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wildflower magazine Ashley Noel Hennefer Editor Contributors Jamie Collins Sarah Hall Kelly Gesick Nicole Melvin

Web Columnists Ashley Dodge Jessica Farkas Rachel Quinn Scarlett Caitlin Aly Thomas

Life and Food Columnist Reel Talk A Network Timeout Scarlett Speaks Fight Like a Girl

Members Kelley Hodges Anna Belle Monti Allison Young Rachel Casiano Jessica Ross

Wild Member Rebel Member Rebel Member Rebel Member Wild Member

Published by Desert Underground | Independent Publishing and Media Email: Copyright Š 2011 by the artists published and Wildflower Magazine. All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions. Your support of the artists’ rights is appreciated. 2

may 2011 3

table of contents

8 14 18 20 24 28 4

6 editor notes 8 shape/form:

featured artist Sarah Hall

14 a unique journey 18


20 new dreams

poem and painting by Nicole Melvin

22 code poetry

by Ashley Hennefer

Kelly’s Story

26 beauty in destruction

Jamie’s Story

28 call for travel photos


editor notes Motherhood is hard.

chance through adoption or foster parenting. I look forward to the day Or, at least, I assume it to be. While where I can give a child, whether it I am not a mother myself (yet), I am be of my own body or not, a home and a happy life. surrounded by amazing women who have taken on a difficult, often underappreciated task. Each moth- While things have improved greatly for women in the past 100 years, er I know has a different story to females around the world still face tell, but a similar thread runs within a multitude of struggles. Reproductheir stories, a universal truth that tive rights are constantly at risk, speaks to all women who embark and too many women are forced to on the adventure of parenthood give birth in dangerous, life-threat- that it is filled with both joys and ening circumstances. We must not challenges. underestimate the obstacles women still must overcome to become, or Of course, not all women choose not to become, mothers. to be mothers. I once considered myself one of these women, but the older I get, the more that view This issue, as is each issue, is for women - women who are parhas started to change. I believe you can be a mother in many ways, ents, who aren’t parents, who are daughters or sisters, who have through sharing the experience with a partner, or giving children a partners with whom to share re6

My mom, Paula, and I.

sponsibilities, who take on responsiblities on their own. The purpose of Wildflower since its inception was to give you a place to share yourself, and your idenity - something that can often feel lost or unnoticed. My mom’s birthday is in May, and this year it was the same weekend as Mother’s Day. May to me has always been “Mom Month” since I was a little kid. It was she who raised me to be the self-sufficient, independent, smart, creative and fun person I have grown into.

and I believe that we can help one another to face our fears, insecurities and obstacles. This issue addresses growth, both within ourselves and through the people with whom we interact. It does not shy away from truth, but also finds beauty within an often tarnished reality. I dedicate this issue to my mom. Thank you for sharing your love and your burdens with me. Happy reading,

I can’t imagine my life without my Ashley Hennefer mom, or who I would have been Editor without her support and encouragement. She showed me that you can be a successful woman, and still find love and have a family. Women still have challenges to overcome, 7

/ /



Sarah Hall's photography explores the silhouettes and shadows of the human body.



happy anywhere

is with a mile of both my parents' and my grandparents' houses, I love taking my kids to play at the parks I grew up playing in. I wish I could say we're here for a while, but since my husband is in the Army we will have to move eventually. Hopefully we can find somewhere just as wonderful to call our next home.

I enjoy living in Nevada, but I think if this same exact town and group of people were located somewhere else I would like that place just as much. I love going to the grocery store and knowing people on every aisle, I love living in a house that


I was born in Marietta, GA, and lived there for 10 years before moving to Nevada. I like to claim I'm a Southern belle, although since I've lived more years in Nevada than Georgia I think I'm technically a Nevadan now, but I can still turn on the drawl when I need to.


As far as life goals go, I always said I wanted to be a mother and a housewife, and since I am now happily both of those, I plan to start focusing on my career goals. I want to go back to school to become an

people see every day in a way that showcases how beautiful they can be if you look at them just right. I also love to photograph children; when you happen to catch that moment when they are so joyous, so innocent, so unencumbered, it can be a truly magical image.

cover class

A friend of mine wanted to take some boudoir photos for her boyfriend for Valentine's Day, and this [the cover image] was one of the first shots we took. I love it because it is so classy and tasteful, yet incredibly beautiful and sexy.

way of the wind

I've never really worked in terms of projects, I mainly just set up shoots when I have an idea or inspiration and manage to find the time and the subjects to create my images. Right now I have an idea for a shoot involving my brother, rain, and a giant piece of Plexiglass. I also want to do a "destroy the dress" shoot sometime this summer. Maybe you'll see some of those images in future editions of the Wildflower! elementary school teacher for the deaf, and I would like to eventually open my own photo studio.

one love

I prefer photography, although I have dabbled in painting and ceramics as well. I took my first photography class when I was 13 years old and have been hooked ever since.

everyday beautiful

I don't really have any influences, I mainly get inspiration from my every day life. I like to capture things that

peas and thank you

I hate peas. Actually, it's more than that, I loathe peas to the extent that I can find a single pea in a mouthful of food and push it out with my tongue. They're horrible little things.

Sarah’s work has been published in several issues of Wildflower. To get in touch, shoot her an email at 11



journey a unique


two women’s experiences with motherhood photograph by Kelly Gesick 15

Kelly’s Story Becoming A Mother by Kelly Gesick I am a photographer, a business owner. I am independent. I am a decision maker. I am a list maker. I am a money saver. I am an advocate of sustainability. I am the bread winner. I am a wife. I am 15 weeks pregnant. I am becoming a mother... and I’M TERRIFIED. I’ve always known I wanted children. I’ll be honest though and say that I wasn’t expecting to expect now. A little over a year ago I got pregnant, my husband and I were overwhelmed, happy, but completely overwhelmed. That pregnancy did not survive. It wasn’t meant to be. At the time, the only thing I was able to tell myself to cope was as long as I was the statistic that didn’t make it I would be ok as long as my aunt’s pregnancy did. And it did, her son has brought such joy to her and her husband and our whole family it’s been an amazing light on some otherwise trying times. My first miscarriage also forced me to reevaluate my life. I changed. I yelled, and by yelled I mean screamed at everyone about everything that was wrong and how furious I was that nobody would do anything. I 16

was mad and I didn’t feel better until I had given everyone in my life a good honest piece of my mind. I was stressed. I was overworked and undervalued and STRESSED. I quit. And then a week passed and my hormones found their way back to normal and I realized that I had signed on to support my husband while he completed his master’s and that I wouldn’t go back on that promise. Not long after that I officially opened my own business. It seemed I no sooner had found my “normal” self when once again I was pregnant, again it didn’t last and a very real fear that I may not be able to have children started to wash over me. I was in no position emotionally to deal with a miscarriage again and to combat that as well as endometriosis and ovarian cysts I started birth control. I guess it was sort of my way of trying to reclaim control of my life, my identity. About two months later I had a very funny feeling and sure enough I was once again pregnant. I wanted desperately to be happy, but I was scared. I am against unnecessary medical interventions because I know that those kinds of interventions have a very high risk of

creating complications. I want a home birth. My sister, who has two children, both by c-section was very upset when I told her I hope to have a home birth. The truth is she was upset that she hadn’t known that to be an option when she was pregnant. She was upset because she can’t change her experiences. She was upset because she didn’t get to own her birthing experiences. But she shared her experience with me and that gave me such a strong sense of self and confidence in the decisions I make. I know that how I give birth doesn’t really matter, I’ll love my child no matter what, but it’s been incredible to learn about how historically mothers have been so powerless in their birthing process and so impartial and it’s made me a little more independent and a little more empowered. My journey in this pregnancy has been filled with all sorts of negatives. I am high risk. I have had miscarriages, proteinuria, low hormone levels, severe morning sickness and weight loss. I’ve truly been tested to the extent of my physical and emotional capacities. I’m still scared, but I’m still moving forward.

At any given second I’m feeling every possible combination of: Nausea. Joy. Powerlessness. Hope. Confusion. Terror. This journey has brought me closer than I ever imagined I would be to the mothers in my life. It has brought me closer to my career goals and it has filled my life with even more uncertainty than ever, but itʼs given me more excitement, more purpose and it’s forced me to trust myself and listen to myself and to learn so much more. I just keep hearing my husbandʼs exclamation at our third ultrasound play over in my mind, “It looks like a human!” and I know that everything will work itself out.


Jamie’s Story Jamie Collins is 29 years old and the mother of three girls, age nine, seven and four. With her husband in the military, Jamie bears much of the day-to-day responsbility of taking care of her children. “My husband and I were civilian with kids before the military came along and each lifestyle has been completely different as far as parenting roles have gone. Before the military my husband was able to have a more active role and we shared the parenting 50/50. When he joined the military everything changed,” she said. Jamie, who currently resides in Lawton, Oklahoma, was eighteen when she married her husband and gave birth to their first child at twenty. Although she had enrolled in college, her plans changed after a difficult pregnangy and minor medical issues her child faced. Putting her plans on hold, Jamie is thankful to have the opportunity to be home with her children. “I have been so blessed to be able to stay at home with all three of my children. I could not imagine having not been there for all of it. I was able to see each of their milestones in person. I seen the first steps, heard the first words and wiped away every tear that fell. Nothing was more important to me then that,” said Jamie. She adds, “On the flip side being a stay at home Mom can be socially challenging. As a stay at home parent you spend your entire days with your children, finding a toddler play group or bonding with fellow stay at home Moms is key to keeping your sanity.” Her husband has been in active duty in the Army since 2005, and Jamie has shouldered much of the parenting, while her husband helps out when military duties do not interfere. “When he joined the military everything changed. He still maintained a very active role and has been as present as possible but due to deployments, training missions and the military itself I have had to step up and take more of the alpha parent role. I learned to fix bike tires, build stuff and repair toys just as well as I could mend ‘boo boos’ and fix lunches. It all became a part of my every day life. I often worry though about how much my husband misses out on. I know he wants to be there for every holiday, birthday and school play but a lot of times that is not possible. My children and I have learned to adjust. I honestly believe sometimes it is hardest on the mili18

Jamie and her three daughters. tary member.” Jamie plans to re-enroll in college with plans to become a nurse, once her youngest begins school in the fall. “This time around I have so much more to inspire and motivate me,” she said. She has advice for other military families: “Take life one day at a time. The military is hectic. Life is often put on the back burner and it is stressful as all get out but it also makes you enjoy the moment. You learn to be spontaneous. The military has a way of making your life not seem life your own anymore and if you can learn to just live in the moment, you will find that the military does not rule every aspect of your life.” That’s a message from which all parents can benefit. •


New Dreams poem and painting by Nicole Melvin

The day I saw you I forgot my dreams And all I wanted to be Was what you needed Everything I am Is now everything you are And I'm alright with Who I am now I love you With more than I ever was Before I knew you I am more perfect Than I ever dreamed Because my dreams Are yours now




As a person with a long history in the arts, I am often met with doubt when I tell people that I am learning how to program. What could a girl with a honorary letter in theatre and a degree in English hope to gain from the intricacies, challenges and mysteries of computer language? I, too, have asked myself this question. I think anyone attempting to foray into coding needs to be straight with themselves, as programming is an undoubtedly difficult challenge. However, I think the rewards and the knowledge gained are worth the struggle. My experience with computers dates back to the early to midnineties, like most of my fellow peers of this generation. I remember the old IBM my parents had set up for me on my Fisher Price table in the living room. On that computer, I spent hours playing MathBlasters, making PowerPoints (with as many animations as possible), and venturing deep into the castle of Encarta Mindmaze. I loved my computer, and as I grew into my teen years, I was enthralled and addicted to the internet. I believe my 85 words-per-minute typing skills were honed by the hours I spent on AIM. Technology was a big part of my life, but I never really gave much thought to how this magic was produced to provide me with entertainment and learning. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school and was introduced to Linux - simplistically defined as a Unix-based open source operating system - that I really gave much thought to the mysterious box that had taken up space in my room

for over ten years. It seems silly now, to have never really thought that I could have a part in making that magic happen within my computer, to customizing my experience. At the time I discovered Linux, I was embarking on my preliminary education toward becoming a librarian, my dream job since I was a wee child. I had chosen English literature as the foundation for this career, and was heavily immersed in the many interpretations of words, and the necessity of understanding context and reference. I sought out literature that was unique, innovative and used unconventional approaches to language. This lead me through comic books and graphic novels, to video games, to internet languages and eventually, to programming. Upon the completion of my degree, I am now one step closer to being a librarian. The library industry is not what it used to be, and has since branched much more into information literacy. I see this as a perfect opportunity to make programming more approachable and less daunting to the general public. A lack of computer knowledge can be detrimental, especially in a society that depends so much on technology. Of course, I needed to take my first steps before I could encourage others to take theirs. *** Having several years of experience using Linux, as well as a 23

basic knowledge of HTML for casual projects, programming wasn’t quite as intimidating to me as it may have been when I was a child. I spent a lot of time deciding which language to master first, which is a challenge on its own. Java, C, C++, Perl - there are dozens to chose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, and each programmer has a multitude of opinions about each one. It’s important to determine what you want your first project to be, as different languages offer different approaches to a final product. I ended up choosing Python, as it is intuitive and fairly straightforward, and there are great tutorials and websites to aid in the learning process. For my project, I want to create my own library cataloguing program to organize zines and publications that don’t have the standard Library of Congress information. This project requires several steps, including determining my own call number system, as well as usability and design. Before I could even get to these steps, I need to become familiar with the functions of Python. I’m using Python 2 for the time being, since it is the one recommended in Learn Python the Hard Way, the excellent and thorough online manual I have been following. Like most programming manuals, LPTHW takes me through the very, very basics of Python - including setting up the shell - to writing introductory programs, including the famous Hello, World. 24

Having a great tutorial has been immensely helpful, as I won’t be taking formal programming classes for a while. I used a few other manuals before I found LPTHW, and was either left in the dust by convoluted, assuming instructions, or was skipping ahead through chapters explaining how to download a program or open a browser. I consider myself an intermediate beginner, and it’s necessary to figure out where you stand in order to find a book or website that works best for you. So far, I find programming enjoyable and occasionally frustrating. My obstacles are primarily with the math required; new programmers should not underestimate the math involved, and can benefit from brushing up on the basics, or enrolling in a math class. However, creativity goes a long way with problem solving, and I have noticed an improvement with my mathematical logic since I’ve started to learn Python. I have a long ways to go before my program is ready to share with the world, but in the old adage, the journey is worthwhile. I am able to use my skills with language and computers, while developing new ones along the way. Programming is an art just as its a science, and it requires dedication and an understanding of its functions. The obstacles can be discouraging, but the breakthroughs are worth the challenge. Let the language tell it’s own story. •

new to programming? Don’t know where to start? There’s a lot of information out there, and it can be intimidating. Check out these sites to get started. • Reddit’s 24-hour community is active with both experienced programmers and newbies. • Guide to Programming offers straightforward answers for beginners. • MIT offers free, open source classes for those without the time and money to take formal courses. While you can’t earn credit for the courses, the lessons are planned and created by experienced professionals, and comes with a great support community. • Language support sites There are support sites for any language you choose to learn. Becoming active on forums will give you a chance to discuss programming, which in itself is a valuable skill. You can also offer insight to others, and unique perspectives to problems you may be having can come in handy.


beauty in destruction Despite the warnings of Doomsday on May 21, 2011, the world thankfully still exists. The impending destruction ignited conversations about the apocalypse and what it means in the context of our humanity and creativity. Post-apocalyptic art is an expansive genre that reaches all mediums, and every heroine needs her signature ensemble. Here are the staple pieces, both practical and just plain rad, that every survivor should have in their closet.


Hoodie: A hooded sweatshirt provides both warmth and protection. Long sleeves shield arms from unpredicatble weather, and a hood can help keep identity underwraps amongst a dangerous and desparate population.

certain, destroyed world. Skirts can dry quickly, and thick stockings will protect legs from sun or cold. If skirts really aren’t your thing, find a pair of athletic pants with stretchy, thick material that forms to your body.

Boots: Gas Mask: Depending on the apocalypse, such as a nuclear war, a gas mask can be a life saver. A popular trend in punk and cosplay, they evoke fear and, like hoods, can provide much needed anonymity. In the event that the atmosphere is safe for exposure, a gas mask can be replace with welding goggles, which can shield eyes from weather, dust and dirt.

An epic pair of boots can go a long way. Not only does a pair of legitimate combat boots last forever, but can be used in self-defense. Boots protect the feet and legs, and a sturdy pair can even serve as a makeshift cast in the event of injury. They can be heavy, so be sure to break them in before you rely on them to kick some zombie ass.

Accessories: Flexible Leggings: Skirts and tights may seem frivolous, but can provide more flexibility and durability than jeans. If wet, jeans can grow stiff and moldy, and movement is imperative in an un-

Knife/blade Multipurpose tool Satchel/backpack Lockpicks/bobby pins First aid kit

Memorable dystopian heroines: Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games Alyx Vance - Half-Life 2 Alice - Resident Evil Who are your favorite post-apocalytic characters? Send an email to! 27


wants your

TRAVEL PHOTOS Wildflower is looking for your photographs to share in the “Wildflowers around the World” piece in the upcoming June 2011 issue! Submit your favorite snapshots today by going to the SUBMIT tab at Your photos can be of anywhere and anything. Questions? Shoot an email to Deadline: June 10th, 2011


Wildflower Magazine | May 2011  
Wildflower Magazine | May 2011  

The May 2011 issue of Wildflower Magazine.