The sun shone down on England today…at least the part where I live. It felt so good sitting outside, even with a slight cool breeze. We’re expecting a return to rain or something dreary in the near future, but today was glorious. After lunch the Goblin suggested we drive over to the Garden center and have a look at the fish (I’ve been wanting to see the fish in the little aquatic center – I think fish are cute). I warned the Goblin in advance that I was planning to take photos of the fish, so he barely grimaced (before disappearing down another aisle) when I took out my phone. I enjoyed seeing the fish, though I have to admit the way they were staring at me it made me wonder what they were thinking. I suspect something along the line of ‘What is that creature? It’s ugly!’ I had to share my favorite photos from my little adventures. [Read more…]
After helping me edit Once Upon a Wager, the Goblin announced he needed a few days of fun in the Lake District. It’s a part of England where, unsurprisingly, there are a lot of lakes in between stony hillsides – it’s utterly magical. So last week we packed up the car and drove up North. The goblin’s idea of fun involves walking up steep hills and taking photos. My idea of fun involves visiting historic houses or monuments and taking photos. We managed to mostly meet in the middle. While he did his two hour steep hill walk I had a lovely nap in the car. He took photos of the valley from above – I took photos of the valley standing in the valley next to the car. I did get some walking in – more than I was hoping to – but I did enjoy it and I got some lovely photos. These were my favorite. [Read more…]
I spent most of December and the first two weeks of January mentally deep diving. I received emotional whip lash when one of my oldest friends died unexpectedly. I’ve known her since I was twelve. Her death followed a week or so after another friend’s husband died after a year long battle with liver cancer. He was a good man; a true hero! It was very sad. I bought some songs that reminded me of my friend and listened to them on repeat while I sewed frogs. I’ve no idea where the obsession came from, but late November I decided I had to have frogs on my Christmas tree. Using old sweaters and old bedpillow stuffing I covered the tree with frogs and most other flat surfaces in the living room. It felt soothing.
All the mental deep diving has had a strange positive side effect on my creative side. It’s as if all these different sides of my artist are waking up all at the same time. Whether it’s feeling mortality’s chill breath or the fact my brain is starting to heal; I’ve had numerous projects and stories churning in my brain at all hours. [Read more…]
Last week the sun came out so even though a Siberian wind was chilling England I bundled up and went for a walk. I think I overdid it, but it was lovely to escape the house. I found some interesting photographs in the shadows on the frozen ditch water. The light shimmered through the hedgerow and glinted off the rough skin of ice. I haven’t retouched the colour in the photos. The hazy pink and green…up close it was like a nebula exploding. Here are my favorite shots… (Click on the photos to see a larger image) [Read more…]
This evening I finished editing chapters 44 and 45! I would have been done editing, but the Goblin (who had eleven days off his day job over Christmas) decided he needed a complete break. So I’ve been waiting for him to edit so I could do my final edit. It was probably a good thing. I had a forced holiday which I enjoyed. I got lots of books for Christmas and managed to read several when I wasn’t watching two series of Burn Notice (a Christmas present to self). My favorite read was the Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth. She was the sister of William Wordsworth the poet. The journals cover 1798 and then 1800 to 1803. I was a bit sceptical [Read more…]
I’m making progress on Dancing the Maypole. This evening I finished the second edit of chapter 33. A picture is worth about 100,000 words…
The first edit was me going through the whole book with the new editing software (as well as re-writing). Then the Goblin goes through each chapter with red, blue and green pens. The second edit for the first few chapters took days (weeks?). It’s all a hellish blur! For the first month of editing I was working six days a week, but the Goblin (seeing I was starting to lose the plot) counseled me to take the whole weekend off. It helps to have a rest! This gives me time to day dream about other stories, draw, take pictures or watch a movie. The last seventeen chapters shouldn’t take so long.
Some of my favorite shots from my last couple of walks… [Read more…]
It will take a few more weeks of editing before the story is ready to go on line. It’s getting a three layered mega-edit. I go over it with my new handy dandy editing program that checks spelling and grammar (but it doesn’t catch everything). So the Goblin then edits one chapter at a time. I then I go back over it again and smooth out anything I’d missed. The process is slower than I’d like it to be, but I’ll be less stressed when I send it out into the world.
In this neck of the woods Fall has arrived. The leaves are falling off the trees and the sky has turned grey. Earlier this week I woke to find the countryside shrouded in fog. I love fog! I tried to resist, but I had to take my camera out and see if I could find some pictures. It was cold enough to persuade most of the dog walkers to stay home, but not cold enough for gloves so for most of my walk it was like having the countryside to myself. I particularly wanted to try and capture the thinning trees with their sparse leaves dotting the fog. That was my hope. Here are my favorite shots. [Read more…]
This afternoon I looked out the window at the windy sunshine and decided I had to take my camera for a walk. I forgot to grab my music so I listened to the wind rushing through the trees. Clumps of small fluffy clouds meant it was a hit and miss. On seeing a shot I had seconds to turn on the camera and focus… I managed to catch a few (when my camera strap wasn’t blocking the viewfinder). Lately I’ve been reading Haiku (and trying to live more in the moment ie Cari-ku) so I wrote a little poem about each shot. If one of the pictures inspires a different haiku or poem feel free to share it in a comment… [Read more…]
The epilogue to Dancing the Maypole is unfolding (just a very little way to go). Yesterday I went into Stamford to help a friend pack up her flat. You know you’re out of shape when after attempting to squash five overcoats into one of those air lock bags lifting the bundle makes your arms ache (to be fair this was after hours of packing bags, taping up boxes and generally getting in the way and rudely asking every five minutes ‘is that rubbish?’). The Goblin dropped me off on his way to work so I had an hour before she was expecting me so I headed for the meadow by the river to take photos. It was a lovely day, but exhausting. Today I woke up late feeling like I could cheerfully sleep the rest of the day so I crawled back in bed with the book I’ve been reading (Harriette Wilson’s Memoir’s) and stayed there for hours without any intention of getting up. You’ll be hearing more about Harriette! I’ve known about her for ages, but as she was a pricey prostitute (courtesan) I presumed it would be boring. I’m the bore for passing judgement before I’d read the first few pages. [Read more…]
Yesterday I spent the day in Stamford. It was my turn to help clean the chapel, but we didn’t have to do much as intrepid Bill (an Irishman in his 70’s with a bad shoulder) had already cleaned half the building. Thank you Bill! While waiting for my fellow cleaners in the garden the sun came out and then a strange cat appeared. All black except for the tip of its tail which was white, it was long and lean with a long face, like an ancient Egyptian cat. And as soon as it saw me it started talking and staring at me as if attempting to hypnotize me into producing some nice tinned tuna out of the air. The day was pleasant if exhausting (not so much the cleaning as the walking around carrying a heavy bag). After several hours in the bookstore I bought a sandwich and walked to the meadow near the river where I found some photos as it started to rain. These were some of my favorite shots of the day. [Read more…]