In Front of My Lens: An Author

Headshots can say a lot about a person. A drama student may look serious, a comedian beams a laughing smile... But what does an author look like? 

Joshunda Sanders, in front of my lens looks strong, intelligent, beautiful and more.  With her third publication on the horizon I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing this fierce lady recently in our Nation's Capital!

Joshunda, a native of the Bronx is taking on DC with her smart prose. 

Where are you from originally?   I spent the first few years of my life in Philadelphia, then most of my childhood/adolescence in New York City (mainly the Bronx). 

What is your fondest memory growing up?   I spent most Sundays attending Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral with my mother. Afterwards, we would walk down Fifth Avenue to Central Park. On the way, we would stop at what was then F.A.O. Schwarz, a huge toy store. We never had any money to buy anything, but the great thing about the store was that you could play with all the toys without having to take them with you. I loved the GUND stuffed animals the most. They were huge and soft.

Who inspires you?    This is a really long list. I love people and artists who are brave enough to be individuals and to share a vision of the world that is inclusive and groundbreaking or just uniquely theirs against all odds. I draw inspiration from all kinds of places -- I just discovered Chance the Rapper and his amazing album The Coloring Book, which is beautifully inspiring. I adore the art of Kara Walker. I appreciate Beyonce not just as an entertainer but as a master of marketing and an incredible businesswoman. Her artistic control, like that of Prince, is also really inspiring. 

When/how did you decide to take the plunge into writing?   I decided when I was 12 that I wanted to be a writer. When you're little, your dreams seem plausible no matter what they are, and I had considered a lot of different things -- fashion illustrator/designer, English teacher, college professor. I liked the idea of getting to work with other people since I spent a lot of time by myself. But my decision to become a writer came out of what was maybe too much solitude for a young person a lot of the time. I had thoughts and ideas and characters in my brain from wandering the city and reading a lot. I wanted a place to keep all of it, and it turned out that notebooks were really good for that. So I started with stories and writing in my journal and ended up writing much more than I ever expected to.  

Find her current works here:
How Racism and Sexism Killed Traditional Mediahttp://www.abc-clio.com/Praeger/product.aspx?pc=A4217C
Single & Happy: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/270861
Visit her
 website: https://joshundasanders.com/

Thank you, Joshunda for sharing your talents with the world!  

Each Month...  Come back for more "In Front of My Lens" to learn about local and national artists and business owners!
Stay Sweet!

Lucky, Lucky Me

May the luck of the Irish smile on you today!

When I was younger, before the days of 24/7 technology, shopping online and text/emails/blogs to share just about anything, there was an art to communicating. Letters and cards,  article clippings from daily newspapers, reminders, invites to birthdays or just quick notes – it was all done by mail.  A letter filled with a one sided conversation that was geared more to updates and facts than questions was kind of a big deal. 

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall

4 Leaf Notes:

My aunt would send me a card for no other reason than just to tell she was thinking of me, and usually she taped a clover on the inside of the card.  More particularly, a four leaf clover.  According to Celtic lore, each leaf of a four leaf clover represents something special: faith, love, hope and luck.  Were they real four leaf clovers that she sent me? It never mattered. It was fun!

She was the ultimate in single lady living… She lived in a high-rise and on a clear day you could see several DC monuments lined up on the horizon. 

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall

She would walk her little dog a few times a day in a postage stamp of a grassy area just across from her building, and on the walk she would look for luck among the green clovers.  I can’t remember how many she sent me over the years and you would think she had some amazing superpower finding those, but then she gave the luck away… to me. 

She passed away about 7 years ago… just after I met the love of my life.  I remember asking her hold on and get better so she could be at my wedding.  She was in ICU and on her way to hospice. I showed her a photo of him and even though she couldn’t speak, she smiled big under her oxygen mask while squeezing my hand. 

Because of my youthful ignorance, I didn’t keep the cards and clovers she sent to me over the years.  I so wish I had!  While planning my wedding about a year after she passed, I went to a jewelry show and found a metal dipped clover.  I bought one in silver with plans to attach one somehow to my bouquet or dress, but it was too fragile.  So it stayed in my jewelry box and is still there to this day with a little picture of my aunt.  I do believe her sending me her luck brought me to where I am in life today.  I think about her every time I see fields of green or any clover in fact.

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall

I am pretty lucky to have been so loved and then to find true love.  This is when we can agree that riches are not wealth of money or things, but are of faith, love, hope, and especially, luck.

Stay sweet!