Nature in the Camp

By Reza Visual Academy Photographers, Writers

In Iraqi Kurdistan, Syrian refugees are living in the Kawergosk Camp (near the city of Erbil) after fleeing the war in their home country.

In December 2013, 20 of them, aged 10 to 15, joined a photography workshop initiated by the photo-reporter Reza Deghati to learn to bear witness to their daily life. Armed with cameras furnished by Reza[D1] , they studied how to look at things while discovering the dramatic impact images can have. They also learned how to use photography to tell about one’s life, one’s dreams, one’s sorrows.

One of their assignments was to capture images of nature in the camp as a way to raise awareness about the importance of preserving nature — even in such a tough environment.

The weather conditions in this region of the world are difficult in both summer and winter, ranging from severe droughts to mud everywhere. The refugees there still try to grow . . . (read complete article here).


 

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Editing Examples

FINAL EDITED COPY FOR PIECES BY DONALD STIDHAM

 

A breeze moved along the interstate.  Trees and grass bowed in respect while cars and trucks of every size ignored its existence.  The wind flew around and over boulders as animals and critters scurried about.  It found a pond and glided across the glassy surface, disturbing a cluster of dragonflies.

She kneeled in the grass with her hands on her legs.  She bent forward and tried to catch her breath.  A single flower lay by her knees.  Its yellow brightness stood out against a small, white cross that stood beside it.  She ran her fingers down the wooden memorial and dropped her head.

The breeze wafted from the woods and nudged at the yellow flower, rolling it over.  The flower yawned at the touch.  The breeze blew harder until the flower touched the girl’s knee.  She picked up the kingcup and stood it against the cross.

Tears streamed down her cheeks with memories of excitement and love.  She wanted to scream and release all the agony held inside, but could only muster whimpers.  She fell forward and kissed the ground.  She welcomed the loneliness that had become a part of her soul.

~~~

PART ONE

Chapter One

“Mr. Aames?  Hayden, are you with us?”  Mrs. Prescott, the twelfth-grade honors English teacher asked.

“I’m sorry.  Yes.  What was the question?”

The class laughed.  Eric, Hayden’s best friend, nudged him on the shoulder.  Hayden’s face began to glow red, but then he realized he didn’t care what the others thought.  He sat up straight at his desk and folded his hands together.

“Nothing specific—I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.  You’ve been drifting off lately into a world the rest of us might be interested in.  Is there anything wrong?”

“No, ma’am.  You can continue with your ever so interesting lecture.”

Sarcasm rang in his words.  The class laughed again, which brought a visit to the principal’s office.  Hayden shoved his English book into his backpack and left the room.  He stopped by the bathroom on the long walk.  The boy’s room smelled of urine and bleach.  The camera facing the bathroom entrance was meant to scare off any students who wished to smoke or hide out during classes, but the small device had little effect.  A clean white sink hung below a small water-spotted mirror.  The reflection disgusted Hayden on several levels.

“What’s the point,” he said to himself while shaking his head.

He pulled out a small knife that he kept under his belt.  Bullies in junior high had influenced Hayden to carry a weapon even though he never found the courage to use it.  He opened the three-inch blade and put it to his wrist.

Before sliding the blade, he looked back in the mirror.  His black hair, which wasn’t black enough, hung past his eyes.  His blue eyes were barely seen but didn’t have enough life in them.  His slender frame was complemented by a button-down white shirt and black slacks, but the hidden muscles would never be grand enough.  All imperfections screamed for him to create a river of blood from his palm all the way up his forearm.

A toilet flushed, which startled Hayden.  He frantically closed the knife and shoved it in his pocket.  He turned on the water and silently scolded himself for being so dramatic, just to stir his own emotions.  Hayden would never slice open his own skin.  Principal Kroger stepped from the stall.  He adjusted his belt before seeing the present student.

“Hayden, how are you doing today?”  His deep and friendly voice offered trust.

“Fine, I guess.  I was just on my way to see you, sir.”

“Why?”

“I wasn’t paying attention in English.  I made a derisive comment about Mrs. Prescott’s lecturing methods.  I don’t see why the adults can’t joust in conversation without immediately taking offense and sending the kids to you.  Don’t you get tired of seeing us for such mediocre complaints?”

“Yes, sometimes, but order has to be kept,” he sighed.  “Some teachers are just like kids themselves, and then some students are more mature than teachers.  Take Coach Adams, for instance…that goofball would be out of here if he didn’t know how to coach a three-point shot so well.”

They both laughed.  Kroger thought his joke was authentically funny, but Hayden was laughing to keep the focus off his earlier mistake.  He played psychologist with the principal, hoping it would work in his favor.

“Hayden, your grades seem to be slipping slightly.  Up until this semester, you’ve had straight A’s, but you received B’s in two classes.  Don’t be alarmed, but I like to keep a close eye on students that I believe have great potential.  Is something going on at home that you want to talk about?”

Kroger finally started washing his hands.  Hayden made a point to notice and did the same.  He hoped Kroger would see that he followed by example and would assume the good trait outweighed any bad ones.

“My seemingly melancholy demeanor does not start at home.  Nothing starts at home.  Dad is always away on business, and Mom is doing the usual juggling of responsibilities.  Xbox online keeps me company most of the time when I’m not studying the arts of life.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m stuck in neutral.  The world is certainly not pushing me into drive like you guys promised it would.”

“Well, I can see why Prescott sent you to me.  You have an underlying sarcastic tone, but nothing too rude.  One might even consider it humorous.  Just promise me, you will try to bring those B’s up to A’s.  You have potential.  When you get out of this sheltered world of public education, you’ll need all the options you can get your hands on.  As far as the world is concerned, it pushes us all.  You have to find the right current and dive in.”

He patted Hayden on the shoulder and left the restroom.  Hayden heard the words that were spoken, but only a few hit their intended mark.  The metaphor of a surging river stuck with him.  He splashed water in his hair and slicked it back—glancing in the mirror.  Hayden brought his hair back down to cover his eyes.

“Suck it up, coward.  You’re acting like a girl.”

In his mind, his reflection made an obscene gesture as he sauntered back to the classroom.  He opened the door and rejoined the class by taking his seat.  The other students wanted to know if he had gotten in trouble.  Eric nudged at him, but he kept his focus on the teacher until the end of class.

   The dismissal bell rang.  Hayden and Eric started their usual walk home.  They watched different students gear up on their methods of transportation.  Skateboards flipped through the air, Rollerblades slid across the concrete, trick bikes rode on one wheel, and sneakers danced around bouncing basketballs.  Hayden classified each group in his mind and placed himself outside of them all.  He was one of those who liked solitude while choosing not to own a vehicle.

Eric’s two-story brick house came first.  His mom moved in a stooping position by the flowerbed and waved at Hayden when she noticed them walking up.  She greeted him, but all Hayden saw were the tops of her large breasts peeking out of her tight pink shirt.  He mumbled to himself and walked off.  After fifteen seconds, sure that Eric was inside the house and his mom was gardening again, he glanced back to see if she was bending over.  She was, which brought a smile to his face.  He felt the ridiculous grin and immediately stopped.

 

ORIGINAL COPY FOR PIECES BY DONALD STIDHAM

A breeze moved along the interstate.  Trees and grass bowed in respect while cars and trucks of every size ignored its existence.  It darted off into the woods where it found boulders and critters scurrying about.  The breeze found a pond and glided across its surface, disturbing a cluster of dragonflies.

She kneeled in the grass with her hands on her legs.  She bent forward and tried to catch her breath.  A single flower lay by her knees.  Its yellow brightness stood out against the white cross.  She ran her fingers down the wood and dropped her head.

The breeze crept from the woods and nudged at the yellow flower.  It rolled over and yawned at the wind’s touch.  The breeze blew harder until the flower touched the girl’s knee.  She picked up the Kingcup and stood it against the cross.

Tears streamed down her cheeks with memories of excitement and love.  She wanted to scream and release all the agony held inside, but could only muster whimpers.  She fell forward and kissed the ground.  She welcomed the loneliness that had become a part of her soul.

~~~

PART ONE

Chapter One

 “Mr. Aames?  Hayden, are you with us?”  Mrs. Prescott, the twelfth grade Honors English teacher asked.

“I’m sorry.  Yes.  What was the question?”

The class laughed.  Eric, Hayden’s best friend, nudged him on the shoulder.  Hayden’s face began to glow red, but then he realized he didn’t care what the others thought.  He sat up straight at his desk and folded his hands together.

“Nothing specific.  I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.  You’ve been drifting off lately into a world the rest of us might be interested in.  Is there anything wrong?”

“No, ma’am.  You can continue with your ever so interesting lecture.”

Sarcasms rang in his words.  The class laughed again which brought a visit to the Principal’s office.  Hayden shoved his English book into his backpack and left the room.  He stopped by the bathroom on the long walk.  The boy’s room smelled of urine and bleach.  The camera facing the bathroom entrance was meant to scare off any students that wished to smoke or hide out during classes, but the small device had little effect.  A clean white sink hung below the small water spotted mirror.  The reflection disgusted Hayden on several levels.

“What’s the point,” he said to himself while shaking his head.

He pulled out a small knife that he kept under his belt.  Bullies in junior high had influenced Hayden to carry a weapon even though he never used it in high school.  He opened the three inch blade and put it to his wrist.  Before sliding the blade he looked back in the mirror.  His black hair hung past his eyes, but wasn’t black enough.  His blue eyes were barely seen, but didn’t have enough life in them.  His small frame was complimented by a button down white shirt and black slacks, but the hidden muscles would never be grand enough.  All imperfections screamed for him to create a river of blood from his palm all the way up his forearm.

A toilet flushed which startled Hayden.  He frantically closed the knife and shoved it in his pocket.  He turned on the water and silently scolded himself for being so dramatic just to stir his own emotions.  Hayden would never slice open his own skin.  Principal Kroger stepped from the stall.  He adjusted his belt before seeing the present student.

“Hayden, how are you doing today?”  His deep and friendly voice offered trust.

“Fine, I guess.  I was just on my way to see you, Sir.”

“Why?”

“I wasn’t paying attention in English and I made a derisive comment about Mrs. Prescott’s lecturing methods.  I don’t see why the adults can’t joust in conversation without immediately taking offense and sending the kids to you.  Don’t you get tired of seeing us for such mediocre complaints?”

“Yes, sometimes, but order has to be kept,” he sighed.  “Some teachers are just like kids themselves and then some students are more mature than teachers.  Take Coach Adams for instance.  That goofball would be out of here if he didn’t know how to coach a three point shot so well.”

They both laughed.  Kroger thought his joke was authentically funny, but Hayden was laughing to keep the focus off his earlier mistake.  He played psychologist with the principal; hoping it would work in his favor.

“Hayden, your grades seem to be slipping slightly.  Up until this semester you’ve had straight A’s, but you received Bs in two classes.  Don’t be alarmed, but I like to keep a close eye on students that I believe have great potential.  Is something going on at home that you want to talk about?”

Kroger finally started washing his hands.  Hayden made a point to notice and do the same.  He hoped Kroger would see that he followed by example and would assume the good trait outweighed any bad ones.

“My seemingly melancholy demeanor does not start at home.  Nothing starts at home.  Dad is always away on business and mom is doing the usual juggling of responsibilities.  XBOX online keeps me company most of the time when I’m not studying the arts of life.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m stuck in neutral.  The world is not pushing me into drive like you guys promised it would.”

“Well, I can see why Prescott sent you to me.  You have an underlying sarcastic tone, but nothing too rude.  One might even consider it humorous.  Just promise me you will try to bring those Bs up to As.  You have potential and when you get out of this sheltered world of public education you need all the options you can get your hands on.  As far as the world is concerned, it pushes us all.  You have to find the right current and dive in.”

He patted Hayden on the shoulder and left the restroom.  Hayden heard the words that were spoken, but only few hit their intended mark.      The metaphor of a surging river stuck with him.  He splashed water in his hair and slicked it back.  He saw his eyes in the mirror and decided to bring his hair back down to cover them.

“Suck it up, coward.  You’re acting like a girl.”

In his mind, his reflection made an obscene gesture as he walked away and back to the classroom.  He opened rejoined the class and took his seat.  The other students wanted to know if he had gotten in trouble.  Eric nudged at him, but he kept his focus on the teacher until the end of class.

            The dismissal bell rang.  Hayden and Eric started their usual walk home.  Hayden watched different students gear up on their methods of transportation.  Skateboards flipped through the air, skates slid across the concrete, trick bikes rode on one wheel, and sneakers danced around bouncing basketballs.  Hayden classified each group in his mind and placed himself outside of them all.  He was one of those who liked solitude while choosing not to own a vehicle.

Eric’s two story brick house came first.  His mom moved in a bent position by the flower bed and waved at Hayden when she noticed them walking up.  She greeted him, but all Hayden saw were the tops of her large breasts peeking out of her tight pink shirt.  He mumbled to himself and walked off.  After fifteen seconds, sure Eric was inside the house and his mom gardening again, he glanced back to see if she was bending over.  She was which brought a smile to his face.  He felt the ridiculous grin and immediately stopped.  Two thousand and fifty more steps to torment.

 

 

Editing Examples

The customer requested that he wanted to create a presentation flyer to present to new customers.  Below you will see the original.  Following that—the finished flyer.

Original Copy for Clubbing411

 

We are an online entertainment directory, providing more services than any other social media site can offer. Clubbing411 is designed to give your events and amenities the most exposure .  .  .  .  .  store and organize your venue’s content while giving your events and amenities the most exposure.

We are providing services more than any other social media site can offer.

With our built in technology, we can make all of your deals and amenities stand out to the right crowd, and users can find things that caters to their preferences conveniently.

Whether if consumers are looking for some place for lunch, dinner, or nightly activity, clubbing411 can help organize, store, and promote your content efficiently. Our job is to help provide a full picture of what your event has entailed for the end receiver.

Clubbing411 is revamping the formidable ways of online promotions.

This is what they see

And how we can make everything about your event stand out to it’s fullest potential

Another feature is our photo gallery.

We make it simple for consumers to find what all your events are about and what you have to offer.

Talk about your traffic and email blasts:

We cover all neighboring area of your location.We cover Hollywood, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange county, and in the Inland empire.

RATES:

  • Our rates reflect based upon the days of operation on a monthly basis.
  • Events: one a month, like a rave $25
  • Weekly events
  • 1 day out of the week- (Every Friday): $50
  • 2 days out of the week- (Every Friday and Saturday): $100
  • 3 days out of the week- (Every Thurs, Fri , and Sat): $150
  • 4 days out of the week- (Every Weds, Thurs, Fri, and Sat): $200
  • Everyday- (Mornings &/or evenings) $250
  • If you promote at least 7 events in a week $400
  • Optional: if you have your own photographer, and would like to send us your weekly gallery to the events we store, will be $100 a month.
  • Requesting for one of our photographers will be $150 per event (Prices may vary depending on location)

Closing statement:

Why 20 different sites/apps to do the same thing? Why not invest your money into one site that does everything?

We guarantee to bring the right demographics and fresh new faces to each and all of your events.

In addition to the event postings, Clubbing411 does provide photo coverage and videography to help give your events the best perspective of what your consumers can have, if they attend your any of your events.

Please give me a call and find out what I can do to help you maximize your nightlife!

 

Finished Copy for Clubbing411

 

We are an online entertainment directory that is fun to use while providing more services than any other social media site can offer. Clubbing411 is designed to give your events and amenities the most exposure. With our built-in technology, all of your events, deals, and amenities will stand out to exactly the right crowd. The perk here is, users can conveniently find “things to do” that will cater to their preferences – whether it be a place for lunch, dinner, or a fun night on the town – Clubbing411 makes a day out on the town accessible within minutes.

The site is lively yet easy on the eyes. Your gallery picture will pop off the screen in brilliant colors to capture your audience. People searching for venues can sort by “Event Type,” “DEALS,” and even the type of “CROWD” they want to hang out with. The spectacular graphics make searching for the perfect “thing to do,” well . . . addicting.

Clubbing411 is revamping the formidable ways of online promotions by organizing and storing your event information – offering you a great way to promote your event content, simply and efficiently, by giving your audience an easily accessible platform that is visually appealing with information that is easy to find and great looking photos.

We guarantee to bring the right demographics and fresh new faces to each and all of your events.

In addition to the event postings, Clubbing411 provides expert photo coverage and videography to help give your personalized-events page the best perspective for what your consumers can expect when they attend your any of your events.

Please give me a call and find out what I can do to help you maximize your summer boat party, dance lessons, lunch out, or live performances in for a fabulous nightlife!

{ADD YOUR INFO HERE!}

We cover all the neighboring area of your location.

We cover Hollywood, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County and in the Inland Empire.

RATES
Our rates are based on the days of operation on a monthly basis.

  • Events: one a month, like a rave $25
    • Weekly events
    • 1 day out of the week – (Every Friday): $50
    • 2 days out of the week – (Every Friday and Saturday): $100
    • 3 days out of the week – (Every Thurs., Fri. , and Sat.): $150
    • 4 days out of the week – (Every Weds., Thurs., Fri., and Sat.): $200
    • Every Day – Mornings and/or Evenings $250
    • If you promote at least 7 events in a week: $400
  • Optional: if you have your own photographer, and would like to send us your weekly gallery: $100 a month.
    • Requests for one of our photographers: $150 per event (Prices may vary depending on location.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Why use 20 different sites/apps to do the same thing? Why not invest your money into one great-looking site that does everything? We guarantee to bring the right demographics and fresh new faces to each and all of your events.

Please give me a call and find out what I can do to help you maximize your nightlife!  

{ADD YOUR INFO HERE!}

 

 

EDITING ~ Completed Works



Wise Owl

The Wise Owl by Cornelis Bloemaert (Dutch, 1603-1684)
Caption reads: “What good is candle or glasses when the owl does not wish to see.”
Accessed from: Wikimedia Commons – Uil met bril en boeken


The works below that have been published may not represent the editing suggestions I had made on the manuscripts. Try as one might, ultimately it is up to the author decide to what changes are made to their manuscripts. 

 

BOOKS

General Fiction

♦ – EXCELLENCE by Raj Davis

♦ – The Timkers by WR Vaughn

Children’s Books

♦ – Mermaid Adventures—Battle of the Trenchcoats (Children’s Book) by Donald Stidham

♦ – Mermaid Adventures—Captain Pointy Teeth’s Revenge (Children’s Book) by Donald Stidham

♦ – Jake the Sneezing Snake by Jack Meyer: editing, layout, some graphic design

Nonfiction

– The Evolutionary Tarot by Richard Hartnett, H.W., M.

 

 

In Progress

♦ – Blue by Raj Davis

♦ – Pieces by Donald Stidham

♦ – The New Old Gods by Richard Hartnett

 

WEB CONTENT

♦ – BrickRed Systems www.brickredsystems.com (website edit and update)

♦ – ImpetusComplimentary Guide to Authentic Online and Live Customer Advisory Boards

♦ – Voices for Biodiversity

          “Nature in the Camp” by Reza Visual Academy

 

          ”        

 

 

 

 

OTHER CONTENT

♦ – Wayne Lewis Lesser, Wayne’s World, Wayne’s Words

♦ – “Good Wife — Bad Wife” by Raj Davis

♦ – Clubbing441 Promotional Flyer Edit

 

 

Wayne Lewis Lesser, Wayne’s World, Wayne’s Words

In 1944, I was born to loving parents. I came into a world of what I call “lesser” sound—I was born hearing-impaired. As a kid, I did not know or did not pay attention to my lesser sound. While I did have regular hearing exams, my parents never indicated to me that I might have hearing loss. In truth, my parents were unaware of my hearing loss throughout my childhood.

My kid sister followed in 1945 and was profoundly hearing-impaired. For years, my family was not aware of her hearing loss, or its severity. At that point, my family still did not know about my hearing loss, either. My mom took my sister from doctor to doctor until one said that she was hearing-impaired and needed hearing aids. She was fitted with aids at age 11.

My sister’s hearing aid was ugly and scary. I remember when she put it on for the first time: a one-piece unit, the size of a deck of cards, with two wires connecting the large earbuds into her little ears. My mom turned it on. At that moment, I was fooling around with . . .(Read More Here).

Published in Hearing Health Blog – April 21, 2016