Weekend Photography Fun

Last Sunday was an incredibly beautiful autumn day in the Chicago suburbs.  With a few absolutely free hours, a bike, and my Pentax K-3, it was time for a workout and then some mind release.  What a way to get lost, while finding myself, biking in Lakewood Forest Preserve.


Love testing the photography “rules” of shooting into the sun, unusual angles, etc.


I HATE being lost. But, can you see the teeny path I followed to the silo?

Capturing your Creative Ideas

A cliché with many meanings, for me: Get your creative juices flowing.

As a writer or artist, where do you find your creative spark? I rarely find it just sitting behind my computer or camera. I need to get up, move around, observe, experience.

For me, there has to be some sort of connection, a reality-based moment, to branch my works on. Even the most fantastical world is created from some molecules or experiences of reality.

I have said this before, but when I have a deadline and a mind block, I just walk away from my computer. I often walk my dogs, snowstorm or sunny skies. The flows of thought may be illogical to others, but somehow not thinking about what I want to write about breathes life into an idea. Often the idea for a post, a poem, a photo, can come at very unexpected times. And not focus on where I originally expected to go.

If I am not careful, ideas will vanish long before I am able to capture them. How do I remember them, during times that I am away from my desk?

If walking or in my car, I often voice-record them in my phone. Even the gist of it is enough to spit out, create, edit.

I keep small notebooks and pens by my bed for those midnight thoughts, in my purse or briefcase for on-the-road ideas.

Even when mediating or in yoga class, when my mind wanders (oops!) to a kernel of an idea, I will try to write it down as soon as possible or it vanishes.

I wonder—where do fellow writers and artists find your creative moments? And how do you capture your ideas when they come at unexpected times?


P.S. Ironically, though I wrote most of this piece yesterday, the opening line came to me today while lifting weights.  The idea of this piece into reality, once again.

Into the Storm

Flakes flutter in the evening sky

ones, tens,

then quickly thousands, millions, uncountable

swirling, spinning

wipers useless

non existent

then tendrils of snow

snake across the highway

rippling waves


mezmorising as they rise up

to meet those in flight

blinding us.

Hiding barely in sight

the black F150 truck

we have been following for miles,

all driving so thoughtfully


Suddenly, the truck


as we are caught in the vortex-

attack of the seemingly innocent snowflakes


Alone, on the highway. So briefly.



Inspiration for this poem was a quickly moving snowstorm we drove through from Indianapolis to Chicago suburbs.  Video of this approaching storm (taken my my daughter Devon not me, driving) when it didn’t look like a blizzard yet is online–I loved the snow snaking across the highway.

We estimate we saw 20+ accidents involving 50+ cars during this drive. Even called 911 for one car.  It was beautiful but extremely dangerous driving.

Finding Inspiration

Where do you find inspiration? When creating on a daily basis, finding that spark, that idea to begin writing about  can be challenging during a routine, seemingly bland week . Sometimes the thoughts, the feelings flow quickly from brain to fingers.  Other days, I search, wait for that inspiration. 

That kernel or starting piece often does not always reside at the beginning of a piece. It often remains the essence, its heart.  Though its form can morph, travel on its own journey as it is expanded upon, revised,twisted, hopefully not vanish.

Inspiration can come from any of the senses: an intimate conversation or overhearing strangers argue, a nightmare, the touch of the sea, champagne bubbles exploding in my mouth, fetid garbage reeking in the alley as I walk by. It’s finding a way to capture and retain the truth, the emotion. Or flip it on its head, turn it inside out, create a brand new world, being. 

The key is to acknowledge and harness that inspiration, explore and expand that idea or experience. And that is true whether you are writing about a personal journey,sentiment, statement, poem, story, post, novel, song, article, musings. 

Where do you find your inspiration?


Still Lifes by the Sea

These still life scenes were created by the beauty of the warm Puerto Rican ocean currents, the salt, the sun, the moon, the animals and plants that inhabit the coastal waters, tiny sand grains and unwieldy shells, sadly forgotten garbage.



These lovely displays were tossed at my feet, waiting to be captured on my camera. A few shots before a future tide re-arranges, mixes, removes, adds dimensions and mystery.


There were layers of opposition: colors and bleached corals, barnacles, barbs, smooth, crunchy, twisted, shiny, lacy, spotted, striped, hiding, clamoring for attention.   I so enjoyed getting lost in their beauty.   CIMGP0065