Another Zipper Spider

The Marketing Begins

I guess it’s time to write about work again. I’m in the lull between finalizing text and images for my newest book, Mysterious Patterns: Fractals in Nature, and seeing a layout. Today, I got an email from Boyds Mills Press that officially jumpstarts the marketing process: the author/illustrator questionnaire for books on the 2014 Spring List.

I’ve already been marketing for Mysterious Patterns in several ways:

daisy luck
Someone who knows more about children’s publishing than I do said the best marketing for already published titles is to get a new book out, so I’ve spent a good lot of time this year gearing up for a marketing campaign for Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature and Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator.

Celebration 2

More pictures from the parties. Some of these were taken by Richard, some by me, and some by Rod.

Roland L. Freeman


Ann Lukey

catering assistants
A small group of our catering assistants: Samir, Raveena, and Emily.

Dillon siblings with Aunt Ann
Dillon siblings with Aunt Ann. From left: Dennis Dillon, Kathy Welde, Peg Fisher, Terry Dillon, Dianne Sanford, and Patty Crosby.

Schrauf twins

Darcy and Dana Schraufnagel with Glendora Alexander-Muhammad.

Kay and Grayson

Aunt Kay and Grayson.


Uncle Jack
Aunt Kathy

Jack Jr

Jack Jr.


Shane Larkin

Noel Schraufnagel

Dan & Maureen

Maureen Donnelly and Dan Piersol.

Family Wedding Celebration

We had a lovely celebration this weekend for Jessica and JC, my sister and her husband. They wed 18 months ago in New York City. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we gathered 70 or so friends and family from California to Florida and lots of places in between. Here are some photographs that were taken by Roderick Red of Red Squared Productions.

Jessica Crosby-Pitchamootoo and JC Pitchamootoo.

Dave Crosby
Dave Crosby, giving a toast.

the crowd
Everyone gathered in Dave and Patty Crosby’s backyard.

the kids table
The kids’ table now has a new generation.


So does the grownups’ table.


Gee and Sarah

Gustina Atlas with me.

Terry and Jenny
Uncle Terry and Aunt Jenny.


Taylor White, just after she finished singing “At Last,” for Jess and JC.

PG teachers and studentsOur teachers, Cynthia Patten-Barfield, Pearl Wilson, and Gustina Atlas, with students from Addison Jr. High and Port Gibson High.


Seeing fractals everywhere

One of our dill plants is flowering. Richard and I walked by it for days, and talked about wanting to photograph it. Today, we made the time.

dill 1

dill 2

dill2 close

Action from The Cypher

This is my final installment of photographs from The Cypher’s video shoot. Richard and Rod (Red Squared Productions) spent some time last night on post production. Everybody’s learning new things.


Dolla spitting
Dolla Black

Slimm spitting
Slimm Pusha

The Audience
An Audience

The Cypher Video Shoot-0019
Jordan lays the tape.


TLewis scratching.

Jessica Simien recording the PSA for Parents for Public Schools of Jackson.

Jordan cameraman
Jordan shooting.

mercedes shooting

Mercedes Lott.


The Cypher group, including from left: Dolla Black, IG, J. Skyy, Hollywood Luck, Slimm Pusha, Kamikaze, and TLewis.

Rod picked up my camera while I was working. He took these last few.

Sarah with Pusha

Sarah running lines with Slimm Pusha.

Sarah with cue cards
Shooting PSA with J. Skyy. Sarah holding cue cards.

Faces from The Cypher

Here are some of the people involved in The Cypher project, a first-time-ever-in Mississippi project featuring Hip-Hop artists raising awareness and money for increasing the arts in public schools. See my previous post for information on organizers and partners.

Jordan Red

Roderick Red Jr
Roderick Red Jr.

Jessica Simien
Jessica Simien

Mercedes Lott

Jared Moering
J. Skyy

Brandon Howard
Dolla Black

Donnie Sanders


Slimm Pusha
Slimm Pusha


My First Hip-Hop Video Shoot

For more than a year now, I’ve been working with Roderick S. Red Jr. on a number of different projects. Some have been for Hope Credit Union (see post here). Others have been for The Clarion-Ledger’s Voices blog project. The latest, which is called The Cypher: The Mississippi Edition is the biggest, hardest, and in lots of ways, the most satisfying. First of all, it’s Rod’s baby. He had the idea, he gathered partners ( and me), he convinced stakeholders (Parents for Public Schools of Jackson, Kamikaze), he raised money, and he’s pulling it off — with style. On Saturday, I helped shoot the video.

rod with jib
Rod is adjusting the jib.
Explaining the concept.
consulting with the crew
Giving notes to his brother Jordan, the most experienced among the crew.
checking the shot
Checking the shot.
checking mercedes shot
Checking the straight-on camera, operated by Mercedes.
notes to Dolla Black
Giving notes to Dolla Black.
Rod directing J Skyy
Giving notes to J.Skyy.
still shot
Getting the still shot, after “It’s a wrap.”
rod and slimm
Showing images to Slimm Pusha.

Queen Anne’s Lace Again

Richard was feeling in an artistic mood after visiting the Mississippi Museum of Art’s exhibit Old Masters to Monet. He noticed how nice the Queen Anne’s Lace looked in the late afternoon light with water from the sprinkler. So, he grabbed the camera. It’s so nice to have the right equipment at hand. He did some quick edits with Adobe Lightroom.
Art Lace

Art lace 2

art lace 3

art lace 4

art lace 5

More unofficial shots from the wedding

Richard and I love taking photographs, but we’re glad not to be on the hook for the official wedding photography. That seems kind of daunting. Franny asked me to take some of the “getting ready” time because she wasn’t sure her official photographer would have time to do that after taking the before-wedding menfolk photographs. The official photographer did arrive in the suite, but here are some I took before she arrived.

curling iron


patrice combing

While Franny was getting her hair curled, Patrice was combing the flower girl’s hair. She was trying to be good, but Tricey was tugging.

fran hand l

In addition to helping Franny, I also take orders from Katie, Franny’s Mom. She gave me a list of photographs that she wanted ME to take: her children, her grandchildren, she and her children, the whole family. I told her I expected that the wedding photographer would be taking all those combinations, but I reckon Katie knows that she knows where I live and will DEFINITELY get copies from me. But that wedding photographer. That’s Franny’s business. So, here goes.

Young children

Kanika “Niecy” Young, Francene Rolstad, and Navondyl “Vonda” Young.
Young Lee grandchildren
Patrice “Tricey” Lee, Haley Young, JaVon Young, K’breouna “Bre” Barnes, Amani Lee, and Kazerick “Rashad” Young.

Four Youngs

Franny, Vonda, Katie, Niecy.
Vonda and Tanyika
Vonda and Tanyika Young.

Next, I did a few candid shots during the official wedding photographer’s session.
Fran and kids

Tricey, Franny, Amani.
Niecy holding tired Rashad

Niecy and Rashad.

Finally, the groom, Mark, gets to join in.

more tired Rashad

More tired Rashad.
R asleep standing up

Asleep standing up.
getting the bustle
Three bridesmaids and one extra helped with the bustle so Franny could dance unencumbered. You can’t see just how delicate an operation this was. There were eight little loops, I think, and they were very tiny.