Cold Blooded Blog

This week the Photography Gods have not been kind. I’ve been hunting (with my camera only, of course) a recent visitor to the property without much luck. That said, I am determined to capture the shot before the end of the summer and I’ll be sure to post it here when I do.

In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite cold blooded visitors.





Fox Hunt

This week I went on my first fox hunt! I’d like to thank my mom and my sister for their help, and my mother’s neighbors, Cary and Wendy, who were kind enough to let me lurk in their lawn for two hours in order to capture these shots.







Return of the Blog

I recently spotted an unexpected charge on my credit card and realized that, while I had apparently forgotten all about this little piece of the web, the good folks at WordPress had not. Seeing as I’ve paid for another year, I figure it’s time to get blogging!

One thing I’ve learned about myself is that writing invariably takes a back seat to photography as my hobby of choice during the summer months, so this is likely to be more of a photo blog than anything else, at least until the first snow falls.

This week’s subject of choice for me is a family of deer that are living on our property. At first, I thought it was just a doe and one fawn, but I’ve recently discovered that the doe (whom I’ve decided to call Lily because I’m a huge Harry Potter geek) actually has two young fawns. Here are two recent videos captured on our trail cam.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to call the one little guy Skip.

Lily has grown accustomed to seeing me around the property and has become a very patient model.




Although I’ve managed to capture images of her little ones with the trail cam, I haven’t yet had the chance to capture still images of them. Hopefully that’ll be the subject of a future blog!

Winter in Michigan – Still!

Since we’re in what feels like the 500th week of winter here in Michigan, I’m getting a little stir crazy. I decided yesterday (before the ice storm) to get out and shoot for a bit. So I traipsed out into the rain and guess what I found? Yep, bunch of wet plants and puddles. Still, there’s always something to shoot in nature if you look hard enough.

The Beauty of a Blog

I have decided that the beauty of a blog is that you can do with it what you will (within reason, of course). So this blog entry will have nothing at all to do with writing and is only marginally related to photography. In fact, this might come dangerously close to a vlog!

My mind lately has been given over almost entirely to spring! When’s it going to get here? How much longer under the snow? Will I ever be able to get out into the garden again? I am particularly interested in when the wildlife (by far my favorite subject to photograph) will  return . So this week I set up the trail cam near the area I affectionately refer to as “Turtle Cove”. Here’s a sample of what I captured. Please disregard the dates on the trail cam footage. I can’t seem to remember to reset the camera clock. Nevertheless, Think Spring!!


Photo Blog

Although the work continues on Born von Burlau,  it’s still in the research and organizational stage. Before I began writing, I’d read interviews with other writers, in which they’d say things like, “I spent five years working on that novel, but…” and I’d think to myself, Good Lord, why so long? Now I get it. This is the first time I’ve ever attempted a series of books and it’s just a massive organizational effort.  It’s necessary work, but not very blog-worthy. It’d be like blogging about where the actors stand for dress rehearsal.

In lieu of that, I thought I’d do a photo blog. I took myself out for a walk around my snowbound home town yesterday and snapped these shots. Hope you enjoy them!


Lost in a Blog

Sorry for my prolonged absence from this blog. I could blame it on the new puppy or the busy holiday season, but that’s not entirely accurate. The truth is, I’ve been a little paralyzed by fear. Never a good thing. In this case, the fear of doing something wrong. I should listen to my sister more (God help me if she reads this). She keeps telling me just to write for myself and for the simple pleasure of my own creative outlet. She’s been boldly sharing her own creative side since long before it occurred to me to have one, so she should know.

Then I remembered my original purpose for this site. It’s a place for the voices in my head to come out and play, which is also the point of my writing. I don’t know if this is “normal” (perhaps that’s another fear I need to leave behind), but I’ve always spent a lot of time mentally escaping into my own stories. As a kid, people used to accuse me of being a hermit because I spent so much time off on my own. But I wasn’t alone in my head. I was on tour with my own rock band, or off saving the world from some sinister bad guy. It was the sort of mental escape you get from a book, but I never needed the book. The story is more fun if I control it. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan (as I am), you can imagine Bran, stuck in his tree. Physically, he’s not doing anything, but in his head, he’s everywhere. That was me. That is me.

My latest escape has been to the town of Burlau, somewhere in Germany. Don’t bother looking it up on a map, you won’t find it there.  But if you’re the sort of person who needs a reference point in reality, then I suppose Burlau is a combination of The Brocken and Lauscha. Most of the inhabitants are nice enough, but history and politics conspire to alter the essence of who they are. Some manage to remain true to themselves and suffer the consequences. Others fall victim to peer pressure or personal ambition. A few others must escape, or die.

It might seem like a grim refuge for a mental escape, but it does keep me interested, as I hope it will you.


More von Burlau

I apologize for the delay on this post, but my limited writing time lately has been devoted to finishing the von Burlau outline, which is not really bloggable. Nevertheless, I’ve promised myself I’ll finish that outline before the start of NaNoWriMo next month and it’s a promise I intend to keep. That said, I’ve been working on the second chapter of the first von Burlau manuscript. Here’s a first look, hope you enjoy it.


     Amelia Schwarz set her heavy bag down and glanced around. The garage to her left appeared deserted and a tall hedge to her right hid her from view of the main gate. Confident in her apparent solitude, she quickly hiked up the edge of her long skirt and adjusted the garter that had been digging into her thigh for the last twenty minutes.

Before she could complete the task, however, a metallic clank from within the garage made her start. She dropped her hem at once and took a cautious step in the direction of the noise. She caught sight of a grubby chauffeur, who had evidently been peeping at her Continue reading More von Burlau

The Devil’s Paradise

Tyler Cooper had just cracked open his third beer, when his wife, Karen, stuck her head out the screen door and hollered at him for what would be the fourth and final time. “How many times do I have to ask you to clear out that brush down by the pond?” she demanded. She did not wait for a reply, but simply turned back into the house, allowing the screen door to slam shut against her generous backside.

With a grunt, Ty set his beer aside and heaved himself out of the porch swing. He walked the ten yards down the steps and into the backyard, where he found his son, Charlie, stretched out in the hammock, earbuds firmly in place, his thumbs dancing across the tiny, digital keyboard on his latest cell phone. “Charlie?” he said. His son did not look up. He gave the bottom of the hammock a shove with his foot. “Charlie!” With that, Charlie pulled the buds from his ears and looked up at his father. “How many times do I have to tell you to clear out that brush down by the pond?” Tyler demanded.

“The what?” Charlie asked.

“The brush,” his father repeated.

“What? Like a hairbrush?”

“No, don’t be stupid,” his father snapped.

Although his wife was out of sight, he heard her customary admonition float back to him through the open kitchen window, “Don’t call the boy stupid, Ty, you’ll hurt his self-esteem.”

Perhaps, Ty thought, his self-esteem could use a good kick in the pants, if he was dumb enough to believe there was a hairbrush growing down by the pond. “Sorry, son,” he said with exaggerated patience, “I didn’t mean to call you stupid, but I was talking about the weeds growing down by the pond.”

“The pond?” Charlie repeated. “What pond?”

“Our pond,” his father replied, his patience waning fast.

“We have a pond?”

“Of course we have a pond, it’s on the new property.” Tyler waved his hand in the direction of the vacant land just beyond his own fence.

Charlie glanced back down at his phone.

“So are you going to go clear it?” his father asked.


“The brush”

“The what?”

His father rubbed his eyes with such ferocity, it looked as though he wanted to gouge them out.

Almost, Charlie thought.

“The brush by the pond,” his father said again. “Are you going to clear it out like I asked?”

“Isn’t that the neighbor’s property?”

“No, it’s ours. We closed on it last week, remember?” Ty replied.

“We did?”

“Yes, and you need to go down there and clear away all that brush.”

“That what?” Charlie asked, without a trace of irony.

Tyler slapped his forehead. “Never mind! I’ll do it myself.” He turned and stalked off.

Charlie smiled to himself, popped his earbuds back into place, and stretched out in the hammock.

“Dumbass kid,” Tyler grumbled. He’d gone into the house and was in the process of pulling on his work trousers, when his wife entered the room. He glared at her, willing her to start an argument.

She did not. She collected the laundry and was nearly to the door when she called back, “Dinner’s at six. Be back by then.”

By the time he’d thought of a sufficiently rude come back, she’d gone. He pulled a ball cap low over his eyes, grabbed his leather gloves from the shed, and trudged his way down the hill with a brush cutter in one hand and a can of fuel in the other.

The sight of his father heading down to the pond brought a grin to Charlie’s face. It was a satisfied, victorious sort-of smile and one he’d come to regret, whenever he looked back on that final conversation with his dad.

Continue reading The Devil’s Paradise

The Mini Pooper

This week our new puppy has been taking up every available (and not-so-available) moment of my time. As a result, I’ve accomplished very little writing, but lots and lots of puppy photography. So this post will focus (literally) on Mini’s first week with our family and her still tenuous relationship with big brother Gordie.


She quickly discovered the fallen fruit from our apple tree. It’ll be great for playing fetch-someday. For now, she prefers just to chew it into disgusting, tiny bits.


When she’s not chewing apples, she’s chewing Gordie’s tail.


Or even herself.


She also loves to skulk around in the tall grass


and stalk poor Gordie!