Long weekend bike ride

Bales under the prairie sky

I went on a 23-kilo­me­tre bike ride on the Mon­day of the August Long Week­end, before it got too hot out­side. I took along my cam­era, with my 50mm, 24mm, and Lens­ba­by lens­es.

Here are the results.

Writing Retreat, Day 6

The Milky Way

Sat­ur­day, I:

  • wrote my 2,000 words in two stints;
  • crossed the 100,000-word mark in my nov­el;
  • debat­ed chang­ing the title from Trans­la­tions to Reflec­tion, Trans­la­tion, Inva­sion (which is a not-com­plete­ly-inac­cu­rate sum­ma­ry of the sto­ry, at a very high lev­el);
  • turned on the air con­di­tion­ing, because it was get­ting pret­ty hot;
  • bor­rowed the neigh­bours’ kayak and pad­dled on the lake for a half-hour or so right at sun­set;
  • went and got some more pho­tos of the Milky Way and (serendip­i­tous­ly) the Auro­ra Bore­alis.

Can I help you with some­thing?” Head­less man­nequins wore flim­sy cot­ton dress­es in earth tones. Coun­ter­top racks dis­played neack­laces and bracelets made of beads, pearls, or smooth and pol­ished stones. A sign at the back said RESTROOMS FOR PAYING CUSTOMERS ONLY.

I need a wash­room,” I said.

She motioned at the sign.

No, I need a wash­room.”

She sighed, though I couldn’t tell whether she was exas­per­at­ed with me or with the sit­u­a­tion I was evi­dent­ly try­ing to put her in. “Pol­i­cy,” she said. Then, giv­ing me a good look­ing-over, she said, much more qui­et­ly, “You okay?”

Yes, I want­ed to say.

No.”

From Trans­la­tions
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Writ­ing Retreat, Day 6

Series: Writing Retreat 2019

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2019; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 1; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 2; Writ­ing Retreat: Days 3 through 5; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 6.

Writing Retreat: Days 3 through 5

Clouds above the field

It seems I’m a bit behind on the ol’ posts. Here’s a quick recap of Wednes­day to Fri­day:

  • wrote a bunch of words, though I’m a bit behind my goal;
  • went on a cou­ple quick bike rides, includ­ing one up the hill to the grave­yard (where I was tempt­ed to lie down, just for a moment, because that’s quite the hill) and the obser­va­tion tow­er;
  • con­tem­plat­ed going kayak­ing but decid­ed I was over­heat­ed, so went swim­ming instead to cool down;
  • drove to Win­nipeg for my nephew’s 19th birth­day;
  • also went up to Clear Lake to vis­it my friend Tim;
  • and went out again on Fri­day night to attempt some Milky Way shots.
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Writ­ing Retreat: Days 3 through 5

Series: Writing Retreat 2019

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2019; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 1; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 2; Writ­ing Retreat: Days 3 through 5; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 6.

Writing Retreat 2019, Day 2

Star trails -- about 100 images, 30 seconds each

On Tues­day, I:

  • wrote 2,000 more words in two shifts, morn­ing and evening;
  • read about ⅓ of Drey­er’s Eng­lish, chortling all the while;
  • went for a 3.5km kayak ride on the lake;
  • did a quick 5km bike ride to the cof­fee shop and to Co-op for gro­ceries;
  • and went back out for some more astropho­tog­ra­phy, this time in the riv­er val­ley to the north.

Here’s a quick sam­ple of the writ­ing so far (still 1st draft):

Your nose is bro­ken, she’d said. I reached up and touched it, gin­ger­ly, expect­ing pain. Instead it felt cold and numb. Touch­ing it felt like I was touch­ing some­one else’s nose. Like it was made of wax.

I felt a thin strip of met­al or met­al-like plas­tic that ran from between my eye­brows down the bridge of my nose to its tip. I tried to lift it off, to pry a nail under it, but couldn’t. It was like it was a part of me. Maybe it was a part of me now.

You’ve been con­cussed. That part I didn’t need to check to believe. I remem­bered the headache, the nau­sea that nev­er quite went away and nev­er quite resolved into actu­al vom­it­ing. When I lay down on the bed, the room seemed to shiv­er and spin, slow­ly, an orbit that I didn’t like.

From Trans­la­tions, 1st draft
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 2

Series: Writing Retreat 2019

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2019; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 1; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 2; Writ­ing Retreat: Days 3 through 5; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 6.

Writing Retreat 2019, Day 1

Milky Way above a bluff of trees

I:

  • wrote 1,000 words in the morn­ing,
  • went for a 11-km bike ride,
  • vis­it­ed with my land­lords for the week,
  • went on a scout­ing dri­ve for the astropho­tog­ra­phy,
  • snapped some pho­tos in the coun­try­side (below),
  • wrote anoth­er 1,000 words after sup­per,
  • fin­ished read­ing Prove­nance (review com­ing),
  • went back out into the coun­try­side and took some dark­er pho­tos (above) till the moon rose and washed out the Galaxy,
  • drove back to the cab­in, and
  • crawled into bed about 2 AM.

So far so good.

Top pho­to: tak­en about 11:45 PM or so. 12mm, 44 sec­onds, f/2.8, ISO 3200 (I think).

Series: Writing Retreat 2019

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2019; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 1; Writ­ing Retreat 2019, Day 2; Writ­ing Retreat: Days 3 through 5; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 6.

Bike ride

Panorama on Grand Valley Road

On the week­end I rode a bit over 20km. I did­n’t have my Canon with me, but my phone’s cam­era is pret­ty decent. I real­ly liked how the bas­ket­ball hoop turned out; I have some­thing of a thing for entropy and aban­doned spaces, and this shot made my ride for me.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Bike ride”

Jupiter

Jupiter and some of its moons

Last week­end, as Jupiter approached oppo­si­tion, I went out into the back­yard with my cam­era and tri­pod to see if I could get a pho­to of it.

Behold, Jupiter and the four Galilean moons. As near as I can work it (thanks to this handy cal­cu­la­tor), we’ve got (bot­tom-left to top-right) Io, Europa, Ganymede, and (way off to the side) Cal­lis­to. The pho­to was tak­en June 7, 2019, just before 11:15PM Cen­tral Day­light Time, if you want to check my cal­cu­la­tions.

Pho­to info: 1 sec­ond expo­sure, 250mm, ISO 1600, f/5.6. Pho­to tak­en in RAW for­mat, processed with Dark­table. Cropped from a larg­er image to show the detail.