"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Calendar Girl: Miss January

For the past 3 years the Communications Dept. at my spouse's workplace has sponsored a calendar photo contest, open to anyone--professional photographers, amateur shutterbugs, employees, members of the organisation, etc. The photos must be taken over the previous 12 months and there are requirements about size and resolution. For the past 3 years I've entered the maximum number of photos...some of my best and most favourite images, which I felt were very calendar-worthy. The competition is fierce and the resulting calendar is gorgeous. But in the first two years it didn't include my work.

Just before Christmas I was informed that my photo of snow on winterberries was selected for the 2010 edition to illustrate January. I hasten to add that this was blind judging, so the selection committee don't know the photographers' names or identity, let alone whether they happen to be a spouse of an employee. No favouritism, no nepotism!

A couple of weeks ago I received the .pdf that went to the printer, and was told that I would receive a packet of calendars as soon as they were available.

This week the Chap brought home my packet.

Besides the honour of being chosen, three other things please me.

1. I'm Miss January. The very first month and for a calendar, imho, the very best placement.

2. My photo is a still life. The photographs I've had printed in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, whatever, are either travel photos, architectural photos, nature photos, or landscapes. I do a lot of still life photography--especially plants and flowers. As best I recall this is the first time I ever submitted a still life to any publication. Being chosen in that category is very affirming.

3. The contiguous photo for February happens to be the Big White Boat in its winter dock on the Big Lake. Is that cool or what? A happy reminder of a vessel and a place I love...even though at this season I'm seldom there.

The past two days were packed with activity--leadership, diocesan, social, and legislative. I survived Tuesday's madness, which was tempered by lunch and grocery shopping with my Friend from the North Country. When she and I got back the Lodge after our committee meeting, which ran late, we just managed to get a decent meal on the table for ourselves and the Chap. I think the first glass of wine did us in, and we kept drinking it. So we decided to just hang out and sort of watch tv an cuddle dogs and chat with the Chap and each other instead of carrying out our plan to watch a movie. It required too much concentration.

Yesterday was the first day of the Legislative session. We started at 10. We had lengthy debates on changes to House Rules, interminable debate on Commerce Committee bills, interspersed with a attempt to suspend the Rules to allow late filing of a bill which the Rules Committee had previously voted down. (So did the House.) There were emotional and compassion aspects to the debates...one was to allow insurance to cover hearing aids, and hearing-impaired members of the public were in the gallery following the debate with an ASL interpretor. Another group was downstairs in a smaller chamber with video CART system--closed-captioning--so they could follow along. That bill passed.

By the end of the day--we adjourned at 5 p.m.--we'd only got through about 12 bills altogether. We must report out all retained bills by a deadline. Next Wednesday promises to be an even longer day...unless legislators show more restraint in their speeches. And I don't expect that at all, because we have plenty of divisive bills yet to go. Also next week, my committee (and others) begin public hearings on the new bills filed for 2010. I'm reliably informed that there's gavel-wielding in my future....

This is my catch-up day, and fairly leisurely. I made astonishingly swift progress on my first chunk of revision, and look forward to returning to that task over the next several days.

I'm thinking about all our friends and relatives in parts of the US and the UK who are inconvenienced by the sort of weather we take for granted here in New Hampshire. That said, I had a blustery and cold (albeit sunny) couple of days in Concord. And our night time temperatures will very shortly descend to the single digits.

Which is my way of saying, your agony won't last. We're in it for the long haul.

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