Posts Tagged ‘photos’

Show Diving

July 26, 2011 2 comments

The past weekend was filled with unusual activities for us. On Saturday, BJ and I went to the Glacier Rally of the Rockies Classic Car Show here in Kalispell.

The Show and Shine made a definite impression. Vehicle owners from all over the country and Canada had come to show off their dedication to the past and their hard work.

Chrome sparkled with glints of sunlight while azure sky ensured a good showing. Owners polished away dust motes while lookie-loos poked heads inside trunks and windows for a better view. With approximately 150 classic cars and trucks from the 1930s thru the 1980s, everyone had a chance to see favorites up close and personal.

BJ snapped photos of vehicles, the crowds, and lots of engines for those enthusiasts gathered along the street and in the parking lots. We spent a busy hour in the sun examining our favorites and speaking with the occasional owner. All of these lovelies would be winding their way through the Rockies in the days to come.

We went home so BJ could begin processing while I began writing down impressions and planning possible uses for the info gathered. I knew Sunday would be even more exciting, though in a different way.

We left home mid-morning Sunday to travel west along Highway 2 on our way to Marion, Montana. Several miles west of Marion there is a skydiving school and on Sunday they were holding a diving exhibition. Yes, you saw that right. It was time to watch people jump out of airplanes rather than drive classic cars.

We arrived at Lost Prairie, Meadow Peak Sky Diving around 11 a.m. and had nearly missed the first jump. Not quite, but we’d just parked the car in front of the beer tent when the ‘chutists began carving out air paths for a landing above our heads.

The wind was good and light, the kind a diver can maneuver in without difficulty. Bright punches of color dotted the sky while the drone of a light plane sounded in the background. Sun shelters, tents, and campers dotted the grounds across from the beer tent and porta-potties. The local ambulance stood at the ready off to one side.

Divers, crews, and families roamed and chatted, laughed and planned future dives. It was like watching the circus come to town; a smaller and very specialized circus. Parachutes were strung out on ground cloths awaiting the precise task of folding and stuffing fabric and lines into their compact carrying cases.

Thanks to the generosity of the diving school’s owner, BJ and I were afforded front row seats on the covered deck of the main building where flight announcers called out line-ups and flight times. Divers scurried in and out, handing in tickets to this flight or that. BJ readied camera and tripod while I enjoyed a comfortable seat with a direct line of sight on the landing field putting me close enough to see much of the action.

Interacting with skydivers is a marvelous experience. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, professionals of all stripes wandered around in shorts, jumpsuits or street clothes. From twenty-somethings to those in their sixties, skydivers came in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. And they all loved to laugh.

I think that’s what I’ll remember most from my day ringside at the sky circus. Diverse conversations—from a specialized hand-made device for locating gold in stream bottoms to elk antler chandeliers–filled the air. Talk of other diving areas crossed speech paths with speculation about who would ride the inflatable toys during a dive. Laughter came in liberal doses throughout. The atmosphere was one of a party where these challengers of the air could rub shoulders with like-minded enthusiasts.

They’d come from around the country for this event. Drop planes were brought in from Sky Dive Arizona in Eloy. Every half hour parachutes of all colors floated through the sky while club banners, pennants, and flags lined the drop zone, waving at divers above and telling them wind’s direction and speed.

In the end we came away from our weekend of exploration with a profound appreciation for those with passion in their lives, whether as classic car enthusiasts or as sky divers chancing disaster for the sake of flying free with eagles.

I hope everyone out there gets a chance sometime this summer to enjoy such events as those we chanced upon this past weekend. Give it a try. You might be surprised at what you learn.

Have a great week, people. Enjoy your life and take out your passion, dust it off, and take it dancing.

Until we meet here again, a bientot,


 **NOTE: All photos printed with permission from BJJones Photography 

Octoberfest in a Tent

October 7, 2010 2 comments

Today has been a hectic one with preparations for several days camping and a photo shoot with photographer sister. Those little ideas just keep churning when the brain is exposed to other environments. I have no idea what I’ll come home with, material-wise, but I bet I’ll get several pieces out of it and maybe a story or two.

After all, if I’m going to add travel writing to the repertoire, I do need material. We should get some good stuff where we’re going.

That poor little car of ours may never be the same. It’s loaded to the roof supports with camping gear. At dinner tonight, as I slid out of the booth to go pay the ticket, my poor old body hit the wall. All the frenetic activity for the past two days and especially today, hit me all at once.

And then I couldn’t take the time to get in a nap. Too much to do before bed. I’m working on that proposition now. I may make it by midnight thirty, if I’m really lucky. Five AM is going to arrive way before I’m ready for it.

Just wanted to warn everyone that there would be no postings for the next couple of weeks or so while I’m incommunicado in the wilds of camping territory. We’re just hoping we get cell coverage.

I hope everyone has plenty of success in whatever endeavor pursued while I’m doing my research thing.

Take care, all, and God bless. A bientot,


Work Week–When Does It End?

September 13, 2010 1 comment

Today begins a new work week. The question is: When did the work week end?

Like most people who write, my work week is ongoing. I have the odd day out where I get to meet and talk to people I wouldn’t otherwise be acquainted with. The trouble is that most of the time there are only three reasons for gallivanting around.

1. Doctor’s appointments

2. General errands like groceries, post office, new equipment, bookstore.

3. Traveling to see new things about which to write.

The first two reasons could give quite a few short pieces a chance to live on a blog or even in the newspaper, given that day’s internal events at said venue. It’s that third one, however, that happens more frequently than not.

When Sister says we need more photos, the car is our immediate goal, followed by the question: Where did you have in mind?

Cameras and notebooks, pens and intentions–they travel along for the ride in search of wily pics that just can’t be passed up. Or, should that be “passed by”? Either way, the day is filled with more work than this writer can keep up with.

For every shot there is a short story to stick beside it. It might only be a pic of kinnikinick, but the blurb could be about how the berries contain so much vitamin C as to make a wonderful natural source free for the picking. Or, it could be about the fact that bears like kinnikinick almost as much as they do the huckleberries that flourish next to the kinnikinnick.

You see the problem. It generates another difficulty as well. Where does one put all of these wee blurbs of photo and words? Does a writer collect them to put into a short book for publication on the ramblings of a photographer on safari? How about short pieces for a newsletter sent out to those poor, lonely souls who have nothing better to do with their time than read the ramblings of said writer?

So when does my work week really end? To put it mildly, it doesn’t. Ideas spark 24/7 with no rest for the non-drugged. Imagination is a good thing. Artists and writers couldn’t live without it. Otherwise we wouldn’t be named artists and writers.

Imagination run amok, however, is where I live. I turned it on and now I can’t figure out how to turn it off. Oh, have no fear. I have no trouble sleeping. I sleep from sheer exhaustion most nights. I can testify to extremely vivid and enthusiastically creative dreams, though–which, of course, have left me with more storylines to put on the back burner.

You know, I wonder just how big that back burner really is. I keep putting stuff back there to percolate on its own, and it should be falling off the other side pretty soon. But, you know what, I can always go back and find it even without a catalog of story ideas. It just waits for my attention while my current distractions scream out front for their orders.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really have that essay to finish for Friday’s deadline. While I was sitting here, I did a complete mental rewrite and want to get it down while I can still find it.

Have a great work week of your own. Try to take time to breathe. I find it really helps the brain function. Funny how that works.

A bientot,


**NOTE: Photos used here are from BJ Jones Photography at:

A New Play Toy

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

The following is something my sister, Jo, and I have been playing with. We’re hoping to do much more of it for inspirational items or books. I hope you like it. She does the photos with her own wee camera, and I write the poems.


If you like Jo’s photos and want to see more, she does have a gallery site at:

Drop by sometime to see the other types of photo work she does.

A bientot,


A Day In The Life…

September 3, 2010 1 comment

If you read my last post you know that much of what I do entails thinking of ideas and forging them into some semblance of acceptable reading material. That is what writers do.

The question is: What else do writers do with their time each day?

I can only clue you in as to what I do. Right now I’m beginning The Artist’s Way course. Therefore, the very first thing of the day is my Daily Pages. If I’m working at home on a given day, I deal with correspondence before moving on to website perusal.

I can’t speak about why other people check out websites. I have specific ones I follow. I’m also a member of SeededBuzz , which promotes the viewing of member blogs, etc. (Check out SeededBuzz if you’re curious. I’m a member of several groups of varied interest. I also look for specific information about agents, editors, publishers, etc.–the usual business end information towards writing. That activity takes care of the clock until around noon.

Of course, within that is also social networking. That’s a must for any writer today. We were told that, we listened, and we do it. Simple as that.

And whether anyone else mentions it or not, I try to keep myself in support mode for all of my writer friends. Everyone talks about writing being a solitary and lonely life. I’m here to tell you that it’s only lonely if you don’t create a circle of writing friends with whom to keep in constant communications.

I have so many wonderful friends and acquaintances within the writing community that I never have adequate time to talk to half of them on a regular basis. But, I do keep apprised of their doings and hopefully, they keep an eye on mine as well. My life and theirs are busy and harried sometimes. That’s to be expected. But we rally when one of our own is hurting or in need of an extra pat on the back or shoulder to cry on.

So I always try to use at least one half to one full hour each day to make sure I’ve connected with those who need something extra that day. There will come a time (and has already) when I’ve been the one being buoyed up by these same friends. They’re some of the best people I’ve ever known.

The afternoon gets used for actual writing, whether non-fiction, fiction, journalism pieces, what-have-you. Then, too, it depends on whether submission deadlines loom in the near future and I’m struggling to catch up. Those deadlines take precedence, as every writer knows.

The evenings go through a kaleidoscope of activities. I might be studying research material, reading and studying writing course information/lessons/etc. or working on a piece previously written but not polished. It all depends on if I need a break from the computer and how badly I need rest.

Occasionally, as I did for the past couple of days, I take a major break from active writing. Or, I tag along on a photo shoot with my sister. We’re   making plans for the future which are exciting, intriguing, and scary all rolled into a convenient carrying case called the “Unknown Next Few Months.”

We’re trying to do away with plans other than those immediate ones that call our names and point in interesting directions. I’ve heard that kind of living called “spontaneous,” but I’ve never allowed it take hold before. I’m hoping to do better in future. We’ll have to see how things play out on a couple of fronts before we can commit ourselves to going to the gypsy mindset completely.

So, there you have my day, my life, my example, poor as it may be.

Wishes? Sure, I have them, with more arriving every day. Plans? More like desires than plans. Contingencies come into play always. I can’t do without those.

And my writer’s day. I’m here, aren’t I. I have two blogs, write for Associated Content, have begun doing book reviews, am gearing up to begin again with interviews, and have a few other irons in the fire.

Anyone one of those could control my day according to whatever schedule happens to hold sway that day. Take your pick and remember–You, too, could have a day like mine.

A bientot,