Making Pictures

My grandfather was really into taking pictures.  To tell you the truth he wasn’t very skilled but he was quite prolific and fascinated by the ever-developing technology.   For decades he had envelopes printed with “You’ve Been Taken by Abby” and he would hand deliver them stuffed full of pictures of family and friends at events, in aerobics class (always my least favorite ;) ), in the pool, and any where else he could grab his camera fast enough to capture the moment.

He bought me my first video camera in 1998 so I could record my dances then he bought me my current DSLR three years ago when I expressed wanting one for this blog.

I’ve read about SLR’s on and off for years but never felt like I had a natural grasp on the intricacies of F-stops and ISO so when I got an email two weeks ago that I could take a class at the college I work at for free I signed right up.  That email and first class happened to be June 18, my grandfather’s birthday (96th if he were still alive) and it seemed a lovely and serendipitous way to carry on his passion and fascination with making images.

The class is “Discover Digital Photography” and is held on Wednesday nights for six weeks, tonight is my third class. So far I’ve been loving it.  The class is generally geared towards someone with less actual hands on experience with an DSLR than me (some people’s camera’s are brand new) but I am still learning a lot. I learn through repetition and hands on and so it’s really helpful to me to have the somewhat basic SLR functions explained to me again because honestly most of my shooting is trial and error.  I am hoping to be able to get more calculated results with less fiddling with my camera after this class.  The teacher is also very accessible and it’s great to have a professional to answer all the questions I have.

Each week we submit 3 photo’s for our homework to be critiqued and discussed in class.  One Word Wednesday today features my 6 homework images thus far. Most of the pictures were taken over the last few years, not since class started two weeks ago.

tate huffman




cannon beach or



The title of this post, Making Pictures, is because my teacher Chris Debaun wanted the class to recognize that we don’t just “take pictures” but we make them, just like any other artist makes their art.




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My Writing Process

I’ve been tagged!  My time has apparently come to participate in My Writing Process Blog Tour

Step 1: Acknowledge the person (& site) who involved you in the blog tour.

 Sadie has been influencing me since the day I was born.  Thirty-three years ago she trucked her Whinny-the-Pooh slippers over to where my momma was holding me and started (gently, usually) poking at me.  The latest nudge is to jump on the writing tour. 

Yogi Sadie blogs here and is working on a book that I’ve had the privilege of proofing bits of, mark my words, this book will rock the health and fitness world when it’s published.

(And did I mention that she does these amazing Italian retreats that are all about yoga. And food. And in ITALY.)

Step 2: Answer 4 questions about your writing process…


I like public accountability so I’m going to put this out for all the hear; I’m working on my submission for Narrative’s Poetry Contest.  My poetry is not something I’ve shared very much of but I saw this contest the other day and thought it was an awesome challenge for myself.  Each submission can contain up to five poems and so right now I am decided which five to submit from work I’ve written over the last few years and I am starting to revise and edit.


Early on in my blogging life I tried to emulate what I saw from other blogs which mostly meant that I tried to stick to the subjects of food and fitness. I found myself writing in a voice that wasn’t entirely authentic to me and left me feeling somewhat limited as to what I “could” post about.  As I became more confident in my standing and reevaluated why I was writing and posting I started to bust down any expectations I had placed on myself about what does and doesn’t belong on my blog.  As a result I think that I allow myself more room than many in the “Healthy Living Blog” genre to post about whatever in the world strikes my fancy.  I’ve done photo posts and haiku posts and my most Google-searched posts are the ones in which I opened up about dealing with abnormal pap smears and cervical dysplasia.


I’ve always been a writer. As a kid this took the form of community news letters, diaries, and little books of poetry and short stories hidden under my mattress (it’s a different mattress than it was in the 80′s, and a different bedroom, but the books are still there) . Writing about health, fitness, and food (among the other random topics that pop up on Gracefulfitness) is just another way for me to get to know myself, deepen my engagement with the subject and have a record my findings.


Ha! Most of the time my answer would be; “it often doesn’t”.

I definitely fantasize about writing retreats and carving out some quiet, undisturbed writing time on a daily schedule but the reality is much more sporadic than that.

I’m most inspired when I am running, walking, or hiking, when I am reading a lot of other people’s work (of all types), and when I am writing a lot.  I like to treat all of these activities like cross-training for actually buckling down and producing a post so when I can include at least a few of them daily I am in my best writing shape.

Step 3: Say who is on the week after you are.

Tag! Your it!

When Sadie tagged me in her “My Writing Process Blog Tour” post I was flattered (“whoa, she thinks of me as a writer!”) and also kinda wanted to kick her ass (btw, she’s like a big sister to me and would totally kick my ass if it came down to it).  I was nervous and excited for the challenge.  And a challenge it was! If you write, whether it’s scribbled in a notebook hidden between your sheets or on a well-read blog, I highly recommend you answer these four questions for yourself.   I’d love to hear your answers if you would like share, feel free to post one or all of them in the comments section.

Since I feel like there’s an unspoken curse of 7 years bad luck (or bad sex or both or maybe they are one in the same?) if you are the one to break the chain I will tag the lovely Allie Finch of Colour Me Happy.  I have been watching Allie grow as a writer and develop her own voice for a few years now and she is one of those bloggers who I can tell really enjoys writing (perhaps surprisingly not always the case!).


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