April fools and the disappearing sun

Did you know that that sun actually moves on the horizon? Disappearing so that I can no longer photograph it rising these spring mornings? April Fools! We all know from grammar school science that the Earth is doing the moving and that exquisite star just shows up in a variety of places throughout the year. But, what about us loyal photographers who begin their day shooting the first hint of light as it pops up on the horizon? The spoiled ones who stumble outside onto an elevated terrace in their bathrobes and bare feet, coffee waiting on the dresser inside? Where can I lodge my complaint?

A prisoner of my tony terrace, my alternative is to get my butt over to the beach and make like a real nature photographer. So what that I have to prepare myself for a long drive to work and feed and water all the domestic critters living with me. I’ve been doing this for nearly eight years and now that I have a book and a community on Facebook and Instagram it seems SO IMPORTANT!! What will these people who see my photos daily do without me? And, what did I do those prior years?

I’m sure that the social networking friends will survive and in fact, punt for me with their wonderful photos that pop up on my pages daily. As I’ve remarked before, this is my favorite part of this photography book journey that a community has sprouted this way. I’m pretty sure that I’m screwed until June so I’ll be searching my brain for some creative ways to use this time and space. I am meditating.

More meditation. That’s it.

Picturing a sun coming over the horizon.

Enjoy the spring, the spring holidays, and your own sliver of happiness, wherever you find it.

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Spring has sprung and the sun showed off all week!

Nature is definitely toying with me. Soon the morning sun will disappear into the horizon obstructed by the building I live in and everything in front of it. I don’t remember what I did last year but I’m sure I’ll find a resourceful way to stay current in my sunrise postings. Or find a way to quell the shimmy shakes when they start to jar me for the lack of morning camera events.

Perhaps to prepare me for the troubling event of nature aka the inconvenient revolution of the Earth, I was treated to some magnificent sunrises this week. (Giving a whole new meaning to the universe revolving around oneself, no?) Whereas I awoke to predominantly gray skies, by the time I paged through morning emails and sipped the last of my Italian roast, a very pink-red sun plopped out over the sea and wooed me no end. Without killing either of my cats, I was fast enough to just catch the shots that some Facebook posters thought I’d doctored with color enhancements. Not that I’m above doing that, mind you, these shots needed almost no help. Maybe just a left-side crop to minimize the terrace balcony. I’ve included the shots in the slide show below so you can see for yourself.

The week of pink-red sunrises also leads up to the opening of a new season, spring is springing precisely today, and what we call a new moon (no moon) is begging for wishes to be made and dreams to be dreamt. I have plenty, all right, and hope who’s ever reading this does, too. Many of them are happening in real time, and my little bookie book keeps motoring along both with publicity and public events. First for Women, the mega-grocery store tabloid gave it a sweet review and a story of mine was published in Nothing But Good News magazine.(make sure you go to page 30) To round things out, I’ve been asked by a bunch of PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS to make a presentation on Tuesday, 3/24 at their photo salon in West Palm Beach. I was thinking of stopping at Sports Authority to pick up a catcher’s mask, but maybe they’ll go easy on me. What I’d almost prefer is to have a Q&A session with ME asking the questions. However it goes, I’m looking forward to it. (Maybe I should bring my guitar?)

As the sunrise perspective slips away I do have my sunset accessibility back and am thankful for that. Nature is so good at keeping things in balance and after work bike rides and terrace sunset shooting continues. And, my humble Facebook community of 8K + grows daily and the picture posts and the comments tickle my heart.

Wishing you a wonderful entry into the season of abundance, love, and hopefully much joy. Your roving (raving?) sun reporter saying, over and out.

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Friday the 13th is really a great day. Don’t let them fool you.

Whenever anyone gets all superstitious about Friday the 13th I just wave my invisible Pollyanna wand and declare: “the number 13 means ‘love’ in Hebrew, so I deem it to be a very auspicious day.” You can borrow that one, no problem, mixed metaphors and all. Being a superstitious person myself, I can cower, throw salt over my shoulder and fold up my umbrella before entering a building with the best of them, but a whole day of bad luck? That’s a curse I’ll gladly bow out of. It’s been a week, yes it has.

Daylight savings time was the highlight (sorry), in its very mixed blessing sort of way. As much as I don’t like tampering with nature, natural light, and most importantly, my sleep patterns, I do dig the after work walks and the return of sunsets that I am around to see and snap from the terrace. Like an old missed friend waiting for me in the distance, except most days this week my friend was hiding in thick grey clouds. That didn’t discourage me from bringing my homemade soup (which lasted all week) onto the terrace along with my camera and my scoundrel cats. It’s a wonder that I almost never see neighbors spending this time on their balconies. Except for Wednesday morning when I turned around from the sunrise and saw three people on the terrace to the west of me and up one level. Thankfully, I was not in my pj’s, aka a huge green T-shirt that says “Cobra” on the front of it, which is how I’m dressed many a morning out there.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I’m engaged. Engaged, as in, engaged to be married. Can you believe it? Someone (wonderful) actually wants to put up with my strange jump-out-of-bed habit of snapping sunrises and my sometimes disturbing dinner ritual of capturing a setting sun. Yup. it’s happening, and I’m still a little dazed by the whole thing. Dazed and truly happy, if not a little blessed. The glistening rock on my finger reminds me that it is really happening. The best news of all: there IS love later in life and in my case, worth the wait. Someone said we should just get married at Sunset Cove… a park in Boca Raton. That would be just too perfect, right? Well, we have plenty of time to entertain that sort of thing. So far, we’re in Las Vegas for a drive-through wedding, a public park for the world’s largest pot-luck wedding, or at the courthouse with no fanfare at all. (I highly doubt that’s going to happen!)

May your days be bright, your skies clear, and whatever the sunrise and sunset means to you in your life, may it be good, and sweet and filled with love (and joy). And, remember to share what YOU snap on my Facebook page.

Until next time. Over and out!

p.s. new revelation: viewing the sunrise or sunset – the AWE is the intake of the breath, GRATITUDE is the exhale. think about that. I may have more to say about that soon.

Ciao

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And, all I had to do was wake up!

How to literally Emerge Spiritually from Slumber (into your new day)

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How much more obvious can it get than a magnificent star rising every morning on our horizon to wake us up to our own magnificence? So obvious that it’s easy to miss. This giant gift we’re given every day escapes us in our busy lives; who takes the time to drink in the blessing that warms our planet on a daily basis, keeps us alive?

I do.

Every day.

Okay, so I picked a home in the sky, a high-rise apartment with a terrace on the 14th floor where I can “emerge spiritually from slumber” quite literally by filling my vision first, even before brushing my teeth, with the blessing of a sunrise. We talk about the dawning of a new day, we cite the magic of the rising sun in spiritual text, acknowledge the sun’s vitamin D powers in our scientific literature. Could it get more obvious?

I’m not suggesting the sun to be a false idol of any kind, but surely it’s one of the more miraculous orbs of creation from which we can draw spiritual sustenance. There are trees and roses, azure waters and many miracles of nature all around us, but the rising (and setting) sun is a constant that we can universally access from almost anywhere. The places where darkness seasonally prevails (around the North and South poles) notwithstanding, most of where humans choose to reside come replete with daily doses of sunshine.

weiss2What about it makes the rising of the sun so spectacular — so often photographed, painted and used in poetry and song lyrics? Its beauty is constant but its visual manifestation is different every day. Just like us. So much of who we are is made of the same predictable stuff, but a space seems always left for the unexpected, for change, for untold beauty that’s never before been seen. We are like the sun in our penchant for showing up, but our rays of expression vary from day to day, moment to moment.

Maybe we love the sun so much because it reminds us not only of the divine, but the divine in ourselves. We can “stop and smell the sunshine” or we can sleepwalk through our day and make the motions of a fluid, forward-moving life.

I choose to remember my divinity as I jump out of my bed each morning, peer through the blinds and make my way onto the terrace, cats at my feet and camera close at hand. My tribute is to document what I see and share it in pictures. The moment of magic enters my eyes, concentrates in my heart, then is absorbed and embraced through the lens of my camera. When I “develop” my pictures onto the computer screen, it’s like opening a door in my heart. From this place, I hope the feeling I experienced is conveyed to the person admiring the photograph. I’m less after the technicalities of a perfect shot and more about the magic of the moment stirring inside of me. Keeping it all to myself just doesn’t seem fair.

Seven, almost eight years, of snapping these photos morphed into a serious hobby, then a book, now a growing Facebook community of backyard shooters who send and post what’s greeting them on the horizon either morning or sunset times. Or both. I feel blessed to be a part of this grand circle of appreciation. Taking a moment to look at what is always around us can cause waves of joy and well-being exponentially throughout our day that ultimately spill over onto the people around us.

What could be better? And, all I had to do was wake up. (emerge from slumber).

(story from The Edge – the link:http://bit.ly/1zT3xQ8)

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A Thankful Thanksgiving

I’m writing from my sister’s home in Pittsburgh, witnessing pies being made by my brother-in-law, root vegetables roasted by my sis, afternoon beer being consumed by John, and the dog show playing in the background (go Nathan, the bloodhound!) while snow flurries come streaming down from the gray skies outside.  About to put on my cranberry sauce, then my boots, and head out to sister #2’s house for the big Thanksgiving family feast, but first a moment to reflect.

I got to play in the Miami Book Fair International last weekend and be a part of one of the most vital events in the book industry. It’s a place where the love of books is madly spread over days and city blocks and people remind us that books still really matter. I am so grateful to be a part of that community from every side, as a working publishing professional and now, an author.

Up and coming, I’ll make an appearance here at the local Barnes &Noble, then fly off to do the same in Santa Monica next week. Then another Unity Church in Ventura. I’ll even be on Frank De Caro’s radio show on Sirius radio. Yowsa!

So, how thankful am I today? The warmth and comfort of family, the love of John, the myriad of dear people who I get to call friend, a roof over my head that brings me the most amazing views every day, a wonderful place to work, my health, my pets and all of the other wonders of nature and helpful people in my life. My cup runneth over with so much and so much goodness.

To the growing community people who are posting their beautiful photos on my Facebook page, I send a special thank you. I wish everyone all the abundance, love and goodness that the Thanksgiving holiday represents and then some.

Keep on keeping on, y’all. And remember to stop and smell the sunrise!

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A Swirling Launch

Wow, it’s been 3 weeks since I posted here and you can imagine, I’ve been swept up in my little swirl of a book launch. And, the beat goes on (and on, and on!)

This Saturday (11/22), I’m ecstatic to be presenting my book at Miami Book Fair International – probably one of the best book fairs in the world (no kidding)! I’ll be with the wonderful Barb Schmidt who’s presenting her book, The Practice. You can read all about it here and if you’re at the fair stop by and see us at our booth on Writer’s Row. We’ll be there all day until our talk at 4:00 pm in Building 7.

Since last post, I’ve been to Unity Church in Delray Beach (FL), Barnes & Noble (Boca Raton), Books & Books (Miami) and Unity Church in St Pete (FL). I’m loving that people are buying Sunrise, Sunset in threes, fours and fives! My wrist and my trusty Tiffany pen have been getting a workout from all the autographing but I say, BRING IT ON!!! Having so much fun,  y’all.

You’ll see in the news section my coverage in the Sun Sentinel,  Coastal Star newspaper, and some super cool posts on site:  Mindful Word and Beliefnet  and today on the great big MindBodyGreen site! I’m bringing my traveling show to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving and putting my sisters and nieces to work at the local Barnes & Noble, and then I’m off to California for some shared spotlight with book contributors Frank De Caro, Gloria Loring, Betsy Chasse and Alexandra Katehakis (look them up, they are all AWESOME!) And, if I play my cards right, I’ll get to meet the master himself, Kirk Douglas. Fingers crossed.

More than anything, I think it must be said that even though I’m in the “gratitude business” 24/7 with my book, I am especially thankful during the holiday season for all of the good fortune this little book is bringing and for all the people that continue to be a part of the project. From everyone inside the book, to my boyfriend, John, who inspired the book, to the production people, sales people, editorial people (Christine Belleris) to the promoters on my side (Trish and Nettie especially), THANK YOU for helping some more beauty and positivity emanate in the world. Mwah!! I love you all!

Have an awesome week!

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It’s Here!

First of all, HAPPY HALLOWEEN, second of all YAWN! My launch week has arrived and swept me up with all that a book launch entails. Complete with the high anxiety and the glee. (someone please remind me why I’m doing this? Lol)

I had an amazing time at the Peoria Women’s Lifestyle Show the past weekend and got to commune with some of my favorite HCI authors, particularly Manuel Villacorta (suspiciously, the only male in the group), Monica Parker, Rokelle Lerner, Barb Schmidt and Dorothy Breininger. It was a lovefest of gigantic proportions and I think Peoria will never be the same. Thanks for show organizer (also a veteran HCI author), Joy Miller, for treating us like royalty. Mwah!

Midweek undertook a campaign to encourage people to buy the book all at once on amazon (the rest of the week is fine, too, btw!) And, have been obsessively watching amazon numbers, something I advise authors that I work with NOT to do. However, I reached a new pinnacle in my career: I have the #2 ranked book in STAR-GAZING. Don’t you love it? I kind of do. It’s sounds like me, anyway.

I  had two radio interviews, a feature article in Boca Raton Observer Magazine, a piece in PB Gardens Lifestyle magazine, an article in the Miami Herald, another in the Palm Beach Post and did my first bookstore signing at the venerable Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fl, with its hallowed halls and books galore – John wandering about in between taking photos of me – saying, “I could spend a thousand dollars here, easy!” Luckily, he didn’t. What charmed me the most (after the treacherous 2 hour drive to get to the store – and back) was how people had me sign multiple copies of Sunrise, Sunset for gifts. That warms my heart.

And, now, I hope your heart is sufficiently warmed too. Thank you for being here.

You can access all my interviews and features over on my In The Press page – I hope you enjoy them!

Have an awesome week!

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Daytime, More Kirk Douglas and Peoria!

*P* day is Tuesday – how did it get to be so close? Just two more days and my baby gets sent out to the world.

On Monday I was at NBC Tampa studios to appear on Daytime to promote my book. It was so exciting to be interviewed on live TV and to see what goes on behind the scenes. You can watch the interview below – hope you enjoy it!

You may remember last week that I told you I was working on a new book by Kirk Douglas in the day job and that I sent him a copy of my book? Well, this week I got a letter from the divine Mr. Douglas. He said such lovely things about Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude. I’m thrilled and honored to share it with you here.

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This weekend I was one of the key speakers at the Peoria Women’s Lifestyle Show. What a blast! I got to see some of the contributors to my book, met some wonderful women and made my first sale! I’ve included some of the photos in the slideshow below.

If you spent any time on my Facebook page last week, you’ll have seen an ever-growing number of people taking time to share their own images of nature. It has been so exciting for me to watch this little community grow, to encourage taking the time to share the awe and gratitude that we all experience in our lives. I want each and every one of you to know how much I appreciate your photographs and comments. You rock!

I may be back before Friday..well, you know I’ll want to celebrate on Tuesday! So if you see my little book on your travels, please take a copy home with you!

Have an awesome week!

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You know, I really wish my late mother was around because… KIRK DOUGLAS HAS A COPY OF MY BOOK!! (and he told his publicist he thought I was pretty…OMG, can you stand it?) Yes, I’m working on his book here at my day job and this is a very special perk. I may even get to meet him when I’m out in LA promoting my book. What a kick!

This week was remarkable in several ways. I got to photograph a gathering of indigenous South Florida water birds, one of which was a majestic osprey. Seeing one of these sea hawks always feels like a good omen. And, after returning from this impromptu after-work photo session, John and I had a visitation of another osprey perched on the terrace in front of ours.  As if that wasn’t magical enough, the moment I stepped onto my terrace the following morning, the same osprey flew from his perch, over my head out into the wild. These are moments of awe that stay with me for a long time.

In the bigger news about my book, we’re going back to press even before the book is actually in the stores because we got another very big order – this one from a grocery store distributor. So now, you can buy your eggs, kale, brownies and MY BOOK. I think they should trot me out in the produce section. I could probably move a lot of veggies while hawking my book.

On the subject of awe, over on Facebook I shared the ways in which feeling and acknowledging awe can have a positive impact on your life. For instance, did you know that studies have shown that experiencing awe can make us more creative? As usual, you can see a selection of my photographs in the slide show at the bottom of this page. If you get creative after looking at them be sure to share your creations over on my Facebook page.

I’m scheduled for a national TV interview in Tampa on Monday so I’m off to get my eyelashes put on tonight. I hope Kirk Douglas is watching when it airs (wink, wink!)

Have an awesome week!

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Sunrise, Tardiness and Lots To Do!

We’re only eighteen days away from the official October 28th launch and I’m starting to wake up in the middle of the night thinking of all the things I have still to get done. It’s high anxiety of the most positive kind (if that’s possible). I’m feverishly contacting colleagues in the media, asking them to PLEASE do something; I’m writing articles for magazines and being interviewed them (blush); and I’m tugging on the folks who are not responding (argh).

In the midst of all this, I composed, recorded and shipped off a theme song for a new women’s conference called “Women Reshaping the World” which was debuted (in my absence) in Halifax, Nova Scotia this Tuesday. I’m relieved to say they reported back that my song was well received. What a relief! You can listen to the song, “What if it were…a woman”, below but it will only be up for a couple of weeks: Tell me what you think?

Most importantly, my sunrise/sunset obsession is in full bloom and until the “fall forward” time change occurs, I will reliably be late for work each day as the sun decides to poke through the clouds and over the horizon later and later each day. Between that and the unbearable highway traffic, I don’t have a chance of getting in on time but at least my being tardy has professional motivation. P.S. when that time change does happen, can someone please petition my boss to let me leave work early? I can’t imagine missing a whole season of sunsets. Can you?

You should also see what’s happening on my Facebook (book/fan) page. People are starting to come forward and help me create a community by posting their gorgeous photos from around the world. I hope you’ll do the same!

As usual, I’ve included a selection of this week’s photos below. Enjoy and have an awesome week!

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