I have always loved to dress up in costumes and though I’ve always felt awkward in front of a camera, when I was about 14 years old, I had my mom take me to the Barbizon Modeling Academy in Seattle to see what it was all about. Some lady had me walk in front of her across the room and then back with no other instruction. Her assessment of me: “You’re not model material.”

I put this lady in the same category as Ms. Acton who, when I was in 3rd grade, told me “Not to even bother” because I couldn’t “get” theĀ zh pronunciation of words likeĀ leisure. The problem was that I couldn’t comprehend what she was asking of me. I “got it” just fine. I’m on the brink of publishing my seventeenth book–Ms. Acton–I think I’ve more than proven I get it. Besides tear down a 9 year old because you were a lousy, impatient teacher, what have you ever done?

Back to modeling: I’ve never thought of myself as stunning or as a super model. I wish sometimes that I were. I have repeatedly been reminded of my physical flaws–with audacity told to try and “do something about them”, like I have access to plastic surgeons and all that. It’s not fun to be on the receiving end of that and a lot of damage has resulted. Damage that can’t be seen through any camera. So now I do what I can to put myself out there, bite the bullet and smile away, even when surrounded by gorgeous, perfect models who continuously wow everyone including the photographers. Last weekend was one of those times. Here are a few of the results of that:

Photo by Linda O’Donnell

Photo by Linda O’Donnell

Photo by Chad Harnish

I attribute how well these came out to the photographers and luck, though I should take a little credit for being in them. Still–it’s hard. Maybe someday I will be over all of the cruel words that were said to me. It has helped to recognize that they were said by someone who saw a strong, unbreakable person in me and, being inferior, felt he needed to bring me down to his level of insecurity. The thing is, I will rise back up even if it takes time. The effect of his words as temporary as he was, and that is a healing thought.

On another note, I think these images capture the true nature of my humor, playfulness, and maybe even some of my elegance.


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