I used to do Sundays with my thoughts . . .

. . . but haven’t for a while now. Maybe I no longer have thoughts?

Could be; I’m getting on in years and at my advanced age the cognitive functions decline at a frightful pace. Not to brag (or complain) but I was saddened by a recent article saying research reports cognitive decline in old age occurs at a faster pace in people who are bright.

I know, I know . . . it sounds like I’m bragging. Nope! I’m hoping I’m a dunce and thus, my brain function will remain approximately constant as I age.

Yes, another reworked image. Get used to it; more are coming.

Anyway . . .

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Posted in About Writing, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The 1500 Words Short Story Challenge — Final Result

The voting ended and the results are in . . . but, before I present the winner, if you haven’t yet done so — and if so inclined — please take a few minutes (about 15-20 minutes) and read the three stories in THIS POST for context. Otherwise, dear reader, skip this post as the awards will be meaningless to you.

These results below are based on 10 votes (out of 50 views). I had warned the writers who contributed their stories that my 1,500 followers are mostly no-show and fewer than 1% engage with the blog.

Still, it was a better turnout (both in views and in voting) than any of my writing efforts alone.

So, how did it go?

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Posted in entertainment, Fiction, Other, Short Stories, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Last One; Old Favorites and Another Reminder to Vote

If you haven’t yet done so — and if so inclined — please take a few minutes (about 15-20 minutes) and read the three stories in THIS POST and then, if feeling charitable, please cast your vote for one of them (the survey is after the stories).

Also, if you’re associated with the publishing industry (editor, published author, agent, etc.) and would like to volunteer as a judge to help us confer our Professional Recognition Award, please drop me a line or leave a comment. Thank you.

This is the last appeal, I promise, and here we go with more of my old photos reprocessed with Topaz Sharpen AI, Adjust AI, and Skylum Aurora HDR 2019.

This next photo was an interesting sight to behold . . . these Texas Longhorns were being unloaded from a carrier and released onto a grazing field. I missed capturing the part where they ran through the gate and dispersed onto the field; they seem happy to fatten up for the sake of future hamburgers. 

This guy kept circling above them, probably hoping for one of them to suffer a heart attack or accidentally — and fatally — stab a companion with them long and deadly looking horns . . .

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Posted in About Writing, Animals, Aurora 2019 HDR, Feathers, Fur, Photo Post-processing, Photography Stuff, Photos, Software, Topaz Plug-ins and Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Again?! Yes; Old Favorites and Another Reminder to Vote

If you haven’t yet done so — and if so inclined — please take a few minutes (about 15-20 minutes) and read the three stories in THIS post and then, if feeling charitable, please cast your vote for one of them (the survey is after the stories).

Also, if you are associated with the publishing industry (editor, published author, agent, etc.) and would like to volunteer as a judge to help us confer our Professional Recognition Award, please drop me a line or leave a comment. Thank you.

I’m sounding like a one-trick pony . . .

But with less hair and no tail.

The thing is, I got to looking at my old photos and got hooked on reprocessing them with Topaz Sharpen AI, Adjust AI, and Skylum Aurora HDR 2019. So, here are a few more . . .

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Posted in About Writing, Animals, Aurora 2019 HDR, Feathers, Fur, Photo Post-processing, Photography Stuff, Photos, Software, Topaz Plug-ins and Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

More Old Favorites and Another Reminder to Vote

If you haven’t yet done so — and if so inclined — please take a few minutes (about 15-20 minutes) and read the three stories in THIS post and then, if feeling charitable, please cast your vote for one of them (the survey is after the stories).

Also, if you are associated with the publishing industry (editor, published author, agent, etc.) and would like to volunteer as a judge to help us confer our Professional Recognition Award, please drop me a line or leave a comment. Thank you.

And that’s enough of that . . .

The following photos are the rest of the photos I had processed a few days ago. I posted the first set yesterday. Some of these photos show different poses of the same subjects . . .

And some are new subjects . . .

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Posted in About Writing, Animals, Aurora 2019 HDR, Feathers, Flowers, Macro Photography, Photo Post-processing, Photography Stuff, Photos, Plants, Software, Topaz Plug-ins and Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Old Favorites and a Reminder to Vote

If you haven’t yet done so — and if so inclined — please take a few minutes (about 15-20 minutes) and read the three stories in THIS post and then, if feeling charitable, please cast your vote for one of them (the survey is after the stories).

Also, if you are professionally associated with the publishing industry (editor, published author, agent, etc.) and would like to volunteer as a judge for our Professional Recognition Award, please drop me a line or leave a comment. Thank you.

And that’s enough of that . . .

I’ve got this itch, you see . . . no, nothing medical. I have lots of pretty good photos (my opinion and not necessarily shared by the public) going back to 2002, when I purchased my first digital camera, the Nikon D100.

I’ve recently mentioned processing tools have exponentially improved since then and that has me looking back at photos I like but were marred by bad lighting, limited equipment, user error, and limited operator skills. Many of these I’ve already published here or on Smugmug, but always with the disclaimer and apology for the poor quality.

Well, I’m going back and revisiting some of these and processing them in Topaz Sharpen AI, Topaz Adjust AI, Skylum Luminar 4, and Skylum Aurora HDR.

For instance, this cardinal was photographed through a double-pane plate window at my Franklin (Michigan) home . . .

Prior versions have always been “soft” and somewhat unsatisfactory to my critical eye.

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Posted in About Writing, Animals, Feathers, Flowers, Macro Photography, Photo Post-processing, Photography Stuff, Photos, Plants, Software, Topaz Plug-ins and Studio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Old Hawk and Reminder to Vote

Twenty-three visitors viewed the 1500 words challenge post but only two voted. I mean, I get it; it was a holiday. An eating holiday, at that. In retrospect, that wasn’t what one might call good timing. Same for today; people immersed in a spending frenzy aren’t likely to spend their break reading stories and pondering on the relative merits of the narratives before casting a vote.

Still, them Readers Awards won’t mean much if there are no actual readers voting. So, if you can muster the physical and mental energy for it, please read the short stories and cast your vote before noon, December 4th. 

At 1,500 words, reading each story should take no more than seven minutes to read and I realize that’s a huge time commitment in these days of near-instant gratification.

And that’s enough of that . . .

Today’s post is about an old hawk. Not age-wise old; photo old, as in 2012. This was a rare capture for me; a hawk who dropped from above onto a random spot in the snow. I missed the actual moment, but I have the aftermath . . .

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Posted in About Writing, Airplanes/Aeroplanes, Animals, Environment, Feathers, Flowers, Ice, Machines, Macro Photography, Photo Post-processing, Photography Stuff, Photos, Plants, Snow, Software, Topaz Plug-ins and Studio | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments