Category Archives: digital play

Copyright over on Instagram

Paris Collage image plus Nat Geo photo of famous free climber Alex Honnold

As you know, I routinely use magazine cut outs in my collages — National Geographic, Vogue, Living Magazine to name just three. I also use screen shots.

I think because I’m not selling my work, copyright issues have never come up. However, this week a montage of recent collages got this weird notice on Instagram about 71 nations banning my reel.

Huh? I assume the Paris Collage Club pictures do not trigger copyright claims nor, obviously, do my own photos. When I looked over the slideshow what stood out were photos of Jared and Ivanka. Is someone scouring the internet looking for unflattering pictures of them?

Screen shots used in montages

I’ll post video here just to see what happens. I have transformed the duo’s images in a way that arguably skirts copyright problems. I don’t know. I don’t really think about this stuff much.

By the way, this spooky portrait shows up in the Jared/Ivanka Monster series. I love it so much and I wish I’d noted who the photographer was. Cut out years ago.

Drought in New England

Old map of my neighborhood

When I tried to type “drought” in the title just now, it auto-corrected to “fright.” Exactly!

We are finally getting some rain, but it’s been bad, really bad — super hot and dry. Even that hardiest of perennials, the hosta, has struggled. I’ve dug up four shrubs and will likely have to dig up two more. Ferns have crisped and collapsed. Astilbe try valiantly, but barely make it despite daily watering. I’ve even been watering well-established trees for fear of losing them (NB: our reservoir, the Quabbin, has high levels right now).

It’s been a close-to-home wake up call for an area relatively immune to the drastic effects of climate change. Hurricanes are rare here. Tornados happen now again, but usually out by Worcester or Springfield. We don’t get flooding or wildfires and until now, drought was something that happened out West.

A dogwood that I planted at the elementary school years back doesn’t look like it’s gonna make it

A “flash drought” is nothing like the nearly decade-long drought in California, say, but it brings immediate consequences.

I read that a temperature change of 1.5 degrees would be catastrophic for forests in the Northeast.

This is not autumnal turning

No wonder some nights I feel the acid bloom of fear just as I’m dropping off to sleep.

Monday — again?

Slept til 8:30. Walked Finny. Read poems by Charles Wright. Made a lunch designed to empty as many containers as possible: reheated pesto penne with cherry tomatoes, corn on the cob, the last wedge of cantelope, and for K, a heated up salmon burger with avocado and impromptu aioli.

So now I’m upstairs and already identified another agent I’d like to query (why do they all look like they’re 28 and, does it matter?). It’s an online form submission, which is tedious in the extreme. All those boxes to fill!

I’ve written a query letter and a synopsis by now. I’ve assembled the requisite comparable titles. But I still struggle with bio (I like dogs?) and blurb (aka elevator pitch). How do I say what my novel is about in three sentences? It gets me every time.

It was an unusually busy weekend. Hallelujah for that! We went to Boston’s MFA on Friday to see the Philip Guston show that Maggie mentioned on Instagram. More later?

And last night we had a nice dinner on the North Shore with fireworks as an unexpected finale.

PCC prompt is a barn this week

Pause without intending

It’s been hot. Very hot. I’ve been walking Finn early and late to avoid the worst of it. I’m even watering the trees at this point.

My writing workshop resumes next week and so I am collecting prompts, cleaning my work area, and thinking about the writers who will hopefully be showing up. I ordered a few books in anticipation as well.

Not shown: Peter Elbow’s WRITING WITH POWER
Paris Collage Collective visual prompt plus quilt with writing and more. Used dianaphoto app

I hope I get back in the blogging grove soon, but it doesn’t seem to be today. (I meant to say “groove,” but I like the idea of a blogging grove!)

The above collage was produced digitally, then printed out, and marked with white and regular pencils. I am excited about this. Maybe I’m excited about this all out of proportion to the technique, but it feels like a new direction, one that might yield unexpected and interesting results.

Dusty west and dry east

On other trips to Los Angeles, it seemed I could not take a bad picture. On this recent trip, however, the landscapes look dusty, uninspired, and ill-composed. I think it was me.

Here on the east coast, it continues to be dry and hot. We missed the scorching heat while visiting my brother, but our plants did not. Through the use of timers and soaker hoses, we were able to preserve a lot, but some astilbe dried to a crisp and several newer shrubs gave up the ghost. I just dug up two of them. I don’t plan to replace them.

I cooked for us all at my brother’s and that was nice but the real contribution of the week was to blow up the solar-powered beach-ball lights that had been sitting in their boxes since Christmas.

It was strange while away to check the daily temps at home and find the Boston area hotter, by five, six, seven degrees sometimes.

It took longer than usual to “arrive” home but here we are. The AC blowing. The dog sighing. Greenery bouncing in a light, hot wind.

Before I sign off, look what Nancy sent me. How nice it was to come home to!

Check out the button! I feel so seen.

Thank you, Ms. Erisman!