Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wildacres Report

That was the week that was.  About a hundred writers convene on the mountain for a week of workshops, music, partying, and quite a lot of silliness. 

There are student readings and faculty readings, a costume night (the theme was Outer Space and I went as a Hitchhiker as in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was a great costume for someone who's resistant to dressing up -- I carried my Kindle with the words DON'T PANIC in large friendly letters on the cover and also a towel "one of the most massively useful' things a galactic hitchhiker can carry. ) And on the last night is the legendary Gong Show -- extreme silliness.

There were nine in my novel workshop and all of them were great at critique. Each participant's 4,500 words got thoroughly examined and we all learned from one another. The students caught lots of things that I had missed and by the end of the week, everyone had not only revisions to consider but a lot of things to think about concerning the direction of their work. 

It's a grueling (wink) schedule. Five class meetings (half a day) and the rest of the time free to audit other classes, write, play music, wander around taking pictures of flowers, nap, or practice for the Gong Show.

I admit to some naps. I also read a lot and will report on my reading in another post.  Three walks a day helped offset the three meals that someone else cooked.

And best of all, I wrote. One very short piece about a place we lived in Florida, most of a piece about my accident two years ago,  and something that may be the beginning of a novel tentatively titled THE SPARROW WITCH, set in Appalachia in the present day and the Twenties..

Wildacres Writers Workshop was recently listed by The National Geographic as one of a hundred places that will change your life. Students come from all over -- as far away as California, Hawaii, and, this year, even Australia.

Highly recommended for writers!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

I'm Back and the New Camera Is Here!

It was waiting for me when I arrived home from Wildacres but I resisted even opening the package till I'd unpacked, done my laundry, watered some plants, looked at my email and Facebook,  made granola, and gone to the garden to pick stuff for dinner. 

Then I opened the package, only to discover there was no user's manual (my friend Cory says probably they've quit printing manuals because no one reads them.) There were a couple of CDs. but my laptop won't take them. So I found a manual online and proceeded to follow the directions. 

I got as far as charging the battery, removing the lens from my old camera and putting it on the new one, and attaching the strap (not as easy as it sounds, at least for me.)

After dinner I managed to switch the readouts from Japanese to English (whew!) set the date and time, and a few other minor adjustments. Then I took a picture. It was dark by now and I just snapped this from where I was sitting and reading the manual.

Hoorah! A picture!

I'm pretty sure I'm going to love this camera. It has a lot of  things that are an improvement over the old one but essentially much of it is familiar. I was working my way through the manual when I discovered the Special Effects! 

My old camera didn't have this feature -- a feature that I expect most smartphones have. But I am easily amused. I played with this Color Sketch mode for a bit. . .

Josie will be with me Sunday --  I'll explore the setting designed for photographing children. Maybe I can get down to the garden early and capture the butterflies on the zinnias.

Wildacres was wonderful, as usual. I'll post something about it tomorrow. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Another Day With Josie

I'm off today to Wildacres Writer's Workshop for a week. Internet there can be dodgy  -- I'll post if I can. 

Till then, here's Josie!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Biting the Bullet

The D90 continues with its intermittent functioning problem. The above and some of yesterday's pics were taken with my  little pocket camera because the D90 refused to function just when Josie was being extra funny. 

I had downloaded and printed out the packing slip  to send the D90 it off to Nikon repair when my friend Cory (a professional photographer) suggested that rather than invest in repair I should think about a new camera  because "technology has come a long way."

Wow. It's been not quite nine years. But no doubt he's right. And I thought to myself, if the D90's card reader is worn out, what part will be next? I've used it hard these past eight plus years . . .

My normal procedure for any gratuitous expenditure over $100 is to agonize for days. I'm normally pretty frugal. But somehow, the decision happened almost immediately.

I've ordered, per Cory's suggestion, a Nikon D5300. He says it's basically a new, upgraded version of the D90 and my big lens will fit it just fine. 

Done. It will arrive Monday. Unfortunately, I'll be at Wildacres and won't get to use it till I get back on the 14th.

And after pressing SEND on the order, I went out and took pictures with the D90 which had suddenly shaped up at the news of a replacement. . .

Addendum: I received an email from Cory telling me, in the nicest way, when the new camera comes to "read the f---ing manual!" Along with some other good advice. I have been guilty of always shooting in Programed mode and ignoring all the niceties that would make for a better picture. 

Bur I've promised to do better.