Go Vibrant for Valentine’s Day

In the Central Valley, spring is the most vibrant time, not only visually, but the way things smell as well.  Summer and fall are hazy, Winter is foggy or rainy.

Red screams vibrant to me . Here are some beautiful examples of vibrant colors from the Bravo Lake Botanical Gardens. Their vibrant fragrances fill the air.  Brought inside a small enclosed room, like my office at work, the scent almost overpowers me. But in the dining room, they perfume the entire house.Salmon/yellow/red/orange take your pick.Even the leaves are vibrant.This ain't no violet! Put on your most winning smile showing off your vibrant personality, and voila – your sweetie shows up with this. Sweet smells compliment vibrant colors,  Vibrant desertI smell the rich aroma of cup of French Vanilla coffee to go with this treat, don’t you? Put all these together and you see my dream Vibrant Valentine’s treat.

For more vibrant pictures, click the icon below.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

Cee’s Fun Fotos of Pink or Magenta Flowers

“Can anyone remember love? It’s like trying to summon up the smell of roses in a cellar. You might see a rose, but never the perfume.” –Arthur Miller

In the early 1900s Woodlakers called the three excursion boats on Bravo Lake purchased by the city’s founder, Gilbert Stevenson, his follies. No one says that about Bravo Lake Botanical Garden, brain-child of Manuel and Olga Jimenez.

Pink Flower rose4

I count the 1,700 rose bushes in 130 varieties as my favorite feature of  Woodlake Pride’s Bravo Lake Botanical Garden.

Pink Flower rose3

I got a little carried away by the beauty of this cluster of pink roses.  I wasn’t the only one enjoying their fresh scent. I gave Mr. B plenty of space even though he had his nose buried in his work.

Pink Flower rose

The flowers are at their best in mid April, so if you are planning a trip to the Sequoia National Park, stop off here in Woodlake, CA in April.

Pink Flower rose2

To learn about the Bravo Lake Botanical Gardens click on the links below.  

Sierra Nevada Geotourism,  Creator’s Palette – Bravo LakeWoodlake PrideWoodlake Pride VideoThe City of Woodlake

To participate in Cee’s  Fun Fotos click here.

Cees Fun Foto Challenge 2016.

Photography Advice for Beginning Photo Bloggers

If you are taking a vacation you might consider taking photography classes or a private photography session to get the best pictures of your wonderful trip.

if you have children on your trip, here is some usable advice from Leanne Cole, a blogging friend/professional photographer from Australia. Practice without instruction means we make the same mistakes over and over.

“You can correct bad photos, but the best plan is to think before you take the picture.”

Avila Barn guy

Leanne’s Pre-photo Advice

  1. The photo is better if light is the same on the face.  Flecks of sunlight on someone’s face detracts from the child’s natural good looks.
  2. Elilminate feet and other distractions in the background.
  3. Bright sun is a killer in photos.  Your eyes go to the brightest part of an image.
  4. Shoot at same eye level as kids.

Post Photo Advice

  1. Crop the picture, but only if you can do it without ending up with a square picture.
  2. Select the light parts-highlights and darken them, and the shadows and lighten them.

Avila Barn guy

Cropping went well.  I used the magic wand to delete the feet in PS 6, and you can see what I got.

  1. I cropped the photo, then resized it to 4 X 6 inches.
  2. I mistook the  Healing Brush Tool for the Clone Tool, so of course, it did not work.
  3. Undeterred I took the Smudge Tool and smeared the legs out of the background.
  4. That was kind of weird, so I weirded out some of the rest of the background as well hoping that people with think I had blurred the background on purpose with the camera.
  5. I added text.

Take home advice from Leanne’s lesson – think before you shoot.  Composition, composition, composition!

Three Best Articles for Writers and Bloggers Today

As a writer, I read constantly, even more than I write. Since my education was not about writing specifically, I have to educate myself additional subjects that will make me a better writer and marketing director of my books. In the last four years I have read and written about how to use social media, how to create blog posts that people want to read, how to write dialogue, how to write first paragraphs, and anything other how to post that captures my interest and need. I’m sure you are doing the same. Then I have to keep track of all that stuff. That’s how I use my blog.

Today I read three wonderful article published Jane Friedman on her website. I want to refer back to these again, so I’m writing about it here. The website where I found it came from a Writer’s digest email advertising creating websites. Friedman’s website gets 100,000 hits a month.

Best Practices for Author Facebook Pages and Groups by Kirsten Oliphant

Great article to understand the difference between pages and groups, and learn how to effectively use them. Best advice:  Post on your page up to eight times daily, and some go as many as 20 times daily because only a few of your LIKES actually receive the updates.

How to Find and Work with Beta Readers to Improve Your Bookby Kristen Kieffer

Best advice: if you work with Beta Readers, learn to love criticism, and to pick and get to know your readers. Learn how in this article.

How Writers Can Optimize Their Book’s Description on Amazon by C. S. Lakin

This is an essential read for self-published authors who want to their books to sell. Best advice:  Cut and paste descriptions from about 10 best-selling authors in your genre, highlight, and then construct your own.

Feel free to suggest some articles that you have read recently that helped you. #writers, #bloggers, #amwriting, #amblogging

 

Family Friendly V X-Rated Fotos

Peggy's first steps
Peggy in 1927, probably in Indiana, struggling to cart around her cloth diaper AND take her first steps. Love the car!

The slightest wind would have unbalanced her as Golda’s daughter, Peggy, took her first steps.

Years later my mom, Peggy was my strong rock, and I was hers. The wind tried to blow us off course, but moved only our hair and made our coats flap to the tune of its huffing and puffing.

Peggy and Marsha
Mom’s and my 1992 trip to England with San Joaquin Valley Writing Project

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