Friday, January 31, 2014

Making Your Photographs Come Alive: Pulling Your Ideas Together



Pulling your ideas together creates a short story that brings the photograph to life. My disjointed phrases and sentences about what I could see, hear, taste, smell, and touch evolved into something special as I added and replaced words.


Daddy worked ever so patiently to pose his little dolls against the blank canvas of the dining room wall on Christmas day. My sister and I were wearing our new Christmas dresses. (I bet no one knew the crunchy crinoline slip under my dress gently scratched at my legs.) Although the lingering aroma of the Christmas Eve ham infringed upon our excitement of presents under the Christmas tree, it was a reminder of the ham sandwich and Coke we left Santa on Christmas Eve. Of course, that sandwich was without cheese because Santa, whom we later learned was Daddy, did not like cheese. 

“Look up in the corner. Say cheese,” Daddy said. 

I had just finished my special Christmas candy--a hard raspberry flavored candy with a jelly center. I would suck on it for a few minutes, and then I would crush it with my teeth until the surprise jelly center was unmasked. 

Later, we would go to our grandparents’ homes for Christmas dinner. They lived only three houses from each other—what a special treat for us!

Sometimes you are the only one who knows the story behind a photograph. What memory are you keeping? This is the story in you. Share it.

Domonique

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Make Your Own Photo Journal: Use Your Senses



Make your own photo journal by telling the story behind your photographs. 
Quick, grab an old photograph! Let’s unfold the story behind it. 

Focus on the senses: what you saw, heard, tasted, smelled, and touched. One of my favorite photographs is an old photograph of my sister and me on Christmas day, sometime in the 1960s.


What I saw—Daddy working ever so patiently to pose his little dolls. The dining room wall was his blank canvas.
What I heard—Probably something like this, “Look up in the corner. Smile. A real big smile.”
What I tasted—My special Christmas candy was a hard raspberry flavored candy with a jelly center. I would suck on it for a few minutes, and then crush it until the surprise jelly center was exposed. I would position it on the center of my tongue and let it dissolve slowly.
What I smelled—The lingering aroma of the Christmas Eve ham. We always left Santa a ham sandwich (without cheese of course because Santa, whom we later learned was Daddy, did not like cheese).
What I touched—The crunchy crinoline slip under my Christmas dress gently scratched at my legs.

What did you see, hear, taste, smell, and touch in your photograph? This is the story in you. Share it.

Domonique

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Derrick Coleman Receives Special Encouragement before Super Bowl



Derrick Coleman, running back for the Seattle Seahawks, encouraged an audience of elementary, middle, and high school students to pursue their dreams. The students face the same challenges Coleman faces. They have hearing challenges. But being hard-of hearing has not stopped Coleman. In fact, he has been empowered by negativity. It has been an opportunity for him to prove the naysayers wrong.

Although Coleman has inspired children all over the country, he is not beyond receiving inspiration from unexpected sources--two 9-year old sisters. "Just try your best. I have faith in you Derrick," wrote Riley in a letter to Coleman when she and her sister learned of his hearing challenge. The sisters' father used social networking to publish the letter. When Coleman discovered the letter, he replied. He maintained that they can achieve their goals in the face of their hearing challenges.

What dreams have you realized? Who inspired you? How have you inspired someone? This is the story in you. Share it.

Domonique

 http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/12/10/2941285/seahawks-coleman-tells-tacoma.html


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dr. Martin Luther King and Joe Montana




When my son was in the 4th grade, one of his assignments was to write a book report within 21 days. Writing the report was not a big deal to him; it was selecting the right book for the report. So, I took him to the public library in search of the perfect book. He insisted on just skimming through the shelved books, but after a half hour, I enlisted the librarian. She smiled and said, “I have the perfect book for you.” We followed her, passing book case after book case until she arrived at her destination. Both of us watched in anticipation as her willowy index finger attached itself to the top of a book and gently eject it from the shelf. 

The librarian presented the book to my son. I was pleased. On the cover of the book was a little African American boy around the same age as my son. “This is great!” I thought. “They celebrate diversity here.” I thanked the librarian, and my glaring look at my son prompted him to bluntly let loose an obligatory thank you. His face was a picture of disappointment.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

My son replied that he did not want the book, and to validate his rejection, he laid it next to the neatly shelved books. 

The librarian had not noticed that my son was a 9-year old boy. She noticed that he was an African American 9-year old boy and had selected a book accordingly--without inquiring about his interests. If she had inquired, she would have learned that he loved tarantulas, mysteries, and Joe Montana—all of which had nothing to do with race. You see, to my son, Joe Montana was simply the greatest quarterback in the NFL. He was The Comeback King. He was Joe Cool.

I realize the power of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Those words helped me shape my son’s life. Race has never defined him. Because of Dr. King, my son, who is now a grown man, can still see beyond the color of a person’s skin. And Joe Montana is still simply Joe Montana--one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL.

How has Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. influenced your life? This is the story in you. Share it.


Domonique



http://www.archives.gov/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf