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please follow my new page – I’ll be posting here from now on – thank you for your support
I’ve been really busy the past couple of weeks. After shooting and editing an intense workout video for a friend (see the video here), I’ve been busy at work promoting my first short documentary Forever Boogies.
Since the releasing the workout video, I’ve: designed and printed some nifty new business cards for myself, updated the fundraising page for my next project, designed some awesome graphics for t-shirts and tote bags for sale – a way to further fund raise for further projects (I’ve already had a few people asking me when they’re going to be ready because they want to support my work). I’ve sent sponsorship request and/or proposal letters to two companies (GoPro, Proteus Clothing Company)…
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I can’t believe that at the beginning of last year I was having such a hard time living back home. The turnaround is so drastic, it’s like a 190º from what I used to feel. It all began when I looked at the sea.
“We all come from the sea, but we’re not all of the sea.
Those of us who are, we children of the tides, must return to it again and again,
until the day we don’t come back,
leaving only that which was touched along the way,”
Frosty Hesson (Chasing Mavericks)
When I came back home, I didn’t know where I was going. I was upset that I had changed so many things and left so many others behind in the pursuit of something futile. Something I wanted to believe so strongly in, but knew was not going to be everlasting. Then again, is anything ever?
I wanted to feel I belonged in a place, that I wasn’t the outcast. But then I realized, I had to feel that way for myself first before I felt that way in any other place. I had to own the feeling of belonging, the feeling of completion, of acceptance within myself. Then, once I was able to do that, I could feel comfortable anywhere I went.
The problem was not only with me, but also with people’s reaction towards me. I decided to stop listening to their comments on my needing to go back to the U.S., or not being able to make it because there was nothing here for someone so qualified as me. So, when I looked to the sea, the place where I found so much happiness as a child I was surprised at what I found.
Surprisingly, I was met by a new family that opened their arms to me, with genuine kindness and warm smiles – my family from the sea. Still, all of this was after I decided to stop feeling bad about my poor decisions, after I decided to stop listening to the negative. This was after I decided. DECIDED.
Now, I’m thriving.
P.S. I’m excited that my story on Surfer Today (along with my photos) is on the top Google News Page under the Stories about Puerto Rico tag – read up on The Best Surf Spots according to locals
Here are a few photos of my new family doing some intense work outs.
Hello all – thank you for following my blog and taking the time to read some of the things I post. Since the others are photography postings, there isn’t really anything reading…jejejeje.
Today, I decided I was going to do something different. Since today is my Dad’s birthday, I made him a carrot and raisin cake with a cream cheese frosting, he loved it, and I have him a gold plated pocket watch with a fabulous cross on it – he absolutely loved it.
after that, I did a little bit of work, then I went to take photos of a beach nearby for this piece I’m submitting to Surfer Today. I decided that since my Dad didn’t want to go hiking with me (he’s been feeling really sick lately) I would take one of my larger dogs.
After buckling up Maya in the back seat I set off. She hasn’t been in a car since the Mitsubishi I used to own, so to see her all comfortable in the back seat was a delight.
After hitting up the post office and finding nothing in the box, I drove off to the beach with a smiling canine in the back seat. Traffic was okay, but once we were closer to the beach it was almost empty and free to step on the gas if I wanted to – so I did.
We pulled in, parked, and she was ready to explore. I have to say, this is the first time she’s ever been at the beach. Although I live on an island, I thought dogs weren’t allowed at the beach, because that’s what my father had told me all the time. Then, I saw some people bringing their dogs in with leashes, harnesses and life jackets. So I was like “uh, I’m bringing my girls here”. Just in case though, I took my smaller dog Sadie to see if anyone would tell me she wasn’t allowed to be there. Since no one did, Maya made her beach debut today and she loved it.
I’m also fundraising for my next documentary project, here profile on GoFundMe: http://www.gofundme.com/savethecoralreefs – the proposed title is “Save the Coral Reefs” but I might change it later on. I’ve included a link to my first documentary, and explanation for why I’m doing fundraising for this particular project.
I hope that you can see the potential in the project and will donate. Anything can help, from $1 to $20, doesn’t matter – it’ll be towards the project that will place a much needed focus on the need for coral reefs in this fast changing world.
Here are a few photos of our hike:
Maya is so happy we’re going for an adventure
This is something I’ve struggled with in the past. As people often judge me by something I can’t quite make out (I’m not sure if it’s my looks, weight, the fact that I’m usually on my own working on something, or all of the above) I’m usually “surprising” people that didn’t expect me to be doing what I do, much less doing it for a living.
Case in point: during Saturday’s surf competition, I was approached by a man who I’ve spoken to before. He didn’t recognize me, perhaps it was the fact that when I met him I had longer hair, and now it’s shorter and my curls cover my face. But I digress, he commented on my “motivation” in taking pictures of the competitors. I mentioned to him that I was a journalist covering the event for an online magazine and that was the opening of the flood gates of how I needed to speak to his sister because she would be the perfect mentor for my career.
Understanding his pride in his sister’s work, and that he probably thought he was helping me. And he very well could be, but I get incredibly annoyed when people assume that I have no idea what I’m doing, and don’t even care for asking me what I’ve done with my career. That is what irritates me: when people are so caught up in their own selves that they fail to ask others where they’ve been, what they’ve done, and what are the plans for their future.
Through his sister-bragging-rant he stressed that I call his sister, not once, not twice, but about 20 times.
So, that day, I came home, edited photos and expressed my irritation for about fifteen minutes to my Dad who kept on telling me to calm down. Although, I was calm, I couldn’t help but remember those days that people actively didn’t talk to me because they ‘didn’t think I accomplished much with my life – therefore leading them to think that I didn’t have much to talk about, so why bother?’ I swear that was that they would say to my friends, who would call them assholes for thinking that.
So, today, since I promised and didn’t want to run into this man again and have him say to me “you didn’t call my sister” and have him spread awful things about me, I made the call. I made sure to say “your brother urged me several times to call you, so I’m doing it.”
The lady was nice, she said her brother mentioned that I was a freelancer (but he failed to mention my documentary, which I wrote down the title for him). I explained that I wasn’t only a freelancer, but that I was a documentary filmmaker who is prepping for a second short – and proceeded to tell her about the topic and she was happy to hear about it, and asked me to come over to her house to speak more about it. I agreed that I was going to call her and set an appointment during the week to come have coffee.
According to her brother, this woman is owner of a radio station in Costa Rica; she’s published 12 books and has spoken at the UN for women’s rights. While she does have an incredible career and I’m sure I can learn a lot from her – I was still annoyed that he didn’t ask me about what I’ve done or accomplished in my career. I was even more annoyed that he didn’t mention Forever Boogies to her, although that I expected that much, a little part of me hoped that he wouldn’t be too consumed with himself.
PS: here is one of Instragram’s favorite photos of Saturday 😀
It was that morning,
when I felt my empty womb
that I woke up to a new life.
I looked out the clouded window
that broke the wall of that pale room…
I saw the moon fighting
for survival in the approaching day
“Will I live?, Shall I live?” I asked myself…
It was that evening
I saw the brightest stars in the darkest sky…
I then saw, I then felt, my love reborn.
Among the fighting moon,
Amidst the brightest stars,
Emerging through the rebel clouds…
I was me, I was free…
Free from pain, free from hate, free from mourning.
It was that morning, through a sea of tears, that I was reborn.
It was, as the brightest stars
shone through the night,
that my love returned to me, to keep.
And like the fighting moon,
I became a warrior again.
Amidst the brightest stars
Among the fighting moon
Emerging from the rebel clouds…
I was free…
more poetry – I wrote this in February 2013
I see you
I see you in my dreams
I close my eyes and there you are, smiling back at me
Your arms wrap around me
Holding me still
Surrounded by trees we live our love
Jag älskar dig – your lips whisper into my ears
Jag älskar dig….
Who are you?
Where are you?
I see you…
In my dreams
Let me start by giving thanks to all the people to take the time to read my blog. You guys are great! I hope that 2015 is good to you and your families as it’s already proving to be for me.
Now, for updates and blogging:
I stopped working on the last assigned manuscript for a royalty-based publisher on December 30. I was incredibly happy in doing so. Not because the author is difficult, no, she’s actually quite lovely, I adore working with her. But because I find something very fishy about the ‘royalty based’ policy of it all…the last time I was scheduled to be paid, I didn’t get anything. The time before that, I only received $20.00 (you read that correctly) and it was after working on three books. I mean c’mon…
That, in combination of a weird voicemail one of the founders/editors left me – yeah, it was time to move on from there.
This author however, hired me independently to help her with her poetry book, which reads more like short stories – but it’s great, because she is so amenable to creative suggestions and is a blast to work with. So, I’m looking forward to that.
In other news, I have been positively enjoying my whole filmmaking career taking off. My film Forever Boogies has gotten nearly 400 views on YouTube since its release on December 19, 2014. While this could be crumbs for a professional YouTuber, for me, this is a milestone reached. Before the release of this film I hadn’t gotten more than 100 views on a video, so I’m pretty excited about reaching this amount of views.
The awesome editors at The Good Men Project were so gracious in supporting this film of mine and gave me an incredible amount of publicity, while also featuring me and the guys I interviewed in a live tweet-chat. It was exciting. I can’t wait to do more things like this.
This film has paved the way for other projects. I have scheduled a few other small things (promotional videos for local businesses) and have already mapped out the route for a second documentary on conservation. Where I’ll take a look at coral reef health and its direct correlation to the beach health, later I do have a few more ideas for later on this year once the reef project is complete.
On health news:
I am (almost completely) finally over Chikungunya, to the point that I can walk around, and go running/walking down the track. My feet don’t hurt as much as they used to and my hands don’t swell up as often. This latest bout of mosquito-borne virus has caused me to really hate the insect that is so prevalent here. It also makes me wonder if there isn’t a conspiracy theory here somewhere….like, I don’t know, some scientists with support from the government decided to infect all Puerto Ricans (the reports show that almost 4,000 PRicans have been infected and by the end of 2016 all should have experienced the virus) for ‘research’ sake. Kind of crazy, I know, but I can’t help but wonder.
So, with the pain in my joints and extremities almost gone, I’ve started working out again. Pilates, (slow) jogging, and swimming is where it’s at. Paired up with a boogie board, and awesome new snorkeling gear I can’t wait to be the salt-water-maven I used to be when I was younger.
For now I can’t think of anything else to blog about, when I do, I’ll post it – thanks again and hope that you all have a wonderful 2015
Forever Boogies has taken YouTube by storm!
although it can’t be compared with a million hits in two days, it’s a great start for an up and coming director who is virtually unknown. Still, we (The Good Men Project and I) managed to attain 291 views in a week. A record for me for sure!
Here is the link to the film on YouTube so you can see what everyone is talking about: http://t.co/Pv8dsbzQ8s
also, there’s a live-chat on Sunday, so be sure to tune in on Sunday 4:00PM – EST
If you’d like to know a little more about what inspired the making of this film you can read my article on GMP here: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/forever-boogies-the-documentary-wcz/
follow me on twitter: @LaShawnPagan