pryce, no one would ever read past chapter 6.

2. I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. But let’s talk about your name. You really do have such an unusual name, but then I can’t help but think it’s supposed to mean something. Is it supposed to mean something?

Bitch, you wrote it. You tell me!

Oh. Well, I guess…

Ha! Old Char’s just yanking your chain, Dishwater.

Dishwater? Oh for my blonde hair. Like you mean like you call Mina “Lily”…

Chuh. My girl Lily’s pure platinum and porcelain. And you? Just look at that shee-it you got goin’ on. Listen baby, you can paint yellow stripes into your hair much as you want. Ain’t gonna make you a blonde.

3. Uh. Okay. So let’s move on then, shall we? So…uh…what are some of your hobbies?

I enjoy knitting, crocheting, and baking.

Can you be serious?

(Laughs.) Can you imagine ol’ Char sittin’ around crocheting potholders? (Laughs again. Keeps laughing. Still laughing. Coughing. Choke… Choke…)

Are you okay?

(Gasping. Tearing. Waving a hand in front of her face.) You got something to drink?

This is my imagination. I guess I could get you anything you want.

You got Couvoisier?

Oh, you want booze. Well can it wait until we’re done here? I’ll join you!

Fine. (Muttering) Uppity bitch.

What was that?

What was the question again?

Hobbies?

Yeah. I like screwing masseuses.

4. Come on. Did you really give it up for Paolo at the Pearls of Wisdom Dental Spa?

Char don’t kiss and tell. That’s between me and him. Hey, why don’t you make this more interesting and conjure his fine Portuguese ass over here?

Because this is about YOU!

Fair enough.

5. Let’s change the subject. Like you said in your first answer, you are kind of a crucial character in the story.

The most crucial…

Pretty crucial. And you give Mina lots of great advice. Is there a Char-a’tee mantra? Words my readers can take away with them to make a better life?

Tell your readers to buy my book.

You have a book?

Not yet. But I’m planning one.

Do you need help writing it? Because you know, I am also a ghostwriter. You can check out my client list on my website. http://www.francinelasala.com

Is that all you know how to do, Dishwater? Shameless self-promoting?

I’m pretty good with dialog…

Chuh. Whatever you say.

BONUS QUESTION: We’re heading out for a night of drinking–me and you. Where are we going? What are we drinking? And how does the night end?

Dishwater, you really think you can last a night out with Char?

Hey, I haven’t always been a suburban mom, you know.

You drive a Volvo station wagon.

I have a past!

I bet you think you do, sweet thing. Okay, okay. I’ll humor you. Here’s what we’d do. We’d head to a nightclub and do tequila shots all night and dirty dance with hot, half-naked men.

But I’m married!

You really have no imagination, do you?

I guess not.

Well at the very least try and conjure up that Couvosier you promised and let’s get our drink on.

Thanks, Char. Please visit us again! And visit Char-a’tee any time you want when you read the book!

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Let’s connect!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/francinelasala

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Francine-LaSala-Author/223109337705912

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4679863.Francine_LaSala

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My Highlights (Not About My Hair. Well, Not Entirely.)

My Highlights (Not About My Hair. Well, Not Entirely.)

I would be lying if I told you 2012 was one of my favorite years, but I do understand that gratitude, along with owning my perspective of things, are the secrets to happiness. It is true that no matter how hard or how many times Madame Universe decides to bitch-slap you, if you have these tools in your arsenal, you’re going to be okay. In that spirit, instead of wasting any time at all on pondering how astonishingly shitty 2012 was, here are some reasons it rocked!

1. My kids are healthy and reasonably happy. My little one started school and is obsessed with learning, and my big one has a teacher this year who loves and appreciates her, and makes her feel like learning maybe isn’t so boring.

2. After almost nine years of marriage, I am still crazy in love with a great guy who loves and appreciates (and puts up with) me.

3. And who made the entire dinner last night! (And poured a great wine!)

4. My wonderful parents have been able to help out again with watching the kids, and my kids are able to enjoy getting to know and love both sets of their grandparents. I hope to be able to post this one every year, but deeply appreciate the gift of being able to post it now, and for as many years as I can.

5. Despite how mediocre a friend I’ve been this year, self-absorbed at times in my own worries and woes, I have had wonderful “angel” pals show me extraordinary displays of kindness and caring. Very close friends pulling me up off the mat when I’ve been knocked down, others simply reaching out, letting me know they were thinking of me.

6. I went on a mini-vacation with a friend in Florida in June and spent four days sitting around, not focusing on anyone’s needs but my own!

7. I just got new eyeglasses after eight years and I can read highway signs again! (Talk about improving perspective…)

8. I discovered a whole world of new writing friends via social media–relative “strangers” who lend advice, share information, “retweet,” interview me and let me interview them, allow me to post on their blogs, invite me on blog hops and to join their promos, download and read and review my books. The camaraderie has been amazing. Thanks, guys!

9. And speaking of books–I still can’t believe I landed a publisher this year, Diversion Books, who put out not one, but two of my books. The second, The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything, acquired from a synopsis and a sample chapter. I’ve been in book publishing 20 years this year. The amazingness of this is not lost on me.

10. I just got my hair cut and highlighted after about seven months! (So just a little bit about my hair.)

11. I watched three great movies in a row with my husband last night! (Ted, The Help, Red.)

12. I got a Kindle and have already read two and a half great books since Christmas (A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr; Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey; started The Dating Game by Susan Buchanan) and I now have the ability to be able to give back more to my writing community.

13. I’m here. (And as long as I am, I can keep improving myself and my world. Doesn’t get better than that.)

So there you have it: Lucky 13 as we approach 2013! It’s amazing that no matter how crappy and down you may be feeling, forcing yourself to name some things that are going right can really lift you.

Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. And PLEASE, share just one of these with me in the comments section below.

And check out this great idea, which will make your next year’s inventory much easier to manage:

And here’s Steve Maraboli‘s great Facebook group you can join to keep you in the practice of being thankful for all you have:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/157468344270522/

So sayonara 2012. Don’t let the door slam you too hard in the tushie. And all the best to all of you in 2013!

xo

Francine

Five For Friday: Richela Fabian Morgan, aka “The Duct Tape Queen”!

Five For Friday: Richela Fabian Morgan, aka “The Duct Tape Queen”!

Welcome to my blog, Clippings in the Shed. Glad to have you here, especially because it’s Friday–interview day! Each week, I’ll introduce you to a cool, kickass woman who lives life well beyond going through the motions. This week: Richela Fabian Morgan, one of the “craftiest” people I know.

Connect with me: on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about me at www.francinelasala.com. And now–Five for Friday!

Richela and kids… Could you all BE more gorgeous?!

Five Questions With Richela Fabian Morgan
Richela Fabian Morgan is one of the most extraordinary people I know. Not only is she a dominatrix of duct tape, she’s an insanely crafty all-purpose re-purposer. Oh… and she also has a wicked sense of humor and enjoys wine from a juice box. Really, what’s not to like? Some people send their kids to summer camp. Richela spent one entire month of summer vacation with her kids making New York City their camp. Not just Manhattan–all the boroughs. Famous places, holes in the wall. By train, by subway, by car. Read all about it here: Mommy Summer Camp. Just amazing.

Richela’s creative mind knows no limits. She has amazing vision, and she is able to see amazing things even beyond the raising of her two fun and fabulous kids–and even bring them along for the ride. As a fellow mother and fellow creative, I am in awe. You will be, too. Read on!

(Here’s how to connect with Richela: Facebook, Twitter, and, as indicated above, her fabulous blog!)

1. This is not a question, but you are by far one of the most creative and talented people I know. This is a question: Have you always been so artsy – or is this the person you’ve evolved into?
C’mon! Now that is a lie because we know some of the same people. But I appreciate the compliment. Artsy is probably not something I would have called myself when I was a kid or a young adult. I loved art but I can’t draw well or with any originality. But I’ve always been crafty. I liked making all sorts of stuff. Since I couldn’t necessarily create something that had a deeper meaning (i.e. art) I tended to make stuff that was useful. But it really started to take off when I had kids. We would play/create with anything and everything in the house: paper towel rolls, magazine paper, bottle caps, broken crayons. And we loved all kinds of tape, from regular scotch tape to duct tape. When my kids both went off to elementary school, I had a little too much time on my hands! I thought about getting a 9 to 5 job, but then I realized that my skill set had changed. I suddenly had all these crafting skills that didn’t fit into a normal job description. So I created job for myself. I became a crafter and a writer.

101 crazily creative projects!

2. Very excited about your new book, TAPE IT & MAKE IT! Can you tell us how it came to be?
Someone asked me if I could come up with 101 duct tape craft projects. At first I balked—101?? That seemed like an awful lot. But then it occurred to me that I might have made that many or more different duct tape crafts in the past. So I decided to write them all down and in less than 15 minutes I had 101. And about the process of creating 101 crafts with duct tape? I photographed set-up shots while making each craft. This actually slowed down my usual tempo of crafting because I had to think about the next step. Then when the craft was completed I reviewed each shot and wrote accompanying instructions. It worked well.

Who knew the magic this stuff can do?

3. Duct tape isn’t the only incredibly creative medium you’ve used to make beautiful things. Can you tell us about some of the other clever things you’ve done with milk cartons and other re-purposed materials?
I also love working with brown paper bags, half-gallon cartons, and other paper goods bound for the recycle bin. And maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but I tend to make a lot of bags and wallets. Also about your other books? I wrote a book called THE GREEN CRAFTER (Citadel), which contains 52 projects using materials found in and around the home. And I recently contributed a craft to the forthcoming book ALL THINGS PAPER (Tuttle Publishing). It’s a tote bag made from brown grocery bag handles. Yes, it’s a brown bag…bag!

4. What advice can you give a person looking to craft with re-purposed materials?
First, make sure you clean all your materials well whether it’s bits of food or dirt or adhesive. And make sure you have the right tools to work with your material. If you aren’t sure what kind of tools you need, bring the material with you and visit your local hardware store. Tell a knowledgeable salesperson what you intend to do and then ask what type of tools you will need. You might need to go to a craft store, but the salespeople are not as knowledgeable about tools. I guess because what we do is more DIY, but the smaller hardware stores—that’s where you’ll find the most hands-on salespeople—cannot carry a big inventory. Big craft stores can.

5. So what’s next for “Crafty Richela” the Queen of all Duct Tape?
Currently I’m doing library and independent bookstore events in New York. And as I mentioned before, I contributed a brown bag paper craft to the upcoming book ALL THINGS PAPER. It’s due out in the Spring of 2013. I’m also teaching eco crafts at Sheldrake Environmental Center in Larchmont (NY). I’d love to write another craft book and have some ideas that might be great…or not! We shall see.

BONUS QUESTION: After our books take off like rockets, where should we plan to “summer” next year? The Rockaways? The Hamptons? The South of France? (And who’s bringing the juice-box wine?)

The Rockaways, baby! I spent a month there last summer and soaked up the scene (surfers, tacos, fish sandwiches, Italian ices, HIPSTERS!). And guess what? Juice-box wines are a-plenty! No need to bring it.

ANOTHER BONUS! If you’re permitted, can you share a craft from your book here?
Click here to come to my website and I’ll teach you how to make this:

Hair Feather
The hair feather project is one of the easier ones in my book. But don’t be fooled by the simplistic instructions. The resulting duct tape feathers are quite sophisticated. They can be worn in your hair, but they can also be attached to bags and belts for a George-Clinton-funk-meets-Sex-Pistols-punk look that will have heads turning.

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Thanks for sharing your time and talent, Richela, and thank you reader for joining us for the ride. Please follow this blog for more fun and games and connect with me: on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about me at www.francinelasala.com.

And again: Here’s how to connect with Richela outside the Shed: Facebook, Twitter, and, as indicated above, her fabulous blog!

See you next time!

Five For Friday: Revist With Novelist Meredith Schorr!

Five For Friday: Revist With Novelist Meredith Schorr!

I first interviewed Meredith back in June when she’d finished writing her latest novel and had handed it off to her publisher. Something pretty big changed since then… Planet of the Flakes was renamed A State of Jane, and was released THIS WEEK! So now not only do you have a chance to get reacquainted with Meredith, you also get a LIVE LINK to discover her new treasure. I loved Just Friends With Benefits and I know I’m going to adore A State of Jane. So now…

5 Questions with Meredith Schorr!

Meredith Schorr is author of the fun and fabulous Just Friends With Benefits and A State of Jane!

Meredith Schorr

I was inspired to interview Meredith because years ago, a mutual friend had connected us–Meredith was looking for advice about how to publish her book; at the time I was in stalemate mode with Rita Hayworth’s Shoes and proved to be completely useless. She pressed ahead and published her first novel before me. I was really thrilled and excited for her–and inspired to finally get my act together!

Having a busy work schedule and small kids means limited spare time, and I hadn’t read a book for fun for years when I ordered Just Friends With Benefits. Because of the chaos, I was worried it would take me forever to read, but it sucked me right in and kept me reading. In fact, I devoured it over a weekend! Meredith has no formal training in writing, but she really holds her own on the page and then some. I’m looking forward to more from Meredith–and I hope you’ll check her out too because she’s great, and really into what she does! (I’ll even give this part of the interview away because it blows my mind: She wrote her second book on her freaking BlackBerry, during her own “Stolen Moments“. How’s that for finding time to do what you’re passionate about!?)

Here’s a good way to follow what she’s up to: www.meredithschorr.com.

Go on and LIKE Just Friends With Benefits on Facebook and FOLLOW Meredith on Twitter!

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1. When you were growing up, did you dream of becoming a writer, or is this something that snuck up on you later in life? And either way, how did Writing let you know you this is what you were going to be doing?

I never dreamed of being a writer when I was growing up. I had no idea I was skilled in that way until after I graduated from college and others commented that I was a natural writer.  The compliments were the initial driving force but then it became an addiction.  Writing, specifically fiction, is when I feel the most at peace. I live a pretty hectic life in the big city and I find the escape I get from writing to be essential to my sanity. And it’s so darn fun to create imaginary worlds!

Just Friends With Benefits–great beach read!

2. I loved Just Friends With Benefits. The characters were so real and the story unfolded so naturally. It was like I was living it! And, admittedly, I probably have lived it–or at least a version of it. How about you?

Thank you so much for saying that. I am glad you feel that way. Although I tried to deny it at first, my friends wouldn’t let me off the hook that easily.  Yes, I did live a “version” of it.  A very skewed version of it but much of the inspiration, at least for the characters, was taken from real life.

3. Your new book, Planet of the Flakes (now A State of Jane), is about a no-nonsense kind of gal, ready to settle down, who manages only to find a bunch of flakes out there–and then decides then to turn the tables. And that’s when the fun begins! Where did you come up with this idea, and how was the process of writing it different than JFWB?

I came up with the idea for Planet of the Flakes (now A State of Jane) when I was single, dating, and one after another, guys who seemed to be completely taken with me would just *poof* disappear without a word leaving me wondering what the heck I did / said wrong. Some of my friends were experiencing the same thing. It was beyond frustrating and disappointing and I often wished I could make these guys understand how they made me feel when they disappeared without an explanation. It wasn’t until after I was finished writing the book that I realized I hadn’t done anything wrong; that sometimes it has nothing to do with me and it just wasn’t meant to be. Now I thank these men for letting me dodge a bullet and giving me an idea for a book!

The writing process was different with the second book as I wrote almost all of Planet of the Flakes (now A State of Jane) on my BlackBerry. I would write little snippets while waiting on line at a doctor’s appointment, at the grocery store, et cetera, and then email them to myself and paste into my word document. I think the experience of having written and published Just Friend With Benefits also enabled me to trust my instincts more with my second book.

Great cover!

4. Aside from the books, you also maintain a pretty active blog, do guest blogs, work full time, and even manage to read and review other people’s books–on top of everything else (like staying on top of the Yankees and having a LIFE). How do you find the time?

I ask myself that all the time. I’m exhausted!! I carve out time to write whenever I can, including a few lunch hours a week, a standing writer’s group every Wednesday night, whenever I am home and there is nothing good on the television, when I’m commuting on the train. Though I’m not a big fan of writing in my own apartment because there are too many distractions. I usually write on my small, super lightweight netbook, which makes it easy to write on the road. I’m so inspired by my latest work-in-progress now, and I know I will soon need to set it aside to finalize Planet of the Flakes (now A State of Jane). I’m already worried about finding the time, I know I will make it happen.

5. What advice can you give others with a story to tell?

This might seem like strange advice but I urge writers to maintain objectivity. I tend to use my writing sometimes to get closure on events in my own life and so even though my novels are fiction, they touch on something personal to me.  Sometimes, the closer I get to it, the less objective I can be about how it comes across to readers who don’t know me and are unaware of my experiences.  It is those scenes where I find my beta readers are the most critical. It’s happened a few times over the course of three novels and I’ve needed to re-do things without putting so much of myself in them. Just because you are in on the joke doesn’t mean your readers will “get it” and so I urge writers to be honest with themselves about what they are writing and why.

BONUS QUESTION! Do you have a special ritual or thing you need to get you writing–and keep you writing. For me, it’s music (usually show tunes). What brings the words out of you?

Sometimes I am extremely prolific, creating 5+ pages in a single one hour sitting and other times, I’m lucky if I finish a paragraph in that same amount of time. I have yet to solve the mystery of why my creative juices flow better on some days than on others.

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A huge THANK YOU to Meredith for visiting the Shed, and a big THANKS to you for joining us. Please still around and browse through some of the other offerings here. And PLEASE leave a comment for Meredith. She will see it! Thanks again! Don’t forget where to find her:
www.meredithschorr.com
Facebook
Twitter

And here’s some more information about her books!

Jane Frank is ready to fall in love. It’s been a year since her long term relationship ended and far too long since the last time she was kissed. With the LSAT coming up she needs to find a long term boyfriend (or husband) before acing law school and becoming a partner at her father’s law firm. There’s just one problem: All the guys in New York are flakes. They seemingly drop off the face of the earth with no warning and no explanation. Should she join her best friend Marissa in singlehood, making cupcakes and watching True Blood? Or should she follow her co-worker Andrew’s advice and turn the game back on those who’ve scorned her? As Jane attempts to juggle her own responsibilities and put up with the problems of everyone around her, she starts to realize that the dating life isn’t as easy as she originally thought.

When a friend urges Stephanie Cohen not to put all her eggs in one bastard, the advice falls on deaf ears. Stephanie’s college crush on Craig Hille has been awakened 13 years later as if soaked in a can of Red Bull and she is determined not to let the guy who got away once, get away twice. Stephanie, a 32-year-old paralegal from Washington, D.C., is a 70’s and 80’s television trivia buff who can recite the starting lineup of the New York Yankees and go beer for beer with the guys. And despite her failure to get married and pro-create prior to entering her thirties, she has so far managed to keep her overbearing mother from sticking her head in the oven. Just Friends with Benefits is the humorous story of Stephanie’s pursuit of love, her adventures in friendship, and her journey to discover what really matters.

Five For Friday (Finally!): Yasmeen Anderson

Five For Friday (Finally!): Yasmeen Anderson

At last I’ve been able to come up for air after conquering two fairly excruciating deadlines. So now begins the first of many fun interviews with cool, kickass people making the time to do what they love.

5 Questions with Yasmeen Anderson: Marketing Maven to Fabulous Photographer

Isn't she awesome?!
Yasmeen Anderson

Yasmeen Anderson is an award-winning portrait and headshot photographer.

I was inspired to interview her because in the midst of a hectic-lifestyle working as a marketing consultant and raising two young kids with her husband in New Jersey, she managed to step back, find her passion and change her career.

Take a look at her stuff and there’s no question she’s doing what she was born to do: www.yasmeenphoto.com.

Go on and LIKE Yasmeen on Facebook and FOLLOW Yasmeen on Twitter!

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1. When I knew you back in school, you were kind of a brain and a rebel. Looks like not a lot has changed… When you were younger, did you see yourself doing photography, and in the way you’re doing it today?

I never even considered photography in high school. I never considered myself an “artist” and I hated art museums. I had a full-on marketing and business mentality–very driven and career focused. These photography shenanigans only happened seven years ago when my daughter was born and I started taking lots of photos of her. We had a “point and shoot” camera and I was frustrated because I kept missing moments. So we got a Digital SLR–a Canon Digital Rebel (great first camera)–and I set out to take photos of every waking moment for fear of missing something and forgetting any expression or movement that she made. The SLR was great because I could quickly take one photo after another.

When my son came two years later, I added more photos to my daily routine. It was then I started to realize that the photos, while capturing beautiful moments, actually kind of sucked. I just couldn’t get the camera to do what was in my head.

I started taking class after class, and that started me on my journey of becoming a photographer. I then started taking photos at my kids’ friends birthday parties for practice and giving the parents the photos. One of the parties was for my college roommate’s son. She loved the photos so much she asked me to take photos of her family. And I thought, “Hmm, that’s weird. I don’t really do that.” But when I did I realized “Hey, I can actually do this!” I started to put out the word that I was taking family photos. I’m a member of this great mom’s group called Mothers and More, an amazing source for finding plumbers, childcare, and you guessed it, photographers. A few people posted recommendations and it grew from there.

A headshot by Yasmeen.

2. So photography was a hobby that you enjoyed more and more. What made you decide to ditch your long career in marketing to devote yourself full-time to photography? Was there an “ah-ha!” moment? And where do you think you’re ultimately heading with it?

I had worked as a marketing consultant for many years. I loved my main client, but once I started doing the photography, I got a spark of energy and excitement I wasn’t getting anymore from marketing. I’m one of those people who have to keep on learning.  When I do, I thrive. There wasn’t one “ah-ha” moment but a progression of them. Shooting and editing evening and weekends was eating up all my family time. I didn’t want to give up photography, but at the same time, I wasn’t thinking I’d be able to walk away from my career and the income. I had a talk with my very supportive husband and he said go for it. So, after doing photography AND marketing for a year, I took the leap. Yeeeeeeeeehhaaaaaaaawwwwwww! (<–That’s me leaping!)

About where I’m headed? Well, photography is a very physically demanding job.  I’m already beat up from being an athlete in college so I needed to find a way to have a long term sustainable career. Now I’m in the process of developing a company called AldenRain, which is going to be THE source for photographers. People don’t necessarily realize that the appropriate photographer to do family photos, a headshot, photos of your new line of purses, or architectural photos is not necessarily the same person. Working with people and things is very different in photography.  There are definitely some that can excel across specializations but for the most part, it’s great to find someone who specializes in what you need. Enter AldenRain. The company will guide clients to determine who is right for their needs and budget.

The website is under development, but you can see a sneak peek here:  www.aldenrain.com  Check it in the upcoming months to see what’s going on.  It’s going to be an exciting move to get this business going.  You can also follow the company here:  http://www.facebook.com/AldenRain and http://www.twitter.com/aldenrain.  I hope you come along for the ride and reach out when you or your readers have photography needs of any kind.

Talk about evoking emotion!

3. You bring up some beautiful concepts when you talk about your work on your website. I especially connect to the idea of you “being an emotional photographer” / of “stopping time”. How did you come to understand this about your photography?

The ideas of being an emotional photographer and stopping time works best with family photography, but in headshots, the emotional photography translates to me connecting with my subjects–relaxing them, making it fun, and being able to bring out who they really are in the photographs.

Before we begin, we discuss what they want their headshot to portray. What’s the end goal? It’s probably the marketing background that makes me feel like I need to understand the mood and the message I’m creating in the photos.

As far as understanding the emotional aspect about myself and my photography–this probably came from the beginning, as I was learning technique and improving mine. There are times when a photograph isn’t technically perfect, but if the emotion is translated, it’s absolutely perfect. Clients don’t care about “technically perfect.” They care that you’ve captured something special.

4. You also talk about “putting people at ease.” Can you share a little about how you do this–maybe even give us some tips on getting kids to cooperate for photos!

Almost every person who comes to me for a headshot says some version of:
“I wish I’d lost ten pounds”
“I hate having my photos taken”
“I’m sooo not photogenic”
“I’m really nervous”

So one thing that helps is to let my subjects know that every other person on my website said the same thing before we started. I tell them that if they like those photos, they will likely feel like they look good in theirs.

When I’m photographing someone I ask what it is they want others to see in the photographs. Do you want to be approachable and friendly? Are we going for more authoritative?  And so on. Then we get the music going. I can’t shoot without music and it’s also amazing what a little music does for people, putting them in the right frame of mind for the shoot.

For photographing kids? Be goofy. Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Roll down the hill with them. Put down the camera for a moment and play games. The more relaxed and silly the parents are, the more engaged and lively the kids will be.

Great natural photo of Yasmeen’s kids!

5. What advice can you give someone looking to switch careers?

I wish I could say just jump ship! But that’s irresponsible.  The frank response is that I had a backup. I have a husband with a job. That allows me more flexibility to go off on this wild career chase than many others. However, there are TONS of people who keep their day jobs and follow their passion evenings and weekends. I started gradually on that route, and eventually my hobby became my career. Though evenings never really worked for me. I have a thing about going to bed early. I need my sleep too much!

BONUS QUESTION!

Hey you played an awesome “Molly” in the Port Summer Show Production of Annie in the ‘80s. Any song-and-dance going on in your life lately?

I do in fact break into a jig every once in a while during a shoot and I’ll always be humming along to the music during shoots and while editing. Music is what keeps me moving and shaking.

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A huge thanks to Yasmeen for being the first visitor to the Shed! Head to her website at www.yasmeenphoto.com to see her amazing work.

Wassup Wednesday? 600+ That’s Wassup! Woo-hoo!

Wassup Wednesday? 600+ That’s Wassup! Woo-hoo!

So here I am again, showing myself, again, to be the little novice blogger that I am. But I have to say, having 600+ readers come visit the Shed so far since I opened it this month feels pretty awesome! I didn’t even know you could subscribe to my blog, and people do that too! Which only goes to show just how green I am about all this.

Anyway, truly a heartfelt welcome and thank you to all ye who enter here (sorry, Dante). And now that I’ve managed to emerge from the hell of TWO incredibly intense non-fiction deadlines*, I’ll be spending more time here. Probably drinking a lot of wine.

(Probably Rose because it’s summer–or at least it feels like it is.)

(This is not me.)

VERY IMPORTANT: Last week I was so up to my eyeballs in other people’s projects, I completely spaced on congratulating Savannah Page for winning a copy of Rita Hayworth’s Shoes in the Chick Lit Blog Hop. Savannah–CONGRATS! I hope you love it. If you love it, please tell everyone you know! (If you don’t love it, let’s never speak of this again.)

ALSO IMPORTANT! There will actually be a visitor in the Shed this Friday! Yes, you thought I was just tooling with you (ha! get it!) but indeed, I have a very cool lady making an appearance this week for my first FIVE FOR FRIDAY segment. AND… A bunch of new interview questions have been crafted and are going out this week! So hopefully we’re in for a summer of fun and inspiring stories!

That’s all for now. Thanks for visiting. And please invite all your friends (apparently because you can do that, too!). It looks like a small Shed but I promise there’s room for all!

*Disclaimer: While I like to whine (and wine) sometimes about the nonfiction projects I do, I actually have a couple of really great books I helped to develop coming out this fall. Hopefully I can drag some of the women whose stories I helped blossom into the Shed when their books release. Until then, cheers!