Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Pins & Needles!

Hey, "Three Seconds" fans here is the latest skinny on "the book"! As of today, I have digitized 245 photographs and separated most of them into individual files, using their respective years of creation to create a rough time line of images. The result is nicer than I anticipated, especially as far as the slides are concerned. A lot of the slides have a month, year and number printed on them, so when I add a digitized slide to the file, it automatically goes to find other slides in the same sequence. I love computer technology!!! :)

In the last couple of weeks, I have also done some preliminary work on Volumes II & III, and am still in the process of separating the approximately 60 titles I have left. I am excited to begin writing the stories. Sorting them only teases me. Of course, coming across photos that will go in any one of those 60 stories doesn't help either. I sure love to write!

The other awesome news is that today, believe it of not, I created the very first hard copy of Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off - Volume I. It took me about an hour to print it out, and another ten minutes to punch holes in the pages so it will fit in a binder - a large one, considering I couldn't print double sided. At 245 pages in length, it is heavy! (I am secretly pleased!) This actual, real, tangible manuscript is off to an interested reader who plans on condensing their impressions of my 245 pages into a couple of lines of testimonial to go on my website. (The site is nearly finished, but not quite yet... wait for it... wait for it.... OK, if you must, you can keep checking at, but I will announce its birth.)

I do have to run now, but thank you all for dropping in to visit me. I think it is amazing how many people are excited about this project. Talk to you again soon.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

All About Perspective

I read a post this morning that got me thinking about how we see the world around us. It was a short description of a series of fairly unimpressive events, but when the events were combined into a singe snap-shot, they took on a charm that was impressive. At least for me. As I mused about why the story had transformed so dramatically, I realized something that now seems obvious.

Ironic isn't it that the best stories are often captured from seemingly ordinary events of life? All we have to do is notice. Whether we know it or not, I sincerely believe that we all live extraordinary lives. It is true that perhaps they are boring and mundane to us, but not to everyone. Anyone who’s existence is foreign to our own life's experience usually finds our life’s story fascinating, engaging and maybe even riveting and entertaining. The vantage point of another's perspective is what we often lack. Instead of feeling like our lives are a miracle to savour, we sometimes hang our heads and feel insignificant.

Here is Traci's story about her young son, Luke.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Slides, Slides and More Lighthouse Slides

I have been working hard on photos, and yesterday, I digitized 80 slides. It was sweet to see scenes I hadn't looked upon for many years, and sweeter still to know that they are now preserved in a modern medium that I can use and share with all of you. Here are three of my favourites. The top right is of my Dad in 1959, looking northeast with Pointer Island in the background. As far as the other small one goes, I took it in 1976 - looking Southwest at the sunset from the back porch of the big (middle) house on the lighthouse. With the big one of the rainbow, I got artsy, and composed it sideways. Photoshop came to its rescue and it now I think it looks pretty good. In the spring of 1976, I got my second camera, complete with a B&W darkroom. It was a dream come true! My first camera had been a waist-level Brownie which had served me surprisingly well for many years. The 35mm SLR (previously enjoyed by a former owner) came with a couple of lenses and a 2x converter, giving me the lens options of 50mm, 100mm, 200mm and 400mm. At age 16, tripods were for someone else. I thought I could hand hold every shot at any shutter speed and unfortunately, I did. As you may already have guessed, not all the shots I took were free from camera shake. Although, all the years of holding a pair of binoculars steady did help a lot. Oh that I could go back in time with my tripod!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Passion? Let me think about it.

Thank you all for your comments. I find it very refreshing to hear from fellow authors.
It seems that you all have a common knack of seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary and the gift of being able to put the precipitating thoughts and moods into meaningful words for others to relish. I've decided that that is precisely what I love about reading books. I get to see through the unique glasses, telescopes and microscopes of others.

Yesterday, as I was driving my 900 kilometers, I spent some time pondering, and focused a lot on Ajoy's (September 28, 2007) comment (on my blog) about passion. I don't consider myself a passionate person, yet perhaps I am. I really love the richness of life, and seem to notice more flowers along its scenic path than many others I meet. One of the sweetest parts of my job is being able to witness the majority of sunrises and sunsets in a year. In many ways, I think they are like me as well as all of you. Same old sun and sky - day in and day out, yet every dawn and dusk is singularly unique and worth my rapt attention.

As I pondered the meaning of passion, I realized that I probably misunderstood the meaning. I looked up "Passion" and here are most of the synonyms - according to the Reader's Digest Family Word Finder:
emotions, feeling, warmth, heart, ardor, fervor, fire, intensity, sentiment, rapture, transport, ecstasy, intoxication, enthusiasm, earnestness, gusto, eagerness, vehemence, obsession, fancy, craving, urge, desire, hunger, thirst, idol, beloved, infatuation, flame, inamorata. Although I don't feel all these things every day, I do feel most of them - I guess I'm guilty as charged Ajoy.

In your comment, Ajoy, you asked, "How in the world do you live with such passion from day to day?" I hadn't really thought about it, but now that I have, that insightful question deserves an answer:
My life hasn't always been this way. Nearly fifteen years ago, my life hit bottom. It wasn't a trip and fall and scraped knee sort of thing, but more of a plunge down a deep, dry well with a face-first landing on the rough stone bottom. It was my own fault, and it was painfully obvious to me that I required a lot more than some fresh makeup on my face. It took a while, but eventually, I re-defined my life - for the better. Ever since then, I have tried to live life as if every day was my last. I haven't always succeeded in that, yet my day-to-day struggle along the path of life has carried me far. I feel a bit like the frog described by Boyd K. Packer - "You can't tell how high a frog will jump just by looking at him."

As a result of the profound changes to my mental and emotional habits, I lost my near-photographic memory, but I got benefits that outweighed the loss. I suppose that I am the same core person I always was, but today, my new mental and emotional habits allow my core person to interface with the rest of the world in a profoundly different way than I ever used to. To me, life is new every day. Each person I meet is a unique creation with as much value as I have. If I pay attention, I can learn something from anyone I meet. Today, I set goals and reach them. I am on the grand adventure of life, and who knows what awesome things I will discover today? How can I help but feel such passion? Look at what awesome things I would probably miss if I did not? ... Thank you for asking.