Looking Forward

Looking forward

It was a rough weekend. Friday my wife had surgery to re-attach her rotator cuff and we’ve been dealing with the pain and itching. Add to that once the weekend was over I had problems with remote access to stuff I need at work. End result is I didn’t get much done in the way of writing, nor did I do as much reading as I’d hoped with Ken McConnell’s Starstrikers proof. I only managed to get in 10 chapters in all that time. If you like SF, I can easily recommend his Star Saga series of novels and short stories.

I did, however, manage to get my fourth draft of the Pa’adhe short story Keylim done and out the door. I gained a new Beta reader recently, and am curious to see how he reads Keylim. Character development has been taking place over the entire series of short stories, so I fully expect to see some comments along those lines. As Ken reminded me, it’s always good to get someone new to give feedback. Often they will see things that you as the author are too close to and which your regular Alpha and Beta readers are past or used to, having figured things out to their own satisfaction by having read several or all the Pa’adhe short stories. I’m angling to get another person to sign up as a Beta reader, too, but I don’t have much hope he’ll bite. That’s a pity.

At this point I’m not making a request for more Beta readers. Later on this year, I might make such a request. In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email indicating your interest.

The final astrophotography class ended well. Astrophotography, at least for me, is a difficult subject to teach in a classroom, especially one which, as mentioned in my previous post, has severely restricted audio-visual capabilities. I much prefer being able to teach this in the field where there’s immediate feedback and hands-on training. It’s easy enough to create a video showing how I do things, but it’s difficult for me to sync my teaching to the video while discussing what’s being shown. Since I don’t know if they’re able to hear the video I can’t just put an audio track into the video. Plus if they ask about some feature, how can I expand on that for the class? No, from here on out, I’ll use my own laptop and projector. That will also enable me to tailor the presentation better to what they want to see and learn.

The next class I’ll be teaching will be time lapse. That one will be much easier to teach and will have homework to generate questions resulting from hands-on attempts to create time lapses. I’ve already got much of my curriculum and notes written out. Now I’m gathering and creating my examples and pictures to go along with the class. I think I’m going to enjoy this class more than the previous one since I’m much more comfortable teaching again than I was at the start of the astrophotography class. I’m looking forward to seeing what the students create.

This class starts the first week in May. I have one very specific illustration of a time lapse that I want need to create. For that, I have to get up in the Owyhees from 3 pm until after dark. I don’t really need clear skies for it, but I do need the weather stable enough to trust I can get up to the site and back without problems due to the road. It’s also a good thing I have two camera bodies, I’m going to need them both. One I’ll run manually, a shot every half hour for about 10 to 12 photos. The other I’ll run off the computer, a shot every 20-30 seconds, so about 480-722 photos. I’m going to use these two time lapses to verify my work flow for presentation in class. That means I must create these in April. I’m definitely looking forward to this work. Hmmm. I need a third camera to keep me occupied during this time! 😉 Maybe I’ll take my new Celestron telescope.

Back to writing…the same Ken mentioned above has got me thinking about working on my novel again. We’ve had some discussions about how we write, what’s needed to write a novel, and I do have that novel on the back burner. It would mean giving up writing any further Pa’adhe short stories while I worked on that. I might be able to get a short or two out as a break, but…I don’t know. I guess I need to determine where I want to focus for the year: Pa’adhe short stories or the novel.

So much to think about and so much to do.

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