2020 Photo Challenge #29

July’s theme / technique: Being Creative with Space

A live TV studio is an interesting place to shoot. You have to be very quiet because the mics are live and you have to be extremely cautious about where you put your feet. There are cables and parts of camera setups everywhere. So for the duration of the show, you basically have to find one position that gives you your best position for shooting and see how it works out.

This one was a good one for negative space. Of course the background is green. That’s the standard for studios. Green screens, though some of them these days are blue.

Negative space in the studio

This big black-backed seagull settled down on this post and I waiting, hoping he would finally stand up. He did. Negative space? How about the entire sky?

Black-Backed Seagull

A pair of fuchsia buds.

Fuchsia buds

This little furry guy is a “least” Eastern Squirrel. They are the miniature versions of the bigger chipmunks, small enough to fit into the palm of your hand. Even my hands which are very small. He likes to watch me as I watch him. Brave little guy.

A least chipmunk, kind of a miniature version of the bigger version
One pair of green sunglasses – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Goldfinches hanging in the air. They look like they are standing on empty space.
Two wet daylilies. I love the space between the two blossoms
Photo: Garry Armstrong


Fandango’s Provocative Question #79

Mookie Betts signed a $390 million contract with the Dodgers today. This ups the ante from $360 million and extends the contract to 12-years. I’m sure he’s explaining that it isn’t about the money. It’s about pride and honor. Personally, I think anyone who is earning $32,500,000 every year for the next 12-years will probably be able to put food on the table. It really is about the money. I don’t mind it being about the money because how many people are so good at anything that they would possibly be offered that kind of money? I’m just pissed that the Red Sox didn’t come up with the bucks and keep him here. We always come up short and then we have these terrible years with no pitchers, no fielding, no nothing.

The reason we have YouTubeTV which is the most expensive (but not by much) of all the streaming packages is that they have all sports — including the entire MLB baseball package. football, basketball, hockey, and who knows what else. It’s very heavy on sports. Garry is insane about baseball ⚾ beyond mere fandom. Even when the Sox are doing really badly as they surely will this year — we’re expecting them to be the bottom or next to the bottom of the Eastern Division — he will still watch at least one and often two or three games through the summer. So yeah, we missed sports.

I like baseball, too, though I’m not quite as fanatical as Garry, but I enjoy it. It’s a relatively peaceful game especially compared to football and hockey. And unlike football where I never can figure out what that calls mean, I actually know where the strike zone is and can call the pitch and know who is safe or out. I have a pretty good selection of Sox-wear.

Baseball is summertime for us. It’s what we watch through the warm, humid days and into the snappy days of Autumn. On a great year, it might be the only thing we watch from spring to fall. We also watch football, but now that Brady has moved on, I’m not sure we’ll be quite as jazzed as we were. We watched Brady from when they called him up from the bench until he moved out of town. I don’t even know why he’s still playing. He’s good-looking, well spoken, and I’m sure he could get any contract he wanted from ESPN. I thought he should have quit a couple of years ago so he could go be a broadcaster without waiting to get seriously broken. I still think he should retire while he’s healthy.

Especially during this incredibly intense and painful year, sports would have been a nice release from the pressure. But of course, when everything went to hell in a handbasket, why not sports too?

This isn’t going to be a “real” season. Just as well because we don’t have a single functional pitcher and our glorious outfield was bought by other teams who were willing to pay the big bucks which we should have paid. Never mind. We’ll bottom out this year and be much better next year and with a little luck, in one more year we’ll be heading for the playoffs.

Meanwhile, “opening day” is Friday for the Sox and Thursday for everyone else. Even with empty stands, it’s better than nothing.


I never “decided” to write.

When asked “what are you,” I never say I’m a wife, mother, grandmother — or even a woman. I automatically say “I’m a writer.” Being a writer is embedded in my concept of “self-hood,” if I am not that, then I’m not sure what I am. Writing was my profession, but I was a writer before I earned a salary doing it. I will always be a writer, and it has nothing to do with whether or not I sell my words … or even whether or not anyone else reads them. Whether or not I am still a professional writer is a different question.

Unlike other professions — probably this is true for everyone who makes a living in the creative arts — what you do is so much more than a paycheck. It’s the way you synthesize your experiences. It’s a compound of emotion, intellect, visual and physical stimuli, It is part of you as long as you breathe, long after paychecks stop coming and often, even if the paychecks never arrive in the first place. Writing is so deeply embedded in who I am that I can’t imagine not writing.

If it turns out there is an afterlife, I’m sure I will be writing about it.

A friend asked me why I do this, why I blog. So I asked her why she plays golf.

Writing is me. It’s the sport I play, the goal I for which I work. We do what we do because we love it, need to do it, or both. Writing is like breathing. I can strangle on words I’ve failed to use. My friend needs to compete, to be active and she needs to win.

I can’t begin to count the number of people who have told me they want to be writers, but don’t know how. They want me to tell them how. That they asked the question tells me they are not writers. If you are a writer, you write. You will write and will keep writing because it’s what you are. It is as much a part of you as your nose or stomach.

Reading is fun and I think it’s part of writing. It’s educational, and inspirational. It lets you connect with other people and places who never existed, possibly never could never exist. But that’s what writing is about, isn’t it? I know there are other ways to connect. You can Zoom, Facetime, and Skype. You can connect via email, telephones, even actual written letters though that has become a rarity, even for those of us who otherwise can’t stop writing. As long as there are computers, printers, and books, life goes on.

Writing can’t be replaced. Accept no substitute.