Sunday, December 30, 2007

Disturbed... take 2

I'm crazy for this picture... I can't leave it alone... It is one of my favorites that I have taken recently...

Sunday, December 09, 2007


An unusual shoot indeed. This was taken two years ago December 23rd on a VERY cold day in Tennessee. I found out that day that black people don't do well in the cold...

This photograph was taken as a marking of time in the lives of this family. I thought it cool they way they wardrobed themselves in old wedding dresses.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Harvey Bernard Dorren 1931-2007

In Loving Memory of Pop:

"Life is so great. If I did not know that God is perfect I would think He had me mistaken for someone else." - A quote from my former father-in-law - Harvey B. Dorren

I just received notice from his son that Harvey passed last Saturday night. I am a little numb from this news...

Pop (as I always called him, even after the divorce) was always a very interesting man to me. He was quiet and unassuming, but paid very close attention to everything. He was wise beyond his years, and always seemed to think everything out before he leaped... at least that was my observation. He was a good man. He even apologized to me (through my current husband) of judgements he had made toward me. That was an incredible gift to receive - and in doing this, he taught me a beautiful lesson.

Harvey was not a man of many words, but when he spoke it was like E.F. Hutton; you wanted to listen. He was always in a good mood, and always grateful for every breath that he took.

I am grateful to have known him and to have stayed in contact many years after the split - many sushi dinners together every time I would visit California. My heart goes out to his entire family - especially Kit, his wife - my beautiful friend. A big hug to you Mom - I love you!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Star Forever

It was an experience to remember... when I was younger and living near Hollywood, I would walk Hollywood Blvd, and read the stars... and wonder sometimes if I would ever get a star myself...

I now have my OWN star on the "Walk of Fame" in Hollywood!!! How you ask? I am a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild - a nineteen year member to be exact. It would have been 31 years if I had joined at sixteen when I was first eligible - oh well... But here it is in all it's beauty and glory. I am so proud! Silly maybe to you, but I'm gushing...

I was there for the unveiling... it was a wonderfully fun and memorable experience.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Knox's

In December of 2004 I shot this photo while this couple was waiting for me to get prepared to take their family Christmas photo. I told them to just relax and be with each other... then the magic happened... It was my first shot, and they weren't really ready yet...Maybe it's just me, but I think this shot is so sweet, the way he is holding her, and the way their hands are entangled...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm not mad...

I'm not quite sure how to react to this... I've sat just staring at the package that I put in a public postal mailbox days ago; thinking it was on its way to the little girl that it was meant for... These are children's books, not a bomb... it was going to a destination only 35 miles away from its origin... there was no need for it to go on an airplane... it is OBVIOUSLY not a threat...What have our lives come to with this terrorism? I'm not mad; I'm just affected now. Sure, if I book a flight now, I am affected by all the extra security at the airport... the hassle, etc. I don't enjoy flying anymore... I don't like being treated like a criminal... what happened to our rights? I don't live in FEAR... I work hard to NOT live that way in this society...

When I was a little girl, I used to collect stamps... I LOVE the colors of stamps, I love the Art of stamps, and I always thought that the cancellation stamp that the post offices do was also very interesting... that is why I put "stamps" on a package for children to see. It takes me longer to do; but there is an educational purpose in why I do it... and now, because I put stamps on it... it got sent back to me... how sadly confusing…

Please don't get me wrong; I'm not mad...and I’m not really sure what the RIGHT thing to do in this situation is… I'm confused as to how far we (as a Nation) will let things go in this country before we just stop having ANYTHING to do with our fellow human beings; I’m talking about personalization…

I live deep in the woods of Tennessee for a reason; and every day that reason becomes stronger and stronger. I am away from the ANGER in the streets. I moved to Tennessee fifteen years ago to get away from the anger of Los Angeles people, there are so many wanting to get where someone else already is... my property values don't sky rocket where I live, but they don't drop either... it’s consistently rising…

I just don't know how to react to this... I AM a proud American, but I am also a confused American...

P.S. I bought this postal scale at Costco ($19.99+tax) a few weeks ago; to save on fuel (the post office is a 22 mile round trip)… now I guess I can’t use that either… are we REALLY a democracy anymore?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tree of Love

The tree of love sold tonight at the Untitled Art Exhibit. I priced it to sell, and it did! I'm so pleased to see one of my children go out into the World and grace another human beings home. How cool!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A 1000 Clicks

A picture is worth a thousand words... well, I took about a thousand photographs of Don Kirchner last week, the author of A Matter of Time, and the founder of the Society for Return to Honor. Entering prisons has become easy for me now. These are just men and women who have made some wrong choices... they're doing their time... this could be you or me... easily...Click on the photo montage to see a larger version.
Click on the photo montage to see a larger version.
Click on the photo montage to see a larger version.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Jack Ass?

So I'm driving down the street minding my own business... and there they were a couple of Jack Ass'.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why Orange?

It's kinda weird to think that I'm getting used to going into correctional facilities... spending time with large groups of inmates... and taking their picture... I'm actually enjoying this human experience...

Today I asked someone in the know... Why Orange? His answer was simple, "Because it is a color that isn't normally worn by just anybody, and if an inmate were to escape, the color would be quickly recognized." That made complete sense to me, and after the answer I felt a little stupid for not having figured that one out... but then again in my own defense I do live in Tennessee where Orange (and White) are staples in clothing color choices (Tennessee University).

I'm a visual artist; I am attracted to certain colors more than others... Orange is not one of them...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Weed Eating Again!

She showed up again... I think she's really serious about finishing ALL my weeds. I think she's eating for more than herself, I could see some nipple action...

Weed Eater 2007

This past month in middle Tennessee we've seen record highs and record draught. I took a chance and spent a few extra dollars to save my lawn... it's a small lawn where my dog Lucy visits daily... I didn't want her in dust and dirt... anyway... guess who else has been attracted to my lawn???

A beautiful deer eating up my weeds... she's been back twice today; (as far as I've seen) she's driving Lucy nuts. With the draught, we haven't had to mow the lawn at all, and with the watering, the weeds are thriving... so I'm grateful to her for eating the weeds! She's my weed eater 2007 model.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Empowering CHILDREN to be CREATIVE!

Here he is! The cool cat of the twenty-first century! The next collectible happy meal character! The dude!

Empowering CHILDREN to be CREATIVE! Teaching children how to Love, Appreciate, and Respect themselves (and others)!

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's a small small world...

I am laughing my %$@ off right now looking at the picture of me catching a wedding bouquet 26 years ago... there was NO WAY I wasn't going to catch it... look at the height advantage I had alone... what a hoot to see this picture so many years later.

How did I come across this photo?

It was sent to me by the groom/husband (David) of my sorority sister (Maribeth)... talk about a SMALL world... they are now living in Nashville too! And, to top it off, David is a part of the production team on "A Father's Choice," an independent film made here in middle Tennessee last April. I guess that editing was being done on the film, and Maribeth recognized either me or my name... I talked about the production in my April 30 blog entry; I play a nurse in the maternity ward in a scene with the lead character.
Here's the other photo's David sent me; ahhhh the memories...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fortune 1

Just like I wrote to Oprah, "I believe in the power of believing!" My life took a turn for the best about 28 days ago... everything from there on out has been more than hopeful. But really what made the difference were the decisions that I made to make it that way.

I am creating the life that I have always wanted... I am an active participant in this experience! I do believe in asking for something, and then doing what it takes to receive that request. I expect to receive, this has changed my life too.

I invite YOU to do the same... I'm having the time of my life; I smile a lot more each day. I am happy - and I accept this in my life daily!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

6 Entries 6 Winners

One of the best county fairs in middle Tennessee is happening as we read. I entered six of my photos into the photography contest since I am a member of the Brentwood Camera Club in Williamson County and that entitled me to do so. Here are my winners.

The categories I entered were: People, Architecture, Scenic/Landscapes, Still Life, Animals/Domestic/Farm/Zoo, and Nature/Flora/Wildlife.

Click on the photos to see a larger version.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A GREAT loss...

This is a sad time for me. A truly "GOOD Friend" passed today. It is hard for me to describe the feelings that I have during this passing. Mostly confusion. I thought he was going to beat this thing... this cancer... and then again, maybe he did beat it; by not staying here on this plain to continue to experience the hardship of living with this dis-ease. His final weeks were filled with dis-ease. He quietly left us this morning. I remember him with a smile and a snicker at some of the funny experiences we shared over the years... especially the "pickle"... (you had to be there, and only he, Claudia, and myself were there...) that was one of those unforgettable laughs.

I snapped this photo of Bill last year while celebrating his birthday at the Lovelace Cafe with many of his friends... What a nice man... he will fondly be remembered... never an unkind word EVER came out of this man's lips...

Many years ago I heard it said, "that sometimes God takes the best flowers from the garden," Bill was a GORGEOUS flower.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Portrait of a Family Heirloom

I believe I am finished with this challenge. I like this picture because the lighting is the best of all of them.

This was a good exercise, it broadened my horizons... stretched my brian... and my brain too...

Monday, July 16, 2007



I did it! I wrote Oprah's producers today! I went out to her site and looked to see if there was a section that would apply to my Clint the Black Cat™ project - I found: Need a "HARPO HOOK UP" To Pull A Few Strings?

Do you need our help getting something done? Have you tried everything you can think of... but keep running up against brick walls?

Tell us all about what you're trying to accomplish... and why... and just how hard you've tried to make this happen on your own.

I was given 2000 characters to express my needs, here it is:

I believe in the power of believing! In 1996 I created a character and wrote a children’s book story called Clint the Black Cat™. I then co-created a curriculum for elementary kids to illustrate my book series and at the same time receive the gifts of personal empowerment through this process. In late 2000 I self-published 5000 copies of my book and began to visit elementary schools, libraries, colleges, book stores, drug stores, private parties, anyone who would help my cause. I have funded this project myself with every extra penny I had including selling my purple 1992 Corvette (my dream car).

In 2002 I lost my corporate job and the salary that allowed me to fund my project, CTBC had to go up on a shelf while I pursued a career as an artist. In the summer of 2006 I took CTBC down off of the shelf, dusted him off, and began to expand on my dream of producing a children’s educational TV show promoting personal empowerment through the visual art experience.

My book is illustrated by K-4th grade students, these children would go on book signings with me; I wish you could have seen the transformation in self-esteem with these kids.

I have had this dream for 11 years now to produce this book series and my TV show. But it is so hard when you are a team of one that is doing everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Everybody tells me I have done it right, but no one can help me get to the place that I see in my mind clearly. I see my show on PBS; I see it helping millions of children learn to love and accept themselves thru art. I see the show as an educational tool for teachers, home school parents, etc. I need a team to help bring this dream to reality.

I have sold over 1000 books myself! My website is and (old site). Could I borrow a production team to get a pilot done of my show? I have interest in the show at PBS in Norfolk, VA, but I need the pilot! Maybe get Chevy or Crayola to sponsor Clint the Black Cat?

There's no taking it back now, so cross your fingers, say a prayer, make a wish... whatever it will take to get this to happen - I BELIEVE!!!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 4th, 2007 - Nashville, Tennessee

I cannot believe how quickly the last six months has gone by... I'm sure I've said this before... but this is crazy! My Mom said to me years ago, "You just wait, when you get older the years FLY by!" She was right AGAIN!

On another note, my husband and I ventured out on the 4th of July to downtown Nashville. I have been looking for the perfect location to shoot fireworks... this is my third attempt... I'm still looking after this one too. I'm happy with this shot, but not completely elated. AND, to add insult to injury, my camera locked up during the finale of the fireworks, so I didn't get to shoot what I saw... back to the drawing board, and I'll be looking again next year for that perfect location.

I do however; love what happened with the cars as they passed me by on this long exposure.

As usual, click on the photo to see a larger version.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hearts & Stars

Hearts & Stars are my two favorite things
Cause I love love and sparkly things

Hearts are round with one tiny point
Stars are pointy with no roundy joints

Hearts signify Love, Stars signify Light
Put them together, Whoaaaaa what a sight!

The quilt you see here was made by my big sister Cynthia! I received it a couple of days after my birthday this year and was completely speechless... all that would come out of my mouth was WOW, WOW, WOW.

The poem that is above called "Hearts & Stars" was a poem I wrote many years ago after moving to Nashville; the quilt was inspired by the poem. All the materials used in this quilt have hearts or stars in them; it's absolutely gorgeous! A work of Art!

My sister is pictured here with the quilt just before shipping it to me from California. Didn't she do an awesome job?! Just look at the edge... that is my favorite part... She said the edge took as long to do as the rest of the quilt.

This is THE MOST SPECIAL gift that anyone has ever given me!

You can click on the picture to see a larger image.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Happy Birthday...

... to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to ME!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


We almost didn't stop at Wal-Mart tonight, but I kept getting this sort of pulling feeling that I was supposed to go in and get a few things...

We were walking by the pet section where I always stop to see if there is anything new that one of my critter children must have... and low and behold there was the sweetest little puppy... At first I naturally thought "him" a girl because of his fluffy cuteness... but his "new" Mommy kindly let me know that I had made the wrong assumption. Then when I asked what "his" name was... Mommy didn't have the answer, and she asked if I had any suggestions... Well... the name Winston instantly popped off my lips... I felt since he would possibly be mistaken for a girl, that he should have a classically strong and distinguished name. The new Mommy liked this name too, so he is forever Winston.

New Mommy Laurice and her sweet new child "Winston" are pictured here... of course my camera was not too far from me even in Wal-Mart. Hope we get to see Winston again some time soon! Congrats to the both of you!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Radio POE

RADIO POE Edgar Allan Poe may not have written for the theater, but that hasn’t prevented his stories and poetry from receiving dramatic treatment. This new stage presentation of some of Poe’s typically dark, evocative pieces” Annabel Lee,” “Conqueror Worm,” “The Bells,” “Spirits of the Dead” and “The Raven” is the product of a collaboration between Jaz Dorsey’s Southern Writers Theatre and Rich Armentrout’s Third Coast Broadcast. The performers” David Kinnard, Denice Hicks and Carla Christina Contreras” recite the poetry before a dinner-theater audience at Monell’s in Franklin (108 Bridge St.). A live webcast of the performance will be available at (The show will be archived at the site for future access.) Definitely a forward-thinking idea, and the actors involved have the chops to make the Poe come alive. Both dinner and the simulcast begin at 6 p.m. May 31, with the Poe commencing at 7 p.m. For reservations, phone 837-8777. ”MARTIN BRADY

O.K., so it's already past... but what fun it turned out to be. I am not well versed in Poe, in fact, I was only familiar with "The Raven" all these years of my life. I truly enjoyed reciting "Spirits of the Dead" and the collaboration between the three of us of "The Bells!"

Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Orleans again...

I was honored to interview recently with a really nice development company here in middle Tennessee. For the interview I was inspired to go back and look at some of the places I had photographed in the recent past. Here is another (re)visit to the New Orleans experience from earlier this year.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Mexico

It's amazing, different parts of our own country look like it is somewhere maybe another country? At least to me anyway... I LOVE the diversity of this country!

Click on the collage to see a larger version!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

State of a FAIR

Enough said... some of the highlights of a Fair.

Click on the collage to see a larger version!

2 Hours in Philly

I had about two hours to rush around Philadelphia to take some photos. I had to be quick quick quick... and many times, my husband would drive around the block while I jumped out to grab a shot.

Click on the group of photos to see a larger version, so you can really appreciate my running around the streets of Philly!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

It's Mothers Day today! I was awakened by my husband holding our kitty and doggy with a card that he made and had them sign with their paws... VERY cute! What a sweet way to be awakened!

The days lately have been very challenging. When you're not getting along with your mate (most of the time) can be saddening and debilitating at the same time... at least, that's the way it seems for me. Since nobody seems to be reading my blog, I guess I can just be as honest as I want to be... the blog is for me anyway, right? RIGHT!

So, I am taking each day separately, and reacting with self-love and self-care to the best of my ability. I have learned to accept the feelings of others (through 12 step and therapy) unconditionally, although at times, my husband will challenge this philosophy constantly.

Anyway, "Happy Mother's Day" to all of you out there that are Mothers even without having birthed another human being!

I think this picture of my Mom and me in a photo booth is really cute!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Jesus LIVES!

Last night I attended the monthly Brentwood Camera Club meeting and entered a few photos into the monthly contest. One of my works received a nod by the members as runner up on photo of the month (no theme); well temporarily anyway... (there really wasn't supposed to be a runner up I found out later).Anyway, a guest member came up and wanted to see the photo closer up... and low and behold she immediately blurts out... Jesus is in your photo!!! Do you see him? I did right after she mentioned it. This is the first time Jesus has appeared, but not the first time an apparition has made it into my photography...

By the way, this is through the back window of a VERY old and rusty Chevy pick-up truck in East Nashville, the neighborhood where this car sits was doing there job as I was approached by a neighbor who wanted to know what I was doing... good job neighborhood watch! I showed her my photos on the back of my digital camera, and she just looked at me like I was nuts... she didn't see the art I guess... to each his own, right?

Monday, April 30, 2007

On Acting

It's been a busy week or so for me as an actor. So far in the month of April I have been a part of three productions; "Seeking Mary" was screened at the Nashville Independent Film Festival; "Scare Me" was completed and screened by the cast and crew (A Vanderbilt University Film); and "A Father's Choice" (and Independent Feature Film) is currently in production.

I love acting, I love it, I love it! Especially film and TV, my first love.

A Father's Choice

Here is a picture on the set of the movie "A Father's Choice" being shot here in Tennessee (Dickson). I have a part in the movie; I play "Nurse Bower" in the maternity ward. The script is really GREAT and is based on a true story about a father in Tennessee that was kept from seeing his daughter after birth, and how he has fought to get the rights of father's changed in the state of Tennessee - the true story of William Fain is heart-wrenching, I cried when I read the end of the script.
I am pictured here with two of my dearest friends, Karen Carlson and Kathy Knox (William Fain in the background). Karen will be playing the part of "Ms. Little" as well as Associate-Producing. Kathy is the much needed and very important Script Supervisor.

My experience shooting was as fun as ever, I love acting, it really is my FIRST Love!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A study of roses

I saw these roses the other day at Costco. And, since I had never picked out my roses for Valentines day, I thought that I'd make these the ones.
And of course, I decided to do a rose study with them. I spent about 1.5 to 2 hours working with these roses trying to get the PERFECT shot. I remember the days when I would point and shoot, and that was great enough, but not now... Now I have to make it more difficult for myself, now I have to do what a pro would do... blah blah blah...

Anyway, here are the two favorite shots I created. I think they are beautiful.

Monday, March 26, 2007

An Acting Sculpture

I attended an acting retreat this weekend. We did active sculptures using eachother as the medium. I grabbed my camera for the final sculpture... the word was RISK. One actor sculpted the other three actors into place... very cool, huh?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Orleans - A Quick Trip

A FEW of the photographs I took while in and around New Orleans a couple of days ago. I cannot describe in words the devistation that still remains in New Orleans, I had to see it for myself - and I did. Life will never be the same there... and maybe that is a good thing... the neighborhoods reminded me of Tijuana, Mexico.

The lower nineth ward of course is the worst. Where houses used to be there are fields of clover... LOTS of clover.

Click on the collage to see a larger verison.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I am completely STRUCK by this photograph that I took during a recent prison visit. Can you tell this is a prison inmate? His body language shows me many emotions and thoughts. I can't stop looking at it. I hope this man has found the gift(s) of this experience and has learned from the experience(s) he has been presented. There's an opportunity for growth in everything.

Thoughts? Anybody? Bueller?