Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sorry to see 2016 go (NOT)

Renata luvs Isabella, 2008
from The Smooch! Project Archive category -
All in the Family: Moms luv Kids

(Tomorrow morning, I'll be sending out an email blast to my Smooch! supporters list. It will include the photo above and a portion of the text below. Truly, I'm not being lazy. This content seemed to 'hit the mark' regarding my thoughts on this almost-past year.)

Poor Isabella. She was obviously anxious when her mom hoisted her up in air, upon my suggestion. I thought the child would laugh and smile as a result. I couldn't have been more wrong. I am hopeful that Isabella was too young to recall this anxious moment. At least I got a good photo from the effort.

I chose this pic to illustrate my feelings about 2016. To me, the photo best represented how I recall the past 12 months: Often unsettling, sometimes scary. I worked hard to remember that, no matter what, all the support I needed was always freely available to me: Friends, family, faith. Oh, and chocolate. LOTS of chocolate. So far, so good.

A few days ago, journalist Diana Bruk wrote the following in Esquire Magazine:
2016 was a hard year, rocked by the deaths of beloved celebrities, senseless acts of terrorism, and political turmoil. But through all the tragedy that we saw in the headlines, there were little miracles that occurred that reminded us that the world is still, despite everything, a beautiful place filled with kind people who love one another.
I couldn't have said it better. Diana included a list of 26 uplifting moments in 2016. I'd like to suggest you check them out. Thanks for the optimistic shot in the arm, Diana. I, for one, really needed it.

I am soooo looking forward to 2017. I've got several efforts moving forward at the moment that I hope to bring to fruition as early as possible next year. A smoochy synopsis:


  • Connecting with a portrait photog in Iceland has proved more challenging than expected. But I believe I've learned enough from my efforts so far to feel confident I'll find the right person soon.
  • A professional associate has linked me to another Twin City pro with strong contacts in Haiti. On behalf of the Smooch!, inquiries are being made regarding whether The Smooch! Project is a good cultural fit and, if so, locating a Port-au-Prince photog interested in working with me. I'm hopeful this will work out.
  • Soon, I'll begin sniffing out some photog possibilities in Ireland. Wish me the luck 'o the Irish!
  • I am continuing my efforts to populate the homepage of my new website with 200 of the most beautiful photos drawn from The Smooch! Project Archive. 150 pics have already been uploaded. The remaining 50 will arrive onsite sometime in January. Whew + Hooray!
  • I'm putting the final touches on a 'secret' private gallery designed for organizations that serve the needs of children. When completed, this gallery will contain almost 200 photos. Several of them have already been purchased by children hospitals located throughout the U.S. At the moment, I am awaiting the paperwork confirming yet another large print order. When that arrives, a huge, smoochy celebration will be in order!

Time to sign off for the evening. A good new year to all. Out with the old and in with the new.