MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

Fine Art Photography Inspired By Natural Creation & Wholesome Reading For Your Family's Entertainment


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TEAMWORK MAKES DREAMS WORK!

“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their hard work.  For if one of them falls, the other can help his partner up. But what will happen to the one who falls with no one to help him up?”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9 & 10 — New World Translation)

 

Well, now that I’ve finally introduced Eevie to the world, I wanted to share with everyone some of the work that went into bringing her to life.  I chose the above Scripture as my caption because most of us have heard of the familiar saying, “Two heads are better than one.”  So if two are better, can you imagine what four can accomplish?

In this blog, I want to share with you how three particular individuals helped me to reach my goal of bringing Eevie to life.  Whether she realizes it or not, it all began with my dear cousin and friend, Jacquelin Thomas, who is also an author. JACQUIHere’s her picture.  Isn’t she lovely?  When she became a published author in the late 1990s, I was so inspired by her wonderfully creative way of writing that I decided that I wanted to attempt to write and publish my own novel.  And to make a long story short, thanks to all of the support and encouragement she extended to me, my first fiction inspirational novel, A MEASURE OF FAITH, was published by BET BOOKS in April of 2004.

But what Jacquelin did for me did not stop with my writing.  She had also introduced me to her friend, J. Hale Turner, who is also an author.  And now, Ms. Turner and I are not only close friends but also spiritual sisters.  JOANNHere she is, dancing.  Isn’t she beautiful, too?  Well, just like my cousin Jacquelin, this lady has a wealth of remarkable talents, which includes drawing.  Some years ago, she had allowed me to see some of her artwork, and I was extremely impressed.  So when I decided a while back that I wanted to bring Eevie to life, I asked her if she would sketch her for me.  And to make another long story short, she hesitantly agreed but after a while, advised me that it had been so long since she had drawn anything that she did not feel she could do it.  I was disappointed, but as her friend, I did not want to put any pressure on her.

CAITSo, I eventually learned of a very talented illustrator named Cait Maloney via a blog that my friend Ms. Turner had shared with me.  After I visited Ms. Maloney’s Web site and saw more of her incredible work, I started corresponding with her via e-mail.  Here she is.  Hi, Cait!  Isn’t she cute?  Anyway, in the meantime, unbeknownst to me, JoAnn (Ms. Turner) had changed her mind and started on Eevie’s sketch.  And to make this last long story short, I submitted it to Cait who added the fabulous colors which helped to accentuate her appearance, and the finished product is what you see above and what I revealed recently in another blog during my interview with Eevie.

I am so excited about Eevie and the launch of her Web site, ASK EEVIE!  And I wanted everyone to know that even though I created her in my wild and crazy imagination, giving her extra life, charm, and personality was a team effort–and I could not have done it without the help of these three wonderful ladies.  Sometimes, we may not want to admit that we need help , and some find it hard to give credit where credit is due.  But I am a firm believer that we don’t have to be hoarders when it comes to giving others their proper and deserving honor, praise, and recognition.  I greatly appreciate these ladies for being my team players and helping me to make my dream come true!  So may we all remember that teamwork makes dreams work!

Before I go, I want to thank two more ladies who have also been a tremendous source of support and encouragement to me–Ms. Sonia Moore, owner of Keighley’s Salon, Day Spa & Boutique, and my hair stylist, Ms. Michelle PattonFRONT ENTRANCEHere’s a picture of the entrance of Sonia’s salon.  The photo on the right is one of her many extravagant and comfortable sitting areas.FIREPLACE (BIG)  Isn’t her salon gorgeous?  Michelle has been my stylist for years.  Sonia and I just met recently when she and Michelle went into business together.  Sonia’s incredibly awesome business is located near the historic district of downtown Douglasville, GA.  She always shares with me inspirational thoughts that I can write about on my blog.  As a matter of fact, I got the title of this one from her.  Thank you, Sonia and Michelle!  Love you both!  Both of these ladies are great at what they do.  Please show them your support.

Well, that’s all for now.  HAPPY READING!  And as always, this is from my heart to yours.

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

 


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GIVE ME NOW WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE

OWL“Give me now wisdom and knowledge to lead this people, for who can possibly judge this great people of yours?”  (2 Chronicles 1:10)

When God invited His servant Solomon to ask what he would like Him to give him, the above words were Solomon’s humble request.  Yes, of all the things Solomon could have asked for, his one and only heartfelt desire was to have the wisdom and knowledge to lead God’s people in a way that was pleasing to Him.  Therefore, God not only granted his request but also blessed him with the things he had not asked for–wealth, riches, and honor such as no kings before him had had and none after him would have.  (2 Chronicles 1:11 & 12)

Who of us would, if given the opportunity, make such an unselfish and humble request?  Many of our elderly ones did not have the chance (for various reasons) to be educated secularly as many of us younger ones have.  Yet, whatever they may lack in the way of worldly education, they more than make up for in the wisdom and knowledge they have acquired throughout their lifetime.  So we should never feel that just because we may possess more book sense than them that they can’t teach us anything.  And especially when what they share is from God, it will always be beneficial for us because He is the source of true wisdom and knowledge.  (2 Timothy 3:16 & 17)

In my book ONE OF A KIND, I introduced my readers to Paula’s Aunt Eevie.  She’s a hoot in the sense that she is an extremely funny person, as most of ourOOAK elderly people are.  Most of us probably have an Aunt Eevie in our family–the elderly, female relative who always gives us her extremely candid advice or opinion (whether we ask for it or not.)  Sometimes, in an effort to pick us up, they beat us down, but we know they mean well.  As a matter of fact, they’re the ones who are always there for us–to pick us up when we fall, to cry with us when we hurt, to laugh with us when things are good, and to tell us what life is all about (they know because their own experiences have made them all the more wiser.)  And that’s why we love ’em!

You’ll also get to hear more from Aunt Eevie in my soon-to-be-released sequel to ONE OF A KIND which is titled DHDESPERATE HEARTS.  In fact, I like Aunt Eevie so much that I’ve decided to give her  a site of her own on the Internet, an advice column called ASK EEVIE.  I am now in the process of working with an extremely talented illustrator, Ms. Cait Maloney, on Eevie’s portrait.  I am so excited to be partnering with Ms. Maloney on this project and can hardly wait to reveal Eevie to you–and of course, Eevie is on pins and needles to meet you, too!  So in the meantime, please feel free to share your thoughts with me of how you imagine she will look.  I may even have a special prize for the person who comes closest!

To all of you who have been and still  are loyal supporters of me and my stories and to those of you who have recently given me your support and encouragement, I thank you from the very depths of my heart!

Happy reading!  And as always, this is from my heart to yours!

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Owl Photo Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)