“Why, Hello There, Young Writer.”

On his blog, Chuck Wendig is holding an “Awkward Author Photo Contest.” How could this little hobbyist photographer resist? So, I submitted an entry, which I will now share with you:

For those wondering the basic Strobist information: This was shot on manual. F 5.3, 1/200th shutter speed, ISO 400 to try and get some of the background ambient light. On camera left I had an SB-900 with a beauty dish set for 1/8th power. Inside the lamp was a SB-910 at 1/8th. Both had tungsten gels for color matching. This was processed in Lightroom, where I added in some grain and softened the background.

Lisa and I had a blast making this. She’s an excellent costumer/set designer who helped me get all the pieces in place and took the photo itself. I was a fun way to spend an evening, and apparently folks like the result!

Given I’m in the contest I can’t vote, which is a shame because there are brilliant photos there. Go and vote for your favorites. We want to encourage this kind of insanity.

UPDATE: I sorta came in 2nd place with 42 votes.


Closing the Bag of Doom

As I cause the chains I forged in life
To shatter on the floor.
– “Crime Scene Part One” from Black Love.

I completed a difficult story today; one which pulled from ugly source material, but which demanded writing. The Afghan Whigs provided a soundtrack. Greg Duli’s vocals carried me into old hallways, and helped me dig out sensations I never quite succeeded in letting go.

My question, and the challenge for the story (and future revisions of the story), is can I really translate what I felt, what I saw, into a story any reader can pick up and read? Can I generate sympathy? Did the language alienate potential readers? Or help them get into the moment?

I now have a bouquet of stories either in second or soon to be third draft stage. Outside eyes are still needed, and I have at least two more I can write this year before going into editing Ivre and, gods help me, the treatment for Piranhacane.