Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pick A Topic From This Photo

Cee Neuner: Pick a topic from this photo.

Possible topics: black and white, tree, sky, road, vanishing point, landscape, horizon, clouds, weather, country side, early morning, or come up with your own topic.

Self picked SKY.

All from her first visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico, late December 2019

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Museum Hill, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 28 December 2019

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On the I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, 28 December 2019

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Still on the I-25, Still 28 December 2019

Check out these other takes:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: YARD

This week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge, YARD, is a great one, practically tailor-made for self. When the weather is good, self spends much time in her yard. She’s extra-inspired now, as the trellis has been painted.

This was the day the painters arrived:

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And this is what her front yard looked like when the plumbers arrived (She decided to take her son’s advice and have the decades-old galvanized iron pipes replaced with copper).

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Meanwhile, in the backyard, her plum tree is starting to bloom.

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Spring is a gorgeous time of year in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Spring Arrives: I Capture the Castle

c. 1948: Rose and Cassandra are daughters of an impoverished father (he’s a writer, what do you expect) and he has moved them and their stepmother, Topaz, to a dilapidated castle in the country.

The author, Dodie Smith, is English but wrote this novel in Malibu (She’s long gone, in case you were wondering)

Self started this book six days ago and is only up to pp. 43 – 44. There’s hardly any drama yet.

“There’s quite a bit of spring in the air to-night,” I told her. “You go out and smell it.”

Rose never gets emotional about the seasons so she took no notice, but Topaz went to the door at once and flung it open. Then she threw her head back, opened her arms wide and took a giant breath.

“It’s only a whiff of spring, not whole lungs full,” I said, but she was too rapt to listen. I quite expected her to plunge into the night, but after some more deep breathing she went upstairs to try on her tea-gown.

“It beats me,” said Rose. “After all this time, I still don’t know if she goes on that way because she really feels like it, if she’s acting to impress us, or just acting to impress herself.”

“All three,” I said. “And as it helps her to enjoy life, I don’t blame her.”

The novel’s been inspiring her to spend more time in her backyard. The gorgeous weather helps. The scrawny lemon tree has five fat lemons.

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Tuesday Photo Challenge: REST

Self loves the idea of REST.

REST is crucial to her creativity.

Recently, she had an opportunity to see an amazing exhibit at the Bakersfield Museum of Art:

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Night. Rest. Nocturnes. What a beautiful theme.

Not to mention: The paintings she saw were otherworldy, powerful in their depictions of this special and mysterious time of day.

For instance, Jessica Dunne’s, which showed a San Francisco street in fog:

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Just after she drove down to Bakersfield, the Bay Area had a brief string of sunny days. Gorgeous! Self went to the backyard, for the first time in weeks, and saw an eight-foot-high bush completely covered in bright, yellow flowers. So many flowers, she could barely see the green.

What is the reason for such a ridiculous display, flowers? She never fertilizes and barely waters. This is a common euryops, which is the landscape plant of choice for new subdivisions. But she’s never seen them throw out flowers in a display so in-your-face! That’s the ony way she can think to describe it. It is so overpoweringly extra. She took this picture early in the morning:

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Euryops, February 2020

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #80: LINES

Leading lines carry our eyes through a photograph. They help to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between objects. — Tina R. Schell on the blog Travels and Trifles: Expressing Thought Through Photography

Self loved the quote from Pete Bridgewood:

  • Unlike the painter who starts with a blank canvas and builds up his image by the addition of paint, as photographers we work in the other direction.

The photos below are from December 2019, during which, as usual, self did a lot of traveling.

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Old Albuquerque, December 2019

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On the I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, 27 December 2019

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Kepler’s Books, Downtown Menlo Park, December 2019

Thanks for the interesting prompt, Lens-Artists!

Stay tuned.

 

From a Friend in New South Wales

Thank you for thinking of us. Most days we wake up with smoke haze, some days worse than most. There are a few bad days where visibility is less than 100 m.

My brother-in-law lives seven minutes away. He lives close to the bush. He received a text to be ready to evacuate. He asked if he could stay in our house, just in case. There were spot fires near him.

It is sad that people have lost their houses and homes, right after Christmas.

I sometimes wonder if this is the “new normal”? It is not sustainable. Definitive proof of climate change.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: MIST

Love the Tuesday Photo Challenge. Take a look at my guilty pleasures while you’re at it.

“Of course, mist is more than just a fog, as it can also be a gentle, diffuse rain, which can provide very interesting light play.”

All London Blackfriars, November 2018:

 

Self’s Dystopian Imagination

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Lake Annagmakerrig: 4:30 a.m., 8 November 2018

Boy was the last of four. Alive just this morning. Fell through the ice chasing after a shadow that he thought was food.

What food. What a fool. There’s no food on the ice. Not on top, not under.

Hadn’t he told the boy, over and over: Watch the sky. The food will come as a drop.

I been watching, the boy said. For weeks.

— from self’s short story “Ice”

Her piece was published in Bellingham Review’s annual on-line issue, November 2017.

Read it in its entirety, here.

Stay tuned.

A Photo a Week Challenge: ATMOSPHERIC

Viveka on my guilty pleasures has the most beguiling photographs on this week’s Photo-a-Week Challenge: ATMOSPHERIC. So inspiring!

Thank you, Nancy Merrill, for the prompt: Share a photo (or two or three) with a distinct atmosphere.

Here are a few of self’s atmospheric shots.

Liverpool Docks, yesterday:

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Park in front of IMMA (Ireland Museum of Modern Art, Dublin):

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Dublin, park in front of IMMA, last Tuesday, 29 October 2019

The TGC at Annaghmakerrig, where self spent October:

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Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Republic of Ireland, last week of October

What is it about the Fall? It’s becoming self’s favorite season to travel.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lens Artists Challenge # 65: PICK A PLACE

  • “Each of us at some point has visited a place that holds special memories.” — Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 65

This was an easy post for self to write. She just got back from attending Cal Shakes’ Macbeth. The Grove Talk by Philippa Kelly, Cal Shakes Resident Dramaturg is a Don’t-Miss.

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Philippa Kelly Giving Her Grove Talk, Before MACBETH

Have been watching plays here every summer since 2001 (Romeo and Juliet: Adam Scott played Romeo).

Tonight’s Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were played by a couple who suddenly put everything into a new light. All hail, Rey Lucas and Liz Sklar, for bringing the sexy back to a play first performed in 1606. These two are the youngest actors self has ever seen play Mr. and Mrs. Spot-on, the casting! For the first time, self understood the heat between the two;  she could see the similarities to film noir. In addition, because self and her party were seated third row from the stage, she could see every change of expression on the actors’ faces; it felt so intimate.

Also, for the first time ever, self heard Macbeth call someone a “whey-face.” lol lol lol

Her one complaint might be that The Weird Sisters were not witchy. Or not witchy enough. Of course self got very excited at hearing the immortal lines: Double double, toil and trouble. She just wishes there were an actual cauldron.

She wonders if there was ever a production where The Weird Sisters were replaced by giant hand puppets. During intermission, she eavesdropped on the people behind her who were describing a performance of Macbeth at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. “There was a big pool of blood right in the center of the stage. And whenever a character did something bloody, they would supply themselves from the pool.”

That, in self’s humble opinion, sounds gimmicky to the extreme.

Philippa Kelly’s pre-show Grove Talk was fascinating — self wished she took notes. It revolved around the unmasking of identity, and how paradoxical it is that when people remark that “someone has changed” it usually means that the person’s true identity is finally being unmasked and undone.

Gregory also made self aware of the fact that the first actor to play Lady Macbeth was a boy, because back then women were banned from taking roles in the theater.  Women’s parts were played by boys whose voices hadn’t yet broken. Has there even been a modern staging of Macbeth where they use a boy for Lady Macbeth? She thinks not, but it would certainly give the play a whole new spin.

P.S. The Bruns Amphitheater was FREEZING and self needed to rent blankets. Her lips got totally chapped and her hands were frozen. For some reason, all self had on was a denim jacket and a scarf.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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