McNally Robinson Photo Submission

McNal­ly Robin­son, my favourite book­store, is curat­ing a pho­to­book of the province, to be titled Man­i­to­ba by Man­i­to­ba. To that end, they’re seek­ing pho­tos tak­en out­side the Perime­ter (for the non-Man­i­to­bans, that means, essen­tial­ly, “not tak­en in Win­nipeg”). You can sub­mit up to 5 pho­tos.

It was­n’t easy, trim­ming my sub­mis­sion down to five. Here are the ones I sent in.

Wish me luck!

Mom’s birthday bash

Mom and the kids

For my mom’s very recent birth­day, we got togeth­er at Hecla, a cou­ple hours north of Win­nipeg. I’ve post­ed most of the pho­tos on Face­book, but Mom does­n’t have a Face­book account.

No meteors

Star Trails, Aug. 12, 2018

I went out to try to get some mete­ors dur­ing the 2018 Per­seid show­er, and I don’t think I cap­tured a sin­gle one. (I saw two, but they were where my cam­era was­n’t point­ed.)

But at least I got some nice star trails, on a dark and moon­less night, despite the smoke in the air.

Eventually, there might be a Swanwick/Link interview

Wood type

…and it’s sort of my fault.

It start­ed with a request for book sug­ges­tions: Nik­ki was look­ing for books that “cap­tured [my] soul”.

I made a sug­ges­tion, nam­ing a cou­ple of my favourite short-sto­ry authors. (FYI, Kel­ly Link goes by @haszombiesinit on The Twit­ters.)

Michael Swan­wick, as is his wont, replied.

I offered up my 2‑year-old review of Get in Trou­ble.

Mr. Swan­wick agreed with me.

Kel­ly Link chimed in.

And then it all kind of snow­balled.

So I’ve got that to look for­ward to. I hope it comes to pass; I think it’d be a fas­ci­nat­ing inter­view.

Writing Retreat, 2018: Tuesday–Thursday

Chadwick Ginther reads from his new novel

Tues­day and Wednes­day were a lot like Mon­day, except I did­n’t set my alarm for 2:30 AM either day.


I got up, wrote, read, wrote some more, then head­ed to Win­nipeg, to see my friend Chad­wick Ginther launch his new nov­el, Grave­yard Mind, at McNal­ly Robin­son.

Chad­wick read­ing from Grave­yard Mind.

On my way, I hap­pened upon a love­ly field of sun­flow­ers, so I stopped for a few pho­tos. None of them turned out, because I neglect­ed to turn on the aut­o­fo­cus on my lens. But that’s OK, because I went back today (Fri­day) to scout the spot for a pos­si­ble round of star trails lat­er tonight, and I got this pho­to:

One sun­flower, look­ing back

And then, after vis­it­ing with some friends in Win­nipeg (thanks for the iced tea, Mike & Michelle!), I stopped in at the aban­doned house near Erick­son, and got about a half-hour’s worth of star trails.

Star trails above the aban­doned house

It was about 2:30 AM when I got back to the cab­in (hmm, I seem to have an affin­i­ty for that time…), so I start­ed the star-trail GIMP plu­g­in whose even­tu­al out­put you see above,  then went to bed.

Series: Writing Retreat 2018

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2018: Sun­day; Writ­ing Retreat 2018: Mon­day; Writ­ing Retreat, 2018: Tuesday–Thursday; Writ­ing Retreat 2018: The Week­end; Wrap-up.

Writing Retreat 2018: Monday

Bison at Minnedosa

Mon­day morn­ing I got my 1,250 words done quick­ly, then reward­ed myself with a cou­ple more episodes of Car­nivàle. (Aside: I don’t know what’s up with the à in Car­nivàle, any more than I know what’s up with my friend that insist­ed on pro­nounc­ing it Car­ni­valé.)

In the after­noon I head­ed into town on a cou­ple mis­sions: I want­ed to get some sup­plies for the cab­in (milk for my morn­ing cof­fee, for instance, and peanut but­ter for my toast), and I want­ed to upload Sun­day’s pho­tos, if pos­si­ble. I took my lap­top to the cof­fee shop for the sec­ond mis­sion, and got per­mis­sion to plug it in. (The bat­tery no longer charges, and it’s time for a new lap­top, or at least a new bat­tery.) I sat down at a table near the out­let, pulled out my lap­top, and dis­cov­ered that I’d left the cord back at the cab­in.

At least I man­aged to get milk and peanut but­ter.

Lat­er in the day I went for a bike ride, and snapped pho­tos of a bush full of red berries (I think they’re prob­a­bly chokecher­ries, but I’m not sure enough that I’m going to taste them) and some of the bison in the bison enclo­sure (see up top).

Bright red berries; possibly chokecherries
I think these might be chokecher­ries, but I’m not sure enough to try and eat them.

In the evening, after sup­per, I did my 1,250 words, then went to bed fair­ly ear­ly. I had a plan, you see: I set my alarm for 2:30 AM, with the intent of get­ting to the aban­doned house (see Sun­day’s post) to get a longer set of star trails. I want­ed to get there before moon­set, so that the moon would part­ly light the house, and then stay till after the moon had gone down.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the weath­er did­n’t coop­er­ate. Clouds start­ed rolling in to the north (to shoot the house, I’m shoot­ing to the north­east), mean­ing that my star trail plan would be nixed. Also, I mis­cal­cu­lat­ed how much moon I’d have; it had near­ly set by the time I got halfway to the house.

Sigh­ing, long­ing for bed, I turned around and start­ed home. Some­thing made me stop, though, about halfway back, at the top of a val­ley on the road between Minnedosa and Erick­son.

The auro­ra were putting on a bit of a light show. I’d checked Space Weath­er ear­li­er in the day, and found that there was a chance of a mild geo­mag­net­ic storm, so I kind of halfway expect­ed it.

I stopped, and got some pho­tos. I’m hap­py with what I got. At least I did­n’t get up at 2:30 AM and dri­ve 45 min­utes round-trip for noth­ing.

Aurora Borealis
A bit of a light show, between Minnedosa and Erick­son

Series: Writing Retreat 2018

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2018: Sun­day; Writ­ing Retreat 2018: Mon­day; Writ­ing Retreat, 2018: Tuesday–Thursday; Writ­ing Retreat 2018: The Week­end; Wrap-up.