Archive | May 2014

Nature Photography by Devika Fernando

From Christina: I’m excited today to share a post from Sri Lankan author — and dear friend — Devika Fernando. In addition to being a talented writer, she’s a photographer as well. Although she claims to be “an amateur”, I think you’ll agree that her work is stunning. 


Nature Photography

by Devika Fernando


Thank you, Christina, for giving me a chance to share my thoughts and some of my photographs here!

My biggest hobby – apart from writing, which is profession and passion all rolled into one – is reading, but photography also makes me happy. I’m an amateur with anything but the right equipment, but I love taking photos with my digital camera, and do receive positive feedback whenever I share some of my best works on deviantART, redbubble or Facebook.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Devika 5I agree that to some extent, professional equipment and basic knowledge about photography is necessary to shoot “beautiful” or “good” photos – however, my emphasis lies on “to some extent”, because even if you have the best equipment and a degree in your pocket, your photos can still lack something. What I’m talking about is a certain passion for the subject, an eye for beauty in its million faces and forms, and the will to catch something special. Whether it’s a snapshot where luck also plays an important role, or whether it is a carefully set up shoot with hours of thought and preparation – in the end, the photo needs to somehow incorporate a little part of the photographer. Who is behind the lens is just as important as what is in front of it, because as with every other form of art, the creator is part of the creation. That’s why all really great photographers have their own style and convey a message.

Nature photography

Devika 1I love nature, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that most of my snaps belong to the category nature photography. I’m endlessly fascinated with the flora and fauna of places, much more than with people or architecture. If you give me a single tree or bird or flower, I can spend hours shooting away, and hours getting lost in the photos once they’re on the computer. My favourite is water of any kind, although it’s the most difficult to capture. The ocean is of course the mightiest, followed closely by waterfalls, but in the end, all forms of water fascinate me. I just feel so humbled when I look at a lake or river or even just a pond that is its own tiny habitat. Speaking of humility, I believe that the awe in nature is what makes nature photography so outstanding and powerful. If you just snap a creature or look for a picture-perfect postcard shot without feeling connected to the scene or longing to capture its essence, the photograph won’t have its own kind of magic.

Devika 2When I photograph animals (yay to my new camera with a wide zooming range! *lol*), I kind of shut my mind and shoot as if I want to pay homage through my lens. I’m filled with love and admiration and respect for the creature, and I hope that shows when I portray it. I’m anything but a wildlife photographer, and I feel so blessed whenever I get the chance to catch a rare bird or even just capture my own cat in a tell-tale pose.

Devika 3Speaking about nature photography, I think I love landscapes even more than animal pictures or flower macros. There is something inherently beautiful about any kind of scenery, some magic waiting to be awoken, some hidden power and perfection that will always triumph over man-made things. Capturing a beautiful landscape, to me, is on the one hand much more difficult than photographing an animal, and on the other hand much easier. Firstly, an animal is one small splendid thing to focus on, and it will speak for itself. Secondly, a scenery is a grand puzzle full of detailed pieces. It’s up to the photographer to decide whether the bigger picture is more powerful than one highlight. Then there’s the mood a landscape automatically creates, and of course the possibility to bring out the forms and / or colours in a certain way.

Devika 4Nature photography can be challenging, but for me, the act of pressing the button is already a reward. I could spend my days simply looking at gorgeous sceneries and drawing inspiration for writing or for life in general from them. They have a soothing or stirring effect, can make me think or simply enjoy.


About Devika

devikaAlmost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon. 



Memories on Mother’s Day by V L Locey

From Christina: I am delighted to share a few thoughts from Vickie Locey, one of my favorite goat-herders and authors. OK, so she’s the only goat-herder I know. Let’s not get picky. She’s here today to share a few special memories. Enjoy!

Memories on Mother’s Day

by V. L. Locey

Hi everyone! My name is V.L. Locey, and I’m an erotic romance author. I’d like to thank Christina for allowing me come visit today. You know, sometimes it is the simplest of occurrences that sets off a memory. It seems of late that quite a few things around my house are doing that, and I don`t mind one bit.

The first touch of a remembrance of my mother came when my dad brought me a hyacinth for Easter. Dad loves to gift the ladies in his life with flowers, and since my mom passed over ten years ago, that leaves me as the sole floral recipient. I love getting flowers so both of us are happy when he arrives with a pot of posies in hand.

Any time I smell hyacinth it takes me back to working in the flower garden with my mother. She loved hyacinth, and her beds were packed with the fragrant bulbs. She put as many as she could in any bed. Under the living room window was her favorite, for when a warm spring wind would blow up, and the window was cracked to let the stale winter air out, the breeze would carry the smell of hyacinth into the room.

I`m trying to keep the beautiful white plant alive as long as I can. It’s now fully open, and my entire kitchen is heady with scent. No artificial air freshener can top it. I can inhale that wonderful fragrance as I write, and be taken back to the springs of yesteryear with just a whiff.

The other tip off to a memory of mom was during a discussion of movies. Sports movies to be precise. The film Brian’s Song was mentioned. I`m not sure if any of you have seen it, but if not, I`ll just say that it`s a tearjerker of a film about two best friends on the same football team. As soon as the movie was mentioned, I was whisked back to when I first saw the film. It was released in 1971, so it probably took a few years to get to television. Maybe I was sixteen at the most.

Anyway, there my mother and I sat, side by side, weeping like a couple of speckled trout over this movie when my father walked in. Of course, he simply could not understand why we were subjecting ourselves to such emotional upheaval. We flat out refused to change the channel or let him do so. So there we sat, crying amid hiccup fits, until the ending credits rolled.

Those are the memories that mean the most to me. The unplanned ones. Those are the ones I plan to revisit on Mother`s Day and every other day throughout the year.

What are your favorite memories from childhood? Are they tied in with smell, taste, or touch? I`d love to hear about them!

* * *

LoceyV.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, anything romantic, Greek mythology, comic books, Rangers hockey, and coffee (Not necessarily in that order). She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous NHL goalie, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

She is a self-published and conventionally published author. She is a proud Torquere Press and Secret Cravings Publishing author. When not writing erotic  romance tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.


A Note from Christina

Vickie  recently contributed a story to  Seduced by the Gamethe 2014 Cancer Charity Anthology. Like so many others, my family has known the devastation of this disease. My maternal grandmother, my mother, a maternal aunt, and my dear younger sister were all taken by cancer.

Please help in the fight to find a cure! You can purchase the book through Amazon or other online booksellers.