Tag Archives: amateur photography

Dreams of the Dead

Last Wednesday for the ROW80 blog, I challenged my fellow ROWers and myself to share an image or paragraph of what sort of writer I aspired to become during my ROW80 journey.  I didn’t think of how hard this might be for me (and likely others).  Hitting a moving target tends to be more difficult than not, even when the target is barreling upon you.

Sometimes you just want to jump out of the way…

Still, I have a picture (or two) that might somewhat fit within the parameters I’d set.

Here’s the first, a picture from AnthronCon 1998 (our second convention and that last held in Albany, NY).  Taken during the panel where we were passing along the crown from Aloyen to Uncle Kage, this picture, while a horrible one of me (I’m the giggling one not really in frame), it shows joy, playfulness, an interest in sharing ideas with others, and being part of a vibrant community.

All Hail Uncle Kage! (photo cred Aloyen)

This second fits my other half…  the person who looks at what was and tries to picture the stories that lived during those time.  My husband took this in 2005 at Audley End House in the gardens (which are magnificent).  I’m listening to the audiotour for the site and looking up at a large plinth (the stature on it long-since toppled and broken) and trying to figure out why the inscription was done in cuneiform.  So many stories there… not the least being my ubiquitous Reebok sneakers and the long-suffering jean-jacket that’s been to England every time I have.

Lastly, this blurry, but all-the-niftier-for-that image my son took of me in Bristol Cathedral this fall.  I like it because it’s vague; being a black & white image, it evokes something “old” while oddly being one of the more recent photos I have of myself; and I’m looking up at the beauty and wonder around me, almost breathing the ghost-like memories of the multitudes that walked through these cloisters with me.

Cloisters, Bristol Cathedral (cred Marcus Mabee)

If nothing else, I hope these images show that I aspire to continue growing and learn, discovering and experiencing.  The writer I wish to be is based on the person I am now, a bit of a dreamer, a bit social, a bit of an introvert, the kind of person who finds and develops wonder in the world around her.  You may notice there aren’t any pictures of actual writing here.  That because the words on the page need inspiration…  they need stories to be recorded.

These pictures are about where the stories come from and hopefully where they will go as well.

ROW80 check-in

Nothing exciting to report here.  The daily writing has gone well.  I also got some photos edited and even tried a new technique [new for me that is] of creating and combining layers for an HDR-like image of the moon (for those of you who’ve seen it posted to FB already, apologies).

An HDR test

Something that’s been bothered me since this Round of Words started is how hard it has been to get my head into a space where I can finish my Futurelearn classes.  Something always demands my attention these days (usually househunting stuff, but sometimes story ideas).  This may be a goal that needs to be set aside until the move is over.  I’ll probably replace it with reading more library books since I can do those in the car or away from my PC and we have a lot of traveling coming up.

WIPpet

Lastly, here’s the next bit of this opener to my Ice Queen Beyond fanfic.  It’s not a big snippet, but next week the scene changes to the crew of the Pride of the Skies in another part of the galaxy.

Five sentences (or two paragraphs) with a repeat of the last paragraph from last week’s post, Safe:

He waited the count of twenty then nudged the door, cracking it enough to hear the sounds of water running from Brüan’s bathroom. In the line of light from the hall, he finally saw the few folds of black cloth and gold braid laid out like a tease on the back corner of the sofa. ‘Listii weighed his chances, then darted in and grabbed up the pile. Not doing more than step into his breeches, he snuck back out with the rest of the pile under his arm.

*

Opening the door to his own quarters let enough light in to remind him of why he’d taken Brü up on her offer to spend the night. Still, better to not miss morning rolls again just because he’d hoped to miss Chaz snoring.

Quietly, but not so carefully, ‘Listii stepped over to the closet and gathered a few spare blankets and pillows. These he draped over the chair as opposed to the sofa bed. There, he settled back in and tried to recover his dream and maybe find out why, so many years after her death, he was dreaming about Atyr again.

If you enjoyed this, why not head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members? WIPpet Wednesdays are hosted by Emily Wrayburn at Letting the Voices Out.

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Belief and Thoughtfulness

MjAxNC04ZjBlYTU5ZmNiZjdiZjY4It’s … an odd Wednesday.  I think I’m keeping going mostly by pattern today, more than anything.  A headache (a cluster headache that is trying desperately to be a migraine), some…  “anniversaries” that are best understood by reading my ROW80 sponsor post, and general busy…

Oddly, I’m not sad.  Or stressed.  Or…

I just feel thoughtful.  The busy doesn’t even feel like it’s there (it is, omnipresent as always, but without being as demanding in its presence).   Of course, I am thinking of my two friends that aren’t here today, but there are a lot of good things to think about as I remember them.   Last night while I was writing m 750words and somehow some Elvis songs came through the playlist, I remembered silly, giggly pre-teen days at one friend’s house and the “weird music” our parents liked.  Last week, we went to a classic car show, and  as I thought of how much fun my dad had sharing a love of his with our Boodle,  I was thinking of all the fun discussions of cars and engine specs  I’d had with the friend whose birthday today would have been.

Some of this comes from the reading I’ve done this past week. Though I’m still working on my Steinbeck’s Journal of a Novel, I’m mostly spent this week reading Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari about the “war on drugs”.  One can’t read stories of lives torn to shreds without feeling somewhat blessed by the banal normality of one’s own, of course.  It’s heartbreaking reading, but…  it’s very human.  After finishing The Fall by Camus on Saturday (I have The Plague in my queue next), I wonder if I chose to read these two books one after another by some grand design.

All of which of course has little to do with my post today.  It’s Wednesday, time for a ROW80 check-in and a WIPpet.  Since I started with some of the reading I’ve been doing, let’s move on and finish the check-in first.

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyAnother Wednesday mini with good things to report so far…  My Five Sentences are going well.  I’ve had to nudge myself daily to get my typing done, but I’ve done it.  Similarly, I am behind in answering blog comments (I haven’t been inspired to spend a lot of time on social media these last few days), but I have scheduled time tomorrow to do that (and my ROW80 sponsor duties).  My creativity time…  that’s been short.  I have my art supplies with me however, and I have plans.

Now, that that’s settled.  Onto..

the WIPpet

I could easily say I have no “maths” for this week (I do), but given that it’ a long excerpt on top of an already longish post, I probably should offer up all my justification for this.

This is one:

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The maths are today’s date (17) minus the month (8) for 9 smallish paragraphs.  And the piece has a theme too, related to the RWA Kiss of Death #1LineWed weekly Twitter tag…  doubly so, since the Kéline mentioned here could best be described as the lovechild of Kali and Pluto; Eris is her fairy godmother.

The WIP in question is Courting the Swan Song (my attention is here doing edits for the impending future).  We’re about 1/2 through the first chapter here.

“My lord Andarniis, you honor our humble sanctuary with your presence, but—I fear we have no votary dedicated to Isana here.” The man blushed slightly. “She does not recognize the faiths of those who come here.”

Alanii nodded calmly. “My escort has just informed me of the Lady Myékis and the devotions they offer her. We’re here so they might be able to make their observances for the Nooning.”

The man winced. “That is—quite considerate of you, my lord. But we have no place where you can wait while—”

“I intend to make my observances with them. While Myékis is not the Lady of my House or family, she clearly has played a powerful role in the protection of our people and ourselves. It is only just and right that I offer her my respects and honors.”

The docent blinked. Behind him, he could hear the silence that had overtaken his escort in the thunderous increase of the other sounds in the temple. Alanii tried to not look as if he was bothered or even aware of the disturbance he had caused.

At last the docent sighed, bowing low yet again. “Yes, of course. We do have a room to the rear of the dining hall where devotees of the Shieldmaiden may work.” He motioned for them to move toward the left-hand room, keeping his body solidly in the way of them seeing or moving past the curtained archway.

As they began to head on their way, from behind the thick cloth, Alanii heard a clank of iron and a quick cry of distress from a male voice. He turned back to the docent. The man’s expression remained serene. “All is well, sire. Please proceed through the meal hall. I think, if you may, find a few of the men there who might wish to join your men in their devotions.”

Alanii was about to ask what the man meant when Val tugged him by his shirtsleeve through the arch toward the seated diners. “Hsh, Alan. Don’t want to bother no man making his respects to Kéline, now do you?” the man hissed.

Alanii swallowed, glancing back at the curtain in horror.

If you like what you’ve read here, head over to A Round of Words in 80 Days and the WIPpet linky and visit the awesome people who make up these online communities. Many thanks and much love to Kait Nolan and Emily Witt for being our gracious hostesses.. 😀

And…  because they make me smile, and they’re almost faded now…  some tiger lilies that volunteered themselves in our yard.

20160812_120833_crop

Somewhat Sweltering

Testing the steadiness of my hands with a new camera/phone

Testing the steadiness of my hands with a new camera/phone

Okay, so those of you who live more equatorial than I do might not find my distress at the weather the past few days too dramatic, but taking a truck to the garage when the thermometer on the dash (outside temp) said 104°F because the air conditioning didn’t work and the thermostat for the cooling system was stuck anyway…

I wasn’t the only one sweltering that time.  My poor truck…  😦

There have been some excellent moments these past few days though.  All is well, and too soon, the snows and ice will come, and I’ll be wishing I didn’t have to bundle up so much just to be comfortable.

Just can’t please me….  😉

Row80 Check-in & Assessment

It hasn’t been the best week for actual goals, but sometimes things just happen.  Some of this is an awareness that things that have been in transition are finding their base-points and having to figure out how to best incorporate the new changes for our family.  Things are being done that have nothing to do with my ROW80 goals, but they need to be done.  Little things like my homeschooling paperwork for the Boodle since our hopes of getting him back to Catholic school are on hold for a time…

At least the Boodle has found he can keep in touch with some of his friends from there with email and online gaming.  And the occasional get-together is sweet too.

So, without further apologies…

  • CRAFT
    • Goal: spend ~three hours a week delving into writing craft related learning
    • Progress: still reading Steinbeck’s Journal of a Novel though I don’t think I reached exactly 3 hours this week.
    • Goal: Hand-write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
    • Progress: umm, yes, no, maybe…  not really sure here.  I wrote, but since it wasn’t daily, I guess I can’t call this a “check”
    • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks into the computer
    • Progress: um, heck no
  • SOCIAL
    • Goal: maintain local critique group submission of excerpts and critiques during non-NaNoWriMo months
    • Progress: no
    • Goal: return to regular posting in the WIPpet and WeWriWa blog hops
    • Progress: WIPpet–yes; WeWriWa–on hold till September since I’ll be out of town next week and cannot promise visits.
    • Goal: sponsor duties for the ROW80 twice a week
    • Progress: on track
  • PERSONAL
    • Goal: Explore my creative side daily
    • Progress: not…well, maybe; I guess taking photographs counts
    • Goal: Daily languages (except Sundays)
    • Progress: on track
    • Goal: daily exercise amounting to a minimum of 30 minutes a day
    • Progress: easily (so nice to have something I’m doing well on here)
    • Goal: Discover something “new” to me (this one is easy, but daunting too, since I have to resist the urge to follow these cow trails)
    • Progress: A FB friend posted this link about a physicist and her choice of career change…  and I found myself delightfully mired for several days, absorbing her career and choice: http://nautil.us/issue/38/noise/this-physics-pioneer-walked-away-from-it-all
Just some goldenrod, but OH!  Golden!

Just some goldenrod, but OH! Golden!

To add to that last goal:  I’ve spent discovering new things about my new phablet.  So far I’ve learned I do not like the Duolingo app for Android (so very glad I kept my old iPhone4 around as my puttering device), that I am even more in love with the stylus and native handwriting tools than I’d ever expected, and the camera is frighteningly capable.

Handwriting on a phone is nothing like handwriting in a notebook mentally for me.  There is a “processing difference” that happens when I see the text converted, when I know I need to be on guard for some of my quirky character names, etc.; I don’t create so much on the phone yet.  Perhaps that’s something whose time will come eventually.

That’s Life though…  a learning process.