January 4th, 2012


Two Scans Of Christmas Past

And They Kept Christmas Very Well

No secret that my family likes Christmas. When I was boxing up Wendy's things in Atlanta, I pulled two photographs out. One is of my father from a few years ago and the other is Mrs. Dr. Phil and I from even further back. Finally got around to scanning them today.

At first blush I figured only that the one of my father was taken at Wendy's place, based on the furniture. But Daddy is wearing an Official Jurassic Park Tour Guide button. Now Jurassic Park came out in 1993, so at first I thought it was 1993. But then I realized that Daddy is holding one of many books on Harry S. Truman he collected. A quick search -- ain't computers amazing -- told me that Robert H. Ferrell's Harry S. Truman: A Life was officially released on 1 January 1996. Which means this is Christmas 1995. And quite possibly we didn't travel south, so we weren't there when this was taken. Can't read the gift tag on the book...

The scanner picked up a lot of white noise, which the Ulead PhotoImpact Despeckle routine only partially removed. Original photo was probably shot with a Nikon N2020 and a 35-70mm f3.3-4.5 AF Nikkor on color negative stock. (Click on photo for larger)

Robert H. Ferrell's Harry S. Truman: A Life would've be available for Christmas 1995.

The picture of the two of us is on a Polaroid SX70-type instant print. And it looks like this is in the living room of the house in Laurium MI in the U.P. Now I'd bought a Polaroid in the spring of 1990 when I went on a job interview -- it might have been a Polaroid Spectra SE -- which means that this might be Christmas 1990. The 'rents might have come up for Christmas (or maybe Thanksgiving) that year, in which case my father probably took the photo. Otherwise, I don't know who shot the picture.

We bought those Santa hats at K-Mart in Houghton, I think, and we still wear them, 21 years later.

Dr. Phil

Oh, Duh!

Things Remembered In The Middle Of The Night

In yesterday's post on two old scanned Christmas pictures (DW), I was so busy playing forensic detective that I forgot about some of the obvious things. (grin)

1995 would've been my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and Wendy's 40th birthday, so we had everyone up here for Thanksgiving. So we surely stayed home here in Allendale for Christmas and definitely weren't in Atlanta for that Christmas.

As for 1990, I had been trying to figure out who took the picture -- and forgot that the Polaroid Spectra SE had a self-timer and a tripod mount. So while the 'rents might have been up for Christmas, it is more likely, given that the Christmas tree hadn't been decorated yet, that we shot the Polaroid ourselves and put it in the Christmas card to Atlanta. And probably did another one to Greensboro. Maybe.

Funny how you remember things in drips and drabs sometimes. And one of the reasons I like having blogs to work with...

Dr. Phil

The Sabbatical Closes

Sabbatical 1.36 Report -- December 2011

In the last month since I reported on my sabbatical progress (DW), I managed just 10 submissions. All told I made 112 submissions since the 29th of July. 1 sale (DW) to the Rocket Science anthology. Plus an Honorable Mention and a Silver Honorable Mention (DW) from Writers of the Future.

I had five new stories to add to my Invenstory in 2011 -- three of them during my sabbatical. Though that's not a record for new stories, but it is a huge record for total new submissions. I even added fourteen new markets to the mix.

Did I accomplish my goals for not quite half a year? We-elllll, no. Not really. But there were a lot of extenuating circumstances -- things that I could take the time to deal with without leaving either students or job in the lurch. I came up with a new workflow for getting stories out. I'm going to call this a win.

And you know? I may be teaching two classes this winter, but I manage to find time to write. And I have a lot of notes for new stories and I have that new novel to work on.

It's 2012 and I already have three new submissions. And no new rejections. Not bad considering how many editors and slush readers were working over the holidays. (grin) Can't sell if don't submit. (double-grin)

Dr. Phil