Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Writing, Relationships, and Holiday Whohaw!

As I write more and more these days, I find myself slowly falling into a new routine with my writing. I write for a few websites and I realize ( Big surprise as everyone who writes says to do this ) having a writing routine keeps me writing.

I had a creative writing professor tell me "Write what you know" and so I throw what I know into poems, creative fiction, creative nonfiction, and just about anything else. I place my characters into parts of what I know, places I know, and feelings I know.

I have taught workshops on creative writing. I have taught writing workshops, lead writing groups, and all around read pretty much everything on what anyone ever said about writing. I am not an expert, but I know reading all genre of books helps my writing.

Writing is cathartic in getting past grief, in healing broken hearts, and basically dumping everything into the page. Writing helps us move past, deal with, and help others. Our words, our stories, if we are lucky touch someone else and help heal them as well.

My relationships have strengthened with numerous writing friends. I meet with other writers regularly, I attend writing conferences, and I submit my pieces online through my editors. All of these relationships help with my writing. At first it is scary sending your words out, but it is worth it. Yes you should write for you first, but if you send your words out into the world, others will respond. They may not always like or agree with our words, but they do read them. If we focus on the story and not the end result, say publishing, then our writing will be strong and stand alone. It can handle critique.

With the holidays fast approaching writing sometimes takes a back seat, but honestly with a writing routine this year I hope I am able to write right through the season. So many new stories will happen with family and friends gathering, but in the end it is my life, my stories, and my choice if I write them to share or not.

I hope this post finds you well. I will start back up my photo writing prompts in January. With the holidays I am leaving it for right now. I hope though you find your own stories to write. If you are interested in being a guest on my blog please leave a message and I will get back with you.

Happy writing to you all and happy holiday season,
your story teller/poet

  Photo by  This is the Wiesbaden German Christmas Market which is where I used to live many moons ago :D

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Writing Promp #15...and here we go....

It is that time again. Autumn and another photo prompt. Autumn is my favorite time of year. I have said that time and time again. As a photographer and writer I find inspiration in the changing of seasons and new photo prompt for autumn. We have so many sights  and sounds at this time of year. We have leaves crunching under our feet, we have blustery days and with them laying of clothing. We have an abundance of apples, abundance of hiking trails to view the colors, and we have gathering of family in friends as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving later this week.

With so much going on we might struggle to write, but write on we must. For this writing prompt I thought I would include something a little out of season. Perhaps this will encourage you to think outside your box. I hope you are all enjoying fall, writing, taking photos, and I hope you all ( if you are in America ) have a great thanksgiving.

So here is week 15's photo prompt for you:

A little something for your eyes. Hand spun yarns!!

Happy Writing!!
your story teller/poet

PS do you like to write on paper with pen or pencil, or do you like to write on your computer, or laptop?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Photography Shots & My Vantage Point

So it is not surprise with all my photos on my blog that I am a photographer. I realize though that I honestly do not talk about the process. I do not tell you why I shoot what I shoot and I have not told you about why I use the camera I do. Recently I did an artist statement for my photography and I want to share some of it with you, so you know why I take macros mostly and what I want to achieve by taking these.

So here is part of my artist statement:

I use my photography as a way to document nature and bring its fleeting beauty to others who would not otherwise be able to see it. I love to add textures to my work to add a touch of magic to the natural beauty of nature around us. My goals with my photography is to enhance nature in such a way that it makes people yearn to be out in nature and that ultimately it does bring people out into nature. My work is a small gift in the transitory world around us.

One of my favorite items to shoot is leaves. I love them in autumn,but every time of year they are just gorgeous in any form. My #VantagePoint is intimate with the subject. I am almost down on the ground with the leaves. Or straight under the tree shooting up the trunk. Sometimes they are macros, sometimes they are not, but always beautiful light is captured. When I go hiking I trip a lot. I am always looking up, I am searching for the light. I am hunting for the magic and I almost always find it. 

 Capturing the magic is what makes me a good photographer. I see things others do not. I see texture, light, and great #VantagePoint (s).

The photo below was taken on the floor in the woods. I am always looking where I find the light. I follow its rays and try to capture those fleeting spots.

  My favorite place to shoot is out in nature. My Canon 60D has a swivel back so for this leaf photo with the acorns I did not have to get down on the ground. I could look through the back, which was angled so it saw this scene, and I was standing up and off the dirt.

Now I know the 60D is a huge honking camera to be lugging around and I am here to tell you there are some amazing compacts out there. The Light L16 camera is a new camera with DSLR capabilities with a much smaller camera to tow. You can see it here Here
and check it out for yourself.

I love nature. I love bringing it indoors for others to see who might otherwise not ever go into the woods. I picked the Canon 60D a few years back based on I am a Canon gal,but also because of its clarity, diversity, and all the amazing features it in. I can shoot black and white and add a red filter, which intensify the shading in a black and white, right in my camera. I can change a photo to a toy filter and have a regular house look like a dollhouse. It has so many amazing features. I hope you get out, take your camera, large or small, and shoot some amazing autumn and/or light photos.

your story teller, poet
Happy Autumning,

Sunday, November 6, 2016

life's musings and writing prompt 15

Relationships and connectivity have been on my mind a lot lately. I mean all relationships. Mother/daughter Sister/Brother Girlfriend/boyfriend and all the other kinds you can come up with. Why are relationships so important in our lives? Why do we define ourselves by who we are connected with?

I realize lately that connecting with a person is of great importance to our happiness. Hear me out.
We can survive alone. I know this, but we miss out on listening. We miss out on opportunities to connect to someone who could give us a deeper understanding of ourselves. We miss friendships, belly laughs, and so much more. Connecting to another human and sharing our beliefs, our hobbies, our lives allows us to have a broader understanding of humanity as a whole.

We need out tribes. I have a small group of woman friends who are my tribe. They are shakers, believers, day dreamers, my anchor and my wings. These lovely ladies are part of why I am who I am. I listen to them. I admire them. I see them as people to look up to, to learn from, and yes to teach what I have learned about in life.  We are connected now, back then, and possible in the future. I believe we come together to learn from each other and as we do we either then grow together or we separate from each other. Tribes are organic that change as needed. No one is guaranteed to stay in your life. We change, we grow, and so does every one else.

Life is a constant journey and with my tribe by my side rooting me on I know I have a connection with some amazing souls who I love and adore. I am always here for them and I know if I need them, they are there for me. Life amuses me and so do these lovely souls.

Now onto writing prompt 15. I know it is nanowrimo month, but I'm going to go ahead and put up #15. If you want to do it in December by all means, but in the mean time here it is. Enjoy!

Very Thoreau if I can say so. I cannot wait to see what you all write. Please share with me here if you want to leave a comment to your link where you wrote I would love to read it.

Thank you all
your story teller/Poet

Happy Autumning!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Henry & His Gift Shared

Susan Sontag once said "To collect photographs is to collect the world" and I agree. I feel lots of photographers would agree as well. We collect pockets of our world in the time we capture. We use our photos as words to show our world. To show the good, the bad, the ugly, and the pretty. We use photos to tell all sorts of stories and Henry Lohmeyer is no different. He wants to use his camera, his extended eye, to capture the world and share it. He wants to take a journey and explore the world. Well in this case one part. I will let you hear it from him. These are his words that follow, his journey, and his story. It is an amazing one and if you can please share, donate, follow along, but do not sit in the fragments of silence and do nothing!!


It may have been fear’s screaming that we’ve been hearing, I believe it’s time for love’s whisper to be heard.

We all live with trepidation over an edge we perceive. Often this fear closes our eyes to those who, like us all, deserve to be seen. It’s our fear that is screaming and it’s our fear that enhances that edge and divides us all. In this fear, in this projected shame, we dehumanize others and we dehumanize ourselves.

If we can take a thoughtful moment and realize that we’re actually—all of us—trying to be seen, heard, and reminded of our own humanity; that in the end, we’re all tapping on the shoulders of the world, hoping to be seen.

When getting sober seven years ago, the mantra given to me by many was a tender and thoughtful, “Stay in the middle of the boat. Stay in the nest surrounded by those that protect, watch over you, holding space until you are ready for the fearful, rejection-laced world.”

But there came a time for me when that middle-of-the-boat sobriety was no longer enough, and what I really needed was far edgier than anyone ever advised upon. What I really needed was connection. I needed people to see me and love me just like this, mess and all… but more so, much more so, I needed to connect with people by seeing and honoring their cracked edges, their damaged parts, their harshness, and their will to rise, their will to become whole.

This is the Edge. It’s the place we move towards—away from the center of the boat. It’s where real connection happens. It’s vulnerable and it’s real. Although I’m a photographer, it’s not what I see that touches me, it’s how the moment makes me feel—how it reflects the Edge that so many of us live on. It’s there that we find the beauty in the brokenness, it’s there that we find our humanity, and it’s there that we find acceptance for ourselves and others. The Edge is where we’re hurting, it’s where we’re dying... we need to feel the edge—embrace the edge—it’s there that we can start to see the beauty in one another.

That’s why I’m doing this project, and that’s why I need your help.

Though a Kickstarter campaign, which so many have already graciously backed and supported, I’m creating a book called Edge • France where I’ll travel to France and chronicle the life of some of the 250,000 refugees—men, women and children, living day-to-day, displaced from their native homes in order to escape war and persecution. Whether in France or elsewhere, it’s my goal to bring visual awareness to what’s happening right now, without filter, without judgement. Your support will fund the travel and creation of this project.

While I cannot imagine the space they occupy, I have and will continue to lean into their stories, their brokenness and beauty. We all need a witness. And it’s my humble belief that this is where witnessing must begin, away from the middle, at the Edges.


Of the one million refugees arriving in Europe last year, just 10,000 ended up in the Jungle in Calais, 3,000 more at Dunkerque. In contrast 5,000 people arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos every day. In Lebanon a quarter of the population is made up of refugees. This is partly what makes Calais so terrible: it's where help could have been managed and provided, yet no one had a proper plan to sort it out—not the French, British nor the UN, leaving the heavy lifting to the larger aid agencies. No one was doing assessments to identify refugees who needed sanctuary or illegal travelers with safe homes to return to. No one was delivering asylum. No one was enforcing immigration rules. And, most urgently, of all, no one was making sure that vulnerable people–especially children–get basic humanitarian aid and protection to keep them safe.

They've begun dismantling the refugee camps of Calais, but history tells us that this is a chronic situation, and with France having no real plan, giving help and shelter to those in need will be difficult without a central location. My path might lead directly to Calias and Dunkerque (La Linière), or may lead to a broader area. I am committed to the finding and witnessing of those forced to live in such disperate conditions.
No where to stay and no where to go.


For five weeks, I will be photographing the refugees in France (Dunkerque, Calais area, Paris and other designated settlement areas), working both in the city’s communities and in the refugee camps themselves. I will be capturing their stories, their hearts; listening to their voices, and with the funds raised through this Kickstarter, showing their humanity to the world. There are over 250,000 refugees in France. It’s impossible to tell the entire story, but I believe that in the stories of a few we can relate to the trials of many who are living on the Edge.

My vision is to create awareness, compassion, understanding and support by exhibiting at galleries, submitting my body of work to magazines and online platforms, and ultimately to garner interest from book publishers, with a percentage of proceeds donated to the cause I have captured. Now, more than ever, we need to see and understand one another.

Link to Kickstarter…

Please consider donating and supporting Henry. He is part of our tribe and we are in this journey called life together. Help him be a story teller for these refugees. Stories will be told, eyes will be placed on these refugees, and Henry will collect the world. Thank you for following along on my journey on this blog, and thank you in advance for sharing Henry's story, for bringing injustices to life.

your story teller/poet



Monday, October 24, 2016

Writing Prompt 14 and a Poem

So with most of my blog being about writing lately, I am sure you are not going to be surprised that I wrote a new poem. I grew up with a step-monster who abused me ( we wont go into that ) and recently I have connected with a soul on that was abused too. This poem was in response to her story about her life and about abuse in general. I think maybe more people know it exists, but people do not want to react and do anything about it. We are all happy living in a bubble.

The poem is titled ENTWINED

Every person, every voice, intertwined with the next,

standing alone on a ledge,

whispering help me, longing to be heard.

Struggling to find the thread that connects us to society.

Abuse all around, beating us down, beating us till we bleed out,

outward hatred intermingled through the classes,

through society, through the world,

Abuse around us, we stare instead of react.

Each person crying, each voice drowned out by the next,

each person frozen, fear engulfed and lost for motion.

Standing alone, longing to belong to something, someone,

struggling under the abuser, struggling to survive.

Life’s battering waves, smacking our faces,

abusing our bodies, pushing us down,

Every person’s voice fragmented words of truths,

No one ready to be intertwined, no one shouting STOP!

Each voice calling for help, but ignored!

And now your photo prompt 14...
I hope this week finds you safe, loved, and happy. till the next photo prompt...
your story teller/poet

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Writing Post 13

So it is that time again. Time for your next writing post. I hope you have enjoyed these so far.

Everything included this week including the kitchen sink.

If you are looking for a serious push on your novel writing, do not forget nanowrimo is in November. The link is here:
Also if you haven't checked out Medium it is a great platform for writing.  
So enjoy the kitchen sink and get to writing!!!

If you would like to share on here, or have me look at a piece in email or whatever I am always willing to. My writing is on Medium as Debbie Aruta or you know here where you found me :D

Happy writing!
your story teller/poet