Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

The Best of SMITH in 2007

Monday, December 31st, 2007

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Every story that comes in is special to me. Whether an assigned feature from one of the editors, an out-of-nowhere memoir-in-progress from a previously unpublished writer, a heavily scripted and designed chapter of our newest webcomic, A.D., or Mario Batali sending me a half dozen six-word memoirs in the middle of the night, each one is like a mini-birth. And this home for storytelling gets richer and richer with each contribution. As we get set for some very exciting changes in January—and celebrate two years of storytelling and the release our book, NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING: Six-Word Memoirs By Writers Famous and Obscure—I wanted to look back at some of my favorite stories, and SMITH Mag moments, of 2007. What’s yours?

The 2007 SMITHies

Best Story Which Left the Writer Always on Top: Writing the Whip, the ongoing diary of Mistress Y, a working dominatrix in New York City.

Most Impressive Celebrity Six-Word Memoir Score: SMITH memoir guru Rachel Fershleiser meets Amy Sedaris at the Blogher conference in Chicago and returns home with her six.

Personal Confession That’ll Knock Your Socks Off: Cole Kazdin’s hilarious recounting of her experience posing nude.

Best Video: The six-word memoir video, created by SMITH cofounder Tim Barkow, and seriously some of the best three-minutes around. (more…)

The To-Do List Book

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

To-Do: Read Sasha Cagen’s To-Do List Book.

I need to start writing more, going to bed before 5 am, and making it to dance class. I need to stop biting my nails, procrastinating, and forgiving people who lie to me.

This time of year, almost everyone is composing a wish list. What I want from Santa gives way to what I want from myself, as yellow pads amass promises of diets begun and workout regimens adhered to.

But for most of us, all the time is list time. I’m a disorganized person, but I write groceries on my fridge, deadlines above my desk, and every man I’ve ever kissed in the same spiral notebook I began at 14.

Sasha Cagen, the author/blogger/magazine editor/pop culture genius who conceived Quirkyalone has turned her attention to the humble To-Do List. Her new book To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us is both sociologically illuminating and voyeuristically thrilling.

“Our lists reveal our secret selves,” she writes in the introduction. “They show us as the hilariously imperfect works-in-progress that we are every single day.”

Each list is reproduced on the original page in the original handwriting, and the effect is visceral enough to give a full image of the writer (or post-traumatic stress syndrome if one happens to be your old boss). Health lists, sex lists, things to do before you die…each is intimate and kind of inspiring. Read some below and then grab a post it to start your own—or post it in the comments. Need more inspiration? You know what to do. -Rachel Fershleiser
Listen to Sasha Cagen talking about to-do lists on NPR’s Talk of the Nation.

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Full On With Leonard Nimoy

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Leonard Nimoy—famous for portraying the Spock character in the Star Trek universe—did not set out to photograph naked fat women. He got lucky.

A talented and passionate photographer who built his own darkroom out of found parts as a teen, Nimoy has been creating black-and-white art photography since the early 1970s. As Houston Museum of Fine Arts photography curator Anne Wilkes Tucker explains, Nimoy’s work explores deep themes such as “his Jewish heritage, a concern for human dignity and the concept of Shekhina, a Talmudic term for the manifestation of God on earth.” Shekhina is the title of Nimoy’s first book of photographs.

His most recent book of fine art photographs is called The Full Body Project, an exploration of proud fat women. Although I am not one of Nimoy’s models, I too am a proud fat women; this project resonates with in a very personal way.

I have always been fat. I wasn’t always proud. Then, in the mid-1990s, I started a ‘zine and then wrote a book, both called FAT!SO?, to express what might be called fat pride. In the process of being the proudest possible fat woman, I got lucky. I met another proud fat woman named Heather MacAllister, who founded Big Burlesque & the Fat Bottom Revue, “the world’s first exclusively plush-size, gender-inclusive burlesque ensemble.” Before her recent death, Heather fought fiercely to expand the world’s definition of beauty and sexuality and humanity to include all of us. In one of her proudest pieces of work, Heather and her dancers posed for Leonard Nimoy.

The Full Body Project is a near-perfect book of images, with an elegant introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Natalie Angier. It’s also an ongoing project for each one of us, the project of living fully in our bodies. It was with a great pleasure that this proud fat woman (six-word memoir: “This body, this fat, this life!”) spoke with Leonard Nimoy about the story behind these luscious, liberating, loving photographs.

Marilyn Wann: I’m curious about the story of how this book, The Full Body Project, came to happen. I’d love to hear how you met your first fat model.
Leonard Nimoy: The story of this book begins with a lady on a black background, lying on a black cloth in the back of the book. My wife and I have a house in Lake Tahoe. A camera shop owner in the area, in Carson City, heard I was in the area and contacted me to do an exhibit, which I did. I was showing some of the earlier work from a book that I published called Shekhina, about the feminine aspect of God. There were a number of people who showed up and one woman approached me and she said, “I’m a model. I’m a different body type than what you’re working with. I wonder whether you’re interested in working with me.” And we did. She came to our home in Lake Tahoe.

I’m trying to picture the conversation you and your wife had, driving home from the gallery show.
I said, “What do you think?” And she said, “You ought to try it, break some boundaries and do something different.” I was concerned about it because I wanted to make sure I did her justice. I wanted to find an appropriate way to photograph her. I’d never photographed that body shape or size. I wasn’t sure how to do it. But I found a way, in black and white photography, to make a kind of sculptural look. I told her that I wouldn’t publish the pictures unless she approved and she said she would show them to her husband. I had paid her, like any model. So she showed them to her husband, and she said that he said, “That’s my girl.” So I said, “Okay then, we’re on.”

This sounds like a different level of caution than you use with average-body models.
Yes. I think, too, that she had not done a lot of figure modeling. Although she called herself a model, her work had come in advertising modeling and so it was not fine art work.

What happened next in the story of this book?
We subsequently showed some of those images in other exhibitions of my work. These got a lot of attention. I realized that there’s a difference between making artwork and making documentation in photography. A lot of my previous work would be described as fine art or art photography. It was all based on a concept that I had developed, or some other subject, and I was using models to help express that idea. In this case the work was a crossover between artwork and documentation. It was about a concept but it was also about her story.

So you were telling her story in addition to telling your own story about the subject.
I was telling a story about this particular person. As a result, it was a different kind of photography. When people saw the picture, they wanted to know about her. They had the same questions you’re asking. So I became curious about this question of body image in our culture. I contacted a model here in Los Angeles who is not a fat body activist or a fat model, but she’s a model activist and works with a lot of different kinds of models. I asked her if she knew of anybody who might fall in that category and she put me in touch with Heather MacAllister.

Whose troupe, Big Burlesque, were revolutionary in bringing fat people to burlesque and bringing fat visibility to the public.
I contacted Heather and I sent her a couple of images that I wanted to replicate. It was the image that is on the cover of the book, which was originally done by Herb Ritts of high fashion models Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell. I said to Heather, “I’d like to replicate this with you.” I also wanted to do a diptych, two pictures of four women walking toward the camera, one of them clothed and the other one nude, and that was based on a diptych by a very famous fashion photographer named Helmut Newton. So I sent her Helmut’s pictures and that’s how we began.

We went to San Francisco and we photographed Heather and her group there. Then a year later, they were coming to Los Angeles to perform and we agreed to photograph them again at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. That’s the whole story.

I wasn’t sure that I had enough pictures for a book. I think that’s when I contacted you. I was looking for more models. But Garrett White, an editor from Fiveties Publishing, which later published the book, contacted me. He had seen some of the pictures—and said, “Do you have more?” I gave Fiveties my contact sheets and they went through and found the book.

I think it’s a strong book because of the group of models, and then the single model at the end who’s so powerful. What was it like for you, who perhaps had not come across fat pride activists before?
Very educational.

What did you learn?
I learned a lot about body image in our culture. Heather said to me, “Beauty is culture driven.” I realized that we are swamped with advertising that tells women in our culture—95 percent or maybe 99 percent of them—-that they don’t look right. That they should be buying these pills or buying this diet program or buying these exercises or buying this surgery to try to get closer to what the culture says they should look like. It’s a gigantic amount of pressure on an enormous number of people who are not going to look like what this culture says is required.

I actually have a feeling of concern for the models who are perceived as beautiful and then their stories aren’t a point of curiosity. When we look at, say, a Herb Ritts photograph of a typically beautiful woman, by our cultural definition of beauty, why don’t we wonder what her story is? Is it because her beauty somehow erases her story?
I think you’re right. I think they’re objectified. It’s not the story or the person we’re looking at, it’s the image. We’re not even looking at the person; we’re looking at the image of her.

And that image is somehow a different thing from the person.
Quite different. I think the photographs in this book tell us that we’re looking at some quite specific people. These are very real people. Their exuberance and their sense of life comes off the page.

Do you have a feeling of points of contact from your own life experience and the fat models that you worked with and their life experience?
Anybody who has ever felt alienated knows what this is all about. To me, it’s a question of being marginalized and alienated. When I first came to Los Angeles looking for work as an actor, there was a particular kind of look that Hollywood was buying in those days—and it wasn’t me. They wanted the typical, blond-haired, blue-eyed guy. Tab Hunter was hot stuff. So my agent took me and we made the rounds of the studios and nobody was interested because I was just wrong. I wasn’t what you would call a pretty guy.

Has that feeling of being an outsider affected your work?
I had to rely on a belief that if I was good enough, I could overcome the visual. If I learned my craft and worked hard and became valuable as a performer rather than as a look, then I would find my way to a career. I concentrated on being able to do the work better than the next person.

Well, it all worked out. And aren’t you making a new movie soon?
Yes, I’m going to be acting in a new Star Trek movie.

Do you mind if I ask you about the reaction to your comment in The New York Times feature on you about the sexual attractiveness of your models and whether you found them beautiful or sexually attractive. I find it a funny kind of a question, but evidently that was something The New York Times asked you and it stirred up a bit of a controversy.
I’ll tell you, the writer of the Times article, Abby Ellin, has said that the editor insisted that the question had to be asked because people would be curious about it, my sexual reaction to these women. I understand that and I have no problem with it. I think Abby did a terrific job and a very honest job in reporting what my photographs were about. My answer is that I don’t have any sexual intent or interest in any of these models that I work with.

In all of your work?
Yes. There may be sexual suggestions and there may be people who find the models sexy in one way or another or who are interested sexually in the models, whatever type they may be. When I’m doing the work, I’m not thinking sex, I’m thinking image. I’m thinking about a look, I’m thinking about an idea, I’m thinking about a concept. I’m totally preoccupied with that. I don’t get aroused doing these photographs with any of the models I work with. So it’s not an issue for me.

I find it curious that The New York Times, the great, Gray Lady, found it so necessary to ask that question when you photograph fat women.
I think it’s a question a lot of people think. “Why is Nimoy photographing these fat women? What is his interest in these women?” A lot of people wonder. My answer is that I’m interested in these women as human beings.


BUY The Full Body Project..
VISIT Leonard Nimoy’s site.
LISTEN to a fascinating interview with Nimoy on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Inside, Out: The Self-Portraits of Guillermo Riveros

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Go to the Photos

Guillermo Riveros isn’t afraid of a little T and A—especially if it’s his A. His series Corrupta is an examination of gender identity with Guillermo as the star of every shot. The images are jarring, even disturbing—seemingly shot with zero hesitation. Images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ can be found in Corrupta and throughout his other work, which is often intensely sexual and occasionally quite violent. But don’t get the wrong idea. Guillermo, a 25-year-old illustration student at Manhattan’s Parsons The New School for Design and transplant from Bogota, Columbia, isn’t some sexually repressed kid who was raised by his overly strict Catholic mother (though he does concede that his time at a parochial high school might have pushed him to work in more aggressive ways, and that may explain his interpretation of these beloved childhood characters). What fascinates this rising star is the relationships and perceptions that exist between what he calls subcultures (a la drag queens) and the more “moderate” culture.

Corrupta is currently on display at Bogota’s Museum of Modern Art and the Santa Fe Gallery, which is part of the Bogota Planetarium. Guillermo talked to SMITH about body fluids, changing perceptions, and his mini-celeb status back home. —Kathy Ritchie

When did you start taking pictures?
I began taking pictures when I was in my second year in college—that was back in 2001. I graduated from an art school in Bogota and then I came here to study illustration.

What kind of camera are you using?

I use a Kodak P880. It’s a professional digital camera.

How’s photography going so far as a career?
I think its very interesting. I have a very specific subject mater, which limits me in terms of commercial work. But I think it’s great. I walk through the city looking for more opportunities to show my work. I’ve done well in my city, but there’s not a lot of public for this kind of work, this subject matter.

What is Corrupta all about?

The series was made for an event that is currently going on in Bogota. I was invited to participate in this event at the beginning of year, and began working on the series in March. It’s a take on a previous work—I was working with body fluids. I tried to take some of those ideas and [incorporate them into] the photographs.

The series is quite jarring. It’s very sexual, very violent—what’s the reaction you’re trying to elicit?
I’m always looking for various reactions. I like when people are shocked by my work, then discovering the aesthetic values in an image they see, and hopefully they change their mind. It has happened before, and I really love when they have that kind of reaction. At first, they might feel threatened by the image; when they get closer to it, they start liking it.

You call yourself the “protagonist” in your own photographs. So what story are you trying to tell?
I’m putting myself in these photographs as an anonymous body and every time I recreate these kind of characters, I’m making myself the star of each story—it resembles in a miniature way how this whole dynamic of gender identity construction happens; so it’s about the conflicts, what’s going on around [the characters], the way they are dressed. In Corrupta, especially, I constructed symbols around them because I wanted to use the body fluid as the symbol.

What are the fluids symbolic of?
They’re symbolic of what the body rejects. The body fluids are symbolic of what the body needs to release, what’s disposable. They also become a metaphor for people who feel outside of society, who are kind of disposable—or not quite disposable, but rejected outsiders.

Since you’re the star of your own photographs, who’s taking the pictures?
For most pictures, I set up camera and use the timer.

Wow, you’re good.
I’ve been practicing for a long time. I’ve been working on a series of self-portraits, just building up everything so far for sometime; I trained myself to do it. But in some cases it’s too difficult, like for example the vomit pictures; I needed help, so my boyfriend helped me take the picture. That one, and the one on the grass (Orines).

What’s the funniest or strangest thing that’s happened to you while you were working?

Orines is the first exterior I had ever done. I always shot inside a house or a room or a set that I built. This one I was outside in the field and it was really hard because I was just wearing a thong and high heels and wig, and my boyfriend was helping me take the pictures and there were people moving around us, there were people staring, and the grass was filled with ants and they were biting my feet. And every time my boyfriend was taking the picture, I still have to go back to the camera and see how it’s looking—I have full control of everything. It was funny, I got my heels stuck on the grass, almost fell. I had to run back and forth and we had very strict time restriction because I wanted a very high yellow sunset sun, it gives you less than an hour to work. We were laughing the whole time.

What makes a good image to you?
I would say something that makes you have a reaction and gives you thoughts after. I think that’s basically what you want in an image.

Your work is incredibly provocative. That being said, what do you consider off-limits?
I don’t think I have anything that’s off limits. I tend not to be politically correct in that sense. I don’t censor myself at all.

Who are some of your favorite artists?
Pierre et Gilles; David LaChapelle; John Waters; Pedro Almodovar; James Bidgood; Cindy Sherman; Yasumasa Morimura; Anthony Goicolea; Austin Young

What’s your six-word memoir?
Quiero ser el rey de todo. Which translates to: I want to be the king of everything.

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Obsessed! Facebook’s Fanatic

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Since its 2004 inception, Facebook has become much more than just another site to post your picture and hype your candidate. To prove it, Saudia Arabia-born student and Royal Canadian Army Cadet Imran Khan wants to take his love for the social networking site all the way to the Guinness Book of World Records. With over 48,000 members and counting in his Largest Facebook group in the Guinness Book of World Records club, the group has a long way to go in order to beat the current largest group, which already has over a million members. Via inbox posts, SMITH talked to this Facebook fanatic on why he’s hopeful he’ll take his group all the way to the top.

SMITH: When did you first join Facebook?

Imran Khan: I joined Facebook back in November of 2005.

Why are you trying to get the group into the Guinness Book of World Records?
I was speaking to a friend of mine on MSN, and we felt that since we couldn’t find a record regarding the largest group on Facebook in the books, we should create one of our own. Honestly, we didn’t know we would do so well in such a short period of time.

So is this group, then, really, about nothing? Just a large group for the sake of a large group?
No, this group has a reason for being what it is right now. This group represents a committed group of people that are willing to be noticed as they create the largest Facebook group. To me, each and every member deserves to be noticed. For some people, this may just be a large group; but for others, no!

Even so, you’ve got some stiff competition. There’s already another group on Facebook that has a lot more members than yours, not to mention the frenzy around the 1,000,000 Strong for Stephen T Colbert group. How do you expect to catch up and surpass groups with these huge numbers?
There are several groups on Facebook that have a lot more members than mine, but I do believe our group can increase. Knowing that the group just started a little over a month ago, I feel it won’t take long for it to get into the record books.

You don’t have a whole lot of customization on your own page. That seems surprising given how into Facebook you are.
There was a time when I was really addicted. But now that school started, I’m trying to tone it down a bit. Exams are here, so I can’t go on Facebook as much.

Fair enough. Back when you were addicted, what was your obsession like?
It was just a crave. I didn’t want to leave my house and whenever I left, I just wanted to go on Facebook. There were times when I was just irritated to leave my home and I would be on Facebook from morning to midnight. But since school’s started, I’ve taught myself to tone it down on Facebook. Life is just too busy now.

With so much going on, do you ever feel an urge to send notes and tell people about your hectic life?
Sometimes. Whenever I was doing something, I would always leave a message on my status board. But now I just try to keep my personal life away from Facebook. I mean, even now I think I have too much personal information on there, like my number and all that jazz.

But what about what’s going on in the Cadets? Do you ever want to tell people what training is like?
Being in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets is more like a leisure activity for me. I’ve been in the Cadets since 2004, and I’ll be done in 2008. I go on my usual Tuesday night trainings and attend parades in downtown Toronto for special events like Remembrance Day or Regimental parades. We go on weekend trainings to Base Borden, where we do some skill work for living in the bushes. There is an annual summer camp for cadets and I had been chosen to attend an advance course to the Rocky Mountains, all expenses paid.

That’s pretty interesting. So how come you didn’t put something like that on Facebook?
Even though I spend most of my time chatting on MSN or talking to people on Facebook, I find it a bit too much work to write about myself on Facebook.

So what about the videos you posted, like the guy on the subway train. Why did you to decide to post that one?
I was fooling around with friends at school so we decided it would go up on my Facebook. I was coming from Rogers Centre when my brother, a few friends, and I encountered him. He wanted to tell us a story, so we said, “Sure, go ahead.”

Before he started, though, my brother took out his camera and asked to record him. He refused at first, but then my brother said, “Well, you can’t tell your story then.” So then he agreed to it. We were coming from the Argos game.

How do you think society has changed since community sites like Facebook first starting making waves? Do you think it’s made the world a smaller place or a larger place?
I believe it’s made my world much smaller. I couldn’t believe how many people I’ve found so easily on Facebook. I’ve found many friends that I haven’t spoken to for several (as many as 10) years. At times, I feel that Facebook is something positive because it brings old friends back together again.

What do you think of all the recent aesthetics and additions to Facebook? Love ‘em or loathe ‘em?
I LOVE THEM! Modifying Facebook only makes it more obsessive!

What are you going to do if you do make the Guinness Book of World Records?
I will put all the members’ names in the book. It would not happen without the members. If I can, I will ask the Record Book to send everyone a certificate because this would be a group record, not an individual record…Even if the members just receive a certificate by email, I would want them all to be recognized.

What’s your six word memoir?
Get off Facebook and do something!

Previous Obsessed! with Web 2.0 Articles

Rosemea de Souza Smart MacPherson, Flickr
Steve Ratner, Ebay.
Chris Thomas, Newsvine’s Newshound
Richard Farmbrough, the Wizard of Wikipedia.

Lost and Found: The Libertines of Folsom Street

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

by Rebecca Woolf

Go to the photos

I have always been fascinated by outsiders, feeling quietly like one myself, hiding behind high fashion and well-manicured hair. Laughing out loud with friends, sometimes unaware of what we’re laughing about. What’s so funny?

I grew up in the suburbs where we all dressed like twins and drove matching cars with the same Fly Girls stickers on our bumpers. We lived in homes with the same floor plan and pools in the backyard and wore our hair identically: long and blond.

A group of kids at my high school called themselves “thespians,” but we referred to them as “Goths.” They were involved in theater and wore more makeup than allowed on the stage. Dressed in black, they looked like ghosts in trench coats. They thought of themselves as non-conformists but in reality they all looked the same: same blue and black hair, same Nine Inch Nails stickers on their car windows, same combat boots.

We weren’t that different from each other. We just hid behind different costumes.

Several years ago, I took a trip with some friends to the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, an annual gathering notorious for its exhibitionists: a parade of freaks and outsiders and misfits and the people who enjoy watching them expose themselves.

I was intrigued to learn that many of the Folsom libertines lead normal lives on the weekdays but enjoyed Folsom for its openness and community of similarly outfitted peers. Just like nudists might go to a nudist colony or Emo kids to a Morrissey convention, every year Folsom Street Fair opens its gum-stained arms to thousands of social pirates and their booty. One such married couple, donning head to toe leather, admitted they were a doctor and lawyer by day. They agreed to let me take their photo in exchange for a couple of cigarettes and told me they made the trek every year to hold hands, half naked, and watch other couples do the same.

“These are our people,” they said, puffing on my Parliaments.

It is a strange conundrum to go on a portrait safari in quest of misfits and outcasts in a place where they all look alike, fitted in disguises, faces covered, cocks on display. Or breasts. Their eyes hidden behind glasses and masks.

What I found more interesting than the groups of men and women who came to find camaraderie, were the people I found alone. The man dressed up like a nurse with a Barbie backpack and a leopard print suitcase, trying to find his way home. The boy who looked like an angel, crouching amidst the rush of the crowd, a human sundial—his shadow growing across the pavement as the sun moved across the sky. A man in the executioner’s mask, holding his own camera as he offered me his flaccid penis like some kind of sacrifice. And the boy with the spiky Mohawk who stopped to light a cigarette under the “No Stopping” sign.

“Take my picture,” moaned a transvestite in high-heeled shoes, her blond hair whipping about her face in the wind. She posed awkwardly like a queen on The Island of Misfit Toys. “Show the world how beautiful I am.”

I took her picture and she thanked me, kindly asking if I could mail her a copy of the photo. I agreed and took down her address. But after getting my film back and finding her frowning face amidst the dozens of Folsom characters on my proof sheets, I knew I wouldn’t be sending her the print. I was afraid she would see her sadness, that maybe without photographic proof she could maintain her place as queen of the costumed.

What is an outcast and when does one stop being one? Who are the lost boys and girls and what does it take to find them? A couple of cigarettes? A friend? A camera? A mob of people who dress the same? Twins and triplets in matching leather with the same cock rings and sexual deviancy?

And suddenly, the normal girl is the one on the outside, appearing lost amidst the found.

Maybe I should have sent the print to the transvestite in the black dress. Or maybe I saw something in her that I was able to identify in myself. Something private and freakish. Something that reminded me of my own two faces and an underbelly I was afraid to expose.

I do believe that there is a place for everyone in the parade: The performers and the clowns and the marching band and the crowd that loves to watch, searching for answers to questions we are still trying to find the guts to ask ourselves. Trying to find a way to tell our personal stories with the faces of strangers, or better understand our fetishes and oddities, all the while hiding behind cameras or pristine suburban lawns.

There is a story in every face and body piercing and stroke of makeup. There is joy and sadness in the collective lost and found, in the liberated smiles of people finding one another and the frowns of those who arrive at a party, only to feel even more isolated than before. And then there are the libertines, who, when gathered up in a large group, become ordinary. The same.

And maybe that’s the point. Maybe we’re all wandering around trying to find a place to belong, digging through the lost and found bins in search of missing pieces, marching to the beat of someone else’s drum if we haven’t the rhythm to pound our own set of bongos, finding people we can laugh with for all the right reasons—liberating our inner-freak while at the same time, trying to fit in.

Rebecca Woolf is the storied Girl’s Gone Child blogger and author of the forthcoming memoir, Rockabye.

Click on photos to enlarge; mouseover for previous and next.

Obsessed! Flickr’s Favorite

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Back when photo-sharing site Flickr launched in 2004, Rosemea de Souza Smart MacPherson was all over it. But she wasn’t just another obsessive uploader of pictures from her daily life. The 57-year-old Northern Virginia attorney had a photographic eye that won fans from the online photo community—they voted her images best on the site in 2004. SMITH spoke with the Flickr favorite member via email. —Rich Knight

SMITH: How did you first get into Flickr?
Rosemea: I started on Flickr because I used to publish my photos at Fotolog. I still have an account there, but I don’t have time for it, so I seldom publish. I had started on Fotolog was because my niece had an account there and I just wanted to be a part of her life—just chat and see her face. But Fotolog had too many technical problems and Flickr started about that time and a lot of people from Fotolog moved to Flickr.

What kind of camera are you using?
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT 350


  1. Sigma: macro, 50mm.
  2. Sigma 70-300 mm.

I just bought a Nikon / Coolpix S10 because it has lithium battery and substitute the Nikon Coolpix 2220 because I needed to keep changing batteries. I still have it and post old photos that I took when that was my primary camera.

Have you ever done photography full time?
Photography is just a hobby. Even so, it has taken over my life in many ways. Full time, I am a researcher/attorney/writer, but wife is my favorite title. And right now, I’m enjoying my life more than pursuing a career at this stage in my life. But yes, it would be fantastic to be a professional photographer and get paid to just have fun!

Say somebody read this article and decided that they wanted to take your title away and have the best photos on Flickr. Would you feel the urge to compete with them?

Flickr has many other popular people and sites, and I am personally friends with many of them, such as Gary*.

But I think my popularity has to do with my sense of humor and creativity. One has to be willing to visit other people’s sites and be fair on the comments and give favorites with fairness.

I am the best that I can be, and that is all that I can do. Other people can be the best of who they are, but I don’t compare myself with other people, and people shouldn’t compare themselves with me. And let it be known that I didn’t choose the title: The best pictures on Flickr. But I am very flattered and humbled by it. Mostly because there are a lot of very talented people on Flickr. A lot.

But there is also a lot of friction about who has the most pictures on Explore, and people fight all the time to be in the top four in different groups. Personally, if I feel a hint of hostility, I quit the group and remove all my pictures. I am on Flickr to have fun and laugh with my friends—and not to compete.

Would you say you’re obsessed with Flickr?
I used to be obsessed with Flickr. I’ve read your piece on eBay and think Flickr is just as addicting as eBay. I am less and less obsessed about Flickr now, but more obsessed than I would like to be. Flickr is more than pictures. I get hundreds of emails, and people share their personal problems with me. Sometimes I feel like a therapist, and that takes a lot of time. But Flickr is a community very similar to a family. Now, I’m not saying it’s a perfect family, but it is a family, nonetheless.

Do you use Flickr as a way to tell personal stories?
That is not my goal, but sometimes I tell personal stories. If I think I have a funny story to tell I will share it. And when a photo reminds me of a situation, a line of music, or a famous line from a movie, I’ll use that, too. I have a self-depreciating sense of humor sometimes, and I usually laugh when I am writing something I feel people will also laugh about.

How do you use Flickr to document your life?
I try not to use Flickr to document my life at all. Actually, I try to avoid it. But photos do tell a lot about who we are, places that we’ve gone to. I love the change of seasons, like Christmas, and in that way, a lot of my life is revealed through my pictures.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I was born drawing and painting, and I get my inspiration from the same source. Sometimes, I might see a shadow on the wall while I’m eating breakfast and it will result in a creative picture with good composition. I feel that taking pictures of famous mountains, or rivers, or buildings is not as creative as a macro, a reflection, or a shadow. Because anybody can see a mountain, but not everybody notices reflections.

Also, my husband and I go out taking pictures over the weekend. I love where I live, I love my surroundings, I love life. I don’t even think much when I’m taking pictures. I can take over a thousand in just one afternoon and not even notice it.

Was there a photo that you ever wanted to take but got away?
Yes. I have been involved with The James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness in the last 10 years, and last year, my husband and I were supporters of the fundraising at Sundance, Utah.

Here’s the scenario: I am in line waiting to be introduced to the press and talk to James Redford, Bob’s son who had two liver transplants and we were told not to take pictures of people, you know, to just stick to the trees and nature. Well, suddenly Bob and his daughter Amy Redford came and stood right before me. One of the people from the Institute apologized and said: This woman has someone in their family just going through a transplant. I was staring at Robert Redford’s neck. When he turned, we were face to face. I pointed my camera at him and said to myself: “I’m stupid if I don’t try.” But as I tried to take the picture, I go, “Oh, no! Battery exhaustion.” Bob said: “Too bad!” I spent hours laughing, as it was such an ironic moment.

What’s your six word memoir?
She laughed about everything, especially herself.

Previous Obsessed! with Web 2.0 Articles

Steve Ratner, Ebay.
Chris Thomas, Newsvine’s Newshound
Richard Farmbrough, the Wizard of Wikipedia.

Alive and Kicking: Back Home with Jacob Schick by Michael Slenske

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Back Home with Jacob Schick from HBO’s Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq
By Michael Slenske

Michael Slenske’s last Back Home From Iraq piece was an interview with Marine reservist Todd Bowers.

The numbers are dizzying—nearly 4,000 U.S. troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and seven times as many have returned home wounded. And still: unless you understand these statistics at a human level they’re just numbers in a string of news stories. Enter James Gandolfini. As Tony Soprano’s reign as the don of cable was coming to an oh-so-clever close, the Emmy-winning actor sat down with 10 severely wounded troops and listened to their stories for his first project as a producer Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq.

Alive Day producer, GandolfiniPremiering on September 9, Gandolfini’s enthralling doc is an intimate look into the harsh physical and emotional toll exacted on Iraq vets by their “Alive Day,” the day they barely escaped death on the battlefield. “The fight doesn’t stop when you get home,” Cpl. Jacob Schick explains on camera. “In our cases, it’s just begun.” Schick, a 24 year old machine gunner who served with the 1/23rd Marines, Bravo Company, met his alive day on September 20, 2004—just a month after he arrived in Iraq—when his Humvee ran over a pressurized anti-tank bomb while running a security patrol outside Al Asad.

“I can’t even remember the day I arrived, I just remember the day I got hit,” he says. “My left leg was broken with compound fractures, my right leg was broken, my foot was crushed, my left arm was broken with compound fractures, and one of my bones got blown out of my arm.” Three years, two hospitals and 46 surgeries later, Schick is still fighting for his brothers-and-sisters-in-arms. His hope is that they don’t face the same hardships as he did, especially on the V.A. benefits front, when they too return home.

Your “Alive Day” came pretty quickly after you arrived in Iraq. What was going through your mind when you got hit?
Schick recuperating at Brooke Army Medical CenterI was lying in the sand. I got blown from the Hummer. It pretty much blew up right beneath me, and for some reason or another I never lost consciousness or went into shock. I remember everything except hearing the blast. When they took me to the command post, the doc started working on me, the corpsman and some other Marines were trying to dress me up the best they could, but they were having trouble stopping the bleeding out of my left leg and my left arm. I just remember they would wrap me and I’d bleed through the bandage, they’d take it off, wrap me again, just a constant process while we were waiting for the bird to get there. Everybody was just saying words of encouragement but I was pretty mad they were talking. They were just doing what Marines do. They were scared. I could tell by the look in their eyes they didn’t think I was going to make it.

Did you think you would?
Yeah, when I took my first breath after I couldn’t breathe for a couple minutes, I thought, “Done deal, I’m not dying today.” My staff sergeant came over, helped get me on the bird, kissed me on the forehead and said, “I’ll see you soon, Devil Dog.” And that was it. They took me off to Balad. I remember asking one of the guys in the flight crew, “How long?” He said 12 minutes. I started getting weak, I was bleeding out so I was pumping myself up, “Dude, you can do this, you can make it 12 more minutes.”

Was there anything about that day that seemed off to you? Did you have any bad feelings about that patrol?
I had it the day before. I just knew something bad was going to happen. I didn’t know what but I did have a bad feeling. I called my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister. Whoever I could get a hold of the night before. I just got a feeling in my gut and I just knew something was going to go down, and lo and behold, it did.

What made you want to join the military?
I played 5A Texas football. We could have beat pretty much any DII college football team out there. I could have got a scholarship to a small DII school, but I made my mind up. I’m a third-generation Marine. My grandfather was a scout sniper on Iwo Jima. My uncle was a Marine in Vietnam. I thought it’d be a great honor to serve my country and I still think it’s the best job in the world. I just think the government needs to do their part when you’re all messed up and you’re home from the war.

Where is the breakdown in the system?
It’s not the Marine Corps I have the problem with, it’s the politicians who don’t give a damn about our wounded but then they go to these yearly VFW meetings and say, “You’re the finest in the world, without you we wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t have a job.” Whatever. Quit talking. Prove it.

Why did you agree to participate in this documentary?
I just thought it would be a good opportunity to explain my story, tell my story from a firsthand point of view and hear the story of other soldiers and Marines who got wounded over there, and how their lives have changed. I think it’s important for the American people to know how difficult it is for transition when we get home, as far as the soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen that get severely wounded. The transition from being a fighting force to not being able to move in a hospital bed for eight or nine months is pretty rough and I think that needs to be brought to the American people’s attention. You know when we get home we get the best care in the world when we’re first home and we’re wounded and we’re in the hospital and all that, then when we get out and we separate it’s like where does all the care go. It’s like nobody gives a damn anymore.

Do you think that’s a VA problem?
Oh yeah, who doesn’t have a VA problem as a wounded person? I’d like to meet them. It’s the most laughable, inconvenient system I’ve ever been associated with in my life. I think it’s funny how the American people who enjoy their freedoms everyday will turn their cheek about it. They think just because it’s tough that it’s something that can’t be done. People have to stand up. I’m going to continue fighting the rest of my life for one thing or another. I’m considered temporarily retired. Every five years I have to get a head-to-toe physical from the VA to make sure my leg didn’t grow back.

That’s kind of absurd.
It’s ridiculous.

Is there any particular hang up on the home front that really made an impact on you?
Getting a wheelchair. I lost my right leg so I have to go and make an appointment and meet with orthotics and they have to determine what kind of wheelchair I need before I can get a wheelchair. I can’t just call and say, “Look my wheelchair is wrecked, can I bring it to you and get another one?” It’s so obvious to me now why we have so many homeless veterans. Because when you come home and you’re broke and you’re battered, missing limbs, you don’t want to have to fight for every little thing you think you’re entitled to. The last thing I want to do is fight for damn compensation for hearing loss or TBI or something. I’ve had 46 operations, I don’t want to have to go and explain myself and wait and wait and wait and go to another appointment. It’s got to change.

Did you know after you got hit that you wanted to tell your story?
I’ve told my story several times before I did the documentary just for awareness. People had a lot of questions so I talked to different groups about things. I did a lot at the Rotary Club of Tyler as a favor to my grandmother. I did some in Dallas, and in Lake Charles, Louisiana with the group that I volunteer with, American War Heroes. I’ve told it a lot.

What made you start telling it?
Honestly, it was one day in the hospital when I was in San Antonio. I don’t really remember a lot in Bethesda [at the National Naval Medical Center] because I was in and out of surgery every other day for the first month and a half. I was a bad patient; people did not like to come in my room. I was a complete and utter ass, but that was my way of fighting it. One day a nurse came in, or maybe it was an old retired Marine, and that was the first time I told my story. It hurt a lot, but it helped a lot. So I figured, “What the hell?” It was my way of dealing, I guess. I definitely didn’t want to talk to a shrink.

What did you think of the whole documentary process?

Schick is on the Board of Directors for American War HeroesIt was pretty tiring, to be honest. The best part of the whole deal was when I got to meet Sgt. Eddie Ryan, who’s a fellow Marine, a sniper who got shot in the head in Iraq. That made it all worth it for me. All the filming we had to do was worth it for me to meet Sgt. Ryan. He’s one of the most motivating, outstanding Marines I’ve ever met in my entire life. I’ll probably never meet another Marine like him.

What did you guys talk about?
We talked about the Marines, our battle scars, our war wounds. It was just motivating to me. At the same time I freakin’ cried because on my days when I wake up and I’m depressed and bitter—because I have those days you know, I’m human—I thought I could be going through this crap like Eddie and his family. It was very humbling to meet him.

In light of what’s happened to you, would you go back?
Hell yeah I’d go back. I have brothers and sisters there who are in harm’s way and here I am getting ready to go to a frickin’ premiere for a documentary. Of course I’d go back. I just had a bad day at work.

Do you have any immediate plans for the future?
I’m getting ready to start school, I want to get a degree, I want to write a book. There’s a lot of stuff I want to do, but there’s only so much stuff I’m capable of doing. I wrote for the HBO website, wrote a couple letters to a couple senators and a few mass emails. I like it; I think it’s therapeutic. But the thing I’ve found is that I have to write about something I’m passionate about. If someone told me to start writing about the Michael Vick case you’d have to pay me a stupid amount of money, because I don’t give a damn. Anything about war-related issues, V.A., the Marine Corps—obviously stuff like that is all near and dear to me.

Did this film inspire you to get more involved with that sort of storytelling?
It’s important to me that the American people understand the sacrifices that are made, and not just by me, but by all the men and women who go over there. I’ve been treated with great respect and I’m sure most people have too, but some people haven’t and that’s a damn shame. I want them to understand that those severely wounded who come home their lives are severely changed forever. They need to understand. I can understand why it could be hard for them to go to a military hospital like Bethesda National Naval Medical Center or Brooke Army Medical Center or Walter Reed. I understand why they don’t want to go, because if they don’t see it, it’s not there. But they need to understand what prices are paid to keep these streets safe. Whether they agree with the war or not, I don’t care, that’s their prerogative, but they will support the troops. You got any kids?

Well, says your friends’ kids are playing in the front yard and a car sets off an improvised explosive device. That would be shocking wouldn’t it? But they don’t have to worry about that because they live in America. We’re the freest country in the world, and yeah it’s hard to turn on the TV everyday and see something about Iraq. I know it’s hard. It sucks, but that’s reality. War is unforgiving, but it’s necessary, and as long as we can foil one of these coward’s plans that want to attack us oh well. We need to do that. If us being there keeps them from coming here and achieving what they want to achieve here, which is really mass casualties, mass fatalities. So be it. That’s what it takes. They don’t fight like men because they’re cowards. Print that in big black bold letters.

The Story of Burning Man

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Go to the photos
Thomas K. PendergastJessica BruderJessica Bruder


Prologue: Tinder
The Man is a wooden monument to nothing specific, in the middle of nowhere. He’s a stick figure drawn huge, a splinter jutting out of the Nevada desert.

He looks like a man only in the way folded paper looks like an airplane—suggestive lines, not much definition. Still, you can’t mistake him. Anchored to a giant pedestal, he rises eighty feet from the ground. When the sun drops behind the Granite Range to the west, his spindly frame lights up with neon tubes. You can see him glow like a truck stop sign from more than a mile away.

For the past week a temporary city has been swelling around him, hoisted out of the dust and duct-taped together by nearly forty thousand pairs of hands. The city is roughly circular, with the man as its axle. Everything turns, grows, and changes around him.

Win this book!
Burning BookSend SMITH your Burning Man story in 100 to 1000 words. Five storytellers will win a copy of Jessica Bruder’s brilliant and beautiful Burning Book.

Then, on Saturday evening, it’s the Man who changes. His arms rise slowly from his sides like levers on a corkscrew. The gesture is triumphant, but it also means that he doesn’t have much time left. Thousands of temporary homes—tents, RVs, geodesic domes draped in parachute fabric—are emptying. From all directions, revelers converge on the Man.

They’re dressed like Egyptian gods and leather angels, sci-fi space jockeys and feral children. They come on stilts and bicycles, dangling from cranes and cherry pickers, riding on the decks of homemade pirate ships. Their faces are streaked with glitter and dirt.

“Burn it!”
“Burn him!

All week long, these audience members were the show. But tonight they’re all part of the same crowd, watching.

With a sudden crack, fireworks spit into the sky from the base of the Man and explode. There’s a second volley, and the Man catches fire. Flames climb his skeletal torso.

Then, all at once, the Man falls. He tips like a bottle, hitting the ground in a draft of sparks.

Starting tomorrow, the week’s spell will break. Pieces of the city will be packed away in crates, consumed by fire, or dragged out in trash bags. There will be an exhausted exodus, and then a bleary reunion with jobs and bills, the cling of responsibility, and strangers who don’t meet your eyes in the street. The evening news will come from another desert, where a war is happening.


BACK IN 1986, WHEN A FEW FRIENDS ROASTED A ROUGH-HEWN effigy on a San Francisco beach, they didn’t realize that they were founding a ritual. Their bonfire evolved from a small gathering into an annual party; gradually the event gathered steam, got a name, and exploded into the center of an enormous, celebratory metropolis. It spawned a scene so beguiling that people now travel from all over the world to take part in what has become America’s most fascinating festival.

Nowadays you can see the show from almost anywhere. Footage of the fire is transmitted to television sets across the country. There’s a free simulcast on the Internet.

You can also read the headlines. Dozens of them have distilled Burning Man since 1996, when Bruce Sterling’s big story made the cover of Wired magazine, crowning the festival “The New American Holiday.”

Since then, Burning Man has been called everything from “Woodstock at the Stake” to “The Neon Babylon,” “Pagan Sacrifice in the Nevada Desert,” “Operation Desert Swarm,” and “Bonfire of the Inanities.”

So why do the pilgrims, in growing numbers, still journey to that bleak desert? They go because the burning Man—a one-ton monument in flames—isn’t the whole of Burning Man.

They fill the desert with a staggering variety of art and amusements, gatherings and performances, and when the week is over, they scour the dust to make it all disappear. The festival runs on a simple credo: “no spectators.” To put it plainly, the city is the work of the people who live there. If everyone came to sit back and absorb the culture, there would be nothing for them to see.

For years observers have been identifying nebulous social forces to which Burning Man can be—must be!—a response: the rise of secular and corporate culture; the expansive connectivity (and later, the physical alienation) of the Internet; the hardening of America in an era of homeland security. These subtexts are interesting enough, but none of them quite scream, “Let’s go to the desert and make something!” They aren’t intimate enough to account for some subtler explosions: what actually happens in the desert when thousands of people embark on a collective experience.

That story is a journey: how they get there, what they do, and how they integrate a week’s worth of dust, ashes, and ideas into their lives after the last fire goes out. It’s about what they burn and, even more, about what they build.


© 2007 by Jessica Bruder. Published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Printed with permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

An interview with Jessica Bruder, author of Burning Book

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Go to the photos
Thomas K. PendergastJessica BruderJessica Bruder

“Maybe you’re walking around the festival and a gaggle of motorized cupcakes whizzes past, while a troupe of French maids is trying, ineffectually, to tidy up the desert with feather dusters, all in the shadow of a barn-sized rubber duck with a jazz club in its belly. Then things will probably get weirder.”

On the eve of her book tour, and just weeks before the 2007 Burning Man festival (this year’s theme: green), SMITH’s Kathy Ritchie talked to Jessica Bruder, a 29-year-old staff writer for The Oregonian and author of Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man.


SMITH: Tell us your favorite Burning Man story.
Jessica Bruder: The wildest Burning Man story is the event’s own history. Two guys torched a hastily assembled, eight-foot-tall wooden effigy on a San Francisco beach in 1986… and ka-boom! That impulsive gesture exploded into the center of an enormous celebratory metropolis built each summer by tens of thousands of people–more than 39,000 folks in 2006.

Win this book!
Burning BookSend SMITH your Burning Man story in 100 to 1000 words. Five storytellers will win a copy of Jessica Bruder’s brilliant and beautiful Burning Book.

But my favorite Burning Man story is a quieter one.

It began in 1998, when an Oregon fisherman showed up in the desert with 1,300 pounds of tuna loins. That was a bad year for fishermen in the Pacific Northwest; a global glut made tuna all but worthless. So 63-year-old “Cap’n” Jim Peterson from Coos Bay packed his entire catch in a U-Haul with ice and drove it out to Nevada. He figured he’d sell it to the revelers at Burning Man.

Jim had seen some pictures from the festival the year before. These were wild scenes, folks slathered from head to toe in mud, cavorting gleefully as if they’d never been in the middle of such a delightful mess. He figured all that running around must work up an appetite. Even mud-people have to eat. Maybe they would buy his tuna?

Jim drove 450 miles to Burning Man, only to learn that vending is against the rules there (and bad etiquette, too). So he started a marathon barbecue session. He served his tuna to everyone in sight. He ended up giving it all away.

Now, every year at Burning Man, Jim and his friends—nicknamed “The Tuna Guys”—bring hundreds of pounds of fish to cook and share with everyone. And it’s not easy for them; they’ve had their share of misadventures. Their rattletrap pickups and Volkswagens always seem to break down on the long drive to the festival. And the Nevada health department has hounded them so much, their camp has practically become a seafood speakeasy.

I love his story, because it offers insight about the kind of dedication and generosity the festival seems to bring out in some people. These days, the mere mention of Burning Man conjures up visions of tech-savvy hipsters baying at the moon and gyrating around the desert in hot pink fake-fur loincloths. That stuff bores me. And that’s why I love the Tuna Guys’ story—it’s less about the Burning Man stereotype, more about the potluck style of participation that makes the event so fascinating.

What can Burning Man newbies expect?
Jessica BruderExpect sensory bombardment. Just when you’ve decided the scene is strange—maybe you’re walking around the festival and a gaggle of motorized cupcakes whizzes past, while a troupe of French maids is trying, ineffectually, to tidy up the desert with feather dusters, all in the shadow of a barn-sized rubber duck with a jazz club in its belly. Then things will probably get weirder.

Remember and repeat: you can’t see everything at Burning Man. Finding a specific niche during the event is a great way to get your bearings. Black Rock City—the name of Burning Man’s temporary metropolis—can feel amorphous and alienating to first-timers. But if you’re hammering nails on an art installation, greeting people at the front gate, DJ’ing at a local low-wattage radio station, or lending your hands to any one of hundreds of projects, that’s a great way to feel like you’re a part of things and get oriented.

And don’t forget to drink water. Plenty of water.

Best way to attend Burning Man: Naked or clothed—and why?
In my personal opinion? Clothed. Particularly if you’re as pale as I am, which means the desert sun will leave you about as comfortable and attractive as a well-boiled lobster.

I don’t have a problem with most of the naked people at Burning Man. For some of them, I think going naked probably feels like wearing any other kind of costume (apart from the ventilation factor).

Only one kind of nudity makes my eyes bleed: men wearing T-shirts and no pants. Those guys look awful. They’re prime targets for one of my favorite Burning Man inventions: the pants cannon, which uses air pressure to sling slacks over great distances. I consider the pants cannon a public service.

How has the story of Burning Man changed from the first year you went to the last year?
For the better part of two decades, the festival’s survival from one year to the next was precarious. But in 2006, the federal Bureau of Land Management—essentially Burning Man’s landlord—granted the event a five-year permit to operate in the Black Rock Desert.

Now people are wondering just how far the game can go. They’re debating whether Burning Man should be a self-contained escape from routine, or if festival-goers share enough common desires and values to work together towards some kind of progress—social, political, environmental—during the rest of the year.

After Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, a group of festival-goers (later named “Burners Without Borders”) went down to Mississippi to help clean up. They found some of their desert skills—building a base camp in a hostile environment, working with heavy machinery on colossal, daunting projects—came in handy as they rebuilt a devastated Buddhist monastery and demolished 60 ruined houses.

Now that Burning Man has proved it’s not a passing fancy, how does the whole thing evolve? That’s where the narrative tension is today. People weren’t thinking in quite those terms back in 2002, when I started attending the festival.

On top of that, the event keeps growing. In 2002, the population hit about 29,000 people; there were more than 39,000 people at Burning Man in 2006.

If the Burning Man festival itself had a six-word memoir, what might it be?
Dusty wide kaleidoscope, where’s my chapstick?

And your own personal six-word memoir?
Talk to me. Write it. Repeat.

Click on photos to enlarge; mouseover for previous and next.

Thomas K. Pendergast Tim Timmermans Tomas Loewy-Lansky Jessica Bruder Rick Egan Rick Egan Rick Egan Jessica Bruder Thomas K. Pendergast Jessica Bruder Michael Christian Fabian Mohr Caroline Miller Caroline Miller Stewart Harvey Stewart Harvey Stewart Harvey Stewart Harvey Stewart Harvey Stewart Harvey Stewart Harvey Rick Egan Jessica Bruder Dan Adams Rick Egan

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