Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thematic Photography: Clouds

It took me a while to get my photos together for this week's Thematic Photography over at WrittenInc because I love to photograph clouds. I was able to narrow it down to five.

The last photograph is something I have only seen once. We were on our boat at Bald Head Island when a very large thunderstorm looked as though it would soon be wreaking havoc at the marina. And suddenly, this cloud appeared. My husband said it is a collapsed thundercloud. He said it very authoritatively, but he has been known to BS with authority. Enjoy!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Worn Out

As a result of this week's writing workshop, I have come home at 3:30 every day so tired I cannot do one thing but sit still in a chair for a while. My classmates have echoed the sentiment.

The only thing I have been able to figure out is that the tension I feel around writing on demand (prompt writing) and reading my very unfinished, un-perfect work out loud to semi-strangers induced adrenaline rushes three or four times a day.

Today twenty-two of the participants read from their work, and when I sat down from reading mine, my heart was going so fast I took my pulse and I felt faint.

These cases of nerves, well, they unnerve me.

I almost made it through the week without embarrassing myself, but at the last minute had an episode. A woman who soon showed herself to be very talented got up to read her poetry. She said that it was the first time that she had taken a poetry class with Betty Adcock, and that she planned to be back every year from now on. I commented in a loud voice, "Hope you like her, Betty!" Gawd.

And to close this week of putting myself out there, I joined Facebook yesterday. Don't know why except that I was tired of everyone asking me if I was on it.

Could it be that the theme of the week has something to do with my susceptibility to peer pressure?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Left me wondering....

This week, I have been taking a writing workshop at Meredith College with writer Peggy Payne. I have worked with Peggy before one-on-one, had her as a sub in my other writing class, but never spent a week with her as the teacher. It has been an awesome, informative week.

For one of our exercises, we chose a picture from a pile of magazine cutouts. We were then asked to write about the character. All week, I have used this person for sketches for the class. The man, Jamal, is a prisoner, trying to keep his temper in check so that he can be released. His obstacle to doing this is a very sadistic guard named Erskine Lewis.

Today, I read a scene where Jamal is being strip searched. But instead of searching, the guard rubs his stick up and down a scar on Jamal's leg, taunting him with derogatory names.

After the fairly explicit reading, one of the girls in the class leaned over and said, "Can I ask you a personal question?" I said, "Sure!" She said, "Have you ever been in prison?"

I don't know whether to feel complimented or insulted.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thematic Photography: Green

Further exploring Carmi's Green theme.

A neighbor's child at the playground:

Green tomatoes, a symbol of waiting:

The pond at the rookery on Bald Head Island, very smelly and very green:

A house in a river town in North Carolina, where such colors abound:

And this concludes my green posts. Looking forward to next week, Carmi!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gratitude Dance

I ran across a reference to The Gratitude Dance in a magazine this week, and being the poster girl for curiosity, had to check it out. I love it! It made me want to laugh and cry.

Let's do it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thematic Photography: Green

Carmi has chosen "Green" as the theme of the week at WrittenInc, and when it's spring in the south, you see a lot of green. It's all inviting.

The green grass makes a soft resting place after a big Easter meal.

The green water is glassy and smooth on a vacation afternoon:

The green hose makes a perfect resting spot for the green frog:

Green is cool and alive and new.

PS Stay tuned - I had dinner with the brilliant Simon Van Booy. You will be hearing from me about him again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Simon Van Booy

If you are in the Raleigh area this coming Wednesday night (6/17/09), please come to Quail Ridge Books at 7:30 and hear Simon Van Booy. His new book, Love Begins in Winter, is as fine a book of stories as you will encounter. And if it weren't enough that he is a brilliant writer, he is very easy on the eyes, as you can see from this excerpt from an interview with him:

Simon Van Booy

If you see me there and I looked dazed with admiration, please nudge me so I will at least close my mouth....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Start of Summer

Many years ago, my husband and I had an incredible garden. I put up over 100 jars of preserves from things that we either grew or tended on our property. When I see old photos of the garden, I'm impressed with how much we had.

Then a couple of years ago, one of my daughters hit a rough spot, and once again we grew a garden. Small but productive, we felt purposeful about it, and proud of our efforts.

This year on a whim, my husband and I planted squash, tomatoes, peppers and some herbs. With all the rain we've had, the garden is going wild. Last night we had our first meal from what we've grown: stir-fried squash and pasta with pesto. Add peaches from Candor (thank God those poor peach farmers are having a great year), and it was a delicious meal.

Today we rode around Southport trying to get to know the streets and shops. Nice night, nice morning.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ninety percent crap

A writer friend of mine, Kim Church, said something to me the other day that warmed my amateur writer's heart. May I paraphrase? "Let's face it. Ninety percent of what we write is crap. Five percent is good. Five percent is brilliant."

What? Kim, are you saying I don't have to write 100% publishable, awe-inspiring stories?

Thank God.

And now, I shall resume writing.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Looking up

I buy quite a bit of paper for my cards from this wonderful store called Gallery Shibui. On their front window they have a quote that I found profound. I looked it up online, and it is from the movie, The Great Dictator, which starred Charlie Chaplin. It is a few lines from the final speech, entitled, "Look Up, Hannah!"

I like to think it has some meaning for us right now. Here it is:

"Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up Hannah. The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world - a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed and their brutality. Look up, Hannah! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow - into the light of hope, into the future, the glorious future that belongs to you, to me, and to all of us. Look up, Hannah... look up!"

Will you join me in looking up?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thematic Photography: Dusk (Take 3)

When it comes to that time of day called "dusk" I am as fascinated with the moon coming up as the sun going down. Can you see it high in the sky?

And here are my final photographs for Carmi's theme this week. I'll spend long minutes catching the light on the incoming waves; the birds were a bonus.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thematic Photography: Dusk

I could post every day for this week's theme from Carmi at WrittenInc, but I'll try to hold back.

There is something amazing that happens when the sun and the sky and the water come together. In the photo you have the reality; then the reflections bring richer overtones to the coloring of everything. I can't get enough, and probably spend way more time looking at the elements through the lens than looking at them. But then, I can see them again and again if I capture the photo. And no two are ever, ever alike. Amazing universe.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thematic Photography: Dusk

As a person who cannot resist a sunset, I have many pictures of the period of time when the sun is disappearing, before it's officially dark. Carmi has chosen "Dusk" as the theme this week. I'm glad he didn't choose "Twilight" because I've heard enough about that!!

Be sure to visit WrittenInc to see others' intepretation of the theme. And I'm sure I'll have to post one or two more as the week goes by.