What's cooking at the Blue Fox Cafe
All about the ins and outs of writing

Jun
22

This abstraction is created from many three-sided geometric shapes, better known as triangles, photo and drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three

To create this drawing, I first sketched in a maze of triangular shapes. Each shape was filled with black ink and a bright red marker created the red color. On top of the black spaces, a blue oil stick was added and finally a light gray color, also oil stick was used to cover the red area.

Jun
21

Our western movies are full of heroes leading a transient lifestyle, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transient

The movies are a very important storytelling medium in our contemporary culture. And quite frequently, they portray the outsider, the conformist and/or the transient as the hero. This is especially true in the Westerns.

Taken in the town of Kanab, Utah, where many western scenes were filmed, this picture shows how one Office of Tourism proudly displays its Hollywood association.

Transient

Jun
14

This photograph of a boat’s reflection in the harbor has areas of the picture that are both focused and unfocused, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Focus-pocus

Look closely, as this picture contains large patches of both focused and unfocused material. The camera was focused on the surface of the water, so all those squiggly lines are actually in focus. Even the boat lettering, though illegible because of the movement of the water is in focus. The only things out of focus are the blue sky and red body of the boat.

Focus

Jun
13

This skate likes to go swimming, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skate

Skates differ slightly from rays. First of all, they reproduce by laying eggs. (rays bear live young) Also they lack the dangerous spines on their tail, prefer deeper water and tend to be smaller in size. Definitely a more benign encounter, if you happen to come across one.

Jun
07

These lobster buoys give a good picture of a fisherman’s sense of order, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order

To survive at sea, a fisherman needs to keep his gear organized and within easy reach at all times, as the item may be desperately needed in an instant. Even when storing his gear on land, this lobsterman displays his ability to keep things in order.

Order

May
24

Waning light at Back Cove in Portland, Maine, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evanescent

I had to look this one up, as the use of this word has escaped me. Here is its definition according to Merriam-Webster;

The fragile, airy quality of things evanescent reflects the etymology of the word evanescentitself. It derives from a form of the Latin verb evanescere, which means “to evaporate” or “to vanish.”

Seems to me a rainbow or sunset would the perfect metaphor for this word. I chose the latter.
Evanescent

May
24

All across North America ambitious travelers can find enticing highways like this one in the Gaspe region of Canada

Off the Beaten Path

Recently, I watched two movies that in their own unique way defined going off the beaten path. I was especially interested in viewing these two films because I had read both books before I viewed the cinematic takeoff. Although the  two books story were published some 40 years apart (1957 & 1998) and differ widely in the worlds they describe, there is definitely a shared corps d’esprit that inhabits both literary adventures.

Essentially, both sagas are buddy stories, whereabouts two or more male adventurers set off on a journey of self discovery that definitely runs against the norms of conventional thinking and also poses a high likelihood of failure. In the end, the experience is the important event, not the goal.

On the Road

Overall, the movie, On the Road follows the original text to a greater degree than its counterpart, A Walk in the Woods. It is important to note, there are few novels, where all details can be compressed into a viewable two-hour movie. Taking note of this reality, the film catches the Zeitgeist of post war America in a convincing and entertaining way. It also explores the fascinating relationships of four men, (William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginnsburg and Neal Cassady), who would go on to become major writers  of the 50s and 60s. If this type of film interests you, you might want to check out the DVD. And of course, fans of the Beats would want to watch this movie also.

Despite the cover, no bears appear in the book….but in the movie, two of these wild creatures make a nocturnal visit to the campsite of Bryson and Katz.

A Walk In the Woods

When I first heard that A Walk in the Woods had been made into a feature-length film, I was surprised to say the least. Though the book was a great read, I did not see how anyone could make a decent movie from from two old men  attempting to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. After viewing the movie, I quickly realized that I had underestimated the imagination of Hollywood screenwriters or the ability of the two major actors, Nick Nolte and Robert Redford.

Though the movie makes some serious departures from the reality of walking the AT, it does weave a good tale around the late-in-life adventures of two senior citizens. Perhaps the biggest shortcoming, revolves around the portrayal of off-the-trail Southern characters that Bryson and Katz encounter, when they leave the trail for a night in a motel and a hot shower.

Essentially, what the writers did was to take the first half of the book and then expand the story, immensely, adding many scenes that were not in the book. The results were impressive. Redford and especially Nolte put on stellar performances that carry the story. They do this this despite the fact that both actors are in the twilight of their careers, where good roles are undoubtedly more difficult to find.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenwriters Take Note

Creating workable scripts from popular novels is a challenging task. Not only is the writer faced with the difficult task of condensing a story that is way too long for the big screen, but he also faces an audience that is familiar with how the story line plays out. However, adding new material, to a popular story is a whole new ballgame that can have surprisingly results.

May
18

Our planet is just a tiny blue ball, traveling through space, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother

The earth is our mother.

May
17

Bread and apples for sale at a roadside stand in Quebec, Canada, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heritage

This photo is dedicated to everyone with a French Heritage. Doesn’t really matter if your French link is to Canada (where this picture was taken) or France, you will still appreciate the subtle bilingual humor is this picture.
Heritage

May
10

This small New Mexico church located near the town of Navajo Dam has a very reflective interior, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflecting

Built in 1920, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on the San Juan River no longer has a regular congregation. For nowadays, it is surrounded by the Navajo Lake State Park in the stunning four corners region of the U.S. The church was closed when I cruised by on Sunday morning, but a return afternoon visit, revealed an open door and empty pews. Perfect place for someone in a reflective mood. Aided by the afternoon light being reflected off the ceiling, the camera also captured the somber spirit of the building.
Reflecting

May
04

DANGER!! Giant spider approaches urban area in Canada, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danger

This eight-legged monster was last seen approaching Canada’s capital. All resident’s should be on the lookout for one very large and unfriendly arachnid. Though unarmed, this creature should be considered very dangerous. Please do not approach.
Danger!

Apr
26

A snow-covered peak in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanderlust

Just a reminder that wanderlust does not have to be limited to the warmer months of the year. Winter is a great time to take off and head for the backcountry. No bugs, no snakes and noticeable absence of other hikers make this time of year ideal for exploring. Still, readers should note that special considerations definitely apply here, for this picture was taken right near a major highway that traverses the San Juan Mtns. of Southern Colorado. To actually attempt a winter assault on this mountain requires superb mountaineering skills as avalanches and exposure are a real concern for anyone that wants to approach this mountain.

 

Wanderlust

Apr
19

A small rock island along the South Shore of the St. Lawrence in Quebec, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth

This tiny rock island of the St. Lawrence is just a reminder that much of the earth is covered with water, 71 % to be exact. So on this Earth Day maybe it is a good time to stop and ponder how we can take care of our planet’s oceans along with the land masses.

Earth

Apr
12

We tied up our boats and then the next morning all the water was gone, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise

Actually, alone the shoreline of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada, this event happens twice a day. Difference between low and high tide averages near 40 feet, and so fisherman, when they moor their boat, will have to wait 12 hours before they can return to the bay. Good time to stop by the local tavern and have a few beers.

 

Surprise

Apr
05

Santa Fe window with iron bars and flower pots, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Security

The ornate iron bars make this living space a little bit safer. However……I hope nobody steals the flower pots.
Security

Apr
05

Ask any penguin and they will tell you, things are getting hot out there. drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot

Here are a few it’s hotter than euphemisms that readers might enjoy. Best to enjoy them now before the summer heat rolls around.

 

It’s so hot today I saw a dog chasing a cat and they were both walking.

It’s so hot the birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.

It’s hotter than a $2 pistol on the Fourth of July.

It’s hotter than a pair of sweat pants full of barbecue.

It’s so hot that the trees are creeping around looking for shade.

Mar
30

A flamingo with an umbrella, photo and drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Umbrella

This flamingo never goes anywhere without its umbrella

Mar
29

The dense forest of Maine

 

 

Dense

Dense is a relative term. Here, in this photo we get to see the dense forest of Maine firsthand.

Dense

Mar
23

Two snails share their opinion on a very important subject, drawing and photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snail(s)

These two snails were caught talking without their knowledge about a very important subject matter.

Mar
23

A Green Lady in Quebec, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It IS Easy Being Green!

It really is easy being green, just ask this lady. She will tell it to you straight.

It IS Easy Being Green!

Mar
15

This creature will ultimately find its way atop whatever lies in its path, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atop

Finding the top of things is sometimes not all that difficult.

Atop

Mar
08

I wish I had an ice cream cone, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wish

Today feels like the first day of spring, especially here in Southern Colorado, where I now reside. It is so warm that I wish I had a big ice cream cone………just like the one pictured here in Niagara Falls, Canada. Then again on second thought…………..

 
Wish

Mar
02
Reworking an old story can sometimes yield great dividends, photo by H. Koppdelaney

Reworking an old story can sometimes yield great dividends, photo by H. Kopp-Delaney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Note About the Photographer

This stunning image comes from the website of the remarkable German surrealist photographer, H. Kopp-Delaney. Fortunately, Mr. Kopp-Delaney is very generous and allows a small selection of his photos to be downloaded for free. Anyone interested in seeing more of his work is well-advised to visit the excellent online venuse of Mr. Kopp-Delaney.

 

My Experience With Reworking Old Tales

I have always felt that writing fiction is like an old bottle of wine: the longer the beverage sits, the better the flavor. This is especially true for fiction, where the passing of time may allow for the story to evolve or  even stray completely from the original tale, as our memories are a frail thing.

Some people may call this fibbing or lying, but in reality this is just a matter of “story enhancement“, which is an important ingredient of the storyteller’s craft. With this in mind, there is no reason that a writer should not go back and rework an old story. Do not the fear the linear and emotional distance that might be created over time, for with proper introspection and effort, the new story might come to life, where the old tale failed. Best of luck to all who wish to explore such territory.

After stating my case, the sober reality is that I have only returned to a few stories after they have been finished and sent to their final resting place, whether it be a small online journal or the proverbial desk drawer. Even so the results have been quite rewarding, even when I am the only person, who is familiar with both versions. So by all means, go back and rework those old, dusty stories.

Mar
02
Ready to hit road, phot by author

Ready to hit the road??? photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Road Taken

Before you hit the road, you might want to invest some time and energy into your means of travel.
The Road Taken

Feb
22
Sleeping Bears, photo by author

Sleeping Bears, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Match

These two sleeping bears seemed perfectly suited for each. Spotted somewhere near Thunder Bay in western Ontario, Canada, the two animals seem to be quite comfortable in there snoozing position. Best not disturbed!!

A Good Match

Feb
22
Despite the painted toenails, this big stomper can be a huge hassle

Despite the painted toenails, this big stomper can be a huge hassle, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Stomper

Currently, the illegal ivory trade is putting these animals at risk. If this species is to survive in the wild, the black market for ivory items must be eliminated.

 

Feb
15
These two guys are definitely working against the odds, but nonetheless they appear to be holding up just fine. photo by author

These two guys are definitely working against the odds, but nonetheless, they appear to be holding up just fine. photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Against The Odds

Here, in Ljubljana, Slovenia these two muscle men are doing the impossible…..And unbelievably, they have been doing it for many years, photo by author
Against the Odds

Feb
15
How a cup of Viking tra inadvertently lrad to the discovery of North America, drawing by author

How a cup of Viking tea inadvertently lead to the discovery of North America, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea (Tea for the Tillerman – Part II)

The true story behind the Viking discovery of North America

Feb
15
Shadow on the Stairs, photo by author

Shadow on the Stairs, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadow

This shadow takes on a strange shape, when it falls on a set of concrete stairs.

Shadow

Feb
08

Looking up at the trees, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UP

This is a drawing inspired by photographers. Manual artists seldom looked directly overhead before making a drawing until the camera came along.

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