Smorgasbord Posts from your Archives – Photography of Life by Karen Ingalls

Welcome to the third post in the the series from Karen Ingalls. Are the photographs that represent your life dark negatives or bright life affirming colours?

Photography of Life by Karen Ingalls

I recently read the novel, Winter Garden, which was a very moving and emotional story about two adult sisters and their aging mother about whom they know so little. One of the daughters is a professional photographer and somewhere in the book something is said to the effect: life is like photography, you develop from negatives.

A favorite quote by Ansel Adams is life is your art. When you look at works of art, what do you see? The paintings of Picasso confuse me and appear to portray a disjointed life. Some of the modern art by artists such as Jackson Pollack where paint is literally thrown or splatters onto the canvas. Sometimes I see peace and tranquility depending on the colors. Other times I might see chaos, fear, or darkness.

When you are looking at your life, your personality, or your choices, what photos would you associate with them? Do you see beautiful photos of nature, or dark and fearful images of negative events such as storms or wars? Are there rainbows, sunshine, or smiling faces?

As an amateur photographer, I am well aware how a particular photograph can give a message. My interpretation might be different from someone else. The Rorschach Ink Blot test is designed to interpret one’s personality.

What do you see?

My photograph of life was rather dark and bleak when I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I did not like those pictures. Needless worry, superficial goals, and foolishly taking life for granted are just three things that were influencing how I was living (or not living). When I found myself worrying about something, I meditated about it and let go, let God. Worries are only fears which were controlling me.

To truly live each day fully and lovingly continues to be a deep part of me. That seed was planted the day after my diagnosis, and like the saying goes, “I bloom where I am planted.” Or so I try. I do not take anything for granted, but know that I must nurture, water, and fertilize each day.

What negatives have you turned into beautiful photographs of yourself? Here are four photographs, which represent my life today as a cancer survivor.

@Karen Ingalls

My thanks to Karen for sharing another inspirational post that demonstrates how we can turn dark into light.

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs ( and The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

One of the recent excellent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

Verwayne Greenhoe 5.0 out of 5 stars Moving January 16, 2018

I found myself incredibly moved as I read this story. It speaks to the power of courage and faith in God. The author relates her joys and her nightmares and the eventual hitting the peak of recovery. The story at the end of Chapter 21 where the husband that continued to care for his wife even after he knew she no longer recognized him left me with moist eyes. Some take their marriage vows seriously.

In the summer of 2013, I was diagnosed with a form of pancreatic cancer, but because I was in the right place at the right time, I was placed in an experimental treatment program. I went through virtually every mountain and valley of emotions of which the author writes. I also had used the power of positive thinking and the belief that I was not in the struggle alone.

If you find yourself or a loved one with a diagnosed with cancer, this may be a story for you. You may find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your struggle and how another handled their battle.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:

and on Amazon UK:


My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

A recent review for Davida.

Lots of care to detail  on November 7, 2017

Davida is the story of a young girl coming to America from Sweden in the late 1800’s. She and her mother worked at an inn until Davida is offered the chance to model for the artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Augustus and Davida fall in love and embark on a long relationship. They have an illegitimate son.

The story is told in a touching and romantic manner, albeit tragic. I really like history and appreciate the amount of work that goes into research and understanding the customs and nuances of another time period. This is well-done in this novel with lots of care to detail.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads:

Connect to Karen


Thank you for dropping in today and Karen will be with us at the same time next  week.


39 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from your Archives – Photography of Life by Karen Ingalls

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Archives – Photography of Life by Karen Ingalls – The Militant Negro™

  2. Loved this post Karen, and the photos. I especially loved “We develop from negatives”. Aint that the truth. A picture will always have personal interpretation but it will also tell 1000 words. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Gardening and Food Columns, Marital Advice and Lots of Music | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  4. Hello Sally! What a wonderful post! It’s wonderful to see Karen here and to read about her. She’s such a lovely person and I greatly admire her for her strength, kindness and talent. Loved the photos!😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen, thanks for more of your classic uplifting words, especially on a day when sorely needed. I have your book and after reading Verwayne’s review, I am pushing it closer to the top of the tbr pile. Your optimism amazes me. I am hoping some will rub off on me. Loved the photographs and the second review. You are a special person, my friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

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