Summer Reading Book #2: Queen of Water

 

Queen of Water co-author Maria Virginia Farinango (images courtesy of lauraresau.com)

Queen of Water co-author Maria Virginia Farinango (images courtesy of lauraresau.com)

Students often ask me if the story they are reading is real. The humorous part of this is, it doesn’t matter how unrealistic the book is, they will still ask. To them, the lines are so blurred between fact and fiction that it is difficult for them to distinguish between the two. In my second summer reading book, Queen of Water, those lines are blurred so well that even I am curious as to what was real and what was fiction. This novel is based on a true story of an Ecuadorian indegena young woman, the co-author Maria Virginia Farinango, who was handed over to a mestizo family as an indentured servant at the age of seven.

Summer Reading Book #1: Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

Average Joe Photography #1: Buddhist Monks in Procession: Tachileik, Myanmar

A Buddhist Monk in serach of an exiliir in Tachileik, Myanmar (Joe Grez / Joup)

A Buddhist Monk in serach of an exiliir in Tachileik, Myanmar (Joe Grez / Joup)

The Premier installment of Joup’s Average Joe Photography. My co-publisher Shawn Baker came up with another great idea (he’s full of’em…really). It started with him asking how I got a certain shots in the Muay Thai pieces I wrote a few months back (Main Gallery). I explained that Muay Thai leads itself to Black and White Photography but how the scenario was tricky to shoot because you have people moving at a fast pace in an outdoor low light situation. And one can’t vary well set up a tripod next to the ring! So I talked with him a bit about using higher ISO with as quick of a shutter speed as I could. And also what I did in post production to present the images in the most true to form as possible.

Capturing a Traditional Lanna Buddhist Wedding in Thailand

Doa, the bride of our traditional Lanna Buddhist wedding. (Joe Grez/Sesame)

Doa, the bride of our traditional Lanna Buddhist wedding. (Joe Grez/Sesame)

An Inspired Bird of Oakland Music: Elisabeth Johnson of Mynah Music: Joup Interviews

Always grinning, Elisabeth Johnson, co-founder of Mynah Music (courtesy of Mynah Music)

Always grinning, Elisabeth Johnson, co-founder of Mynah Music. (courtesy of Mynah Music)

Paradise Burning: Fires rage in Pai and Mae Surin, Thailand

Fires and smoke near Wat Phra That Mae Yen, Pai, Thailand

Fires and smoke near Wat Phra That Mae Yen, Pai, Thailand (Joe Grez/Joup)

Relationships Matter – Introspection

Self introspection has a gradient area. (Joe Grez/Joup)

Self introspection has a gradient area (Joe Grez/Joup)

Introspection used to be a word that only referred to people. It is now used in software development to describe a capability of some object-oriented programming languages to determine the type of an object at runtime; this ability is called ‘type introspection’. As I am writing about people I have used ‘self-introspection’ to describe our examination of our own behaviour, drivers and motivations and ‘other-introspection’ to describe the same examination of other people which is more commonly known as a form of empathy.

Self-introspection is something we should all do regularly. Unfortunately only the emotionally, intellectually and morally courageous amongst us actually do. Most of us are intellectual, emotional and moral cowards. Having said that all of us are capable of developing intellectual, emotional and moral courage; it just takes a desire to do so and a willingness to bear the discomfort of bad feelings in order to acknowledge and accept them as opposed to ignoring and suppressing them.

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