Friday, January 27, 2012

Photo Friday

So about that New Year's resolution thing. I usually make really un-fun resolutions, and unsurprisingly, they don't usually pan out. (How many times have I resolved to lose ten pounds? It's never happened.)

This year, I'm making fun resolutions I might actually keep, starting with photography. 

We have a decent camera--not a DSLR, but a point-and-shoot with manual shooting capabilities. We got it when we went to India almost three years ago now, and it takes nice pictures, but neither Andrew or I have any idea how to use the manual features, and that's dumb. 

So this year, I've resolved to learn to take better pictures. To start with, I'm using a couple things I found on Pinterest: A 31 Days to a Better Photo tutorial, and this list of daily photo assignments:
I started at the beginning of January, but then I went out of town, then I got sick, so I only ended up doing through day 6. Oops! I'm going to start being better about it, and to motivate myself, I'm going to post some of the pics here, on Fridays, starting today!

1. Self-portrait. (Wearing a Christmas present from my lovely CP Leigh Ann!)
2. Clouds. (There weren't any clouds in the sky that day, so I just took pictures of the sky. And this photo is SOOC (Straight Out of Camera)! No photoshopping at all! (Most of these have at least a little color balancing/contrast work.) As much as I can complain about New Mexico, the sky here is beautiful. 
3. Something green. (I took these the first week of January--Christmas decor was still up.)
4. From a high angle. (A lamp I bought at a thrift store.)
5. From a low angle. (Kitchen cabinet. Never got the lighting on this one to turn out right, so I went a little crazy in photoshop and tried to make it Instagram-y. Actually it just looks...dark and grainy. Oh well.)
6. Bonus! cat picture. From left, Whiskey, Scotch, and Bourbon hiding behind a stack of Andrew's shirts.

So what did I learn this first week?
-Shooting without flash really is better
-You usually won't get a great shot the first time. I had to take a lot of pictures to get a good one. (This was easier when I was taking pictures of the kitchen cabinet for #5 than when I was standing in the front yard pointing at my boobs for versions of #1 where I was showing off the shirt.) 
-A bunch of technical stuff I'm not going into here. 

I'd say week 1 of my resolution=success!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


It's that time again--resolution time! I was trying to decide yesterday what writing-related things to work on in the New Year, when I realized that, before I start berating myself for what I'm not doing, I should be thankful for what I do have. Maybe this post should have come at Thanksgiving, but I can't do anything the normal way, can I? So, pre-resolution, the writing things I'm thankful for. (Warning: cheesiness ahead...)

*The fact that I have time to write. I have a job that keeps me busy, but also allows a little time off occasionally for writing. I also don't have kids, and I know that leaves me way more free time than a lot of people have, and I'm super grateful for that and am working on using that time wisely.

*My friends, family, and especially my hubby, who at least pretend that they don't think publishing a book is a crazy goal. I'm sure my hubby gets tired of hearing me agonize over what, exactly, my MC would say to her love interest in chapter 16, but he never complains, and for that I'm lucky.

*Writing friends. I've made such a great group of writing friends in such a short time, and I'm so thankful for them! Just a few of them:

-Leigh Ann-Gina-Chessie for accepting me into the club, :) and for always being willing to send me their newest kissing scenes to lift my spirits. For lovely presents, and 100+ emails in a day, and pictures of shirtless boys, and #lineswelove, and a whole bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with writing, and the fact that, despite all the love, we’re willing and able to rip each other’s manuscripts to shreds to make them shine. 

-Seabrooke, who gave me a huge boost of confidence when she read the book in 2 days, and then made it a lot better by pointing out a zillion and one things I’d never even considered, and for having a ton of confidence in my book and letting me read her new stuff immediately! And for being multi-talented! Stellan, as drawn by Seabrooke: 

-My real life critique group. Maybe we don’t get as much work done as we could, but when we’re laughing at all the hilarious and (mostly) unintentional innuendo in my book, or convincing another member to make a character “more like Kim Kardashian,” I remember that writing is supposed to be fun, and that’s invaluable.  

-Sari, who was the very first person ever to see any of my writing, and whose suggestions and encouragement made my MS an entirely different book from those early drafts. 

-All the other awesome writer buddies I’ve met online (and all the people I'm sure I've forgotten to mention). Writers are the coolest group of people, and one of the things I’m looking forward to most in 2012 is getting to know more writers better. 

Happy 2012, everyone! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Music Monday

Haunting, sweet, sad, and great as background music.

Poison and Wine, by the Civil Wars