Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Week of School Down, Looking Forward to the Fall

"Ok mommy, enough with the pictures already!"

First Week Done. Check

This past school week was busy, confusing, exciting and quick all at once. The kid had just as contradictory adjectives to describe it as well when I asked her how she liked her new school. She liked it but missed her old school. She loved riding the bus but wasn't so thrilled when she had to get off. She got stickers and accolades from her teacher for her school work but felt her teacher didn't like her as a person. Yes, she said that. At six, she was dissecting the anatomy of what "liking" someone meant.


"Woman, are you really
taking pictures of my in my class?"
For me, I was the mother lioness determined to make sure that this past week was as non-traumatic as it could be. It wasn't easy.
From day one, when I dropped my daughter off at school and later came to pick her up-- standing with the dozens of other parents who came to pick up their elementary school aged kiddies-- the message from the school was basically for us parents to back-off and stop being so attentive. The principal basically told us to stop driving them to school if they were going to be riding the bus regularly. In our case, she must not have gotten the memo that the bus didn't stop at my kid's bus stop like it was supposed to. That's right. That blickie drove right by us. So, after personally going to each bus to find the correct bus driver on the first day after school, I had the opportunity to let the bus driver know that we would be waiting and to see which bus corner we had to stand on to ensure pick-up. It took three days for this to be coordinated right. Apparently, the bus driver was unclear on what side of the street she would decide to pick up on. I didn't lose patience though. I was already nervous about my daughter being in a classroom that was larger than her last school in a school that is 20 times, literally, the size of her last school. But, my daughter showed me how resilient and adaptable kids are. For her, she loved that fact that recess was longer and more fun than her last school and that she had more kids to trade lunchbox items with. Bus drama and the other inconsequentials were beneath her care. Boy, wouldn't it be great to have that mentality in adulthood?

Fall Rush
So, in the part of my life where I am not Mommy, I am gearing up for the Fall with new projects and such. On the workshop end, I will be doing some workshops for a nonprofit I've established a relationship with this past year and a half and I will be using the book I edited, Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul as the text. They will be purchasing books for the students and afterward, I will be doing a book signing. I am always excited to do these writing workshops. The students are adults earning their GEDs, so they have this wealth of life experience that you don't really get when you work with younger students. Watching it come out into their writing is always amazing.

I'm also offering a blogging workshop in October for new bloggers who need help with getting started and integrating their blogging with their time spent on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. If you're reading this and interested in that workshop, you can click here. I'm excited about that because I'm sure I will have participants present who I will learn a lot from as I share with them what it is that I know. That's the best part of workshops, that two-way sharing. I believe, as a facilitator, that you have to be open to it.

Va-Va-Va Voom
So, in my ever-growing world of varied roles, I decided that it was paramount that I work on my own image. The physical image, that is. I give solicited and unsolicited advice to artists about image as a music critic and publicist, so, it was high time I got my own image together. As a performance artist, I've always been earthy, and very natural appearance-wise, so it was crucial to integrate my persona as an artist with my persona as a speaker, facilitator, spokeswoman, etc. Where to begin, I thought. Photos would be a start. So, I started with getting some new head-shots.

The fact that photographer Camille Mosley-Pasley was offering a sale on head-shots came at the perfect moment. Camille has been a member of my artist network Liberated Muse since we started and I've interviewed her before for her work when I was a writer with East of the River newspaper. She is amazing. She had a photo exhibit called "Mama Love" in the Smithsonian Museum in Anacostia DC that was breathtaking. It came out around the time I was a new Mommy, so, the exhibit was particularly significant to me.

So, yes, I was going to her as my photographer against hell and high water! The fact that she was going to have a make-up artist there was a plus because I don't wear the stuff really and I could use all the help I could get.

Man, I tell, you. The make-up artist Sharon Richmond was divine. She hooked me up, for real. Here are some of the shots.
















Camille took tons. Going through the proofs reminded me of America's Next Top Model when you have all of these photos and its hard to pick which are the best ones. Through them all I had to look to find the one that she will retouch and make high-res. I think I picked the one that will be a good one to use as my professional face. Two of them will make good ones to use when I'm ready to have a CD cover made.

You can check out Camille to hire her for headshots at www.PasleyPlace.com. Sharon Richmond can be found at www.richmakeupartist.com. She will going to West Africa to facilitate self-esteem workshops for a stint, but you can email her at richmakeupartist@aol.com to consult with her.

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