Martha Southgate returns to CLE to read "A Taste of Salt"

Martha Southgate during book signing at Visible Voice Books in Cleveland, OH

***Note – this post was started last October and I never got around to uploading. If you’re looking for a good quick read this winter, be sure to pick up A Taste, and any of Southgate’s other works. She is an engaging and enjoyable author.

Cleveland native Martha Southgate, author of A Taste of Salt  returned home to give a reading at Visible Voice Books in the City’s Tremont neighborhood. It was a wet and chilly Thursday evening in October, but the quaint warm surroundings offered a perfect setting for a friendly open discussion.

A small but engaged group gathered to hear Southgate read from her latest novel and discuss her journey as an author.

The conversation covered everything from “A Taste of Salt” to her life as an author. Southgate was open and engaging as she talked about her path which included a stint as a writer with Essence magazine. When speaking of the jobs she has held Southgate was offering insight into the real life of a writer. It is not all glamour and sitting at home working on that next great work!

Eager readers await the start of Martha Southgate reading.

Her latest work “A Taste of Salt” is largely set in Cleveland which lead to questions about the levels of autobiographical information contained in the story. Southgate was adamant that this was not her story and is indeed a work of fiction. As with most works of fiction some elements of the book were loosely  based on  individuals Southgate has met, and settings are based on places she has been.

Today is the National Day On Writing – #whyiwrite

So today is the National Day On Writing and the ladies over at She Writes have encouraged members to participate by explaining in 140 characters why they write. Here is my contribution:

To add clarity to my life, color and flavor to the world of others and ultimately produce pieces that resonate and may bring about change.

Playing with Texture

The art of photography is complex. It is not just a world of point shoot and voila! There are pre-processing steps and post-processing. Pre-processing involves making sure you have a good shot – the right lighting, focus and composition. Once you have taken the shot you enter into the world of post-processing and that has many forms in the digital age – anything from cropping to adding texture.

If you’re interested in textures the place to go is Kim Klassen’s Cafe’. Kim is the queen of textures in my mind and really enjoys creating and sharing them. Check her out here.

So I thought I would try and play around with textures recently and these are the results. I’m no master and I haven’t truly developed an eye for what it is I want to see yet, but its fun to play around.

Moon Before

After using Kim Klassen’s “life is good” and “if only” textures.

Using “if only” and “life is good” but with different methodology.

The middle photo is a bit dark, but closer to late night shot. The last photo gives the idea of an unsteady atmosphere and an earlier time of day. So what do you think?


The Task of Choosing Favs

Over the last several days I have been tasked with choosing favorite photos I have taken and choosing my best or favorite shot from the Worldwide Photo Walk, which has proven to be a challenge.

The first challenge came as a result of my enrollment in Finding Your Eye, and eCourse offered by Kat over at  Kat Eye View. In order to home in on what your eye gravitates to and enjoys you were asked to go through your photos and develop a “favorites” file. The problem with this task is going through ALL those photos! Boy have I taken a ton of photos over the last year, and that doesn’t even account for the many photos I’ve taken prior to this time – sheesh I am exhausted just thinking about it.

I really believe before even tackling that task that my favorites are people photos. I really enjoy capturing the spirit of a moment, the feelings that they are portraying. Now recently I have also become enamored with urban/city views. Really this boils down to seeing the world around me in a different light and seeing things for the first time.

For example I initially chose this picture to enter into the WWPW photo contest – a contest I must say that I’m not really familiar with, but this is my year of taking a leap of faith so enter I will. I chose this particular picture because I thought it was a good find and because it illustrates the resiliency of this tree which is very similar to the strength of Cleveland and its residents. We may suffer, fall down and reach the brink but in the end there is a seed of hope that is planted giving us the ability to strive and survive even during the bleakest time.

Really – have you ever seen anything like this?

After some thought and consideration I decided to change my photo to one that has more photographic feet so to speak. It has color, reflection and a feeling of art.


Do you feel my pain? Well not pain really, but choices are difficult. Hope you enjoyed!