Walking in the Truckee River

Okay, it’s sad. The Truckee River is empty. But not entirely! We did get a little rain over the summer, so the river has small pools of water feeding a bit of life. Here are the photos of our stroll along the side of the Truckee River and in the river bed.

I love this one. The flowers look like they’re floating.

Wildflowers by the Truckee River
Wildflowers by the Truckee River

I like the yellow against the grays, greens and black.

Wildflowers, Truckee River, California
Wildflowers, Truckee River, California
A great big plant, not sure what
A great big plant, not sure what

A few years ago, we rafted down this river with our family.

The Truckee River Bed
The Truckee River Bed

This water has collected from runoff from summer rain.

Truckee River bed
Truckee River bed
Runoff water in the Truckee River
Runoff water in the Truckee River

Water is so pretty, even when there’s just a little.

A glimpse of water
A glimpse of water

Sunlight in the forest is so pretty.

The forest next to the Truckee River
The forest next to the Truckee River

Happy Wednesday, or Thursday, as the case may be!

Forests of light, the trials of writing, and an interview of you (and me)

I completed the book that I wanted to submit in time for The Wild Rose Press Lobster Cove series. The ball, as they say, is in the other court.

I’m so glad I finished the book, and that I like it. That’s a good first step. I’m also glad that I made it outside last week to enjoy the Tahoe National Forest. Hopefully you will enjoy this collection of images from our hikes.

Wildflower meadow, Tahoe National Forest
Wildflower meadow, Tahoe National Forest

I would love to know if you had a goal over the summer, or any time, that challenged your ability to balance other things you like to do.

Log in water
Log in water

Did you reach your goal?

Trees with moss
Trees with moss

What did it cost you and was it worth it? Why or why not?

Dry creek
Dry creek

What motivated you to pursue that goal?

To be fair, I will answer for myself:

  • Did I have a goal over the summer that challenged my ability to balance other things I like to do.
    Yes, writing the sequel to Love Caters All in time for it to be included in the Lobster Cove setting, where it takes place.
  • Did I reach my goal?
    Yes.
  • What did it cost me and was it worth it? Why or why not?
    It cost me being able to relax more this summer, and it cost me anxiety, or I should say, it gave me anxiety! Yes, it was worth it because the book pushed me through to a new way of writing, one that I have dreamed of, but that I didn’t think I had in me. I feel that I became a more natural writer. It was also worth it because the book is meaningful to me, and it is amazing to create meaning. In addition to being about a romance, this book is about loving and caring for someone who is disabled. When my characters took up this meaning and told me their story, rather than letting me impose the story upon them, I was amazed and fulfilled. I was also, I think, changed as a writer. I hope it sticks! LOL
  • What motivated me to pursue that goal?
    This changed over time. First it was simply the next thing I planned to do. I set up a series with three sisters, not realizing how difficult series can be! Ah, the blind ambition of the ignorant. Then several readers wanted to know what is going to happen with the other two sisters, so the readers motivated me. I didn’t want to let down the people who took a risk and read my debut novel! Then my critique partners helped me so much that I didn’t want to let them down. I mean, they worked hard to help me pan the bits of gold out of the first draft. Finally what motivated me to push myself very hard, to push through moments of hopelessness when I was throwing out more words than I was writing with the deadline looming nearer and nearer, was my husband. He often is a bit of a writing widower. He also helped me a lot with the book as he always does. I simply couldn’t let him down. After I finished, I confessed this to him, and he said I wouldn’t have. Nice to know! One thing I learned about myself with writing this book is I care the most about my relationships with people. Oddly enough, that’s sort of what the book turned out to be about.

So now I am in waiting mode. This book might be rejected. Or it might not be loved by readers. This is what happens when we undertake to write stories for an audience. But you know what? Those things don’t matter as much as I thought. At least I hope I have the courage to remember this no matter what happens with the book. We have to look inward for our rewards. Yes, we create for others, but if we are satisfied with what we have created, then we must feel fulfilled and whole. And if we are not satisfied, then I think we need to be kind to ourselves, maybe set this aside, and try again. It is very often the case that later in our careers we will know what we need to know to bring that creation into being in a way that fulfills the vision we have, the feeling we have for it.

I’d love to hear from you if you would like to answer any of the questions or just describe a bit about an experience you’ve had of pursuing a goal.

Wildflowers and marshes, Grand Teton National Park

The wildflowers on our hiking adventure near Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park were wonderful.

Lupine
Lupine

I kept pausing to take photos, which really slowed us down!

Mules ear
Mules ear

I tried to work fast, though, so I wouldn’t slow down our progress too much. I managed to capture this bee.

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I liked the quaking aspen behind these flowers.

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Sulphur buckwheat, I think
Sulphur buckwheat, I think, the white ones

There was a lot of thunder in the distance, making us hurry to beat the storm. The clouds made a dramatic backdrop for photography, though.

Tree drama
Tree drama

These marshes are around in multiple places providing habitat for many species of plant and animal.

Christian Lake

Christian Lake
Christian Lake

Now that I’m home, I’m really glad I made the effort to take a lot of pictures. I can remember it so clearly. I hope you enjoy them too. Have a great day!

Wildflowers of Rancho San Antonio

I don’t know if you remember, but I said I’d take some pictures of the thistles at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve next time I went out.

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I just loaded the pictures onto my computer, and I was very excited to see them.

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Nature is such an artist.

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I was commenting to my husband today that as soon as we get out of the car and start walking at this park, I start smiling.

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The sounds of all the birds, the fresh air, the fragrances of the trees and flowers as you cross the bridge over the creek, and the wide open vistas, are very uplifting.

I do love my DSLR.

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It’s not heavy, just bulky. I’ve started carrying it, even on hikes. I alternated, one day I used the Panasonic, and the next I brought the Sony. They’re like good friends.

I captured a shot of that exotic flower I mentioned the other day.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

A painting from Barker Pass, near Tahoe

This took a few hours. The software wasn’t making a good painting out of one of the wildflowers pictures. Finally I did one on Corel Painting Essentials 3 Defaults, then restored detail to the foreground. The restore detail doesn’t seem to be working right in the other painting types. I thought it was just me, but when, with the defaults setting, restore detail started working as shown in the demo video, I concluded there’s something off with the other programs. Anyway, this is art, so I’m not going to worry about precision. I wanted it kind of loose anyway.

I spent a lot of time in Paris making canvases out of photos. I would run one of the painting programs but stop it before it finished. Then I would smear it and then save it as jpg, then use that as a canvas for a digital painting.

With that in mind, I tried making the painting of the wildflowers and opening that in GIMP. Then I opened another Barker Pass photo, one that had just shale rocks in the foreground. I pasted it and then fiddled with the transparency using Color to Alpha. I have no idea what that means. I didn’t bother to look it up because I like how the visually simple rocks in the foreground let the flowers come through and the flowers look like rain, while the smeary background in the wildflowers picture made for a textured sky.

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Something different

There have been a lot of snow pictures in the blogosphere lately, so here is something from summer. I took this in 2011 near Barker Pass in the high Sierra above Lake Tahoe. That was a very heavy, late winter and the snow persisted through July. The late melt fed the wildflowers into an opus of Nature, like she’d come out to show the competition that we humans can never compete! Oh, the Keukenhof Gardens (see posts under Keukenhof Gardens on my Travel page), arguably come close, but even they can’t cover hundreds of miles with this:

P1000301_Painting