Thursday, April 7, 2011

Two Ways

There are two ways to take really good pictures.  If you get an excellent camera and really learn what it can do, you can take amazing pictures.

Or you can get a pretty good, simple to operate, durable camera and go to amazing places.  Keep your eye open for things that take your breath away... and take the shot.

My first parachute jump, the jumpmaster asked what was in the pouch on my shoulder strap.
"My camera.  I thought I'd take some shots on my way down."
He smirked.  "You're an idiot.  The second you jump out of that plane you'll forget it's even there."
One of my favorite pictures (predigital, I can't post it) is of my own boots at 3000 feet.

Same with a lot of things.  I'm plowing through a book right now that will be coming out in '12, doing the rewrites, making the editor happy and it is really, really apparent (especially on first drafts) that I'm not that good a writer.  But the book is about things that you really can't see at a distance.  About what goes on inside (and what is supposed to) when an officer makes a force decision.

Go to amazing places and keep your eyes open, or polish the skill.  Either creates some good stuff.

Doing both is best.  Working on it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Productive Day

Finished another article today, third in a series of five (or possibly six).  Combined with the previous series, they'll actually make a good little book, a primer on social and asocial violence.  If it breaks 50k words, I'll think about traditional publishing.  Otherwise, e-books seem to be the way to go.

Also worked on a set of notes for Conflict Communications students.  That's a delicate balance.  A handbook would be neat, but people actually learn and remember better with hints than with passages.

Formatted two of the next three articles.

Still undone (but not tonight, I think.  I've earned a break).   ahem.  Still undone: seven weeks to get A Citizen's Guide to Police Use of Force into final shape.  Karen is my editor on this project and I like working with her... but the manuscript I originally sent to David was just to give him an idea and it is a really rough draft.  Done that twice now, sent and sold manuscripts before I even cleaned them up.  Still want to work on a manual for calming emotionally disturbed, drugged and mentally ill people.  Need to format Chiron 2008.

Kami did a great cover for 2008 and it cover my first seven months in Iraq.  There will be lots of new material, mostly things I couldn't right at the time and maybe a few chapters of the Nanowrimo novel I did in Baghdad.