Friday, July 29, 2011

Overheard #156

"All you need is the curiosity you were born with."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The Fourth Annual Writing Retreat of the World’s Greatest Critique Group starts tomorrow. But first, I need to:
  • Decide what I’m going to work on at the retreat. G&CBS is currently being queried. SSA will soon join it. The project I’m most interested in is a sequel to SSA, but it’s silly to spend any more time on this idea before it gets a glimmer of interest. I have a couple other projects sketched out, but I’m not committed to either yet.
  • Find Sam a place to live. His housing plans fell through, and at this point in the summer, student apartments in Ann Arbor are scarce. We may have landed an efficiency on the east side of town.
I’ve been hard at work organizing choir uniforms. Over 200 students participate in vocal music at our high school, and they all need concert uniforms. Because it’s easier to organize the uniforms than the kids, we label every hanger and arrange the uniforms by size. We’ve finished the pants, jackets and vests; the dresses remain.

Band camp starts on Monday. 8:00AM to 9:00PM six days running. I’m helping out on two days. This is valuable writing experience because I get to interact with lots of kids.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Overheard #155

"Seemingly, everyone who made a significant contribution to mathematics was completely insane."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Negative Space

“Negative space isn’t the absence of space but rather the space that defines the positive space.” [link]

This is my Aunt Bibi’s bird. It’s all about negative space. The sweep of the neck and the curve of the back enhance image.

As a former scientist, I’m fascinated with biological design and tend to do a lot of macro photography. For macro shots, there’s a trade off between zooming in for detail and zooming out to improve the composition of the picture. I posted this flower a couple weeks ago. The close up (with minimal negative space) shows textures and the play of light through the petals.

Backing off the flower increases the negative space and gives a sense of the wider world of the garden. 

It's a trade off.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Overheard #154

"It's not for the faint of heart. It's for the faint of mind."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Songwriting, Malware and Writing Days, Oh My

I had intended to write a thoughtful post on negative space this week with examples from my photography and applications to writing. Then Jeremy decided his band needed a songwriting room. He and Neil (drummer) cleared out another corner of our basement, picked up some salvage furniture and carpeting at MSU, and created a cute and comfortable space. That corner of the basement had been used to store a lot of stuff, but I’ve now relocated our tax return files and trashed or recycled a lot of stuff that should have been gotten rid of years ago.

Just as the basement issue was getting under control, my PC got another malware infection and had to go back to the computer hospital. All of my photo-editing software is on that computer, so Sunday’s nature photo is unlikely to happen this week.

Some members of The World’s Greatest Critique Group have planned writing days for today and Friday. To heck with all these other issues. I’m going to finish revisions this week.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


sunlight through petals

Another view of the same plant.

macro lily

The blurry green leaves in the first two pictures bother me, but my husband tells me they are negative space and therefore okay. Negative space is something I need to learn more about.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Conversations About Art and Photography

My friend, Susan Miller, is posting a painting almost every week on her blog. Check them out. Susan is a fantastic artist. I mentioned to another friend (and another fantastic artist), Ruth McNally Barshaw how impressed I was with this goal of creating a painting a week because I often have trouble getting a photograph each week to post on my blog. Ruth was surprised.

Why is it a challenge to take one photograph a week?

1. I need to find something to photograph. If I photograph the beautiful lilies in my garden, it will look exactly like a million other pictures of lilies.

2. For every photograph I post, I often take ten or twenty frames that didn’t work out.

3. I’m still learning to use my camera. It’s a complicated computer, and I don’t know everything it can do.

4. I often don’t know what I’ve taken until I view the picture on a big screen. A few weeks ago, I was concentrating getting an unusual red bug in focus before he flew away. I didn’t know until later that I’d captured the optical illusion of a giant shadow caused by the leaf’s shadow superimposed on his.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Overheard #153

"Pictures aren’t proofs."

(in case you thought seeing is believing)

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Cottonwood fluff on a crabapple 

 on a rosebud

in a spiderweb

Friday, July 1, 2011

Overheard #152

"What’s the point of being in charge if everyone gets a vote?"