A lot of what went into this, the shoot I did to commemorate my 49th birthday, doesn’t show unless you know what to look for. There is a tattoo that I’ve actually had for a very long time but only recently made the decision to let be visible in my photos. You can read that whole story here. There is my goal to treat myself without questioning whether or not I deserve or am worth it, an ongoing battle, which prompted the purchase of this gorgeous hand-dyed garter belt & stocking set from Uye Surana which I’d been coveting for months before I finally ordered it. There is my commitment to doing more to support small businesses, particularly woman-owned businesses and businesses that give back. Uye Surana is one such business. Others are Thrive Causemetics, Trigger Happy Cosmetics, and I AM SIN, where I got the makeup I wore for this shoot, which are all also completely cruelty-free, another thing I’ve committed to. I’ve also recommitted to my workout regimen, something I’d let lapse while dealing with some physical and mental health issues. I like to think that shows pretty nicely in the photos.

So here you have the result of all that. Unretouched, me as I was when I began my 50th year. Photos by Jerry Seeger.

Another thing I’m trying to do more this year is interact with and support fellow artists. So when a poet friend jokingly said a picture of me in lingerie holding his latest chapbook might sell a few more copies, that happened.

(Music for Ghosts by William Taylor Jr. is available here)

I didn’t bake myself a birthday cake this year because my mom brought me one before I could decide whether or not I felt like baking again after I’d just make a huge batch of Valentine cupcakes <3

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