Has a book changed your life?

10 | 31

Prompt: Has a book changed your life?

Today is day ten of the WordPress #Bloganuary challenge.

Meet Me At The Bakery

Sometime in 2012 at Two On Earth Bakery…
Talbot: “I mean, it’s not like I’ve written a book or anything.”
Me: “Well that needs to change.”

On October 22, 2014, I shot my 43rd consecutive photo -during my first of three 52-week challenges. That week’s theme was Decay: I knew where and what I would shoot immediately. At the time, we lived only a few miles from the ruins of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Heritage Town USA.

It was there I snapped this shot and shared these thoughts.

Heritage USA • Fort Mill SC

Like many other preachers, love ended up eluding Jim Bakker.
The sinful desires, as strong as they are, left the PTL Club and Heritage USA in decay and complete ruin.
These ruins remain only a few miles from our house and serve as a daily reminder of
how easy it is to fall from grace.
The stage for Jim Bakker was much larger than the one I stand on. He convinced millions of viewers to donate their life savings into his Heritage USA.
With one hand caught in the offering plate and the other one up Jessica Hahn’s skirt, that was a mighty stage to fall from.
My fall from grace comes nearly every day looking at this ruin. All I see is the decay of so many people that were hurt. Toting my daughter to and from school, I fall from my little stage. I curse the leaders involved while praying for those who lost it all.
I don’t believe that is how it’s intended to work but it’s what I do. Maybe, just maybe, my heart and soul will be judged on the love I have for those who lost it all, instead of the sinful decay of hating those that took it all.

On May 12, 2015, my friend Talbot Davis -who I told that morning back in 2012 that he should write a book -invited me to his office. I showed up to find several boxes scattered around his office containing his brand-new book –Head Scratchers. He had opened a few of the boxes and the scent of freshly printed pages filled the air.

We shared a few laughs of excitement knowing we both were now published. As he referred back to our conversation some two years prior, he added that my image could be found on page 36, and presented me with my autographed copy.

Undertaking the task of piecing this post together today brings echoes of good times in my life. I was involved and regularly participated in something larger and beyond my control. The brown sofa behind me in this photo is where I would often set and where my friend heard me laugh and rejoice, watched me cry and struggle, and always had an open door.
Talbot is an avid tennis player and aficionado. I recall thinking that if it turned out -I would surprise him with a print. Just so happens that the “Smoken’ Ace” wasn’t too shabby and I had it printed on a 12″ x 36″ piece of metal and it is the image hanging on the left.

That very image would later be found on my flickr where a purchase agreement for a usage right was entered into with BMW. That’s a tale that can be told another time.

Let’s Have Coffee

Circa -meeting with Talbot at the bakery to when Head Scratchers was published, I met with Ellen at the local Starbucks. Nothing fancy for me -just black coffee.
Ellen and her husband Dan had just launched Keep In Mind and they were interested in purchasing a few of my photos for the creation of Memory Magz. We came to an agreement that included a location shoot at their home and usage rights for forty of my previously created images.

Memory Magz came to life a short time later when Outdoor Beauty and Happy Faces were published.

A few of my favorites that were incorporated:

Living In The Sub-Blurb

When the new year arrives, so do notions about getting fit, being better, and setting goals. I’ve almost entirely given up on resolutions and set my compass to a yearly word. This year is Focus if you missed it.

2014 I set out to take a picture a week. It’s called the 52-week challenge within the photo community. Along the way in creating those images, I found enthusiasm in attaching short stories when time prevailed. Auld Lang Syne played three times before I relinquished. Ended up that I created 156 images over a three-year span never missing a week. Those efforts I compiled into three separate books on Blurb and they can be viewed on my Behance.

Adobe Behance
Publishers Clearing House

A coffee and apple fritter with a friend led to my first-ever image being published in a book that guides pastors and small groups. Coffee with a stranger in a busy little Starbucks in a small Carolina town produced forty of my images being published in magazines that help those with dementia. A photo project that ended up inspiring me to write -while making me a better photographer. far surpassed what I intended.

I think it’s safe to say -I’ve had a book change my life!

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