Big breakfast, in which I discovered that Trapper Bites, eggs, and potatoes are an amazing combo
1,000 words in “Dried Flowers”
6 km bike ride
A bunch of macro photos in the campground
Also met with the owner of a “49-ish” Mercury truck (it’s a ’49, but it has A/C and an automatic transmission)
1,000 words in Translations (or more likely Daniel, Daniel, Daniel)
And before bed, I set up my camera in the cabin’s covered porch, and took photos till the battery died about an hour later; the clouds rolled in, but before they did I got the star trails at the top of this post.
This reinforces my previous experience with the Lensbaby lens: it’s great for macro shots, like the one with the single stalk of flowers against the grass, but in most other uses it reduces most if not all of the frame to an impressionistic blur. If that’s your aesthetic, great, but more often than not I’m disappointed in the photos I take with it.
It’s still fun to play with, though.
wrote 1,000 more words before supper (a lot of conversation; stories being told)
evaded clouds and fog (oh my so much fog — I had to change locations 3 times because fog rolled in) to capture shots of Comet NEOWISE and the Milky Way
The bluer photo of the comet, the close-up, was taken with my 50mm f/1.8 lens. Look closely, and you’ll find I caught both tails. You might have to view the photo at full size.
As always: if you’re interested in prints of any of these photos, let me know. We’ll see what we can work out.
And then I got home, and made some notes, and it turns out that the “brilliant story suggestions” introduce some more conflict, at the cost of moving a few scenes around.
No spoilers for the short story, but it a) makes my antagonist a more interesting character, b) makes my protagonist have to make a very difficult decision, and c) allows me to illuminate how the protagonist plays games with the truth.
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 RESTROOMSFORPAYINGCUSTOMERSONLY.
“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?”
Read at least a couple of the books I brought: Provenance by Ann Leckie (I’m about ¾ of the way through, so that should work out); The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro; Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer; and The Knight by Gene Wolfe (because it’s a tradition, apparently, that I read Wolfe while I’m at the cabin).
I’m also due in Winnipeg for my nephew’s birthday party, which means I’ll be able to pick up the copy of Michael Swanwick’s The Iron Dragon’s Mother that I pre-ordered in (checks notes) (…these notes are illegible) February? maybe. And a friend is camping at Clear Lake starting mid-week, so I’ll probably go bother him for an afternoon or something.
As my darling wife is wont to say, “Write faster, Johanneson.”
Header image: last night, reading Provenance on the deck with a glass of Writer’s Tears.
I really like my short story “The Overnight Shift”. I wrote it last summer, in a weekend, at the start of my 2016 writer’s retreat. It was originally written as a contest entry in the NYC Midnight flash fiction contest.
Since I wrote it, I’ve been trying to sell it. It’s right at the 1,000-word mark, making it what they term flash fiction. There are a decent number of paying markets for flash fiction, and I was starting to think I was going to have to try them all.
That is a screenshot of my Submission Grinder screen for “The Overnight Shift”. The numbers in the square brackets at the end? That’s [the number of current open submissions for a piece / the number of submissions this year / the number of all-time submissions]. Those 14 are all the times I’ve sent this piece out into the world. 13 times running, it was rejected (twice it made it to the second round, where it was then pruned).
And finally, this week, I sold it. It will appear sometime in November in The Arcanist, a relatively new online SF/F ’zine featuring flash fiction.
I’ll be sure to post here when it goes live. Trust me, you won’t be able to keep me quiet about it.