Instead of researching non-fiction and writing an article, in May I decided to give my brain a change. I’d heard of a poetry competition with the chance of submitting up to three poems and thought I’d have a go with that. I sent in one in free verse, one humorous rhyming verse and a Haiku. The competition closes on 30th June, so like most things with writing, it’s a waiting game.
Also during May I pitched an article to a mainstream magazine, no reply as yet. I also sent in a true story to Crystal magazine, and several letters to various magazines and newspapers.
Successes during May were another true story published in Crystal, a letter in the Purbeck Gazette, and a photograph of our local carnival from last year published in the Purbeck Gazette. Only small successes, but at least these items have found a home.
This month I’m trying my hand at short stories, and maybe get back to some research. Who knows? That’s one of the things with writing, sometimes we need a change to help us to see projects with a new look.
Experienced photographers would wonder how I came to make not just one, but two mistakes in one day. My excuse is that when you take up a new hobby/learning curve at my time of life, not all the lessons are retained easily. I’ve learned from these errors though.
Last week we went out to a local beauty spot. The sun was shining and my camera was ready – or so I thought. I’d been ‘playing’ with it at home, altering settings around and mistakenly thought I’d put them all back to default values. I hadn’t.
The first photos I took should have been stunning; the scenery was gorgeous, the colour of the sea sublime. I thought I’d take a couple on automatic to make sure I captured something lovely. It was only when I switched to aperture priority I realised that the first few were much too bright. I had the exposure compensation set at +2.7. I had thought that taking them on automatic would put all right but realise now that’s not so. That was my first mistake.
The second mistake was not to check the histogram, which would have told me that something was amiss, even if I didn’t know exactly what. I’ve been advised at the photography group to make the histogram my best friend, and in future I will. I did try to put things right with a basic editing programme on my computer, but couldn’t cure the problems completely. The above photo is one of the results.
As you can see from this one, taken from Durdle Door looking towards Weymouth Bay, it was such a perfect day, and I did manage to take some other photos which I’m pleased with on the way back, but the light had changed from the truly magical light at the start of the visit. A very salutary lesson!
The major industries in West Bay are fishing and tourism. It’s always possible to buy fresh fish here, both wet fish and fish and chips. Also crabs and lobsters are big business. As for tourism, this is a very popular spot, lovely walks, beautiful coast and countryside.
It’s not a good idea to feed the seagulls, but you do have to watch that they don’t steal the food from your fingers. They can also be vicious. I still think they’re lovely to look at. I would never feed them.
Writing didn’t do too well in April. We’ve had a lot going on in our lives this month, which kind of got in the way; nevertheless I submitted one poem and an article. Nothing published during the month though, so as the old school reports used to say – Must do better.
At last we have some spring weather, and yesterday we drove to West Bay. Anyone watching the thriller on the television would recognise this as Broadchurch. It’s a lovely area, part of the Jurassic Coast and you can see the texture of the headland quite clearly. We enjoyed a walk around the seaside, and fish and chips by the harbour wall. A great day out, and more photos taken than I’ve taken in a while.
Half way through April and I’ve not yet updated my progress for March. Here goes then.
A true story submitted.
An article submitted.
A poem submitted, and rejected.
Same poem submitted, no reply.
Two articles pitched to magazines – one rejected outright, the other no reply as yet.
A letter in the Mail on Sunday.
A short article published in the March edition of Crystal magazine.
So far this month not a lot of progress, one of those times when life has been intruding into my writing times, but should be something to report before too long. It would be good if something could be accepted by a mainstream magazine, but hey-ho, there is so much competition for the slots. The only failure is to give up.
We lived in Spain for two years. Semana Santa was always worth seeing. Even in small towns, the inhabitants held week-long re-enactments. I was not into photography in those days, more’s the pity, but I found among my collection a few snaps of the occasions. These ‘widows’ played their parts with dignity. Everything about these processions was taken very seriously.
It was strange to see people who normally served us in their bars or shops taking part.
As we lived not too far from Malaga, we made an effort to see their processions too. It was not easy to get really close to the action, unless you were local or paid, but we did see enough to feel the excitement and passion which the Spanish felt.
For all those who celebrate the Easter Festival, Happy Easter. I have posted a short verse on my jottings page for you.
I haven’t been out taking photographs much recently. The weather has not encouraged me for one thing. Also I have been busy with my writing, which I shall be updating the blog about shortly. One day in February though, my friends were driving me through the trees near my home, and we decided that the sun filtering through the mist was worth a shot. The area is always pretty, so much so that I call it the magic forest sometimes, especially when deer are around. The same shot may be better in black and white.