For the past month, Mary Ann and I have been on the road chasing fall colors for her photography. Be sure to check out her blog to see some of her work. The links are in the sidebar.
However, with my knee problems, I'm not out on the trail as much myself. Like right now, I'm parked where I can see her work out on the frost covered boardwalk over the cypress swamp. As much as I'd enjoy being down there myself, I'll have to stay here in the warm car and try to tap out a blog entry on my defective iPhone.
We'll be back in Texas in just a few days and maybe I'll be a bit more active in this blog. What with driving all day, every day, and being a bit burnt out by the time we wrangle a motel room, I've been short of inspiration. At least short of the blogging kind.
Scouting through 15 states in a month, racing the season change south, and watching the nature of the forests change on us as rapidly as their leaves turn and fall--this has been a an inspiring trip for me.
To be honest, 2008 has been a poor writing year. I've become a publisher, with all the marketing load that implies, and the writing, my true love, has suffered.
But this month, I can feel some rusty gears turning. Hmm. If I illustrated that theme with this example... Yes, that just might work!
This afternoon, we stopped beside the Thurmond-McDenoree Road outside of the Beckley West Virginia area to see a waterfall. I hopped out and took a snapshot with my iPhone. For just a second I wondered if the moving water would look different because of the curtain-like shutter characteristics of the iPhone's camera. But what came out was very different. Yes, that's a waterfall, but the memory map is all fragmented.
Now, to be honest, this is the very first glitch I've seen on my iPhone camera, and this is the phone that went into the swimming pool with me and occasionally ignores finger taps. I think the phone went catatonic at just the right instant and produced this. Still, it's interesting.
The past few years I’ve been attending Archon in the St. Louis area, and as events have transpired, that has become an anchor point for a yearly fall trip. This year is no different, and if my blogs have been a little erratic in the last few days, blame it on poor internet.
Mary Ann’s nature photography demands a constant inflow of new images, and this is the perfect time to seek out colorful fall foliage. We headed straight north from St. Louis and set our sights on Upper Peninsula Michigan. I have just released “Lighter Than Air”, a novel set here, so between photo shoots, I was able to visit Munising High School and various book stores in the area and let them know that a YA adventure novel set in their own back yard was available.
We stopped off in Horicon Marsh, a wildlife refuge in Wisconson. between Madison and Lake Winnebago, and then headed on into Michigan to spend a couple of days at one of our favorite sites, Northland Outfitters in Germfask. The lakeside cabin had no plumbing, but had a lovely view.
Then, on to Munising, where I put on my author’s hat and drummed up a little excitement for my book, and Mary Ann took waterfall photos.
The past couple of days, we’ve been in the Porcupine Mountains, up on the coast of Lake Superior, and in a perfect explosion of color. I’ve posted a couple of photos as they happen via Twitter, but up here, cell signal is frequently gone, so I have to wait for a motel with internet. Here are the ones I would have posted during the day: Chasing Color Gallery The usual disclaimer applies. These are cell phone snapshots. Mary Ann takes the good pictures.
One of the things that makes Archon so fun is the Masquerade. Now, I have to admit that I'm not really into costumes. It would take something major to put me into fuzzy ears and a codpiece, but I love the hall costumes of others. Part of it is matching visions. Yes, indeed, that is young Luke Skywalker in his X-wing pilot gear, and that has to be the Doctor, but I don't recognize the Companion.
Right now the line waiting for the main festivities is stretched several hundred feet down the hallway. And these are just the ones who haven't signed up for the contest and presentation. There are the TV inspired, the movie inspired, the anime inspired, the RPGamers, and those who just like big hair and leather lacing.
I'm just leaning up against the wall next to a rack of lightsabers made of pipe and lucite. I'm worn out from the pannels I was part of this afternoon. I might be attended to join the line, but this will go on for hours and I'd be a zombie ( no not that kind ) before then.
Well, it's actually Collinsville, on the other side of the river, but more people know where St. Louis is. Archon is often the start of a longer fall trip, but I don't know how long we can extend this one. I've already decided not to take the RV because of gas price and availability issues.
Still the clock is ticking. I'm packed and waiting. We've got to be there Friday morning, a thousand miles away, and I'm not looking forward to doing it all in one day. But, there were good reasons we haven't left yet. Still gotta file that pesky IRS paperwork. This is the first returns with Wire Rim Books on it, so I had to grok inventory and assorted other accounting things that a writer that just gets royalties doesn't have to worry about. I made it through the maze, but I'll have to adjust my record-keeping a bit to make it easier for next year.
Another reason for delay -- checks in the mail. They showed, and were deposited this morning. I wasn't too unhappy with that delay.