Carol's background in education, sales, marketing, consulting, computers, arts, theater, administration, photography, gardening, and caregiver (dogs and people) as well as her family (three children and seven grandchildren), gives her a rich and unique perspective evident in her thoughtful and entertaining work.
My Way Into Writing
In 1988, my husband died. I was inconsolable and needed a way to get the thoughts circling in my head out. I bought a blank book and began journaling. My initial entries were cathartic, venting much of the emotion that threatened my ability to function. Then I began to enter the occasional happy moments. Soon, with the recognition that my life was now different, would never be the one I envisioned. And, it was a life I could define for myself. As I sought this redefinition, this different and new, life, my thoughts became essays, poems, and snippets. I joined Toastmasters and earned my CTM, which taught me how to turn my observations into presentations. Several are included in the Writer's area on this site. In 1989, I traveled to Spain and Israel. My companion was my Uncle Jack's very heavy Nickomat camera. I wanted to share my trip with my family via the photographs as well as use them for a series of paintings. After I saw the printed pictures, I decided that the photographs did not need re-interpretation and could stand on their own. My new art form became photography, and I began my education. I took classes, interviewed other photographers, read books on the topic, and took workshops with established photographers.
Initially, I focused on landscapes and nature, both macro and micro. And then, my grandson was born. My pictorial studies of his endless expressions captured the attention of others. As a result, from 1994-2005 Carol Bluestein Photography thrived in the Capital District -- in and around Albany, NY. I closed my business as care for my aging parents took priority.
In 2008, after they passed, I began writing in earnest after my first International Women's Writing Guild conference which I still attend. From 2011-2014, I augmented my writing with improvisation classes and performances. The combination of writing and acting was synergistic. I also found a group of kindred spirits in the Albany area and, as women who write, we gather once a month to read our work and listen to others. It serves as an endless source of inspiration and support.
Besides my new writing career, I have over thirty years of entrepreneurial experience in arts management, event and product production, promotion, marketing, sales, management, graphics design, computer analysis/design/programming/teaching, web development, and small business accounting and consulting. This amalgam of experience gives me a unique perspective that infuses every project I undertake, the ability to see and understand how it all works together to produce the best environment for visibility and awareness.
During my life so far, I have been a volunteer, board member, instructor and/or director in the areas of community service, arts, tourism, business and education. I have also produced shows including craft shows and plant & flower shows, a local TV show, and musical shows for both profit and non-profit sponsors.
I taught myself about computers, wrote a Beginners Column for the IBM Computer Club and entered the computer industry as a teacher, analyst, designer and programmer for independent businesses, corporations and NYS—for stand-a-lone, enterprise and web applications. I developed my own consulting business to help other businesses and organizations develop solutions in the areas of information processing, bookkeeping, computerization, promotion and customer relations and communications.
When a series of unexpected life-altering events occurred, I had to reinvent myself and channeled my heightened awareness and coping processes into motivational essays and presentations. My focus, for the most part, is dealing with change on many levels—including personal, professional, spiritual, emotional and physical. As a public and motivational speaker, audiences seem to appreciate and enjoy my honesty, perspective and sense of humor.
I live outside of Albany with my rescued a Schnoodle companion, a fish pond, and a demanding garden, surrounded by my children and grandchildren. Life is good.