Welcome to the B-Side of the business where you get an inside peek of the backstage area of JDP.

I’m Jasemine, in case you didn’t know. I travel as a photographer, I write novels that I swear are better than my personal instagram narratives , and fashion is my favorite off duty hobby. I live life like a rockstar, and every photoshoot is like performing in my favorite city.

Catch up on our latest photoshoots, my craziest looks, and if you want.. You can even learn a little more about me.

Things I Recommend

The fashionista in me wouldn’t let you leave without hooking you up with some awesome places to scoop your own gear. Check these out!

Also, if you’re a fan girling fanatic or just wanna see some cool blogs I visit a lot, check these out:

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Twisted Tuesday: An Autobiography?

March 25, 2014 1 min read 1 Comment

 

I have decided that every Tuesday from here on out is a “Twisted Tuesday” where I’m not blogging as a blogger or as a photographer but instead as an author. More specifically, the author of my current work on the “Twisted” trilogy which has a book available now!

The most frequently asked question about “Twisted” is if it’s an autobiography. I always lie. I always say “no” or “technically no,” because never in this series outside of thank yous, acknowledgements, italics, or quotes do I ever use the word “I” and using Microsoft Word search engine, I find that the word “Jasemine” makes its appearance twice: once on the first page and once on the last. Simply put, this book isn’t about my life.

Lighten Up! Tattoos

March 13, 2014 4 min read 1 Comment

This Lighten Up Thursday Covers the Controversial Views Of Tattoos and My Harsh, Short Opinion On Them.

 

The Story

So, I was talking to an old friend about life lately. We both went to what I’d consider a top tier high school and although I’d only attended the school for a year, I enjoyed my year there. Anyway, we began discussing the changes we had made to our lives, and I mentioned my tattoos. Her response was a scoff and to further explain that I’d never make it by with a good job because of my tattoos. (I only have two) I simply replied “Lighten up!” but to her, tattoos were the scum of the earth. I support the right for everyone to have their own opinions and today’s Lighten Up Thursday talks about mine.

Tattoos Are Like Drawings. I mean, they are but..

Have you ever had a toddler, a family member, or a friend draw something on you? Have you ever had a body part signed by your favorite celebrity? Have you ever gotten one of the popular Henna tattoo? Jasemine, what does that have to do with anything? It has everything to do with it.

If you replied “yes” to any of the above instances or any similar, then think back to when you had to wash that off. Surely, you felt some remorse washing your little daughter’s first masterpiece off of your hand. Yet, you probably snapped a picture for Facebook first so that you could share it with all of your friends and family.  Now imagine you didn’t have a camera, but your child’s drawing as SO GOOD that you felt you wanted to share it with the world. Yet, you couldn’t because you have to wash it off.

See where I’m going yet?

Forever is A Long Time To Have A “Drawing” on your Body

I agree about forever being a long time! Forever is also a long time to be married to the the love of your life but people are doing that every single day and they’re not banning that in the workplace. Well, not unless the love of your life has all the same body parts as you do. Then, it’s banned all over the United States of America *sarcastic voice* because that makes sense, right? WRONG. But that’s a totally different topic entirely and it should never be forgotten or overlooked.

Anyway, no one should be the decider of your forever. To me, that’s our problem. We, as a country, spend so much time determining and limiting the forever of others that we can’t find our own. As if forever is something completely harmful 100% o the time. These “drawings” aren’t harmful… I mean, with the exception of ink poisoning, but at least it’s not to your employees or friends. If it is, why not hire based of what tattoo they have not if have one. I say that because I’d much rather someone with a butterfly tattoo than a Swastika but that’s for personal reasons.

Art is forever, one that a lot of us depend on. The common misconception is that all tattoos are impulsive which is just that. A misconception. My first tattoo was symbolic to my struggle, and it was indeed impulsive but my second tattoo took two years to plan and it was my tattoo artist Ofie who eventually sealed the deal. It’s because of her that my dad is in the skin I’m proud of forever. He taught me to work hard and to be the best I can be at everything I do. My tattoo reminds me of that everyday.

 

Prisoners, Gang Members And Murderers All Have Tattoos!

If that’s your reason for not accepting them, I’m actually a little offended. You know who else may have tattoos? Kathy in HR. Yeah, that’s right. She’s got a cute little bumblebee on her left ankle which you’ve never seen because she hides it beneath her business pantsuit leg. What do Kathy, gang members, murderers, teenagers, anyone else with tattoos and you all have in common? We’re human! We’re all misjudged by our exterior features instead of being accepted for our interiors. We all have or will or will strive in our lives to be the best we can be at some point and along the way we all find things we’d like to keep forever because we hold them dear. Some people just keep forever in different ways. your old baseball cards don’t place you in the same category as a criminal, so why should anyone’s tattoos do that for them? It sounds like an absurd example, but really think about it!

 So Lighten Up!

The next time you see a tattoo, you should ask the person the story behind it Listen before you take judgement. Learn to accept someone else’s forever and embrace the impact that your acceptance may have on your workplace, your friendships, or even your life.

Remember that a tattoo is not just a drawing but a work of art that is someone’s forever.

What About You?

Have you ever been rejected because of a tattoo? Have you ever heard or do you have an interesting story behind a tattoo? Share!

Until next time, this fashionista is hasta la vista. 😉
Namaste
Jasemine-Denise

 

Chop Chronicles Chapter Five: Change.

March 11, 2014 6 min read 1 Comment

Change is here!

This is the fifth chapter of the Chop Chronicles,  a section of the site that I created so that anyone who wanted to venture through my natural hair journey could witness the transition from the big chop onward with me. I shaved my head fully bald in July of 2013 and I must admit that I thought my life was over. Little did I know, it was just the beginning.

February: The Month Of Freedom And Change.

Big news! My workplace finally accepted both my hair and hair color. Freedom is beautiful. Unfortunately after a deeper examination of the handbook, they found that it is now my industrial ring that is unacceptable. At first, I was irritated, but soon after, I realized that I had finally gained the right that I wanted so desperately since the dawn of time. I can finally embrace the beauty of my own hair as I had been doing up until I began working there.

When I first started working at the arcade, my Mohawk was bright red and I was at my prime of self-confidence. Ninety percent of everyone I worked alongside hated it. It was unacceptable and I had to wear a wig to cover it up.  Admittedly, I felt like I was hiding a part of myself that I had spent a whole previous year trying to fully love. It wasn’t as though I was ashamed of my hair all over again, but I certainly stopped giving it the love and care that it deserved because I mean, it was covered up by a wig about 85% of the time.

One big chop, an untamed afro and some pleading later, the battle was finally won. The general manager grimaced at my current hair, combed down so that the shaved sides of my Mohawk weren’t visible and replied that the style was “doable” despite having asked mere seconds later if I planned to look like this all of my life and how old I was. To be honest, I do plan to have awesome hair all my life. I spent the first nineteen or so years at war with my hair. It wasn’t pretty enough, it wasn’t long enough, I couldn’t do what I wanted with it. I’m twenty two now and I’m finally proud of the progress I’ve made within myself to embrace my roots, and despite any apprehension on anyone else’s part, being granted the freedom to have the freedom of my own hair is something that I will never grow out of.

Freedom is here to stay even if it means, there’s seven new things to be nitpicked at about, it’s worth it to be able to look in the mirror and truly be happy with myself no matter where I am.

Feeling The Change

Two years ago in November when I first shaved my head into a Mohawk, I was terrified. You couldn’t tell by looking at me but as a result, I kept a natural hair journey journal. It only lasted a week. (Talk about non-committal!)

In the spirit of maintaining a hopeful progression, I opened up a brand new notebook and started hammering out my current regimen. What works, what doesn’t work, what food is good for my hair, things to add to my grocery list, etc. I probably mentioned this in my last CC but I can’t stress it enough. Having a healthy diet is key to hair growth. It helps with stress, it gives you the nutrients needed to stimulate growth and it overall sustains you as a human being. I have been eating breakfast more and I’ve discovered that breakfast in itself contributes to a major change in my hair, my skin, and my attitude. The irony of it all is that I remembered being younger and all the things I used to eat and how I never had as many health issues as I do now. My hair was healthy and my mom made it a point to tend to it each day until my grandma took over the challenge when I turned sixteen. Therefore, it sounds like if I revert back to the great amount of responsibility and focus I was blessed with as a child, I could potentially conjure up a hair regimen that will produce similar results.

Photo Mar 07, 2 51 16 PM

Yowza!

Changes To the Current Regimen

To my fellow naturalistas, especially the ones who also experienced a big chop! Do you ever just get overly excited for having hair? I’m sure it’s not just me! I get so ecstatic for the growth that I see, that I immediately start wanting to gift my hair for all its goodness. Uh oh, you know what that means. Buying more products! A bunch! Anything that sounds nice. Ladies, word of advice, save. Not all that glitters is gold and not everything works for every hair type!

When I got these products, I was so excited that I began using them all at once. Absolute no, no. Do you know how many products I used didn’t work with my hair type? Because, I don’t! Why? I was too caught up in the “glitter, shine, make your hair shimmer” that I didn’t realize that I had used 7 different creams in my hair! Suddenly, I started breaking out in dandruff. I’m not talking about, a little here and there… No I looked like Jack Frost’s long lost sister! I couldn’t decipher which of these new products was the culprit because my regimen lacked selection and structure. Yet, something had to have dried it out because I wasn’t experiencing that problem before!

My advice to all of those who love shopping for haircare products is to write down products that gain your interest and if you don’t need them right away, wait until you completely dissolve the bottom crevice of that last jar of the stuff you’ve been using for the past month before moving on to the next product that does the same thing but has totally different ingredients.

As for me? I’m going to wash my hair, narrow it down to my basic regimen and use one item at a time. One shampoo, one conditioner, one leave-in, one brand of hair mayonnaise, one (In my case, two) hair crèmes, one brand of moisturizer and one oil to seal said moisturizer. I’m going to use that item until it’s all gone, then write down the results of that product in my journal. How many times did I have to wash my hair, was the moisturizer doing it’s job, what about hair color? Did any of these items make it run away faster?

Remember that your journey is a learning experience, and that absolutely no one is a screw up by learning.

Viva La Change!

Now for my absolute favorite part: Reflection. I remember when I used to cycle through the “natural hair” tag on Tumblr and really feel the hair envy. I hated seeing girls with prettier hair than mine. This month, I’ve become so much more comfortable with my own hair. Maybe it’s because I’mn not required to hide it anymore. I don’t know but now when I look in the mirror, I feel proud. I wink at myself like “Hey, Mohawk girl! You’re doing it big today.” As for the natural haired girl wonders on Tumblr, I’ve accepted that patience will bring me the same results!

I’ve become so much more patient with my hair, with its growth, with the time it takes to make it look like it does on its best day. Patience has never been my strong suit (right next to commitment!) but my natural hair journey is definitely helping with that.

What about you? What changed in your natural hair journey since last month?

Don’t Forget To Subscribe!

Don’t I sound like your favorite YouTube personation right now? Haha, well! That sort of thing works! Now you have the ability to subscribe to my blog. It’s taken so long because to be honest, I can be pretty prehistoric when it comes to the internet, I had no idea what “RSS FEED” meant or anything like that, but now I’m learning! Anyways, every week you’ll get this awesome email showing you what’s latest and greatest here at JDcom. It’s also gives me this awesome option to email you guys about giveaways, discounts, and stuff like that! I mean, it’s a win, win!

Click here to subscribe and start getting the weekly email that tells you exactly what’s up, what I’m up to, and what’s coming soon.

I think that’s about it. So until next time, this naturalista is Hasta La Vista! 😀

A Little TMI To Lighten Up Your Thursday!

March 6, 2014 5 min read No Comments

Ready to LIGHTEN UP Your Thursday with a Little TMI story? For those who aren’t familiar ,“TMI” is an acronym for “Too Much Information” often used to describe something that your average audience isn’t exactly dazzled to hear. Today’s quip isn’t gross, but depending on who you are, you may not want to read it over your nightly tea. Alright, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

When I was little, I wanted desperately to be nice. I didn’t want to be known as a nice person. I actually wanted to be a nice person. After looking back on the past year of my life and the amount of friendships I’ve reluctantly strayed away from, I recalled my childhood struggles to be sweet. Where did I go wrong?

The Story

Back in grade school, my younger sister and I would visit her grandmother’s house after school each day. There was a sign above her toilet seat that read, “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.” Instantly, it became my mission to achieve what I’d call “sprinkle status.” Every time I’d come over and stare up at the sign before sitting down to initiate mission sequence. Finally, after much failure, I asked. the elderly woman laughed at me for at least ten minutes. “Aw, baby. Boys usually sprinkle. It’s harder for young ladies.” She continued to laugh as she concluded her short speech with “You’re so sweet.” I grinned proudly at that very moment because for the first time in my life, I was technically referred to as a sweetie. The crazy part about it was that I didn’t have to do ANYTHING!  I had struggled and fought to achieve something that was out of my control and pretty much came naturally. I mean, come on! My lifelong childhood dream achieved itself .

The Lesson To Lighten Up!

Sometimes, when you push for a goal to become or achieve something, you tend to overlook the big picture. What’s the big picture? The fact that you can be whatever you want with no limit and no time constraints. When its something you really want, sometimes you put too much weight on yourself to get it. I’ve begun calling it “Worry weight” in my journals. When you exercise good habits and calm thinking, you lose your “worry weight” and it makes it easier to conquer the difficult things stopping you from being that awesome creature you envision when you’re scowling in the mirror. One lesson I’ll always teach my children is that it won’t always take a toilet to make a sweetie. It doesn’t always take a million dollars to make a hard worker. Your success starts with your mentality, and your mentality starts with your drive. If your drive is in the wrong place, you may never achieve your goals therefore your mentality will waiver. For example, younger me could’ve spent much more time giving more hugs to my crying siblings or holding doors open, but yet she was so obsessed with that stupid toilet seat. She missed the big picture. She missed what being sweet was all about. Yes, she achieved her goal of being recognized as a sweet person, but it took ages when she could’ve known it all along through her actions. The big picture is there people.

Sometimes, all it takes to become something is to truly be it with no fears and no question. Don’t be afraid to truly be a sweetie, or spend the rest of your life on sprinkle status. Trust me, it’s not fun and it can get messy. And hey, lighten up. It gets better, okay?

What Am I Up To?

Oh man, that’s a loaded question. Haha. Right now, I’m working on rolling in some big changes to the way JDcom operates. For one, I’m gonna stop calling it JDP. I mean, come on. You know I’m a photographer, but do you know how many people don’t know I’m an author? I mean, chyeah.. Not like I’m working on a third book or anything right now… >_> On top of just showcasing all the other things, I’m working on an emailing list, which means you guys can sign up to get a real “What’s up?” email from me every now and then just reminding you about new blogs, exclusive deals, and random stuff like that. I’m not gonna come banging on your door like a Jehovah’s Witness or anything (No offense to them. They really can market), I’ll simply have a little “subscribe box” on the website and I may even be sending out a few messages to people I would personally LOVE to see on that mailing list.

Oh and I went to Florida! Tampa, to be exact and I celebrated this awesome girl’s birthday and got to meet her boyfriend for the first time! Aren’t they cute? I plan to post like a whole master post about it on Tumblr but I have just not gotten around to it! Stay tuned for that if you’re following my “personal blog” which would be my Tumblr! In the meantime, here’s a picture of them being all adorable just to keep you waiting!


 

Other than that, I’m working on Twisted Abandon and let me tell you this book is so much more than I originally imagined it to be. Being the second installment of the Twisted  Trilogy, it has a lot of potential to live up to after the first one. I love how everyone’s who’s been finishing the first one is shaking my shoulders about the release of this one which I’m hoping to have out on my birthday if not before it. “What first one?” Twisted Illusions of course!

I guess that’s it! Be sure to comment and tell me about your “sweetie” story. Have you ever had a time when you TRIED to really be something? Tell me about it! Seriously, I wanna know! Or you could comment about how stupid I was in eighth grade (I mean, seriously, eighth grade)

Also, look out for my next big chop chronicles blog post coming to you soon! Until then, this Naturalista is Hasta Lavista!
Later Days!

http://jaseminedenise.com/lighten-up-toilet/

Chop Chronicles Chapter Four: Loss.

February 4, 2014 4 min read No Comments

This is the fourth Chapter of the Chop Chroniclesa section of my website that I created so that you could go through the natural hair journey of the big chop with me. I shaved my hair in July of 2013, completely bald and I must admit I thought my life was over. Little did I know, my life was changing before my eyes.

Why January Was Difficult.

Christ, it’s February already. I can’t believe I’m 7 months into my natural hair journey. I’ve been slacking on the chop chronicles! Forgive me! It looks like I never cut it. Like I just dyed it a darker color. A color in which I love. This month of the natural hair journey was the hardest (By this month, I’m referring to January.). I lost a friend to my mohawk… Yeah, you read that right. She was one of my close friends, or at least I had thought so. She said hurtful, hateful things. A little backstory, is that she was a friend of mine, infamous for having people take a lot of her style…. At a point in time, she and I both had had mohawks, and it was okay. She knew that I wasn’t trying to steal her style, and that my mohawk made me happy with myself.

Not this time. Instead, she got angry. Vicious. Hurtful. At first, the realization that I had lost a friend to my hair hurt a lot. Probably more than anything. Then, I started to realize, my mohawk made me happy. It was my red, private place to be proud of myself for my devotion to individuality. It didn’t matter who else had it or who wore it better as long as when I looked in the mirror, I recognized myself. I realized that you can’t be happy with yourself if you’re always trying to make someone else happy. I knew I wasn’t stealing her thunder, and I would like to think that deep down somewhere, she knew it too. Learning that my haircut was worth our friendship to her started out as a tragedy and ended up being for the better. It’s really good as well as healthy to know who your real friends are. When it comes to this situation, I could only think of one phrase that described it.

Sometimes you must forget what you feel and remember what you deserve. 

No one deserves to be called hateful names because of a haircut. Many, many people have the same haircut she and I both have and don’t seem to be bothered by my change. Often times, we focus on our hurt feelings instead of the big picture. The ultimate picture. Slowly, I began to accept that maybe we just weren’t meant to be friends anymore. No real friend would put you down for decisions you made not meant to hurt, change, or spite anyone.

The Change.

Project dye a success. Getting to spend another awesome night with two of my favorite schenaningan starters. <3

This time, I wanted something different. I wanted a natural hair journey milestone as I call it. I ran to my friend, who was the biggest supporter of my decision to shave my hair back down. She and I spent a whole day in her bathroom dying my hair. We made a hangout of it; she, I, and Jason. We sat around and watched stand up, made jokes, and eventually dyed my hair this really bad ass shade of red. The perks of having a best friend who works at Sally’s. I immediately began feeling the difference in my confidence level. New haircut, new hair color, and a few weeks later, new hairstyle. I was so excited to put striped accents in my hair that it just couldn’t wait. Why should it need to?

I know that I kept saying that I wanted to grow this big “Erykah Badu” afro, but I love my mohawk. It fits me. It molds with me to create this persona that matches every concave of my inner being. Spontaneous, colorful, me, and I couldn’t be more happy.

Have you ever lost a friend because of a decision you made for yourself?

Project 365 | Day 151: S is for Self awareness.I don’t care if you think I’m strange, I aint Gonna Change.. -Joan JetteWhen I was in high school, a good 96% of my class hated me from sophomore to the beginning of senior year. I went to a school where you weren’t cool unless you were wearing the hottest weave, the tightest pants, and you had to be think. Growing up being the kid who hated socks and tried to pierce her lip in the lunch room with a safety pin just wasn’t cute. Being bullied was what pushed me to really evaluate my life. “yo, I thought Halloween was over!” was probably one of the biggest “insults” I ever got, but it never slowed me down.As I got older, I started to refine what I liked, how I dressed, who I was. I never once looked back. More and more people started to give me that scrunched up disgusted face when they saw my hair or my clothes, but when you’re really happy with yourself, none of that matters. See, I don’t dress the way I do because I think other people will think I’m cute. I dress the way I do because I love the way I look. I’m comfortable with my mohawk and I’m my “monster boots” make me feel like I can kick the shit out of anyone who blinks at me funny.When I’m in my element, I am free. I am happy. I am more aware of myself, my mistakes, my strengths than when I’m covering my entire self up with fake hair, fake clothes, fake things that appeal to other people.I am my most complete, when I am fully me.Be who you really wanna be. Not just on Halloween or when no one’s watching, but ALL the time. Who’s really going to stop you from being happy?If you could take the decision back to make that friend happy would you? You shouldn’t. Don’t let anyone bully you or make you believe that what you want for yourself doesn’t matter because of the fact that they’re not okay with it. People are going to be unhappy with a lot of things you do. Get used to it. Especially if you’re trying to make something of yourself. You have to be bold, unafraid and you every day of the year, even when it’s something that no one agrees with.

The one thing I take away from my friendship with that old friend is that I never want to be mistaken for a replication. My name is “Jasemine”, and my parents spelled it that way on purpose because they wanted me to be different. I grew up wanting to be different. I grew up being comfortable therein. People fail to realize that you don’t want to be a celebrity, a model, your peers… You want that feeling, that confident look, that attention. You’ll never be that by becoming a carbon copy of someone else. You have to make your own way.

I never once looked at anyone and said “I want to be them.” I’ve told myself “I wanna be as awesome as P!NK, as free-spirited as Janis Joplin, as bold as Eminem and as strong-voiced as JC Chasez.” Yet never in my life had I looked at a person and said “That girl right there… I wanna be her.”

Do not compromise the beauty of yourself to gain an image like someone else’s.

Chop Chronicles Chapter 3: The Six Month Mark Has Arrived.

December 26, 2013 3 min read No Comments

We have finally come to the sixth month mark since I shaved my head, and I must say, this month came as a surprise. I decided that it would be my first “end clipping” session because I take a least two inches off with my own scissors when I “clip my ends”. I figured it’d be harder to notice if right after I straightened my hair, clipped the ends, etc, I washed my  hair because when I wash it, it goes straight back into it’s natural curly state. So I went to work at it. As I ran the flat iron over the heat protected strands, I was amazed as my hair began to reveal six months of long hair. I don’t know what I was expecting at 6 months, but it was nowhere near what I encountered. “Shrinkage” or the amount of which the hair recoils when washed, curled, etc is a beautiful thing. It really tends to keep you guessing.

A lot of people have been asking “Jasemine, how the heck have you been getting your hair to grow so fast like this?” and I’ve sounded just as baffled as them. SO I decided to break it down to myself. Now, mind you. What works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for you.  A lot of “naturalistas” have raved about Creme of Nature products and it left my hair dried out and broken off.

My Daily Regimen At The Six Month Mark: 

Products

Daily

  • Africa’s Best “Super Gro“: Don’t get this product misconstrued. It’s not going to make your hair grow super fast. It’s actually going to provide it with some of the nutrients and oils it needs to keep your roots strong.
  • Africa’s Best Hair Mayonnaise: This product keeps my hair moisturized like no one else’s business.  It keeps the curls flowing.
  • One a Day Women’s VitaCrave Gummies: Believe it or not, vitamins are important. These particular ones support bones, health, calcium and vitamin D.
  • Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solution: My hair used to be weak and thin, and now that I take biotin, it grows in thicker as well as my nails, and my skin clears up a little bit.

Weekly:

I wash my hair weekly. “Co-wash” is a weekly thing for sure, and shampoo is a more biweekly thing. I use Shea Moisture moisture retention shampoo and Shea Moisture restorative conditioner and they make my hair smell delicious.

I don’t like to use excessive products and I am four thousand square against using “hair vitamins” such as hairfinity. Believe me when I say I have nothing against products or hairfinity, they’re just not in my regimen. I believe in a healthy diet being a strong factor in your hair regimen. Ever since I quit soda, I’ve noticed a change. Eating things like granola, nuts, fish, etc are also making a effect on my hair.

IN six months, I’ve learned more about my hair than in 22 years. I remember when I used to go into the bathroom and slather myself in all of my grandma’s hair products. It’s funny back then, I thought the more stuff you put in your hair, the prettier it looked. Straightening my hair was great, but I’m much more satisfied with the afro. I feel as though my curls give me a unique “crown’.

What about you? What’s your hair regimen? What did your hair look like at six months? Share your story!

Mission for the next chop chronicles… To find my “hair type”.


side by side six months side by side six months two

A Snippet From “Twisted Illusions!”

November 25, 2013 4 min read 1 Comment

Finally, a sneak peek at the book! This is a scene toward the center of the book where two of our main characters have something of a stand-off in one of their living rooms.  I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give it away, but let’s just say at this point in the novel, emotions are running high!

Pre-order your copy of Twisted Illusions now! http://jaseminedenise.com/Twisted/preorder/

 

“You got it all figured out, huh?”

“Think? Oh no, buddy. I know! What could possibly go wrong? Brice isn’t a threat to me and if he was, we would’ve known by now. NO one threatens me without some sort of a serious statement.” Will’s face changed from uncertainty to understanding. “I know. Go ahead and say it. Mattie’s a genius.” Will shook his head amusedly.

There was a knock at the door and the men exchanged glances. “Who the hell could that be?” Matthew glanced at his watch before he looked back at Will. “It’s a little late for chit chat.” He picked up a cigarette, pushed it between his lips and began his search for a lighter.  A harder knock sounded and he paused. He briskly jogged over to the front door and pulled it open. Chris stood there with a gun pointed in Matthew’s face which caused him to stumble backwards in surrender.

“WOAH!” Will screamed out and leapt up from his seat at the kitchen table. He raced into the living room, jumped over the couch, and threw his hands up as Chris pointed the gun at him. “Chris, calm down!”

“YOU THINK THIS IS A GAME?! Some Grand Theft Auto? Some Call of Duty?” Chris lifted an eyebrow and Matthew’s eyes traveled to the gun. He recognized it as an old revolver. How the hell did this kid get his hands on one of those? He’s barely even out of high school. His heart thudded in his chest as the gun met his face once more. “There is no reset button on life!” Chris was seemingly mindless as he thrust the gun back and forth between the two men.

“What’s wrong? Look. Whatever it is, we can fix it.” Matthew spoke in a low tone. He had learned early on that when dealing with a disgruntled “client”, you had to chill out or they wouldn’t.

“Don’t play stupid with me! Why’d you leave this at my door? Talking about ‘Welcome to warfare, Lil Man.’ You know, that nickname is getting a little rusted!”

“Wait! Chris!” Will put his hands up again. “We didn’t leave anything at your door. What are you talking about?”

“PLAY STUPID!” Chris yelled out and took the gun off of safety. Matthew snuck a glance at Will who became petrified instantly. Matthew’s cigarette hung loosely from his lips as he contemplated his next move.

WE didn’t leave anything on your stoop dude! We would’ve handed it to you personally! Remember, loyalty? You gotta trust me on this one.” Will cried out and Matthew could sense the desperate pleading in his voice. Everything seemed different when the tables were turned.

“I guess you can consider this grace on my end.” Chris smirked over the top of the gun before his eyes landed back on Matthew. His heart thudded in his ear, but suddenly, it became clear to him what had taken place. He used one of his knuckles to wipe the sweat off of his eyebrow before he looked into Chris’ eyes.

“It’s Brice. He’s trying to tell us something.” His hands dropped to his sides.

“What do you mean?” Chris lifted an eyebrow and Matthew could tell that he was trying to be as unrelenting as possible, but for all anyone knew, the gun may not have even been loaded.

“You’re right.” Will muttered as Matthew came toward him and took his lighter out of his friend’s shirt pocket. Shakily, he lit his cigarette and took a pull.

“What’s he trying to tell us?” Chris’ voice became frantic as he clenched the gun tightly.

“Put that thing down before you hurt yourself.” Matthew glared at Chris. His own confidence had found its way back into his voice. “We gotta get you the hell out of dodge.” Matthew looked from Will to Chris as he thought about their next move. They both looked at him, desperate, needy even. In a matter of 3.3 seconds, the empire that Matthew had spent years building seemed to be crashing down before his eyes.

An Open Letter To The Future Readers Of “Twisted Illusions”

October 16, 2013 2 min read No Comments

Dear [x]

I wish I could replace [x] with the name of a person, someone who I know is going to indeed pick up, read and fully understand Twisted Illusions but that’s the gamble of writing a novel. You never know who’s going to read it, who’s going to feel it the way it was written and fully grasp all the messages. Twisted Illusions was written from the heart. There are details in this series that I can’t fully conjure up vocally.

So many people have been asking for a summary, a hint, a character’s name even. For almost two years, I haven’t given a detail, a snippet, etc. The first book is probably going to confuse you. I hope it doesn’t, but I won’t hold it against you if it does. It’s meant to. It’s meant to make you question, it’s meant to pull you into a journey that you’re not sure how you got down. Because that’s how life is.. that’s how life’s been.

I want you, you who I’ve named [x] whoever you are to take the journey, feel it, and know that there are things you’re going to read in this book that are written in depth from experiences, from feelings, and from real events. All the while staying fiction. I want you to fully immerse yourself, and when they journey is over, I want you to truly feel.  That’s a bit ambiguous and also demanding, but it doesn’t have to be.

The purpose of Twisted Illusions is to touch someone but also to entertain anyone. Ideally, Someone’s going to feel it. Someone’s going to endure the same emotions I did creating it. That’s why it’s taken over two years to create just one piece of it. Every time I thought it was done and time to move on, it drew me back in.

I can’t wait for you to read it. Please be gentle with my heart. (And by my heart I do mean, Novel #2, the whole three parts.) Each session in this trilogy describes a different time.

I really hope that you, whoever you are [x], stay with me through this journey.

Thank you. Also, thank you from future me to future you for giving Twisted Illusions a chance.

Namaste.

Jasemine-Denise

Chop Chronicles | Chapter Two: Focus.

September 5, 2013 3 min read No Comments

This is the fifth week of my natural hair journey and I know that I said I’d keep a weekly report. 

Yet, that’s just it! The fact that I cut my hair has made it so much easier to focus on other aspects of my life! I’ve been progressing further in my ambitions, I chopped a whole hour off of the time it takes to get to work! No more having to adjust wigs, no more having to brush and straighten regular hair so it can be tucked away…. It’s literally get up, get dressed, get out. I am so thankful that all of my bosses have finally approved of my hair.

The Prelude

The thing that I love most about cutting my hair is how much I focused on making it perfect and how hard I fought to get this image of myself. now, I don’t worry about much of that at all. I have time to focus on better things, greater things, real things.

I’ve accomplished more in the past month than I have in the past six. It’s great to know that I am that comfortable in my own skin that I can finally focus on bigger things.

Each and everyday I become more confident in my decision and more excited for the future.

A lot of people have been asking what I’ve put in my hair to make it grow so fast. It seems like just a month ago, I had a fully shaved head.

 

I have two theories on this. A lot of people say that when you shave your hair back, it grows back faster, and I can attest to that. The only thing I’ve been putting in my hair is olive oil moisturizer and Extra light virgin olive oil. My hair is very used to being moisturized. The I stop providing that nourishment, it starts getting itchy. Just like when you don’t eat, you get hungry.

My second theory is something that a friend taught me a long time ago “LITHA” aka “The leave it the hell alone” theory. When we are constantly combing, yanking, perming, etc to our hair, it weakens it, it pull it out, etc. I’m actually really excited to see what my actual natural hair’s curl pattern looks like. I’ve been getting my hair permed since I was a little girl so I really don’t know what it’s like to have that big curly afro you see in the pictures of all those naturally, natural haired women. August 3

The transformation from in the two pictures are simply three weeks apart. While I’ve been giving my hair a break, and myself a break… I’ve been working on other major projects in my life. The thing that I love most, is that when you look at natural hair regimens, they say that one thing that can help hair growth is less stress.

That’s my new task, my new challenge. To learn to stress less, to bother less with the drama and more with the renewal. Instead of freaking out over missing the bus, I just leave an hour earlier.  & My strongest practice right now is to be more vocal to people about the things that bother me, because if you don’t openly express what’s stressing you out, how can you ever fix it?

Always keep in mind that the natural hair journey isn’t just about your hair. A good diet, and a stress-free lifestyle help hair growth more than any product will.

 

Or else, why would they call it a natural hair journey? If you’re trying to to embark, stop looking at products and pills & start looking at a healthier lifestyle.

Is there anything you’d like to see me mention or discuss in my next Chop Chronicles blog post?  Shoot me an email and tell me about your haircare tips, your journey, or to ask questions. Don’t be shy! <3

Until next time!

xo

Jasemine-Denise

Chop Chronicles: Chapter One: The Past Has Passed.

July 30, 2013 3 min read No Comments

ChWhen I cut my hair, it was because I was tired of being ashamed of what I was going through and who I was. The lack of control and understanding was alarming. I seriously felt as though I was dead. Like, a part of me was still living but the hell if know how. I was doing things I couldn’t control and thinking things I couldn’t un-think. Something about cutting my hair changed that. It’s only been a week, but what a week it’s been.

One of the biggest highlights is that two guys, (Handsome males) on two completely separate occasions kissed the top of my head this week. It’s very moving when you find yourself feeling lost and unattractive, and then someone just takes something as simple as a forehead kiss, moves it up a good few inches, and suddenly you feel less horrible. My biggest fear with cutting my hair was that no one would respect me. Oddly enough, everyone seemed so ridiculously supportive that I felt better about myself immediately.

I feel better. 

What befuddles me is how fast it’s growing back. A week ago, I was completely bald. Today I’m running my hands against the small
waves that have found their way to my head. Right now, all I’m putting in it is olive oil moisturizer and olive oil. I do it once/twice a day, depending on the time of day, and smooth it into my scalp. They say hair grows faster when you shave it completely off, which I don’t doubt at all. I just didn’t expect it to start coming back so easily. Nonetheless, I’m happy.

I can’t wait till it starts hitting all of those short styles.

As far as how I’ve felt lately about it all, I’ve been up and down, but mostly up. I’ve been wearing a lot of earrings and experimenting with the girl-ish side of me. Having this sickly cool fade is really fun to me. Because, now my hair isn’t what accentuates me anymore, so I have to deeply search into the qualities I like most about myself and make them pop. I’ve started rocking a lot of hoop earrings because I mean, I literally went “I have ears!” The other day. Elegant looking dresses, and of course a more girly punk-chic. I’m so used to dressing up like a boy, that it’s weird completely looking like one. So, in order to keep myself from feeling tremendously insecure, I’ve learned creative ways to be able to look in the mirror and say “I’m still me!”

It gets easier everyday coping with such a change. It’s empowering, and listening to my friends and coworkers (Who are so supportive) tell me all the reasons why pulling off a shaved head is awesome when I do it, really makes me proud of that change.

I feel like the negative part of me, the one who lacked control, the one whose problems climbed through the roots of her hair went with the dead follicles of hair. Now much like my crown, I am growing. Wiser, more confident, more strong, with every centimeter returning.

The most asked question I’ve gotten thus far is do I regret what I did? Not even in the slightest. I may have some odd moments of doubt, but I wouldn’t take back the feeling I get waking up and running my fingers across the top of my head, knowing that all the bad is gone, and that my life is starting to follow suit.

This week’s shaved head thought: 

I wonder if this person flirting with me would still be doing it if I just snatched this wig (The wig I wear to work) off. 

About Me

Jasemine Denise

I travel as a photographer, I write novels , and I fan girl a lot. I have an unnecessary attachment to all things 80s punk, 90s hip hop, and girl power. You'll find some Fashion, photography and many more on this blog. Read more about me. Read More

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  • What I was wearing in the post I posted this morning— 
Wrapped around my upper body is the Aurora harness in custom color (red and black), and the bottom are the Gladys leg garters. Both pieces are (if it’s not obvious) created by @skgdesigns_. I had dropped out of the #ootd And fashion #stylewatch game for a few months to focus on #photography. This summer, I’m finally getting into pushing more of my own boundaries with colors, creativity, and coordination. Follow my personal page at @jaseminedenise to keep up! .
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#chicagophotographer #harnessfashion #alternativefashion #alternativemodel #strappylingerie #redharness #my_skg #portraitpage #profoto #visualauthority #postthepeopke #jaseminedenisephotography #photographersofinstagram #visualauthority #skgdesigns #altstyle
  • Since it’s Wednesday, I had to share some extra @skgdesigns_! In case you didn’t know, every Wednesday— the #bossbabe herself posts insta stories sharing her work! Last week, she showed us a #chestharness she created for this babe, @vixendomo who I’ll be photographing again this weekend! In this shot, she’s wearing the Xirena harness in red. Her makeup was done by the unbelievably talented @edenxelise!
  • Do you ever get caught up in the internet? Like you hear all this Instagram and algorithm talk, and you start to get discouraged? Is my work really good? Am I wasting my time? .
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I finally release another collection of photos today, covered in the insecurity of imperfection. As an artist, you work and work tirelessly and effortlessly to produce something that people fall in love with. There’s a tremendous disconnect between the right side of your brain and your left. Fueled by love and passion, you just want to create something that makes someone feel something no matter how many times you have to undo the history all the way back down the RAWs and try that edit again. .
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To my fellow artists, no matter the likes, follows, or people who don’t love the finished product, there’s always that chance to make a better tomorrow. .
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  • Just wanna take a moment to congratulation @flippytheeternalgenin and @_michelle1022! I’m so proud to hear you two are engaged! I can’t wait to graduate from your photographer to your #weddingphotographer! ❤️
  • Seriously, when @kali_neko opened her hand and I saw the little dragon balls she was holding, I didn’t know where to laugh or to smile. I was very proud! .
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  • #HappyEaster you cute little Kings, Queens and royal beings! If you follow @jdpxempire , you can celebrate the holiday by viewing the full shoot on #Patreon! .
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