The streets of a city have a life of their own. This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Street Life. I spend a lot of time documenting the highways and byways that I encounter. Choosing one that shows the week’s theme was a challenge, but I hope this strikes a chord for viewers as much as it did for me when I took it. This couple biking on a Copenhagen street in December says a lot about the city, and its people to me. The man with his challenging smile, and the woman giving him that look that wives tend to give husbands who go all macho on them, says it all.
This weeks Weekly Photo Challenge is ‘Beginning.’ To me, an egg symbolizes the very first beginning:
It’s always a good idea to have a single point of focus in a photograph to draw the viewer’s eye to where you want it to be. the creamy white color and shape of the butterfly, in contrast with the surroundings, draws the eye toward the center of this photo, but not the exact center, for that would be boring.
Why don’t you share your photo showing the power of ONE: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/photo-challenge-one/
This week’s photo challenge is Grand. You will never get any two people to agree on just what ‘grand’ means, because it means different things to different people. A thing can be grand because of size, importance, or just the feeling it arouses in you. Here’s my take.
I’m hip deep in NaNoWriMo, doing pro bono work for a professional association, in the formative stages of a consulting job with the Department of Defense, and recovering from a hip operation; so, participating in NoBloPoMo, while tempting, is just a keyboard too far. I couldn’t pass up, though, a chance to blog about traveling suggested by the Daily Prompt: Come Fly With Me.
I spent the past 50 years traveling from one end of the earth to another. Beginning in 2012 in a little town in East Texas with a population of just over 700, I’ve since lived in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America, and have visited every continent except Antarctica. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve effectively circumnavigated the earth – between 2006 and 2009, for instance, I flew an average of 200,000 miles per year, including multiple trips to Western Europe, East and Southeast Asia, South America, and Russia. I think South Dakota is the only U.S. state I’ve never visited.
So, it becomes a bit difficult to describe the furthest I’ve ever traveled from home, because home has changed location almost every year for me until I retired from public service last year and more or less settled in suburban Maryland, just outside DC, to write, consult, and speak full time from a fixed base of operations. No single trip stands out as being the farthest. They’ve all been far in one way or another – either in distance traveled, or cultural change experienced. There is, though, one trip that stands out as probably the oddest.
When I lived in Zimbabwe, in southern Africa, I was asked to attend two conferences that were taking place in the same week. The problem is, one was in Cape Town, South Africa and the other was in Copenhagen, Denmark, and it was in December. It took some juggling, but my travel office figured out how to make it happen. So, on a warm December day, I left Harare, Zimbabwe and flew to Cape Town, where the weather was also balmy. I got up the next day and attended the meetings. When they were finished, I rushed to the airport and took off for Denmark, arriving in Copenhagen around midday the next day. I was greeted by ice hanging from eaves and piles of snow all over the place. Me and my two suitcases (yes, I had to pack one for warm weather and one for cold) survived the trip, though, and I now have the bragging rights of traveling from near the bottom to near the top of the world in one day. That’s a trip that’s not only far, but far out.
Let me ride in the wide open countryside I love, don’t fence me in. Under blue skies or starry skies, being able to see out to the horizon instills a sense of wonder in all of us. That, at least, is this week’s photo challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon.
Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing, or event from the last month of your life into the glistening marble of immortality. What’s the statue and what makes it so significant? This is my photographic take on significance for the Daily Prompt: Michelangelo’s YOU.
I’ve just joined Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and fortunately just in time to do a ‘first Wednesday’ posting. Check the link for details on this group, and how to join.
I got the idea for this post from Jacqui Murray’s posting on writing about love. The hang-up for me is writing about the physical manifestation of love, or to put it mildly, sex. This is a problem, really, because I do a mystery series about an unmarried private detective who has a live-in girlfriend, who also happens to be relatively attractive to the opposite sex.
There are, therefore, times and scenes when sex would be appropriate, but whenever I come to one of those points in a story, my fingers seem to freeze. I’m not a prude, I’ll have you know. But, I do have some regular readers who I know would be shocked, and perhaps even offended, if my finger should slip and I became too graphic.
I’ve wrestled with this problem over 17 books in the series; on occasion straying a bit into the slightly detailed description of the act, sometimes just alluding to it with euphemistic language, and sometimes having an entire story without one amorous encounter.
After a long time of experimenting, I’ve finally hit on a way to handle the delicate aspects of relations between characters in my stories; one that I hope works. Firstly, I don’t include a sex scene in a story unless it is germane to the particular story; either to show the developing relationship between characters, or is somehow related to the events of the story. An example of the last is, a character’s motive for murder might be that the victim once sexually assaulted, jilted, or cheated on her.
Once I’ve decided that sex should be a part of the story, the next challenge is how to handle it. Unless you’re writing a romance or porn novel, a blow-by-blow description is, in my view, inappropriate. I find, rather, that a description of the actions characters take in the early stage of a seduction (conversation, eye contact, etc.) sets the scene, and when the characters finally head for the bedroom, like the old movies from the 1950s, you can fade the scene out – most readers will know what’s coming next. This has the added benefit of allowing readers to use their imaginations, which is a plus for your writing.
This way of handling physical relations might not work for everyone. I have to confess that I’m of a generation that grew up in a more inhibited era than kids of today, so my way is comfortable for me. If you happen to be the bodice-ripping, bosom-heaving type who loves to write long, steamy encounters that are the mainstay of romance novels, more power to you.
As for me, excuse me while I turn out the lights. I’ll see you in the morning. (lap dissolve to crashing waves, then fade to black)
If I could pause time and go anywhere in the world, where would it be? The Daily Prompt: On the Road sets one heck of a challenge, and it’s one that I can’t really take a run at with just one photograph, because there are so many places that have made an impression on me. Here, though, are some photos from my stay at Chautauqua Institution in New York this past summer:
When we travel for pleasure, I think we all want most of all to relax. This week’s Travel Theme is Relaxing. I went through a lot of my photos from past trips, and decided that there was one that says it all for me. I hope readers will agree.