It’s that time of year again: the 2021 edition of my writing retreat has begun. I booked my time at the cabin to coincide with the new moon, to make for some better astrophotography opportunities, and then found out later that, coincidentally, I’d also be up here for the peak of the Perseid meteor shower.
Yesterday, around suppertime, Kathleen and I came up to the cabin with my gear packed between two cars (it probably would’ve fit into one, but my bike fits waaaay better in our newer vehicle and I prefer the older car for astrophotography, since its lights don’t turn on every time I open the door). We unloaded into the cabin, unpacked what needed unpacking, and then went for a walk. Our friends E&K were up at their place, along with their daughter, so we had a chat on their deck till dusk, when the mosquitoes asserted their dominance. Kathleen headed home, and I unpacked some more of my stuff.
The day had been smoky/hazy, the sun varying between orange and red, so I wasn’t holding out much hope for any good photos. But around midnight, after watching some TV on my laptop, I stepped outside and saw a couple bright stars, despite the brightly-lit cabins. I loaded up my camera and tripod, then drove about 10 minutes out of town. On the side of Hwy 16A I captured about 15 minutes of photos, which you can see above.
There was still a haze in the air, and a weird phenomenon, one I don’t think I’ve ever seen before: The sky kept flickering. It was like cloud lightning, but without clouds. I don’t know if I was seeing headlights on the nearby Hwy 16 reflected by shifting smoke particles, or if there was a thunderstorm just beyond the northern horizon, or what. It was weird, cool, and a little unsettling.
Then I came back to base and fell into my bed.
I almost forgot to set down the goals for this year’s retreat. Here goes:
- Get “The Slow Apocalypse” into at least a 2nd-draft state, something that I can send out to beta readers. (PS, want to beta read a story for me?)
- Chronological framework for “Praise the Torch When ‘Tis Burned”, and at least 1st drafts for all the scenes. Also consider how it’s going to be chopped up later.
- Work on a grant application for “Palimpsests”.
- Astrophotography: Dark sky shots of the Milky Way; star trails; Perseids; and, should the opportunity arise, the aurora.
- Biking as much as I can/dare, considering the heat; aiming to break last year’s 60km.
- Kayaking at least a few times, since it’s fun and I have access to a kayak.
Series: Writing Retreat 2021The entire series: Writing Retreat 2021, Day Zero; Writing Retreat, Day One; Writing Retreat, day 2; Writing Retreat 2021, day 3; Writing Retreat 2021, day 4; Writing Retreat 2021, day 5; Writing Retreat 2021, day 6.
Interested in prints of my photos? Let me know, and we can work something out.