A little of this and a little of that

Have you ever had so much pent up inside that instead of producing a flood of content you end up being creatively constipated and produced next to nothing?

No? . . . it must just be me, then, and when it happens, I fall back on posting a few photos and talking about random stuff.

These are all photos from the P900, and most of them are shot at maximum zoom. If not right at 2000mm, then pretty close to it. For instance, the above is a shot from the third-floor balcony of a flower on the far side of the pool below us. 

All of these will be in a gallery at the end of the post and the originals are in THIS SmugMug Gallery. You can also click on the individual photos for a larger version. 

Anyway, earlier today I had yet another urge to write me some fiction but, I resisted. Well, actually, more like procrastinated by snacking and surfing for articles about . . . well, dang! . . . I don’t rightly remember right now, but I’m sure it was important at the time. Productive, too. And, of course, worthwhile. 

By the way, these little bastards are some of the most difficult birds I’ve ever tried to photograph . . . 

None of those are good photos. I mean, they are OK, but just barely so. The problem is that these birds do not stand still. Constantly in motion, they are. 

In that respect, they are almost as bad as these guys . . . 

These are marginally better than the others, but still not that great to the pixel level . . . the best two shots of this bird are these:

And these are at maximum zoom with the bird about 30-40 yards away. That last shot merits a bit of a treatment. 

These next birds were also far away and difficult to shoot . . . but they were not moving around.

Anyway, writing . . . not doing much of it. In fact, not doing much editing either. 

I am reliving the past, re-reading fiction I’ve written. Perhaps this is what old age is all about; too much of a bother doing anything new and too easily distracted by reliving past glory. 

Well, “glory” is perhaps too strong a word. Still, I read THIS and THIS pieces and find myself wondering if I could ever be that clever again. 

. . . then I wondered if it was clever in the first place or just suffering from senile delusions. But, before I could ponder and work out what truth is to be found, I come across THIS, and it has nothing to do with writing. Is my true calling the ability to get distracted by many things? Can you make money and win accolades doing that?

By the way, these birds don’t seem to mind me being no more than ten feet away . . . 

Honest, writing is my passion. All kinds of writing, but fiction is what gives me the most satisfaction. 

Why ain’t I doing it, then? 

I ain’t got me no answers . . . 

These next two shots are also of birds that are difficult to capture . . . 

The plan was to write a short story every few weeks and every few months take a break and write a novel in six to eight weeks. None of that has happened. 

Before I get a bunch of comments telling me to “buck up” and “stick with it” know that I am not depressed or despondent or any other negative thing one can imagine. I’m not asking for advice or sympathy . . . I’m relaxed, in my usual good mood, and finding many things to occupy my time. 

Sure, sure, it’s all stuff that is the opposite of productive, but I’m not complaining. I see new things, I hear new things, I eat, I exercise, I listen to music. On the whole, life is good, and at some point, my creative constipation will run its course and writing effluent will once more freely flow. Likely, the analogy is fitting.   

Hey, want to see something weird? Notice anything in this next shot?

Of course you do . . . 

That was there one morning as we drove by and I had to snap a photo of it. It wasn’t there the next day, so obviously there must have been a seismic event — an earthquake — that knocked it down. I mean, I can’t think of another possible explanation. 

I have two more birds I want to show before I get back to flowers . . . 

I did a treatment of this one . . . 

Yeah, it looks the same, but it’s actually a drawing. 

Drawing! That’s the other thing I wanted to get back to; we got online classes and everything (bought them on sale for a steal), not that we’ve sat through them. I mentioned I used to draw, right? All of those are copied — not traced — from photos. I also used to draw in the style of Jacovitti.

I used to be pretty good at drawing Jacovitti’s characters, copied, or making up my own based on his style (like the two above). 

Note that none of my drawings are “free-flowing.” These were not sketches showing artistic proficiency. They were more like an engineer approaching a problem in a methodical manner. I did not generate anything original but was pretty good at copying things, of adopting a style.  That’s one of the reasons I want to take those classes; I want to develop the ability to draw things without copying them; draw something right out of my mind and onto paper. 

Oh, yeah, here’s the other bird before I go on to flowers . . . 

That was a difficult shot . . . full sun, slightly backlit on wet and dry black lava. It’s a wonder I got anything at all. 

So, anyway, writing. I used to write these really long posts. Some people think I write long posts now, but they are not like THIS. That particular post also contains one of my favorite impromptu flash pieces, the story of Rose and Joe. The story itself came about based on a photo of a carnation (that post has a lot of photos of flowers and bugs). 

I’ve always enjoyed writing about romantic relationships, but not as presented in typical romance novels. I wrote about romance in the post entitled Romance. I was shooting for romance in THIS challenge flash piece based on a video. 

I went for romance in THIS flash piece based on a writing prompt and even blended in a bit of SF. I got a lot of good feedback on that one, doubly appreciated as some of it came from other writers. 

This next flower was also shot from the balcony . . . 

. . . and I thought it could use a bit of jazzing up. 

I mention reading my old stuff, and there is a danger in that. I mean, a danger for me, not for you.

You, dear reader, would just enjoy it; a wondrous stroll down a beatific and soothing memory lane. You could relive the gentle sadness of THIS literary equivalent of a triptych, an overarching story told in three short scenes. 

For me, it’s a mixed blessing . . . it’s both a reminder of what I can write, the emotions I can convey, the character I can bring to life, but it’s also a wake-up call . . . can I still write like that? I think so, but we all change. I’m not the same person I was three years ago, and the world is not the same place it was three years ago.

Here’s another pair — original photo and artistic cover — from the garden below. This one is an actual macro . . . yes, I went down there with the camera in my hand and showed it right up against the flower’s stamen. 

I recently watched a number of YouTube videos of soldiers coming back from tour and surprising their families. I’ve watched enough that I wonder if the participants now know — even when surprised — how they should act.  Except when it comes to kids. Especially, kids old enough to understand and not yet adults; late pre-teens and early teens seem to me to have the rawest and most genuine emotions. Different from adults; different from very young kids.

I watched the videos with the specific aim of wanting to translate those emotions into words. It’s very difficult to do. Those raw emotions can’t be easily described. 

I think I can convey emotions in my characters (for example, HERE) but I’m not sure I could describe the emotion evident in those scenes. 

Understand, that’s a specific emotion, and one tied to a specific set of circumstances. I’m talking more about the intensity than the type. 

Here’s another original and a B&W cover of it . . . 

Well, I’ve written a bunch of stuff not associated with many of the day’s hot topics. Perhaps I should cap it off with a few jokes.  

Nah . . . some other time. Here’s one last flower. 

Here’s the gallery . . . I still say WordPress downsamples the images I upload. The photo will look better if you either click on them or go see them in SmugMug.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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