Wednesday, March 10, 2010

365 Photo Project - Day 68

Taken: March 9, 2010, approx. 8:30 p.m.
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

I'm feeling the spring thing big time, even today when it was as nippy as it gets around here. The weather Gods have been playing yo-yo with us the last week, sometimes within the same hour. We're getting heavy rains alternating with bouts of sunshine, heavy winds and temperatures that been as cold as 40 and as warm as 70. Go figure. I'm starting to feel sorry for the local weather forecasters. Seriously.

I've been messing around with my old school 50mm lens again and experimenting too with lightning at the same time. The truth is that as much and as long as I've called photography a hobby, I know very little about it. My ignorance makes me happy most of the time -- the freedom of shooting for the picture editor in my own heart is liberating and keeps the fun alive. But at the same time, the more I shoot, the more I want to know why something works -- or more importantly why it doesn't. And I look at other photos and think "how the hell did they do that?"  So, I'm testing and trying, seeing what comes out of it.

Tonight I spent an hour with a single white rose that I stole from the vase in our living room. I used the K100D with the 50mm lens, the internal flash and different lightning sources. I was trying for a more even and brighter lightning effect but I couldn't figure out quite how to get that. This is one of the few I was happy with and even then, I washed it through Photoshop and cropped it to get it to a place where I felt I could use it for today's photo.

I had to get something as I'd wasted half the day lying in bed with a heating pad on my sinuses -- remnants of last week's sick out. I'm sure the rapid change in the weather isn't helping. I finally got to my desk late this afternoon and didn't get home until almost eight. 

The days are getting longer and I've been writing more, hustling my ass to beat a deadline of my own. As many of you know, I'm a twice-published novelist and my long-awaited third novel remains (to my utter pain and humiliation) unpublished -- the nearly 1,500 pages of its three whole drafts sitting on the bookshelf in my office, staring back at my like a needy, petulant child. I am writing a new novel but it's not That One, that reminder of my one major failure in my brief novelist career, the only manuscript I've written that went unpublished. 

Why it wasn't published and how I feel about that and the manuscript itself is for another discussion. And, over the coming weeks, I expect to have a reason to talk more about it.  But the burden of going so long without a new book has been weighing on my heart more than ever. My own, personal albatross. I knew it was time to shake it off and there's only one way to do that.  So along with my other writing obligations, I'm working like the devil's on my heels on a new book -- my eye intermittently on that unpublished stack of pages on the shelf, and it's gaze on me.

Someone asked why I continue this blog when I'm putting so much effort into my daily work.  But in a way this project is a life-line for me, a way to draw out the debris in my very busy and distractible brain. I've realized that in large part, these few words I write and the photos I take each day, are helping me keep a daily rhythm, to stay the course. And, like I've said in earlier posts, it's giving my mind's eye an excuse to look around more. The result has added a layer to my writing -- more to see, more to talk about and examine. Whether it makes the final result better is still an open question, but I feel like it's made me a sharper, more attentive and focused writer.

So I'm going to stay the course here too.  Tomorrow's another day to wake up and wonder what words and pictures I'll discover.  Hell, only 297 days to go.

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