Tag Archives: milestone

A million views and a thousand balloons

Early this morning, my Flickr page crossed over the one million views threshold. Which is pretty exciting! I started my Flickr page almost exactly eight years ago, just after I got my first DSLR. Since then, I’ve taken a lot of pictures and learned a ton, and had a blast doing it.

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And early yesterday morning, I biked to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, one of the biggest hot air balloon gatherings in the world. It. Was. Amazing. The bike ride, the balloons, the launches, EVERYTHING. It was one of the most fun things I’ve done, and easily one of most exciting things to photograph. I took about 1500 photos (though a lot of them were duplicates to hedge my exposure bets). It’s been a wonderful weekend!

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The slow and steady

Over six months ago, I challenged myself to do 100 illustrations of my city of Vironevaeh, the fictitious city that is the unspellable namesake of this website. I would build my world in myriad ways, practice art, and create some beautiful scenes. On Thursday, I finished the fiftieth color image. I have images of city streets, markets, pets, agriculture, constellations, architecture, pastimes, clothing, family, and weather.

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Eventually, I will have descriptions for each of them, and a place on the map. Eventually there will be at least 50 more. It’s a lot of work to do for something that probably won’t mean much to anyone besides me. But Vironevaeh is a city at my side for over 17 years, and it will mean a lot to me. I am so pleased with my progress. Here are a couple of my favorites:

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A man showing a child constellations in the sky. These constellations are of Abenn the hermit and Peep the mouse, who hid away on Neva the spaceship. These legendary figures are the subject of my recent and free fairy tale The Lonely Man on the Ship. Sharp eyes may note that the people here are blue and green.

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Children running with a kite in the countryside. A pretty typical scene even here on Earth, except for the lovely purple Vironevaehn sky. Also the fact the fog in the valleys behind them could be brain-eating. All in normal day!

Soon I’ll bind up a little fun book of my favorite ten illustrations, but for now, I’m basking. Onto the next milestone!

One year, 125 posts, and beyond

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of this blog, which I started as a way to improve my writing, to document things that interest me, and to put myself out there. As of this, my 125th (!) post, I have written 18 posts about specific science topics, 7 science fiction book reviews, 5 writing prompts, and a bevy of posts about artists, methods and photography. I wrote an 82,000 word novel draft in April and May (editing pending the completion of my PhD). I’ve written maybe a dozen short stories, and pushed myself to be a hard self editor. I’ve joined writing forums and critique groups like critters.org and youwriteon.com.

I think the results show, at least in the form of determination, which is needed as much as talent in writing. Since I started keeping track in  June, I’ve submitted stories 21 times to 18 venues, many of which I found through the submission grinder, which I describe here. I’ve been rejected 15 times (ouch!) but after months of very little traction, I now have 2 stories in the second rounds of consideration at paying venues. A third story, which has been rejected 5 times, has been called a “good story” by two rejections. Having seen enough rejections, I now know that’s a nice compliment!

Before this last year, I worked on improving my writing, but in aimless, unsystematic ways. Now, in spite of major distractions like finishing up a PhD, I am seeing more progress than ever.  I wonder what I’ll be up to this time next year; I know with the efforts I’ve put forth in the last year, and those I plan to put forth this year, the future will be exciting.