Lions, Tigers and Cheap Literature (Oh My)

So this last week, as you may have pondered due to the relative silence afoot (or, if you were like me, were entirely distracted by Turkey), I was adrift. Away. Out and about. Soaring the skies and careening back through that lovely mountain city: Denver. The purpose? Family. The goal? Socializing and stuffing our faces like proper gents.

Behold: the togetherness of food. Er, family. I meant family.

Behold: the togetherness of food. Er, family. I meant family.

And while I was there, I got a little stir crazy. Until there were lions, tigers, wolves and bears (oh my) afoot.

Howl for me, puppies.

Howl for me, puppies.

Sure, she *looks* docile. It's a trap, I assure you. Much like the Cake.

Sure, she *looks* docile. It’s a trap, I assure you. Much like the Cake.

I may not have found a muse, but more importantly, getting out and about (and just getting out of the usual schedule) stirred up that sense of inspiration back inside myself. You see, we Galfords like to write (case and point below). We really like to write. We don’t really feel “right” if we aren’t. But that publishing side of things, the business side of it, can discourage you…strip away the purity of the art and leave you clawing at the addled remnants of your brain. But I can happily say, I’m now up through the sixth chapter of the third Haunted Shadows novel: “As Feathers Fall” (working title).

See? I told you we like to write.

See? I told you we like to write.

My fingers hurt. My brain hurts. But it’s the good sort of hurt.

And for that, as part of my return, the first book in that series, “The Hollow March,” is currently available on Amazon for the discounted price of $.99. Holiday treat. Enjoy! And if you’re up to it, why not share your own stories from Thanksgiving week in here? This is the holidays, after all, and one of the things I’m certainly thankful for is my readers.

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Photography Site Live!

If you’ve been following me on Twitter (@aurinth), you probably have heard me rambling on about a new venture of mine, among other things. While I do so love to engage myself in the written word, I also have a passion for photography – you’ve undoubtedly seen bits and pieces of my work scattered here and there about this blog – and that passion has finally (belatedly, some lecture me) into making a website dedicated to that passion.

Galford Photography is a Wix-based site pertaining to all categories of my work. Portfolios including portraiture, nature and landscape, city and architecture, as well as my editorial photography, all make an appearance. Through the site, those interested will also now be able to contact me regarding potential photography work, whether requesting services for some grand new venture, or simply regarding interest in one of the myriad numbers of images already swirling through the galleries.

The real challenge in getting the thing up and running, I would say, was in going back through all my photo archives looking for the right images to showcase. Goodness. Let me tell you – I knew I loved photography, but my own library startled me at just how many images I had lying in wait. Suffice to say, it took me many hours to weed through, and I’ll confess my efforts on commenting for One Shot certainly took a hit for it (don’t hurt me!)…but the end result was a vastly more efficient archiving of my files, and a glittering new website ready and waiting to go. Plus, it kept me out of the 95+ degree June we had going on around us the last few days.

I mean, what was up with that?

But I digress. Now that I can breathe a bit again, I think I’ll be off to actually partake of a little more photography, rather than simply staring at my collected works of it. Certainly enough to stir a bit of the wanderlust in a person, let me tell you.

And of course one last shameless self-promotion for the road: http://www.wix.com/galfordc/galfphotography#! Check it out, let me know what you think – and be sure to let me know if you encounter any issues with the site!

Birds in Flight

Picture copyright Fee Easton.

Feathered summer bright

In taloned march sing madness

Death—one season’s end.

A piece for this week’s edition of One Shoot Sunday. There’s no interview by me (had a couple weeks off, you know?), but several lovely prompt choices to select from a generous old friend of One Stop: Fee Easton. You may remember my earlier interview with her back in March. A wonderful woman with some very vivid photography. This was my response to her “option 3” photo.

Absence Explained

Yesterday, you may have noticed I posted a poem for One Shot Wednesday. Nothing out of the ordinary in that, and certainly unorthodox. Those among my commenters section, however, may have noticed that I have not, as my usual goodly self would have, traveled to your blogs in turn for a comment or a quality liking. You may be thinking, what a dick, that Chris guy.

Well humbly hold back on the dickery decrees for a moment while I explain. This week, you will probably not be seeing much activity from me. Some issues have erupted in the real world that have left me scrambling for sanity, but facing worry; for time, but finding little to be had.

My mother and father, Rocky Mountains 2010.

Yesterday, my father was taken to the hospital following a week-long sickness. In the beginning, we had thought it was the flu, or something like it. When it stretches for a week – certainly not the case. He was checked into the emergency room. Doctors seem to have figured out what was wrong – infections coming on in clumps all up in the wrong areas – but they don’t know yet if what they have prescribed will be enough for the moment. They have held him at the hospital for now, and given him antibiotics. They may take. They may not. If the don’t, they will likely have to conduct surgery. A skittish Chris is left in the meanwhile.

As if that weren’t enough, the week seems content to stack numerous other obstacles and bad things in my path. For example, yesterday, not 20 minutes before I learned about my father, my dog was mauled by another dog while we were walking down the street. Put an inch long gash in his neck and took a chunk of skin out from under his eye. Would have been worse, much worse, if I hadn’t booted the assaulting animal off my thoroughly startled dog. Have to deal with animal control and all that now. Likely an angry neighbor as well.

"Fane," post-attack.

I will likely return to normality next week, and you will see posts and commentary the same as ever from regular Chris, but for the moment, if I’m a little lacking in internet presence, I hope you’ll understand. All the best to you all.

Curtain Calls

Image by the incredibly talented Jacob Lucas.

Rotted regality recompense

Take wing and take heed beneath the sunlit—

Spotlights? Well they never did

Reveal nothing anyhow

Save empty chairs and broken sets

Where bands play in flat,

The fat ghosts singing cabaret

Behind dilapidated careers,

Writ grandiose in neon letters

Somewhere between dignity and destiny.

* My submission to this week’s edition of the One Shoot Sunday Photo Prompt, with that breathtaking frame shot provided by one Jacob Lucas. Breathtaking photographer – be sure to have a look at my interview with him when you get a chance. You won’t come away disappointed… and while you’re there, check out all the other poets inspired by the prompt!

Fake Spring

Last week, if you weren’t aware, we here in Michigan experience a little phenomenon we like to call “Fake Spring.” It wouldn’t say it’s commonplace, but it happens often enough that while we are still terribly confused by its appearance, I doubt there’s anyone out there really protesting at this point.

So what is fake spring you might ask? Fake spring is when you have fine, snow-laden winter going on around you, complete with bitter wind chills, hordes of Ugg boots, and North Face jackets, when all of a sudden Michigan decides that all this snow’s gotten a little boring, and all of a sudden the sun break through the clouds, the birds circle and chirp, and all that snow recedes into wet, gloppy pools of thick brown mud.

Suddenly, there is grass again. Bikes make a tremendous resurgence. Coats depart and the crazies (we call them residents) start walking around in short-shorts and flip-flops again. Good times, really.

Of course that strange little bizarro world you’ve entered comes to an end. It ended this Sunday, in fact, when after all that snow had melted, Michigan let loose a maddened giggle, and dumped us with another 7 inches of the white stuff. Yes, it is a strange place I live in. One with a sick sense of humor I might add.

But life goes on, snow or no, and those same crazies in their short-shorts and flip flops return to ice-driving, barreling down the ice-laden stretches without concern to speed or silly little things like…reason, AKA traction. Then, we all cry a little inside.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a few of the pics I took while out and about enjoying that Fake Spring. All are from the Lansing River Trail, a local favorite of mine. These pictures were taken on the first day of Fake Spring, before all the snow had its chance to melt – but as you can see, the river was a lot less icy than it was a couple weeks ago.

Fifty degree weather in the midst of February – to some, apparently, a fact that means “Let’s go kayaking!”

And then, of course, there’s this…

Tasteful advertising at its best!

Gold and Brown

This is,

notwithstanding,

the twilight fading hour–

all gold things brown with age and light;

no more.

* My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! The style used here is known as Cinquain, a five-line stanza form containing twenty-two syllables, in the sequence: 2, 4, 6, 8, 2. The form was invented by Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914), an American poet.