Monthly Archives: June 2014

good novel, self-published

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A good thriller, takes place on the Texas Gulf coast, which ain’t all that fancy a place, the authors are actually three guys who’ve known each other for years, one is a lawyer, another an engineer and I forgot the third. Have been at a couple of author’s festivals with them and they are a comedy team. Very funny. the book is great, they have a website.

 

Characters and Images

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I was never really able to get a handle on my character Adair in Enemy Women until I found the right image for her. Then she just jumped out at me and was herself. It’s not really a photo from the Civil War era, I found it in a book about women’s clothing, styles, fashions during the 19th century. The woman and era were unidentified but my best guess is that she is from a Mediterranean or Greek ethnic group and the photo is of a quality that would put it in the late 19th century. But it would serve; for Adair, from the Ozarks, 1861. it fired my imagination and I had my character. There you are, where have you been?

Same with Alan, in Zain. I was floundering around with an action hero, male, in the same dystopic world as in Lighthouse Island, a person who was defiant, always moving forward, never backed down. Somebody with a goal and a mission. Working with a character like that is so very different from working with one who is a clever evader. It is two different worlds. So this image from the Devil May Cry video game was him, it was what I needed to ground the character. Okay so they’re both goodlooking, there you go. So what. It’s all imaginary.

Technically, I fell into some interesting challenges. The story requires that your character know how things work, so she/he can work fast, get things done, and move like a rocket toward their goal, their desires, their vision of how things should be. And all the dangers and ambiguities that involves. Which led me into searching the internet for steam power, train-hopping, how prisons maintain security, third-world cities and the economy of slums and of the poor, flooding effects, river drainages, and on and on.

 

 

D Day June 6 1944

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German troops surrendering, D Day.

There are so many pictures of the wounded on the landing at Normandy, and I think this is because the photographers were not in the middle of the action, up forward. Mostly they were back with the wounded at the aid stations although some were in the first wave.

It is nearly impossible to protect yourself or be aware of enemy fire when you are looking through a lens and taking a picture. To go into action with your face up against a camera sight is suicidal. Although some have done it. I have been in fast-moving situations taking photos and you forget where your feet are, or anything else except that small field in your lens and so this is very dangerous to the photographer.

So this is one of the rarely-seen photos. instead of the wounded, here are the Nazi troops surrendering, which is, after all, what the soldiers were there for.

Shortly after this my dad was drafted into the Navy and spent a year on a destroyer escort, The USS Finnegan, in the Pacific. He was at Iwo Jima and the battle of Letey Gulf.

Lunch on the trail

scan0003 Blue Creek Canyon in Big Bend National Park. April Baxter was taking the picture so she wasn’t in it but that gray horse is her pretty little Andalusian mare named Indira. This was back in March.

Utopia Ranch Rodeo and the Great Downpour

Scan0041 A most amazing photo by Hattie Barham of Utopia. The Ranch Rodeo was on Memorial Day and on that day the big eight-inch rainfall happened. I could see the lights of the arena from my ridgetop home here and I thought surely it would be cancelled but it was not. Hattie is one of the best — she and her husband are living here (where they’re from) but Hattie has shot for AP, Agence-France Press and all the top venues. so much talent here in this little town. Terrific photo! See them all at Hattie’s site, LoneStarPhotos.com