Category Archives: Photography blog

Making Up

I wish I had more to share with you today than… oh, wait!  I do have more to share than my bucket list of goals and the incremental progress I’ve made since Wednesday.

So…  more flowers, more pictures!

These are about two weeks old now.  Just before the rose garden in Schenectady’s Central Park  finished its season, we made a family outing to enjoy the flowers.  I’d remembered my parents bringing me there as a child (back when you could still used paddle boats in the park lake, so…  yeah, that dates me just a little) and how beautiful it was.  Thing was, after college in the 90s, I tried going back and sharing the memory with friends only to have it gone.

It was heartbreaking.

No more.  The local community took up the charge, and it is now gorgeous again, a place to enjoy even on a very hot, very sunny Sunday in June.  Please enjoy some of my favorite images:

The gardens from the trees

The gardens from the trees

I like contrasts

I like contrasts

One of several fountains

One of several fountains

CRW_5896

The Boodle and an Arbor

CRW_5926

Art and Shadow

I love seeing the stages of a flower

I love seeing the stages of a flower

No rest for the buzzy

No rest for the buzzy

ROW80 Check-in & assessment

I could have hoped to make more progress on my goals this week.  Or rather, I wish I had prioritized my goals a bit better this week so that that I got through the bits that are weighing most heavily on my head now (can anyone say “sponsor post!”).  I love deadlines…

  • WRITING & CRAFT
    • Goal: spend ~three hours a week delving into writing craft related learning
    • Progress: I ended up at about 2 hours of online articles, mostly plowing through Marcy Kennedy’s blog
    • Goal: Hand-write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
    • Progress: I’ve actually done great on this.  I needed to focus on my sponsor post these last few days, so of course my characters have wanted to talk up a storm with me.
    • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks into the computer
    • Progress: Averaging 3.5 pages a day; the extra pages however relate to drafts of the sponsor post
  • SOCIAL
    • Goal: maintain connection with local critique group and submit excerpts and critiques during NON-NaNoWriMo months
    • Progress: July CampNaNo, so no submissions, but I did finish the second pass on a crit I’m doing for one of our members last night
    • Goal: return to regular posting in the WIPpet and WeWriWa blog hops
    • Progress: I’m “okay” on the WIPpets, but I haven’t got the brainspace to work in the WeWriWa people yet.
    • Goal: sponsor duties for the ROW80 twice a week
    • Progress: on track enough…  I never start a check-in’s worth of visits until I submit my post, so I need to finish this to move to the next stage
  • PERSONAL
    • Goal: Explore my creative side daily
    • Progress: Too much sponsor post writing and re-writing.  The high point in my creativity involved figuring out the limitations of my old iPhone 4 in a GSM network (quite a few, for the record).  It was a kind of giddy feeling though, seeing the old beast bluetooth with the car today and call home as well as hotspot my laptop last night during our Denny’s Write-In
    • Goal: Daily languages (except Sundays)
    • Progress: on track enough; I think I may take back up the Memrise Chinese First 500 Chinese character’s app again, solely for the drawing practice
    • Goal: daily exercise amounting to a minimum of 30 minutes a day
    • Progress: squeak, squeak… creak, creak
  • Temporary! Goal: write and submit my sponsor post
  • Progress: Big NO.  So many drafts, so many rough starts…  nothing “feels” right.

That’s it.  As usual, it’s a mixed bag.  But that’s life.

Just a comparison shot...  My husband took this with his new Sansung Galaxy phone (the others I took with my 14 year old Canon G5).   Preferences?

Just a comparison shot… My husband took this with his new Sansung Galaxy phone (the others I took with my 14-year-old Canon G5). Preferences?

 

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A Spark of Activity

Starting a new ROWnd always feels a bit… odd for me. Creating ‘rules of engagement’, even with Life itself, doesn’t mesh with the image I have of myself (flawed as it might be).

Good thing there is flexibility built in the ROW80 from beginning to end. I’m going to be changing things all over the map this month. I just feel it. My head is churning with ideas and possibilities all half-formed. I want to jot a few more ideas down and discover where they lead soon. Somewhere not so safe, I suspect, but definitely someplace that will allow me a chance for growth and discovery.

let’s do this:

ROW80LogocopyA Round of Words in 80 Days, as the ROW80 is formally called, usually starts on a Monday with a post about one’s goals for the round and follows on Wednesday with a check-in. This post is both. It’s a bad habit I fell into early on in my ROW80 career. I don’t see myself breaking it anytime soon.

  • WRITING & CRAFT
    • Goal: spend ~three hours a week delving into writing craft related learning
    • Progress: three posts equaling about an hour of time down: one by Jami Gold, a second very apropos one right now from Writers in the Storm and a third courtesy of fellow ROWer Mike Young from the MIT Technology Review
    • Goal: Hand-write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
    • Progresss: have written half a page for the past two days in two stories
    • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks into the computer
    • Progress: inconsistent since ROWnd 2; but I’m getting back on track–I really like what this goal has done for my creativity
  • SOCIAL
    • Goal: maintain connection with local critique group and submit excerpts and critiques during NON-NaNoWriMo months
    • Progress: The ROWnd just started, but we’ve been in CampNaNo since Friday; no submissions, but I will keep working on the two crits I have in my queue to return
    • Goal: return to regular posting in the WIPpet and WeWriWa blog hops
    • Progress: I fully intend to start small here; I’m on track for the WIPpet this week: Sunday, I will start by visiting some blogs in the WeWriWa hop, but not posting an excerpt yet. I feel better about giving attention before demanding some for my work
    • Goal: sponsor duties for the ROW80 twice a week
    • Progress: first check-in was yesterday, and I’m just posting my own goals and check-in… so, not too good so far
  • PERSONAL
    • Goal: Explore my creative side daily
    • Progress: still fighting the emotional drain of the last month, but slowly ramping up; a lot of photography recently
    • Goal: Daily languages (except Sundays)
    • Progress: French, German on track, missed a day of Latin
    • Goal: daily exercise amounting to a minimum of 30 minutes a day
    • Progress: on track, save for Tuesday, where I squeaked out some movement while re-reading some old stories
  • Temporary! Goal: write and submit my sponsor post
  • Progress: have two (very) rough drafts that I want to explore further (the WitS post above I mentioned in my craft links defines my issue here all too well)

Lastly, because this round officially started on the 4th of July, which is our Independence Day in the US, I thought it only fair to share some fireworks with you all. These were actually taken on Saturday in the town of Waterford after their Steamboat Festival. We didn’t do our usual annual Windham Mountain excursion this year. A good thing too, as someone knocked down a telephone pole and we were still home and able to protect our computers by shutting them down properly (UPSs are wonderful things!). Then, we enjoyed a nighttime dip in the pool while the sky lit with fireworks from a few towns away.

Fireworks over the Erie Canal in Waterford, NY: letting my old camera do things on its own in auto mode

Fireworks over the Erie Canal in Waterford, NY: letting my old camera do things on its own in auto mode

What happened when I took control of the camera (also taken in Waterford)

What happened when I took control of the camera (also taken in Waterford)

Another "controlled" shot

Another “controlled” shot

All The Cats

JuJuBee Mabee

JuJuBee Mabee

Those of you who have more than one pet in the house know how favorites can be picked by those pets….  how one person will get all the attention from one particular animal and be ignored by the other(s), or how each animal tries to commandeer your attention and keep you from paying attention to the other pet(s).  The ins and outs of high school cliques must have their inspiration from how pets handle their humans.

Three cats live at our house: two inside, one outside.  The two inside kitties, JuJuBee and Flufflepuff, are supposedly by son’s cats.  Well, JuJuBee is, except when she wants the food dish filled at 4am  or when she needs to makes sure I’m tucked into bed at night and wants to make sure my neck is warm by laying across it (which was a lot more comfortable when she was a kitten).

Flufflepuff Mabee in his glory

Flufflepuff Mabee in his glory

Flufflepuff and our outdoor cat, Mr. Kitty,  seem to have adopted me as their human as well.  I would like to call them Yin Yang cats, but…  their stories are too similar.

Flufflepuff is JuJuBee’s brother.  He’s nothing like her.  Where she’s brazen and convinced that everything is for her to enjoy, Fluffle is terrified of pretty much any sound, movement,… probably even thought.  We’ve had him in the house for about a year now…  the first several months we had to keep him in a dog kennel because we needed to know we could catch him for vet visits, neutering, etc.  Two months ago, I finally was able to touch him without bleeding (profusely).    Now…  he follows me around the house, begs me for hugs, and oh…  the purring.

IMG_4137_1

Mr. Kitty does NOT like the flash

Mr. Kitty was (still is mostly) a feral cat that had latched onto our house because I leaving food outside for our rebel-without-a-clue cat, Stimpy (who died last year from… well, choosing to go outside during really bad snowstorms and old age).  I can pet Mr. Kitty; he runs in terror when anyone else comes within sight, then “mrrps” (quite pitifully, I might add) at me when he gets brave enough to come out.  He too follows me around, gets under foot, and the purring…

If the studies really are true about purring…  I am one of the healthiest women alive.

I also feel… well, spread thin sometimes.  The two furry gentlemen in my life are pretty possessive.  When I go out to feed Mr. Kitty, he will dance, and hug, and purr, and basically show me how wonderful he thinks I am, complete with mice, moles, birds, etc. and a tail full of burdock seeds (and probably ticks) to decorate all my clothing.  When I go to bed, I am drowned in cats and am woken to wet noses on my face as the sun rises…   Fluffle and the Jellybelly Girl (my nickname for JuJuBee) literally take turns demanding attention.  It’s sweet, and normal…  it’s what cats (and people) do.

It’s a social animal thing, and the fact that it can make me feel so emotionally weary sometimes makes me wonder…  am I not a social animal?

Just wondering….  It’s not ask if I want to get rid of any of the furry folk at our house.  If Mr. Kitty misses one of his usual three to four visits a day, I worry about whether he got hit by a car (I’d bring him inside, but there are… issues involved).   Fluffle and Belly make great foot warmers, and they love to play together so much, just watching them brings joy.

But it does make me wonder…

Anyway, it’s time for the “real” reason I’m writing this post… a:

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyA lot of false starts the last few days…

Of my original goals, I met each one at least once, but I missed a day here and there on every one.

  • Writing, I managed one day of new fiction, scoring about 250 new words.
  • Time with characters/storyworld — a bit better here.  I managed something each day, and today at while walking on the track, I came up with a cool scene for Alanii’s training in the Guard
  • Pushups/general fitness — Swimming Monday, some walking yesterday, push-up training plus track and swimming today…

Of my added on goals…

  • time with camera daily…  not only on target, but I think I got some amazing shots
  • French and German daily 10 minutes — I missed yesterday and I’m behind on my German even more.  I need to spend another 5 minutes to get on track today
  • MOOCs…  no progress.

So, not a bad check-in.  Could be better, but…  it’s still mostly moving ahead.  That’s my ROW80 check-in.  There are other ROWers out there who need your support and would love a visit.  Find them here!