Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Premature Review & An Invitation

I found my fall read.

Monday morning I blogged about how I hadn't yet found that exciting fall read to fill my free hours. I went to work, put in a few hours and started rereading a Star Trek novel. I sat that aside and on a whim picked up Stephen King's The Green Mile.


It's been quite a while since I've read a book that's kept me up all night and The Green Mile came pretty close to succeeding. I'm not really a Stephen King fan, though I've said all along that he's one of the best essayists around. If you don't believe me, check out this essay on the finale of Harry Potter and the series as a whole.

But I digress.

I have a close group of friends that read and I value their literary opinions highly. To a man, they've recommended The Green Mile. I put it off for a long time and I'm regretting having put it off for so long. I don't know what it is about this tale that's pulled me in. It's almost...homespun in a way. I get the feeling that I'm dipping in to something slightly surreal, something otherworldly when I read The Green Mile. The narration is down home simple, told from the first person perspective of the chief prison guard of the Depression Era death row known as the Green Mile.

Paul (the narrator) reminds me just a little of the Ancient Mariner in Coleridge's Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. Remember how in the beginning the Mariner reaches out and grabs the wedding party and holds them spellbound as he relates his tale? I've been under his spell since late Monday evening. I've reeled off nearly 300 pages since then. It's gripping, at times gruesome as it unabashedly wallows in the macabre...yet there's something more here that I haven't seen yet.

I haven't finished, so if you comment, please don't spoil anything for me just yet. I've been carrying the book around with me everywhere I've went today, trying to sneak in a few pages when no one was looking between tasks. With any luck I'll be blogging about the end within a day.

Switching Gears

How's that for a smooth transition? Hey, at least I warned you.

The photo above is from one of my absolute favorite shooting locations: Roaring Run. It was one of the last I took last year and I though it fitting to post tonight since my thoughts have been taking me back along that stream these past few days.

On October 24th I'll be leading a photo outing for the Alleghany Camera Club to that very site. I've been asked to make some notes and a very brief, but helpful (I hope) presentation on capturing motion and light. We're going to meet at Fire & Light Gallery at 3 p.m., leave by 3:15 and be on the trail by 4 p.m. If the weather cooperates we should have some pretty sweet diffuse light coupled with an array of fall colors, a perfect recipe for great photographs if there ever was one.

This photo comes from about the halfway point of the hike. The stream takes a hard bend to the left (as you're walking upstream) and the trail breaks away to a higher vantage point for a hundred feet or so. To get this photo I actually jumped off the trail and crawled down the edge of the river. I put the feet of the tripod in the water by the bank and took about a 3 minute exposure to capture this image. There are a thousand different ways to shoot a moving stream, but one of my go to methods is to get right down in the water and shoot upstream.

If you're interested in attending, please do. You can comment here on this blog or e-mail me at SportsWriter2303@aol.com. I'll be happy to reply with directions or an e-mailed copy of the notes once I work them up.

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