Photo Shoot! and Napo 21

So, I had a new experience recently!

A photoshoot!


My thoughts exactly.

But it actually was pretty fun. There I am, soaking it all in and getting my goddess on! Here's how it all went down:

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of getting interviewed for Beyond Arts Magazine. They cover all the arts events and happenings in the RGV, San Antonio, and Austin. It's actually a pretty nifty little magazine. Anyway, they wanted to do a little story on me and my award/book. Coolness, I say, and agree, not really sure what I was all getting into.

The interview goes well enough. I meet with Alyssa, the writer, at a local coffee shop on a Sunday afternoon, and she asks me smart questions about my book, my influences, and feminism. We have a great little chat, and then, as we're about to say our goodbyes, she asks me, "Oh, are you down for a photo shoot a little later in the week? We'll need some pictures for the magazine."

In my mind, I'm thinking it's just going to be Alyssa, taking a couple of pictures of me. So I say, sure, what the hey, I'm down for that. "Great," Alyssa replies, "meet me at The Cubby Hole and wear a dress and some cowboy boots."



Now I'm getting a little nervous. A bar? In a dress? With cowboy boots? Ok, so the PERSONA in my book is a pretty fierce, powerful goddess. Me? Well... I'm a mortal, which means I'm a little self-conscious, shy, and, well, awkward. But it's too late, I've already agreed. There's no backing out. 

So, on the day of the photo shoot, I get dressed and B, there for moral support, takes me to the bar. And who's there to great me? A team of photographers. Pros. With fancy equipment. My nerves at this point are through the roof. The first words out of my mouth as I get out of the car are: "I've never done this before! I'm not a model!" but the photographers are totally cool about it and are filled with advice and encouragement.

The whole shoot takes almost two hours. They have me pose in about a million different ways, doing different things, always showing off my fancy-smancy cowboy boots. I try to look powerful in the pictures, mighty, goddess-like. It's just the strangest experience ever! Having a group of people fawning over everything I do, the way my hair lays on my shoulders, my the angle of my arms, the tilt of my head, my smile. Other than a few Marilyn Monroe moments with the wind and my undies, I think it went off without a hitch! By the end of the shoot, I think I'm getting the hang of it, starting to feel more like a goddess and less like a shy, nervous, introverted author. 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product! I am thinking the article will run in next month's edition of the magazine. We shall see!!!!

Today kicks off the Valley International Poetry Fest, so I am beyond excited about this. See the full schedule here! The Boundless Anthology is going to be released at the Mission History Museum, and I have three poems included. Woohoo! I will likely blog about it more tomorrow.

Here's my Napo 21!


Two hummingbirds outside my window dance
With one another, flit like acrobats
Around the feeder, touching beak to breast
To wing, buzzing with an urgency

To make the other disappear.
I wish they’d trust I’d always fill the feeder
With fresh nectar every day, that mine is a garden
Of plenty, a place of respite from the world outside,

a sanctuary for the thirsty if they’d choose to stay,
that there’s enough for everyone who comes
to sip, to drink, to rest their weary wings.
The sugar water flows, a never ending stream

Of sweetness, energy, nourishment, but still,
They dart around the feeder with a thirst
to drink in everything before the bounty ends.

The hummingbirds swoosh through my garden
Every year with an urgency that life is short, to soak
Up all the nectar, visit every cluster of petals
Flashing bright against the darkening sky

Of spring, to drink until their blood becomes
A river of sweetness, of sugar.  Perhaps
They just can’t understand endlessness,
Plenty, they’ve lived their short lives
In a dance with death, starvation always
Threatening to stop their hearts, the buzz
Of their wings, the glitter of their feathers
As the sun rises in the morning.
And so they fight, compete with one another,
Let the weaker and the smaller go thirsty,
To find another garden or their end.