These two snails were caught talking without their knowledge about a very important subject matter.
These two snails were caught talking without their knowledge about a very important subject matter.
It IS Easy Being Green!
It really is easy being green, just ask this lady. She will tell it to you straight.
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…………..
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.
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
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!!
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.
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
Tea (Tea for the Tillerman – Part II)
The true story behind the Viking discovery of North America
This shadow takes on a strange shape, when it falls on a set of concrete stairs.
This is a drawing inspired by photographers. Manual artists seldom looked directly overhead before making a drawing until the camera came along.
This picture of the winter sun setting over Cambridge and the Charles River fulfills quite well my definition of solitude. In this case the title could just as well be urban solitude, for it appears that the two figures have found some sort of solitude by contemplating the winter sunset, as viewed from the Boston side of the Charles River.
On further thought, it appears to me that solitude (and isolation) are both an integral part of photography, for just the use of a camera, creates a certain distance between you and your subject. Some photographers relish in this separation, while others, especially people photographers try and minimize the space between the subject and the person behind the camera.
How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?
This is the actual question as it was posted at the IWSG site.
Being a writer did not change my reader habits very much, until recently, when I set out on writing a middle grade novel. Actually, my intention was only to write a Young Adult novel, based on some autobiographical events that happened during my teen and pre-teen years. However, for better or worse, the word count on my YA novel kept growing…..and growing…..and growing, until I was staring at the 100,000 word mark.
This was way too long for a YA novel (unless your last name is Rowling), so I did what any prudent writer would do; I split the manuscript in two. Not evenly of course, but the first third went into my MG novel and the second two thirds became the basis for my YA story. This was a very convenient split, especially since the first part of my story covered the grade school years, while the remainder centered on 7th through 12 grade.
As I shopped the MG tale around, my response was almost non-existent. That’s when I discovered the main missing ingredient, middle grade voice, and that also explains while I am currently reading short, simply written books designed for fourth, fifth and six graders. To my surprise the reading has been very rewarding, though I am still struggling to find my new middle grade voice.
While Mrs. Fitzball was addressing the school body, a little person or “trickster” mysteriously appeared and placed two eggs on her chair. When she sat down, Mrs. Fitzball was not amused.
I guess you can say gracefulness is in the eye of the beholder. In this picture, weightlessness, a 20th century discovery, makes for a slightly different definition of graceful.
For me, photographing 21st century urban America is an enthralling, artistic passion. Featured here, is me (represented by my shadow) confronting a large urban graphic design that is situated near the downtown area in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas is an ideal place for photographing graphic design and outdoor advertising, because examples like this can be found all across the sprawling city. Even the Strip with its hodgepodge of icons from around the globe hold endless possibilities for the inspired photographer. Where else could you find the Stature of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and the Sphinx standing in relatively close proximity. I guess you could say that Las Vegas has a welcoming ambience for the contemporary street photographer.
Before the Internet, there was the Enternet. Here, a perfectly healthy butterfly is about to enter the net, where he ( or she ) will be killed, pinned and preserved. Eventually the insect will be put on display behind glass with all the other bugs.
Here is a picture of the word Durango, which is a state in north central Mexico, where the the capitol city also has the same name. That’s simple enough, but where in the heck did the word come from. Is it Native, for it sure doesn’t sound Spanish. Actually, the word is reported to be of Basque origin. According to ancestry.com the word means a place, possibly a fertile land located between great heights or perhaps on a great plain.
What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?
Sorry, I’m a few days late with my response, but here’s my take on the subject anyhow.
There are many rules to writing. If you don’t believe me just pick a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style or William Zinser’s On Writing Well. For here, among many pages of good advice, you will find more rules than you could possibly ever break.
Then there are the more nebulous rules of creative writing that deal with such things as plot structure, storyline, character development, antagonists, protagonists and so on. Good advice on these matters can be found all across the blogosphere, as well in many books and periodical publications. The information overload here is astounding, but for some good all around advice, you might want to go here or here or here. The list is endless, really.
However, for better or worse, I’m going to talk about a slightly different subject matter, and that is writing for the content mills. This activity goes against every grain of creative writing advice in so many ways that it’s not funny, but I have to say that my foray into this gray area, helped solidify my writing, plus it earned me tens of thousands dollars over a five year period.
I didn’t get rich doing this, for if you added up the time spent, I barely made minimum wage, but yet during this sometimes grueling activity, I learned how to put a short article together, plus I got in the habit of meeting a deadline. And possibly the best benefit of all, was that I acquired self confidence. Seeing my work published at places like USA Today Online more than made up for the necessary rejections and disappointments that accompanied this learning process.
Now that most of my effort goes into writing short and long fiction, I can look back on this school-of-hard-knocks for the limited success that I have had in this more difficult endeavor.
Here is one rule that you definitely don’t want to break.
Resilient (Are you a fan of the Cat in the Hat?)
Perhaps, one of the most resilient fictional characters of all times is Dr. Seuss’s, Cat in the Hat. Here he is pictured in an obscure location in Las Vegas, NV, but the elusive feline has been known to appear almost anywhere without more than a moment’s notice. And don’t try to get rid of this creature, for he is sure to return and cause more trouble if you do.
My time in St. George, Utah consisted of camping out in the red rock desert just north of the city limits. My trip into town included traveling down this scenic bike path. Once in town, my first stop was usually the public library.
On one of my walks around town a woman gave me a ride across town and during our conversation she suggested I check out the visitor center of the local Mormon temple. Not wanting to seem like a prude, I eventually did make a trip to the visitor center, where I saw a bunch of fascinating paintings and I also learned how the town got its name.
For those of you who might think this desert oasis is named after the English saint, who slayed the dragon, you’re wrong. (I must admit that I am one of those.) Instead, the town title comes from George Smith, brother of Joseph Smith, who cured the residents from sickness by encouraging them to eat the skin off the potatoes. Before that, the early settlers were skinning the potatoes before consumption, thus eliminating a bunch of natural vitamins.
Some events in life can be anticipated, while others may come as a complete surprise.
The Eyes Have It
These two spirals could be the eyes of an owl. With each spiral spinning in an opposite direction, one might think that the owl was cross-eyed or maybe just dizzy.
A Spiral from Space
Here’s a little Christmas bonus for everybody, a natural spiral found in space, more specifically it is located within the star system, known as LL Pegasi.
Looking upwards at modern architecture can provide the viewer with a new horizon.
Five years from now, I would like to occupy Gore Vidal’s house on the Italian Riviera, because the view of the Mediterranean is tremendous. I hear that the place has been vacant since the old man passed away and if at all possible I would like to make an offer before somebody snatches the place up.
I can’t do that right now, but things should change quickly as soon as I find the right agent and he or she finds the right publisher for my recently-completed two novel series on the adventures of a pair of female vegetarian ghosthunters. I seriously doubt that this process would take very long, as the stories have been carefully written and even edited. If by some chance this place is not available, I’m sure there is a nice hotel or villa nearby, where I could stay.
Santa Claus Today
Without any snow due to global warming and without any presents to deliver because of proposed tax increases, this Santa is nothing but a bunch of hot air.
It’s Not This Time of Year Without…