Roque’s Weekly Review for 1/16/2019

January 16, 2019

Roque's Weekly Review

As I write this update, I am in the thick of my first week back at school. This semester will be a logistical balancing act between all of my class work, an independent film project due at the end of March, music-making, and all of the other important parts of my life (time with loved ones, friends, family, my cat, and for myself to regroup and rest along the way).

Starting next week, I’ll be including a weekly school check-in to update all of you folks on what I am working on and how I am doing.

Now, on with this week’s new stuff from me.

  1. Photography Feature: Sandor Katz and Food Fermentation

One of the places I visited last month was the kitchen of Sandor Katz. He is one of the world’s leading experts in food fermentation. He has written numerous books on the topic and travels all over the world to give talks and workshops.

I would highly recommend that everyone visit Sandor in his kitchen. My time with him was truly delightful. He talked with a great deal of warmth and candor. I saw firsthand some of the food that he works with. Unfortunately, I was too focused on taking photos to ask if I could taste what he made.

A highlight was the unveiling of what looked like some sort of gooey animal brain from a large jar. As it turned out, it was a head of fermented cabbage, but nonetheless, it was pretty fun to geek out on.

Special thanks to Sandor for having me. I can understand why people travel great distances to hear him speak. He has a way of engaging a listener with his disarming and sweet demeanor, and he has such a wealth of knowledge. The love he has for his work is undeniable.

Here are some of the photos I shot:

2. My Blog Tropical Shade of Green

My latest post is the first in a series about light. This particular one is a meditation on the presence of light on a rainy and overcast day. I am sharing more of my creative writing this year. You can read this post here:

3. Thank you to all Unpaid Government Employees

As of this update, the stand-off in Washington DC between our president and the Democrats in Congress has lasted well over three weeks. I just wanted to thank and commend the men and women all over the country who are still doing their important jobs despite not getting paid for their work. This includes folks who run our national parks and museums, air traffic controllers, TSA agents at airports, and a whole slew of other federal workers.

I hope some resolution happens soon so that you can feed your families and maintain a good living.

That’s all for my weekly update. I will feature more photos next week, and I will be getting a lot of work done at school in the meantime.

Be kind and be generous,

-Roqué

Roque’s Weekly Review for 1/9/2019

January 10, 2019

Creativity / Intention / Roque's Weekly Review

Well, another week has passed, and there are roughly 51 more to go for the year. Considering all that may or may not happen in my life over the next 12 months, I am going to take it all one day at a time. That is all I can do because all we have is the day ahead of us. There are no real guarantees beyond that despite our best well-laid plans.

School starts back up for me next week, and I am preparing for the changes in my life that will bring. I will spend some time every day this year doing some kind of creative work both school-related and otherwise. Creativity brings me great joy.

Now let’s proceed with the update.

1. Photography Feature: Leopard and his house building.

This week, I wanted to feature photographs I took while visiting my friend Leopard while he built a cottage behind his house near Short Mountain. In addition to building houses, he is also a talented musician, a Qigong instructor, a knitter, an actor, and vinyl DJ (among various other skills). It was fun seeing him work hard on this project. Building a house is incredibly labor intensive and can take a very long time. I have a lot of respect for people who can do this kind of work. It takes a great deal of skill, experience, patience, and problem-solving to do it well.

Check out the photos here:

2. My Blog Tropical Shade of Green

This year, in addition to my musing on my blog about creativity, simplicity, art, music, and the environment, I have decided to feature some of my own creative writing.

This month, I will be posting my writings about light. Yup, light. You can check out the first installment by clicking HERE.

3. Thank you for the love.

Lastly, I wanted to say thank you for all of the love, kind wishes, and condolences that poured in last week when we had to put our dog PJ to rest. Burying her after so many years was not easy, but within our community of friends, it felt very comforting to feel supported.That’s this week’s update. We have had some warm weather here in Middle Tennessee during the last week, but winter will finally flex her muscles in the next few days. I will stay warm, drink soothing beverages, and cuddle with my cat.

Thank you for joining me on my journey.

See you next week.

-Roqué

Roque’s Weekly Review for 1/3/2019

January 3, 2019

Uncategorized

This is my first weekly update for 2019. Happy New Year to you! I hope it will be filled with meaningful new beginnings and mind-boggling adventures!

I have a lot to share this week . . .

  1. A New Year’s Farewell

The first two days of this new year have been a struggle. The oldest dog in our household who was almost 17 years old had not been eating or breathing very well over the last few days. We made her as comfortable as possible and fed here delicious food. Progressively, it became clear that it was time to let her go. Yesterday, we went to our family vet clinic, and she was put down. Afterwards, we buried her in an out-of-the-way and peaceful location. Tears were shed, and memories were shared. She was a sweet dog. We will miss her so. Thank you PJ for everything.


2. The new issue of PIANISSIMO my e-newsletter.

On New Year’s Day, I sent out the newest issue of my e-newsletter PIANISSIMO.

In this issue, I list the books I’ve read, the places I’ve visited, and the shows I’ve seen in 2019. I also discuss the success I achieved in school. Feel free to HERE to read my 2018 Year In Review.

3. Photography of Goatboy and Short Mountain Music Works

Continuing with my series of local artists and artisans, I am featuring a local artisan this week who fixes piano players and manufactures the musical scrolls that these players read. Goatboy, as he is called by just about everyone, has worked in his repair shop in Woodbury, TN for over two decades. He generously opened up his studio for me to take numerous photos, and he told me lots of stories about many of the instruments he keeps. His place felt more life a magical menagerie of musical wonders than the nondescript workshop that it is. Being a pianist myself, taking the photos and talking to Goatboy was very special. Here are some of the photos from my visit:

4. Changes to my blog Tropical Shade of Green

For 2019, I have decided to only have one post per month. With only two semesters of school left, my schedule will already be quite full with schoolwork and other demands. I will be publishing my first and only January post this coming Sunday.

Well, that’s all folks. My new year can only get better than the last couple of days. I am looking forward to 2019.

Let’s all make it the best year ever!!

Roqué

Roque’s Weekly Review for 12/26/2018

December 27, 2018

Creativity / Intention / Roque's Weekly Review

Here we are! It’s time for another weekly update on what’s new with me! I have a few things to share as we head into 2019. Let’s go . . .


  1. Website Update

Some new imagery is going up here at roqueinbloom.com. I am pretty pleased with the layout of the site at this point, and much of that will not change. Expect to see more new photography in the coming months such as the new banner image at the top of the page.


2. Photography Showcase: Phil Woodward

Continuing on with sharing photos from a big project I did for a class last semester, I wanted to showcase the art of local artisan Phil Woodward. Currently, he combines different materials to create oil lamps, vessels, and various artforms that he sells at art shows and at his website. His work is one-of-a-kind and has a clean and contemporary sensibility to it. Last month, I got to spend an afternoon at his studio taking photos of him at work. Here are the glorious results:

Special thanks to Phil Woodward for letting me photograph him at work on his art. It was so fun to see a strong level of discernment and skill go into his process.


3. My blog Tropical Shade of Green

This past week, my newest post is about a topic that’s been on my mind for a while. How do we learn how to trust ourselves and our instincts? Is it simply a matter of trial and error? Or is it something far deeper. You can read the full post by clicking here:

4. 2018 Year In Review

Also coming soon is my year-in-review! I detail the books I’ve read, the big projects I’ve completed, and the places I’ve been during 2018! It’s been a wild ride.

Well, that’s all for this week. The new year is just around the corner! I plan to make it a good one.

-Roqué

Roque’s Weekly Review for 12/19/18

December 19, 2018

Roque's Weekly Review

Yes, it has been a minute since I published one of my weekly reviews. Nonetheless, here I am, and I have some fun tidbits to share.

1. Fall Semester 2018 in College

As of yesterday morning, my university released my grades for this past semester. I worked very hard, and my grades were awesome! I had numerous projects and papers that each took a lot of thought, time, and sweat equity. I learned a lot this semester, but I sure am glad it is over. I now have a month off from school, and though I do have quite a bit of work to do on an ongoing project, it will not be nearly as busy for me.

2. Photography Showcase

Over the next few weeks, I will be showcasing some of my new photography that I shot as projects for school. I am really proud of some of the work that I did, and I will be adding many of the shots to my portfolio. I will be sharing some of the images in a few of the upcoming weekly updates. Here are the first I’d like to share.

My final project involved taking pictures of artists and artisans in their work spaces. One of the artists I did this for was a man by the name of Jai Sheronda. He makes colorful lamps out of gourds that are grown in his green house. The gourds are hollowed out, and the shells are embedded with pieces of stained glass. They are charming and whimsical works of art that are functional and unique. Here are some of the photos I took:

It was a wonderful experience getting to document Jai’s work and to be in his beautiful creative space!

3. Posts on my blog Tropical Shade of Green

Every Sunday, I publish a new post on my blog Tropical Shade of Green. Here are some of the newest posts:

Trust Yourself

Learning How to Relax

Give Compassion to Difficult People

My Misgivings About the Thanksgiving Holiday

Next week’s blog post on TSOG will offer a look back at 2018 including highlights with school, the books I’ve read, and the places I’ve seen.

That’s my update for now. Thank you for following along in this journey of my life with me. I will share more new photography next week, and I’ll have more news to share.

Happy Holidays!

Be kind and be generous to yourself and others.

-Roqué

Roque’s Weekly Review for 11/14/18

November 14, 2018

Roque's Weekly Review

Hello Beautiful People,

It is time for another weekly update. This last week of school has been one of the most hectic I have ever had. Being on the crew for the musical 9 to 5 all last week took up so much of my time, but I am back in the swing of things.

Onward  .  .  .

  1. Photography
    Since I have been taking lots of photos lately, I was thinking it would be great to share some more of the newest ones that I have taken.

An old barn in my neighborhood.

An old wagon with lots of character.

Wood for warming.

Wood on wood and shadows on shadows.

My light painting

 

2.  This week’s Blog post: Living a Life of Curiosity

My blog post this week is a musing about what it means to be lead by your own curiosity. If you have a question or really anything that you are wondering about, what if you pursued that train of thought to the fullest extent? Where would it take you? What would you learn? How would it change you?

You can read the blog post by clicking HERE.

3.  Currently Reading: Behaving As If the God in All Life Mattered

This book was a gift from a dear friend, and I am about halfway through it. It is an autobiographical story written by Machaelle Small Wright, and it reveals a troubling account about her life as a child who was abandoned by both of her parents and how she had to survive out on her own. This is a compelling read so far, and I am eager to see what has happened to her.

4. Being published in MTSU’s Collage

My university has a creative arts magazine that publishes works from its students and alumni. It is extremely selective and competitive to have your work chosen, but I just received word that not one but TWO of my submissions were accepted. I will have more details on this as well as links some time in the next few weeks.

That’s all the news for now!!! There are other things brewing, and I will be sharing those tidbits in due time.

Be kind and be generous.

-Roqué

Roque’s Weekly Review on 11/7/18

November 8, 2018

Roque's Weekly Review

Hello Beautiful People,

It’s time for another quick update. I hope everyone’s week is going well.

  • Midterm Election Results

I live in an incredibly conservative state, and the two most highly contested offices (for Senate and Governor) were won by candidates from the Republican party that I did not support. I am disappointed, but I am glad that the democrats have regained control of the House of Representatives. Even a little progress can go a long way.

  • Light Painting

Last week, I completed a fun assignment for one of my classes. I have never done light painting before, and I did not think I would manage to pull it off.  I was wrong. If you do not know what light painting is, it is the process of painting different shapes with light through photography. Here are a couple of my submissions:

I had a ton of fun doing this assignment, and I hope to experiment more with this process in the future.

  • 9 to 5 The Musical

As I mentioned last week, I am part of the crew for my university’s production of the musical 9 to 5. As one of the deck electricians, I am helping out with some of the stage special effects. For those of you who live in the Murfreesboro and surrounding areas, I strongly encourage you to come see this show. There is an ambitious lighting and stage design, lots of choreography, and some powerhouse singing. Tickets are just $5.00, and it is free for MTSU students. The show runs this weekend only starting at 7:30 PM from Nov. 8-10 and at 2:00 PM on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Here’s a little promotional video:

 

  • Newest Blog Post

Since the big midterm elections were being held this week, I published a post outlining my perspective on our current political climate. My thoughts have more gravity now that we know the results. To read the post, click HERE.

That’s all the news for this week. More to come soon.

-Roqué

 

Roque’s Weekly Review on 10/31/18

October 31, 2018

Roque's Weekly Review

Hello Beautiful People!

Happy Halloween! Be safe out there with your children, and enjoy the candy!

Ready for the update? Let’s get to it.

  1. Jammin’ with the Best!

I went to a super cool Halloween party last week that was thrown by my friends Andrew and Maggie Weitze. They did all kinds of fun stuff to their house to give it a perfectly spooky look and feel. Here’s a photo of me about to jam with their guest pianist for the night.

2. 9 to 5 Musical at MTSU

The theater department at Middle Tennessee State University (where I go to school) is mounting its own rendition of the classic film and musical 9 to 5. I will be part of the technical crew handling all of the lighting for the show. I’ve seen rehearsals for it already, and the production is a total riot. The show runs from Nov. 8-11.

3. Las Vegas Trip Impressions and Details

This past week, I published a post on my blog detailing my thoughts and impressions of Las Vegas, NV during a recent trip. The culture of Sin City gave me much to think about. My recommendations for visiting that city along with several photos are featured. You can read the blog post HERE.

4. Light Painting

I’ve been doing some light painting for my photography class, and I will be sharing the surprising results next week on social media. I had no idea that this was an actual thing, and now I am hooked!! Look for new images on Instagram and Facebook in the next few days.

That’s all the news for now. Have a safe and spooky Halloween!!

-Roqué

Roque’s Weekly Review on 10/24/18

October 24, 2018

Roque's Weekly Review

Yes, it has been a minute since I last posted an update. This last month has been full of school projects and travel, but things are calming down for a little bit.

1. School Update

In the last month, I worked as a director for one film project and then as a producer for another. I worked within a team of fellow students to design ten minute variety show types of programs. We acquired actors/comedians and a vaudeville/juggling act.  Both projects were filmed in a studio, and we used multiple cameras, lighting plots, set decorations, and set changes. A lot of thought went into these projects, and we were quite happy with the results.

Since I am a singer and musician, I recorded a jingle for both projects in which I laid down vocal harmony parts. This was super fun. Wanna hear the jingle I created?  Just press play .  .  .

This next month promises to be even busier with our final projects.

2. Latest Blog Post

On my most recent blog post, I answered questions about how I work from a series of questions obtained from Lifehacker’s weekly series that asks professionals from all backgrounds what their work habits are. I provide all kinds of tidbits about my own best practices and hacks. Click on this link to read:

How I Work

3. Viva Las Vegas!

As displayed on social media, I went to Las Vegas over a week ago to reconnect with classmates from my alma mater, Marist Brothers High School, in American Samoa. With attendees coming from Washington State, California, and Hawaii, this was the first official gathering of my graduating class. There were only nine of us who made it, but there was no shortage of catching up to do. There are discussions of another reunion happening next year in Honolulu, HI.  I will be posting more pictures on my next blog post this weekend.

4. Subscribe to Pianissimo

Yup, the newest issue of my e-newsletter hits mailboxes soon. Feel free to subscribe here if you haven’t yet.

Subscribe to Pianissimo

5. More Piano to Come

You’ll be seeing lots more piano in my world and in social media from now on. I’m feeling a little adventurous .  .  .

That’s all for this week’s update. Check back here or find me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

More to come soon .  .  .

-Roqué

 

 

Roque’s Weekly Review on 9/26/18

September 26, 2018

Roque's Weekly Review

So, what’s new this week .  .  .

1. Pianissimo

The second issue of my newsletter Pianissimo hits email inboxes this week. There will be another graphic poem and the debut of a new youtube video performance featured in the issue. If you would like to subscribe, just click below:

SUBSCRIBE TO PIANISSIMO

2. Photography

On social media this week, I posted a couple of images of a photography assignment I recently did for school. The assignment involved learning how to work with different shutter speeds in a camera. Here are the images for your perusal:

This image involved the use of a fast shutter speed that essentially freezes a moving object into a single image frame. The rings in MaxZine’s hand were actually rotating quickly.

This image utilized an extremely slow shutter speed that captured the blur of motion and color. The effect is quite bedazzling.

3. “My Personal Journey As a Pianist” Blog Series for September

This week, I posted the last installment of a series of posts for the month of September regarding my evolution as a pianist. Each post touches on an aspect of  what I have learned as a performing musician and why I do what I do. This last piece reflects upon the emotional life I have gained through all of my efforts. You can read the post by clicking on this image:

That’s all the news for now!

More to come next week!!

Be Kind and Be Generous.

-Roqué