Category Archives: Actual Extraordinary Women

“Raw genius is rarely loud or pretentious.” Jacqueline Cioffa #maryellenmark

Mary Ellen Mark

In modeling you go on countless go-sees, maybe twenty a day. Most forgotten before you hit the bottom stair. I remember being nervous, awestruck walking into the brilliant photographer’s studio apartment, she had ‘requested’ to see me. Mary Ellen Mark wore no makeup, trademark braids and a gentle demeanor not to be mistaken for meekness. Raw genius is rarely loud or pretentious. I didn’t book the job, but remain an admirer of the sublime talent, gritty breathtaking portraits, and the woman.

Mary Ellen Mark, thank you. That was an unforgettable day.
“A photographer known for her incredible humanist photography, passed away Monday in New York City. A rep confirmed the news Tuesday morning. She was 75.”

Mary Ellen Mark : 801C-001-01XManhattan, New York, USA  1996Portrait by Michael O'Brien
Mary Ellen Mark : 801C-001-01XManhattan, New York, USA 1996Portrait by Michael O’Brien

Images ©Mary Ellen Mark photography

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Ward 81 Book – Mary Ellen Mark  #amazon



Shine On


There is in fact a whole earth with enough space to roam, create, inspire, dream, conquer, share and uplift.

I believe this to be.


I will not waste one second, one millisecond needing or lusting after your shine.

Stephen Hawking’s quote suggests, “There ought to be something very special about the boundary conditions of the universe and what can be more special than that there is no boundary?”

No boundary, what a revolutionary concept.

The eminent, brilliant physicist agrees, “Women. They are a complete mystery.”

Yes, they can be.

In the simplest, rudimentary terms women are the enigma.

Most beautiful when they accept and reflect the luminous, radiant shine.

Not ignore, or deflect.

Comparison and envy are time wasters, dimmers that dull the reflecting pools of light.

Shine on.


Ain’t Nothin’ Going To Hold Me Down


Check out Rachel in the Oc‘s blog today. Excellent, important happenings.

Wordslayers in leather and hot pink lipstick. (probably just gloss)

Allie Burke’s feature, “Inside Schizophrenia: ‘I Could Be AWOL Right Now’ by @allieburkebooks” 

“Allie is an American novelist, book critic, and magazine editor from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.”

Allie Burke’s novel, “Paper Souls” is legit LIT to check out.

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Rachel Thompson’s trending, HOT new release Broken Places, the sequel to Broken Pieces is available on Amazon.

You might catch The Vast Landscape  ad scrolling along. Way, way, cool.

Chicks ruling the world, one vowel at a time.


Actual, Extraordinary Women Turning Me On

“And what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film. That’s what I think is revolutionary, and evolutionary, and it’s what’s turning me on.” – Maggie Gyllenhaal

Right on Maggie for sharing the win, for reconfirming the complexities of women are the dimensions that shine, lighting from the inside. I have always known that beauty is most beautiful when raw and exposed.

Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson speaks from the heart and the gut, searing honesty exposing grief, pain, abuse and ultimately love set free in truth. A collection of brave, bold essays unafraid to take us into the dark. The light finds its way into the deepest crevices, caverns of life’s experiences. Ms. Thompson is an extraordinary, actual woman. Those are the best kind.


“This is a book about fracture. About the experiences that make up a life. About the pieces of me.

Delving into naked emotion is a terrifying proposition. Digging into our souls to look for answers that may not be there is a ledge most of us avoid.

And yet, here I am.”
Rachel Thompson, Broken Pieces

Strive for authenticity, self- pride, accomplishment and accolades will follow.

I shine the light on Rachel Thompson, using her voice to speak uncomfortable truths.

Actual women are evolutionary, extraordinary, revolutionary. There is room for us all.

Right on, Ms. Gyllenhaal. I’m with you.