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Monday, February 23, 2015

For the Record

Here's the truth. I'm tired of talking about it.  I'm tired of shoveling it.  I'm tired of driving in it.  And I'm aggravated as all get out that I can't see over it.  But it's fun to photograph.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snowed In

We are housebound and it's my fault.  I put a goal in print to try to photograph one sunrise or sunset a week this year, and as soon as I did, Mother Nature stopped cooperating.  It really is quite amazing how much snow we have around here.  Folks in Wisconsin and Buffalo and Vermont probably get a lot more.  But they’re prepared to handle it, and it appears we aren’t.  As a result, as I write this, five days after the last storm, we’ve got roads that are one car-width wide, no sidewalks and the National Guard around digging us out. 

Where I live, “ocean effect snow” added a few more inches over the course of the week, so it took until Friday to see the sun.  After a half day at work, then a phone interview for a freelance project, and a couple more hours planted in front of the computer working on it, I grabbed the camera and bolted outside.  Based on predictions of yet another blizzard starting Saturday going through all day Sunday, it would be my only chance.

The problem?  On a good day, I’m 5’3”.  Any place I was able to pull over, the snow banks dwarfed me.  I resorted to driving around, stopping to roll down the window, holding the camera up over the piles to try for sunset pictures, but each time, someone drove up behind me and beeped.  Patience people. Can’t you see there’s an artiste at work?

This is all I got.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Well, folks, we’re experiencing record breaking snows.  The weather experts expect we'll tap out at about two feet from this current storm and, oh, yea, they’re taunting us with the prediction of more Thursday.  But, we’re nothing in New England if we don’t have something to complain about, and the Patriots won the Super Bowl.  (If you’re tempted to comment on anything related to PSI, Just.  Don’t.  We.  Have.  Heard.  It.  All.) 

That leaves us with snow.  

5:45 A.M.

6:45 A.M.

6:45 A.M.
2:15 P.M.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 2015, IWSG. Well Hello to You!

Better late than never.  Here is February's post for IWSG.  It's all about writers helping other writers, folks.  To find links to other monthly posts, click here.

I’ve been struggling on the writing front for a while now, but know I’m the only one who can get myself through this successfully.  To that end, I took off to the library on a recent Saturday, in order to introduce myself formally to one of the characters in my new project.

I’ve never been an outliner.  I write character sketches, and dutifully file them in a folder on my computer.  But for the most part, I think, and think, and think, until light dawns and my story unfolds as I type.  But, by last week, I was so stuck; I was willing to try anything. That day, I sat at a table in front of a Palladian window for four hours working my way through a list of questions about my main character, hand writing the answers as if that would help connect me to the story somehow.  In the end, I had a lot of information, and one terrific case of writer’s cramp.

Two days later, I sat down at the computer to work on my first draft and one of my secondary characters muscled out the person I’d spend that time in the library getting to know. This one suggested, no, demanded actually, that my story focus on her.

And now I’m writing.

Sometimes I think I am in charge of my stories. This was a reminder to me that I'm not.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Before the Storm

We batten down,
shelter in place,
eat what might be
our last hot meal
for a time,
full comfort stomachs
before the winds arrive.
We test batteries,
line the mantle,
two flashlights,
a lantern
one fat candle
on a crystal base.
our spotlight hits
a float of snow,
updrafts foretelling
a sideways gale,
the ocean
gnawing hollows
where map-lines
used to be.
We know
electronics will ping
as electricity goes,
that we’ll wrap ourselves
in blanket-capes,
inch closer
to an auburn fire.
During the closed-off night,
winds will flay the high-top pines.
We’ll wince at a crack
somewhere close,
register the thump
in our chests
as a hundred-year oak
loses its footings,
peer out 
to see nothing,
the swirl of storm
wailing outside,
but bleeding in,
reminding us
our lack of power
has nothing at all to do
with an absence of light.

All is well here.  We didn't even lose power during this one, but that doesn't mean I didn't worry.  Whenever I yearn to live closer to the ocean, photos like this, change my mind: Boston Globe

Monday, January 26, 2015

Winter Passages

I’m not sure if this will last, but I’ve decided to try to photograph at least one sunrise or one sunset a week in 2015. If I do, I’ll have 52 photos to stack side by side.  The effort is helping me to recognize how much beauty remains, even through these dark days of winter.    

But while making my way to the water before sunup in January is doable, oh Lord, it’s cold.  Last weekend, at eight degrees, plus a wind chill off the water, I’m pretty sure I was close to frostbite--which is what happens when one forgets to check the thermometer before leaving.  I climbed back into the car after five pictures and sat blowing on my hands for what felt like forever, before I could bend them enough to hold the steering wheel.  And, yes, I was wearing mittens.  With that, only one picture turned out marginally good. Even with a tripod, the wind wiggled the camera.

As a result, this week I went for the sunset. In weather still cold enough that tears poured out of my eyes, but nothing compared to the weekend before, I headed up to our reservoir, where I’ve never been in the winter.  It was worth it, not only to catch the light, but to witness a skate sailor zipping around the pond.  That was new for me too.  The writing hasn’t been going well, but when I strap a camera on and hike somewhere to capture an image, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.