Thursday, June 27, 2013

A photo assignment taken on the fly, completed the same way

MONTEREY, New York - The email from my editor at the Elmira Star-Gazette came Wednesday night. She needed a simple exterior building shot of a volunteer fire department's digs in a nearby town.

I believe she called it a 'building mug' and needed it Thursday afternoon for a weekend story/feature layout.

Sounded pretty simple, though getting it to her by 5 p.m. or so was going to be a stretch. I was in Rochester, NY at a medical appointment at noon when I committed to getting the photo. Rochester is  several hours north - plus I had several stops to make on the way back home. When you get close to a Trader Joe's in central New York, you stop, no question about it.

Building mug shot
The timing worked out so that I was in front of the firehouse - in a heavy rainstorm - by 5 p.m. And for this assignment, I was carrying the trusty Canon camera that went to Tonga last fall. But I was also carrying my newly acquired iPhone, the camera in which is excellent.

Slick, I thought. I'll shoot and send the photos from right on the spot - no need to roll all the way home.

I took three quick shots on the iPhone, cropped them and sent them. Well, I thought I sent them. If you have an iPhone you are familiar with that clever whooshing sound when a photo heads off through the ether. All three whooshed great.

Except when I went to call the editor to confirm they had arrived, I discovered I didn't have a cell signal down there in the little town of Monterey hollow - whoosh or no whoosh.

Santo Crappo!

Phone takes great photos, in rain or shine
I pulled out the Canon camera and rapped off some backup photos, then roared out of the little town, holding my cell phone in front of me like an actor in a really awful movie being chased by the bad guys. After zooming around a few hairpin-like turns, the cell phone signal popped up near the Watkins Glen race track. By the time I pulled over, the editor had already received the pix and chosen one.

Assignment completed. Editor happy. Photographer to get paid.


Saturday, June 08, 2013

First rereading of Part 1 of 'The Fracking War' is finished

WATKINS GLEN, New York, USA - I just reread the first segment (of five) of my draft of The Fracking War ("Prelude to War"). It was my first peek at the book since I drafted it last winter in Mexico.

Natural gas explosions, scary in real-life, too
I let it sit a long time so I would forget a lot of it. The time, I thought, would help me determine if it moved along fast enough, the dialog made sense and the plot was plausible.

Well, with some modifications, it looks like yes, yes, and yes.  Woo-hoo!

But it will be up to the Beta readers to determine if my somewhat-biased judgment is anywhere near right.

Where's my hammock?
It took a couple of hours to go through, reading fairly fast. I believe I will go back in the next day or so and edit this first section, making it final (as a draft). I had thought I would read through all five sections and then go back and edit.

But what I saw/read is pretty clear to me right now and doing it this way will make the editing task a little less Herculean.


Regardless, this writer needs a nap right now.

Right now. I'm writing myself a nap in this chapter of my life.