I shot this photo from my deck, on a chilly night at the end of March 2018. Then I went inside and ordered Michael Swanwick’s chapbook/objet d’art Blue Moon, helping to ensure it would sell out instead of being burned.
With some of the money I inherited from my dad, last year, I bought an 11–16mm f/2.8 lens for my camera. In plain English, it’s a nice fast lens with a nice wide field of view, which means that it’s great for astrophotography.
Tonight, the stars aligned for me, as it were. There was almost a 50⁄50 chance of some aurora sightings, per SpaceWeather. The temperature was a balmy -1°C, which was a pleasant change from the -25°C and -35°C nights we’ve had for the last couple weeks.
Long story short, there was a faint haze to the north. Editing with Gimp brings out quite a bit more than the naked eye could see.
As my camera clicked away, I leaned back against the car. At one point I thought of Kurt Vonnegut’s quote: If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.
As is rapidly becoming tradition, I spent most of the last week of July in a friend’s cabin up at Minnedosa. (Thanks, Karen & Ed!) My goals for the week are posted here, and here’s how it went:
Beat sheets for the major characters in Translations
I have a complete outline for the POV’s arc, which is the most critical as it’s narrated in the first person.
Also, I had a major epiphany about the POV character, one that will shake up the last ⅔ of the book.
10,000 words in Translations
I wrote 12,500 words in Translations, the bulk of it written as I sat on the deck, pretty much all alone in the cottage area.
At least a few shots of the Milky Way
Yeah, that turned out okay.
Having access to a car this year really helped me get to the dark places (literally) so that I could get some great photos of the night sky.
Also, I sold a print of one of my photos to a friend. (Thanks, Brianne!) Does that mean I’m a pro now?
Lots of bike riding
Well. My bike’s left pedal arm has been coming loose more and more frequently. It’s got to go into the shop. On my first ride in Minnedosa, I had to stop twice to tighten the pedal arm, both times on my way up a hill. So after that, feh to bike riding. (At least, my bike in its current condition.)
Fortunately, I had access to a kayak (thanks, Carla!), so I put in about 15 km of paddling time, going up and down the lake.
I also re-read the first ⅔ of Gene Wolfe’s subtle and mysterious The Fifth Head of Cerberus, which, I’m not gonna lie, probably had at least a little bit to do with my aforementioned epiphany. (It’s also the first Wolfe novel I’ve re-read, and it’s amazing how much less confusion I feel, how much more I’m picking up.)
And we bought a second car, which is why I could have a vehicle to go gallivantin’ around the countryside, looking for dark locations to get photos like this:
I think that went well.
2 alternate takes (and more, so much more!) on my Flickr account.
For the next week, at least. It’s time for Writing Retreat, 2017 Edition.
So far I’ve got 3,500 words of a 10,000+ word goal. (1,000 words of that is in an outline/beat sheet, so I’m not really counting them. I’m also not counting blog posts. That seems like it’d be cheating.)