Posts Tagged: lotus

Who Can Tell Your Story?

Who can read the pain in your face (or joy, or fear, or doubt)?
Who can make you laugh with one word (or with a look)?
Who will tell you the truth when you ask for it (or even when you don’t, but need to hear it)?
Who will smoke a cigarette with you even if she hasn’t in YEARS (or tell you that you shouldn’t do it, even if, socially)?
Who’s okay with not talking to you on the phone because you’d rather Skype (or text)?
Who’s gonna hold your hair back while your puking (or know to leave you alone because you hit a wall)?
Who knows your deepest secrets (and whose do you equally know)?
Who knows your story (and knows exactly how to tell it for you)?


I have few friends who can read pain, joy, fear, or doubt in my face.  I have few friends who can make me laugh with one word or a look.  I have few friends who will tell me the truth when I ask for it, and even when I don’t.  I have a few friends who will smoke that social smoke with me, and a few who will spank me if I do.  I have a few friends who are totally ok with Skyping till our fingers hurt as opposed to talking our ears off.  I have a few friends that would hold my hair back or leave me alone without even asking why.  I have a few friends who know my deepest, darkest secrets, and I know theirs just the same.  I have few friends who know my story and who can tell it in a way that would make me proud.

Lotus? She’s one of my girlfriends!

[Photos Courtesy of Lotus Carroll]

Saturdays Are Perfect for Photowalks & Sushi

My Bliss: Part IX

We were all very slow to move on Saturday morning.  We were tired, the week had caught up with us, and, personally, the late nights finally took their toll.  Lotus and I got to bed at 4’something, and I didn’t fall asleep until well after 4:30am, due to my poor, achy, throbbing feet.  We did have a nice few moments on the floor in front of our room, though.  Except we were on the wrong floor.  But, I digress… Just looking at Lotus’ boots, on Saturday morning, hurt my feet, as I opted to walk around the Opryland Hotel in my house slippers.

A small group of photogranerds met for the photo-walk.  I was so pleased to see each and every one of them.

Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7840

Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7854

We stopped at the brick steps so that I could take some portraits of all the walkers.  Jennifer even took one of me.

Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7869Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7872
Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7874Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7877-2
Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7879Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7881
Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7884Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7902

Shab caught me while working.  I totally love these pictures because I feel like I’m in a zone when I’m photographing someone, and to actually see myself while in that zone is really interesting.


Then the photo-walk continued…

Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7921Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7915
Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7947
Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7931Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7949
Blissdom11 - Mishelle Lane -7958

As my feet were submerged in the cold-cold water of the man-made brook, two men of God approached me.  Few words were spoken, but there was an understanding as to why I was so keen to dangle my feet, slipped in, the water like liquid socks.  He smiled. I smiled.  I almost asked him if he wanted to join me.


After the walk was over we went up to where Vdog and Jim were waiting for us.  Before we headed off to lunch, I got to say “hi”—via video-chat—to my old friend (an OG Cre8buzzer) Mr. Lady.  It was so nice to “see” her, too; I only wish she would have been at Blissdom.

We decided to hit the sushi restaurant.  And, we indulged in some of the best sushi that I’ve had in a long time.  After a little while Leslie and Rachel joined up with us.  It was a nice way to spend the final moments of Blissdom together.


Before we said our goodbyes I asked V, Leslie, Rach, and Jim what their favorite part of Blissdom was.

Join me tomorrow when I give my final thoughts about My Bliss.

“Wisdom outweighs any wealth.”—Sophocles

In the beginning, when I first decided to roll into the blogging community, I didn’t get many comments.   But, as friendships started to blossom, more interaction took place.  One of the first people to comment (and connect with me) was Victoria, aka *Vdog.  Back then it was all about the memes.  There was Haiku Friday, Wordless Wednesday, Sunday Scribblings, and so on.  My people would comment all over mine, and I would comment all over theirs.

Lotus commented on a post after I had commented on one of her posts about her Weekly Winners.   Here we are, a few years later, still sharing our photography winners.   Here we are a few years later, teaching photography workshops together, cultivating ideas together, sharing, supporting, encouraging, and constantly building upon the friendship started because of our little hobby.

Going around and around the blogosphere you find people that you would never have found in life.  Take Mrs. Flinger for example.  The first time I ever saw her, I actually saw her, like in a video, but that totally counts.  All I remember was that it was “fucking great day”.   When I saw that video I knew that I would be great friends with Leslie.

Because of these three women, I met Dawn, and countless others who I have added to my arsenal of friends.

We all got together at the first second Blissdom, where Room 704 was born (today’s their birthday, actually.)  Where  I led a photo-walk in downtown Nashville with Lotus.  Where I spoke on a panel with Leslie.   Where our online friendships crossed over into living breathing life.

Photo credit: Malia

*Vdog–Victoria came to our house when we drove to Asheville, NC for Type A Mom Conference.  To this day Davey asks if Vdog is going to come over.   One day he said, “Can Vdog, with the purple glasses, come over please!”

My Bliss: Part III

After Lotus and I left everyone that was gathered by Stax, we got got back to our room, we talked while I unpacked (to which I came prepared with my own hangers, yo!)  We were waiting for Leslie and Victoria to come in, so naturally we sat around on our laptops, munching salt and vinegar almonds, going in and out of conversation, while classical music played in the background.

Soon there was a knock at the door.  Our beeshes were finally here, and a love-fest ensued.  We delighted in each others company, told each other secrets, shared travel stories, caught up on Tweets, and soon-thereafter tucked into our beds, like the little-old-ladies-in-training that we are.

Our plan was to get up early enough to make it to breakfast.

*Our plan failed when we woke up with fifteen minutes to spare.

We jumped up, put bras on, ran our fingers through our hair, and booked it to the breakfast area.   I made one of the worst mistakes ever:  I didn’t brush my teeth.  And, of course, I ran into tons of people who wanted to hug and talk to me.  All I could do was eat breakfast and hope that I wouldn’t offend anyone with my breath.  Ask me if I’ll ever not brush me teeth ever again.

I’m sure people thought we had gotten totally drunk the night before, when the fact of the matter was we were sleeping.  Hard.  Remember? Little-old-ladies-in-training!

+ + + + + +

Lotus and I had our Wisdom Workshop at 1:00pm, so we got back to the room and prepared ourselves.

We left after noon to grab some lunch (our lovely friend Rachel’s recipe, FTW!) and met up with our fellow workshop leaders—Amy, Angie, Casey, Dawn, and Deanna.


Photo Credit: Hannah Braboy

We broke all the workshop attendees into groups.  Dawn and I took care of covering the basics about how to get off the green square. Lotus and Amy talked about creativity, detail, and composition.  Angie covered natural lighting, while Casey and Deanna went into depth about aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

+ + + + + +

After the workshop, which was Ahhh-mazing!, we went on a photo-walk in the Delta Atrium.  It was an intimate group, and just oh-so-fun!   There was lens exchanging, head-shots, group shots, creative shooting, and just a major photogranerd fest.

Afterward Lotus and I went back to our room and greeted our girl, Dawn!

And, Lotus did some cool, feel good, Tai Chi’ish thing.  I don’t know, but it made her feel good; that’s all that counts.

Soon we’d be getting ready to go party the night away!   [To be continued…]

*Leslie was the only one who got up early because she had a meeting to get to.  I’m sure she brushed her teeth!

How Fast Things Can Change

When I first started blogging— in 2005—I was doing it purely to have a place to keep stories of the kids together.  From 1998 to 2005 I had posted on bulletin boards, and realized that the stories I had shared were eventually lost in cyberspace, over time.   Someone had shared a link to Dooce, and I was turned on.  I could do that, I thought.  I could write all the stories about our life so that one day the kids could look back and read it all.  Maybe they’d laugh.  Maybe they’d cry.  But, they’d know that even through every up and down that they were loved beyond the words and hugs and kisses.  The stories told were important.   I wanted them documented and kept together, for posterity’s sake.

In 2007 I was turned on to a site called Cre8Buzz.  It was there that I found “my people”, those that would become an integral part of my online community through blogging.  I’d also been re-inspired to take up photography again, and the stories went from a few lines to a few paragraphs and more.   Fellow bloggers would come to me, read, comment, and I would do the same.  Some would come and go, others stayed.  And, stayed, and stayed.

Over the years blogging has changed in ways I never would have imagined.  There have been conferences, speaking engagements, trips, promotions and giveaways, brand relationships, sponsorships, business building, and solid networking.   These are constantly evolving, but the one thing that stays the same are those people that became “my people”.  The numbers have grown, but they are the one mainstay.  People that know [you].  People that get [you].  People that love [you] unconditionally with respect and gratitude.

It’s truly been one of the biggest blessings of this little hobby that started all because I wanted to tell stories about my life.

My Bliss: Part II

I had only planned to go to Blissdom for one night.  I would go in for my Workshop on Wednesday, and leave, after lunch, on Thursday.   I was sad about it, but I just didn’t have the money to stay the whole time.   This did not sit well with me.   My heart nagged me.  I needed to do something to allow me to stay the whole time.  That’s when I threw out, here, on Twitter, and on Facebook, that I was offering *Heads or Tails mini-sessions.

It worked.  I booked the number needed to be able to go the entire time.   I started to make driving and sleeping arrangements.  Things started to come together perfectly.   When the weather became a minor issue, I decided it would be best to leave a day early.  Luckily, that worked out, too.  And, just in time the boots and skirt that I had ordered, almost two weeks prior, arrived just before we were all ready to shove off.

On Tuesday morning, I set off with Renee (and her little boy, Mekhi), to Tennessee.

When we got to the hotel we ate and gabbed.

I’ve known Renee for a couple years now and she is nothing but class and beauty; to boot, she’s articulate and smart and funny!  I’ve had the pleasure of taking two trips with Renee, but this trip to Nashville was the best.  We laughed a lot.  That’s definitely a prerequisite for a good car trip.

Soon after we ate I got a text from Lotus.  She was in the Opryland, so we met up and headed to our room.   Her belly was growling so I introduced her to Stax, and then we went to our Wisdom Workshop meeting.   There we saw a bunch of our friends.   It was real, and it was here.

After the meeting Lotus, Schmutzie, and I walked the long way to Stax so that Schmutzie could eat.  Along the way we intercepted a spectacular water and light show.  It was mesmerizing with the moving water, the music, the darkness and the lights.   We took that moment to capture it, but we also took that moment to thoroughly enjoy it.

I Photographer

Blissful HugsLoralee Blissfully Dances

Schmutzie!Girls Just Wanna Have Good Burgers (and Fun)

After we sat for a while, Lotus and I walked back to our room to wait for Leslie and Victoria.

Blissdom was officially starting.

My Bliss was here and I was totally ready to accept it.

*Heads or Tails: Michael coined the phrase to describe my Headshot and/or Bouidor mini-sessions. Thanks, Michael, you witty man, you!

Picture It Outside of the Box {Week 8}

Thank you to Jen, Jenty, Tara, Jodi, Nikowa, Sarah, and Lotus for participating in the “Picture It Outside The Box: Holidaze” challenge!

Super Santa


The challenge for {Week 7} of “Picture It Outside of the Box” is:

{Fun With Bokeh}

Lotus recently posted how to have some fun with bokeh on her blog via one of her #reverb10 posts. Her submission for the “Holidaze” prompt was actually from that post and the inspiration for this challenge.

{The following is directly from Lotus’ blog.}

You’ll need:

  • black posterboard or construction paper
  • tape (black is a bonus, but regular works)
  • cutting implement like x-acto knives, scissors, shape punchers
  • optional: lens hood
  • recommended: your sense of wonder!

If you’re using a lens hood, trace a circle around it on your black paper. If you’re using your lens straight up, CAREFULLY trace a circle around it on your black paper.  Cut out your circle.

Next, you want to draw and then cut a small shape (about 1/2 inch, or 15-20mm) from the middle of your circle. If your shape is too big, you get poor results. Popular shapes include hearts, stars, and crosses. You can get creative here, and that is part of the fun.

Be very careful with your shape – clean lines, no tears, clearly shaped and cut.  This is easier to do with x-acto knives or shape punchers than with scissors.

If you are using a lens hood, tape your black circle carefully to it, making sure to block out all light around the edges. Attach your hood to your lens.

[Note: if your hood is too far from your lens, your results may suffer. Closer to lens = better. Another method is putting your paper circle inside a lens filter ring. This also eliminates need for tape. Experiment to see what works best for you!]

If you are using your lens with no hood, cut a strip of black paper to wrap around the lens, about 1 inch wide, like a cuff. Tape that shut on the lens, and tape your circle to that, so it sits in front of your lens. This must be flush, no light leaks!


I did this one year with heart shapes, and I can’t wait to play some more, because I had totally forgotten how to do this.  Lotus reminded me, and I wanted to pass it along in a challenge.

OM::OP::OM::Christmas (or Addicted)

This particular challenge will open through the new year, as the Picture It Outside Of The Box challenge takes a break over Christmas.

When it comes back there will be an awesome announcement with a new project that will DEFINITELY be awesome (believe me!)

Until then…. have fun playing with “the lovely bokeh”.

Oh!  And, don’t forget that there’s still time to win 1,000 Free Business Cards!

{Click: Merry Christmas: 1,000 Free Business Cards}

Copyright © 2023 SECRET AGENT MAMA
Creative Commons License by Michelle Lane is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
MLP logo by Inksplash Designs - Webmaster: Michael