Sunday, March 31, 2013


Aunt Shea, what were you before?

Before I was an astronaut?

You're not an astronaut.

I'm almost hurt you don't believe me. If I was an astronaut I'd be really hurt.

Fur real. What were you?

I sometimes worked with kids who were in a hospital because they weren't as lucky as you and me.

What do you mean?

Well. Sometimes they didn't have families or support or sometimes their families didn't treat them well.

Can't they help themselves?

Yep. They have to, but they're just kids so they need other people to help them as well.


'Cause we all need help, silly. Think about it. How much help do you have?

You've got your Mom and Dad and Madalyn and Keith and all their families and that is so many people who love you and support you and are always cheering for you.

Not everybody has that, kid. You do.

Happy Birthday, Jess.

Today I am grateful to know this kid.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

who we are told we are

bloom o' strawberry

Most writers call me a photographer. Most photographers call me a writer. The reason, I figure, is that I am surrounded by some of the most incredibly talented people and that they even call me anything is a result of me knocking on their doors until they finally opened them to at least say, You are whatever I am not.

Last night I read the submissions from two of the five writers in this new group. I am one of those five writers and just that fact blows my mind. Talented, gifted, however you want to put it, I am honored to be a part of this group of humans.

Today I am grateful for those people who share their time and knowledge and talent and don't even act like they're slumming it with me. Crazy can be good.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I have been asked to be part of a writer's group whichisaprivilegeIknow.

It's just that.


I don't critique anymore.
Maybe they'll be alright if I limit my comments to those things I love.

My self imposed first assignment comes from a writing teacher who gave me time.
Flash fiction, five hundred word limit, must contain a man in black, a fishbowl and a train.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to stretch and see if, ohgoodgosh, I am any better of a writer than I was eight years ago.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Leonard Cohen & Company, Memphis

Sharing Leonard Cohen in a massive room filled with people is awkward.
Yes. I'd do it again.


Today I am grateful to witness commitment and courage and humility and what happens when sound and light and humans come together to show me a new level of excellence.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

photo booth

Today I am grateful for how it feels to smile.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


The man now sleeps more now.
A sister's daughter gets more bad news.
Folks gather.
Prayer is requested.

Life is not fair, she says.

You're right. It's not.

Today I grateful to know a fog can and will lift.
There are so many things I still do not understand.
Yet I am closer to knowing our need for heaven.

Friday, March 22, 2013

pity is not love

Grace thinking

Scene. Hooper's Audio.

He was the best man I met that day. The best thing he told me was no.

It was the last no I would hear that week.

It was enough no to know I didn't need to ask any further questions.

Will you?
How 'bout?


Scene. Dairy Queen.

The waffle bowl is dipped in a chocolate which is so sweet that I consider never eating chocolate again while I am eating the bowl. The entire bowl. I eat the whole bad chocolate bowl 'cause it has disappointing vanilla ice cream in it. I eat all of that as well.


Earlier I heard the last no. You know, the one from the best man there was.

Two intelligent ladies, friends, people you don't have to cajole or console, are sitting across the table from me. I don't even ask them if they are enjoying their treats. They are eating and talking and there is a notebook and a pen and ideas and, Here. You do this.

The last no was the last one we needed to know there is a change of plans. They are planning.

The lady to my right turns and asks, Are you okay?

Yes, I just have to be quiet. I just have to think. I need sleep. I need to wake up to this.

The other lady says, We're worried about you.

The worst you can do is pity me.

Each time Grace fell that day she never even whimpered. She just got right back up.

Two days later.

Today I am grateful for those people of this world who take the time to say no because they know no was the best thing they could tell you that day.

And, lest I forget, the two ladies, friends, people you don't have to cajole or console, who got right on that. People amaze me.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


'Cause sometimes something catches my eye and the best thing I know to do is tell you.


Today I am grateful that other people share what they see.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

the nobody

He already got on the bus. We heard the news last night.
I met his mother but only after sitting with her for a couple of hours.

You're his Mom?


This is where I held my breath.

He may get a post office box.



A man once stood across another room from me. A grown man of who I called sir who cried and told me what was happening with his daughter and   I   never    moved. One of the most shameful admissions I'll ever make is when someone needed me I froze.

She says he is going to write a book about his experience. I think I'll be the first to buy it.
After his Mom and all those other ladies of course.

I helped make plarn last night.
I told her she had been in my prayers.
I listened as she told us why he left.
I touched her arm as we were leaving.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity not to freeze and understand the best we could do was put our heads down and work.

Monday, March 18, 2013


They are the big questions that come from something he read because books are not banned and we have freedom of speech. This started when he was three but we all remember our early twenties. Now we have more options built into our American system.

This does not look right.

Yes, I know.

This does not make sense.

Uh huh, I thought the same thing too.


There are only twenty-four hours to a day and seven of those in a week. When you are gone nobody is gonna wonder if you were right about something you didn't know.

You are not alone. 
I love you.

Today I am grateful I wasn't ready when a big question came 'cause I could admit I feel the same.

Sunday, March 17, 2013



Archusa Creek Water Park, Sunday morning beach

Today I am grateful for what I can see.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

the silver linings playbook

Spoiler alert.

I finished the book.
I went to sleep.
I woke up.
It felt like Spring.

Today I am grateful.

Friday, March 15, 2013


I receive a phone call after giving out my number which is weird, the whole giving out of a number thing. It is Justin Snow, who is this kid. this guy. this young adult. this voice who calls mine m'am.

I take four pages of notes.
At one point I say, Um. Justin. Hold up.
He does.
I have four pages of notes and you. ohmygosh, you keep going.
I know, I know, it's just that I am so passionate.

Yes I know, Justin. You are. You have me convinced.

He pauses.

But I have to hear your music. I have to see what you do. There is one thing I am going to tell you. The camera likes a certain thing.

Yes m'am.

You can't sing to the camera.
What the camera searches for is. belief.

Yes m'am.

When you play you play like you are alone.

Yes m'am.

Today I am grateful for a conversation with this kid. this guy. this young adult. this voice who calls mine m'am.

I think I am going to see him at Christy's.

Hopefully Dawn Early can be there and we can bring you back photos that show you who Justin sees.
And Tempa, what Tempa has going on is amazing. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Archusa Creek Water Park, the home of Possum Holla

Today I am grateful for longer days, for a visit to a place which made me remember getting in a small fishing boat so early in the mornings that it was still dark. I would shine the light on the water and peek over the front of the boat. The water, it was like no water I had ever seen and the boat cut it in half. It wouldn't be long before Dad would say, Shea, shine the light on the water so I can see. I'd straighten up and do as he said till I got distracted again.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

this is about nobody

plastic compassion

What I think is that if you walk out your door, answer your phone, do what another suggests then you may take some photos, ask some questions and subsequently make a huge announcement to the room, You ladies. I'm going home but before I walk out that door I want to say that you are better humans than me. I'm willing to admit that.

Note to self.
You must return here to sit and flatten and cut and tie and not use needles. Be a better human, me.

This is not about the guy who is leaving in two weeks to be homeless. This is not about how worried his family is. This is not about the woman who heard that news and told her daughter, I'm going to crochet together plastic bags to make that guy a mat. 

This is not about the women who met last night at a local community center. This is not about the gazillion plastic bags they brought. This story is about nobody. It is about giving.

Plarn. People in this industry are inventing their own language.
Of course they are.

The trees of which plarn is cultivated.

The child who watches.

Today I am grateful to meet nobody in particular but rather an act, a deed.