The Cultural Social Media Rat Race Isn’t Everything

I have people ask me why I don’t update my profile pictures or post pictures of myself on social media. Sometimes it feels like being invited to a party and being reminded that I never show up. This says a lot about the world we live in today: people today are “oversharers,”  misleaders, and misdirected.

So, why not have the glowing, power picture that’s head-on so you can look me straight in the eye. Why stay “hidden.”

…Am I disfigured? Nope. Am I ugly? Maybe to some but to level it out, I’m pretty to some so I’ll say that I’m average. Am I ashamed? There’s a difference between being ashamed and being humble. Aren’t I worried that people won’t recognize me as a “real” person without a picture? No, there are tons of “fake” people online who have pictures up on social media and anyone who knows how to right-click can be someone else on the internet…in fact, they could even be you. Having the gall to post a picture up doesn’t make you a real person. Values, a relationship with God, and being in communion with others will make you a real, worthy person–nothing else. The people who matter the most know my face–and see my face–and that’s all that matters.

I guess the answer to this question is actually a lot simpler then anyone thinks, but sadly, it’s only noticeable now because we currently live in a world where selfies are prevalent. Finally, my answer: online vanity means little to me because everything of this world is a distraction.

Don’t misunderstand me. I use social media, too, and I have a profile picture up on Facebook. But you should know, social media isn’t everything to me. I use Instagram the most but I’m not patting myself on the back with my posts on it. I don’t use Instagram to show people, “hey look! I’m published!” I use Instagram as a tool to try to show people in Killeen that good things are happening in their community all the time, they just need to look outside their windows. I want people who see my Instagram feed to know that there are people working to bring a little good to our world so do not to be devoid of hope!

If you’re feeling pressured to flaunt on social media, please don’t feel this way because big picture, none of it really matters. Don’t be afraid to be your own person. This life is a dream and it will pass. Plus, some of the best people, the ones making a true and lasting impact on Earth, are rarely sitting around sharing pictures of their face or pictures that show how “great” their lives are. They’re not trying to sell you an idea because they’re too busy. They don’t have the time for nonsense, nor do they have a heart for vanity. People who have life abundance are out living life abundantly.

Live with intention and be blessed.


Pen & Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide by Alphonso Dunn

9780997046533_p0_v1_s550x406My personal copy of this book finally came in the mail yesterday!

I found Alphonso Dunn through YouTube while looking for drawing tutorials. After watching a few of his videos, I saw that he was such a brilliant instructor and I put his book, Pen & Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide, on my wish list.

You can check out his YouTube channel here if you’re curious: Alphonso Dunn. Those looking to learn or improve their drawing skills can definitely find guidance through his YouTube channel but, there’s nothing like being able to take drawing materials out and creating art pieces; sometimes it’s good to get away from a screen to find inspiration, too.

Not surprising, his book is just as great as his instructional videos. It might not work for everyone, but I love his straight-forward guidance. There’s no fluff, and he takes the reader step-by-step to make learning easy. Dunn also encourages artists to understand and question their own drawing methods so that artists are able to get the best output from their work.

Below are pictures of pages within this book but, they really don’t represent all of the good stuff in it. There are exercises, practical guidance for being an artist, and tons of visual references. I also really love that you’re encouraged to draw within the book, too, so it seconds as a workbook.

This book is best for beginners and those just starting out. However, I’m sure that there are techniques in this book worth looking over for experienced artists, too. I especially like the section on texturing. You can see the extensive texture types covered in the first image below.

Definitely worth the buy if you’re a budding artist!




Island Wildlife Now Released!

Just wanted to share! Island Wildlife: Exiles, Expats and Exotic Others by Robert Friedman is now released and available for purchase. This book is a little more special to me because not only did I edit it, I designed the cover.

The story takes place in the late 80s in Puerto Rico and runs through the lives of a few characters who are tied to one place: the Solimar Guesthouse.

Buy a copy on Amazon here: Buy Island Wildlife by Robert Friedman.





A Real Daughter Just Published!

A Real DaughterA Real Daughter by Lynn McKelvey is officially published! I couldn’t be happier.

A Real Daughter is a pretty interesting story; a woman named Claire, loses her daughter but, death doesn’t stop her daughter from continuing life with Claire. In fact, Claire’s daughter is still very much alive to her and it isn’t until she inherits a stepdaughter is she forced to face herself and what is truly reality.

A Real Daughter explores the realities of stepping into a blended family,  madness, grief, and death. It questions the concept of motherhood and when a mother’s role truly ends. If death isn’t strong enough to break the tie between mother and child, then what is?

I like the honest take on blended families in this book. In real life, the assimilation of broken families isn’t as smooth as we’d like to admit. In A Real Daughter, the “daughter” Claire inherits is a bit of a monster but, she’s real.

Copies of A Real Daughter are available on Amazon and through the publisher. 

The official synopsis, in case you’re interested:

When her infant daughter Sarah unexpectedly dies, Claire, feeling blame, reinvents herself as a landscape gardener in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Claire imagines Sarah still alive, marking her birthdays, Christmas, first day of school—as if Sarah never died.

Remarrying, Claire acquires a step-daughter, eight-year-old Mandy—about the age Sarah would be had she lived. Part vamp, part jealous, bossy and troubled, Mandy is nothing like Sarah, who still lives on in Claire’s imagination.

As Claire lives two lives—one real, one imagined—the clash between the two daughters threatens to destroy her, releasing the demons she has managed, so far, to hold at bay. As the story hurtles towards its harrowing conclusion, Claire must choose between her new life and her haunted past.


Beneath Them is Now Available!

It’s finally happened! Beneath Them was just published today!

Beneath Them

This is a great novel for anyone looking for a story that’s out of the norm–something both heartbreaking and scary.

I may be a little biased since I personally edited it but, it’s one title that I’m extremely proud of and have high hopes for. Natalie Roers is definitely a woman going places!

Official synopsis:

Beneath Them–a novel based on the screenplay by Natalie Roers and Mali Elfman–is about Derek Fisher, a teenage vagrant with a troubled past. Beneath Them–a novel based on the screenplay by Natalie Roers and Mali Elfman–is about Derek Fisher, a teenage vagrant with a troubled past.

Interested in a copy? Get Beneath Them