Friday, December 25, 2009

365 Day Project

I'm starting a 365 day project beginning Christmas Day 2009.

The original project goal was one self-portrait a day, every day for a year. Story is here.

365 pictures of moi sounds boring. I could get ethereal about it, and point out that I reveal myself in every frame whether the camera is pointed at me or away. But I won't.

I'll just modify my 365 Day Project to be one picture, every day.

Watch it develop in the sidebar.

Away we go.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I passed my EMT Practicals.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Watch Your Language

The following video struck me funny since all semester, the young men in my Advanced EMT class have apologised to me whenever they swore.

Now, I'm a writer. I am not offended by language.* I'm not above using whatever language I need to get the effect I want.

I also went to college in the 60s. Drugs, Sex & Rock and Roll, my generation invented that.

Now, I love 'em like the brothers I never wanted, but so far, nothing these baby boys have come up with has shocked, appalled, or even surprised me. But, because I'm 30 years older than they are, (oy) they treat me like a little old church lady.

Should I tell them?

Husband Dearest says there is nothing wrong with being treated like a lady.

Should I tell him?

So kids, today's lesson is:

Judge not by appearance,


for God's sake,

mind your fucking language.

*For the record, I'm offended by stupidity, cruelty and liars.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Nervous Energy

This is my brain, one week to EMT Practicals.

I'm waking up in the middle of the night doing patient assessments.

So, if I'm not here for a bit, that's why.

My suggestion, check out Second Cite (sidebar) and see the pretty pictures.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Pie is baked.

Stuffing stuffed.

Bird in oven.

Dearest down the hill to pick up the one thing I forgot.

Isn't there always one thing?

Time for a cup of tea in front of the fire before company arrives.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dream Big

I hate U-Tube.

Vimeo is better.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Devil's Backyard

This is the project I worked on all summer, with multiple hikes into the burn of the Meriwether Fire. The show's not up anywhere yet. I decided to put it online.

Funded by a grant from The Puffin Foundation.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Follow the Leader . . . Or Not

I read this great story about a research study done with chimps.

In an enclosure of a group of chimps, researchers placed a pole with a platform on top. On the platform, they placed goodies chimps favor. However, when one of the chimps would start to climb the pole to reach the goodies, the researchers would spray water on the rest of the troop.

Soon, whenever a chimp tried to climb the pole, the other chimps would drag the climber down.

When that behavior was well established, researchers began to change the balance of the troop, removing one original member while adding a new chimp. And they stopped spraying the water.

The chimps continued to prevent the new member from climbing the pole to get the food reward.

Eventually, researchers had replaced all the original chimps with a new troop, none of whom had ever been sprayed with water, yet, they continued to pull down any chimp who tried to climb the pole.

Remind you of any people you know?

We can't do
that because we always do this.

Moral of the story?

Sometimes you have to thumb your nose at the other chimps and climb the pole anyway.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Cheese Stands Alone

If you do the best you can,
you will find,
nine times out of ten,
that you have done as well as
or better than anyone else.
- William Feather

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Can it REALLY be Winter?

When the kiddo moved to Europe, her Dad and Grandpa helped her move her stuff home. They set her potted rose on top of the load in the back of a pickup and during the trip, all the leaves blew off the poor little thing.

She said, it's still alive.

I shoved it into a corner of the living room, and surprise, it's about to bloom.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1st Snow

Perfect night to sit by the fire
with one's true and faithful dog.

Looks like a little angel, doesn't she.

Don't you believe it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Naughtiest Puppy Dog In The World

Been a while since we've had a Gracie update.

As mentioned previously, when kiddo moved to England, the cat came back.

Now, this cat is the size and shape of a speed bump and yet, still manages to eat the last flower off my begonia, poop in the dining room, and knock the clock off the coffee table in under 15 minutes.

So, I wondered why I kept finding him asleep in a pile of Gracie's toys.

Being, basically a dog person, I figured it was some nefarious cat conspiracy along the lines of --

dog. these are my toys now. boohoo for you.

When I found him sleeping in the recliner amid a pile of Gracie's toys, I figured it out.

The conversation went more like this.
Gracie: Cat? Ball? Play ball, cat? Ball.
Gracie: Cat? Rope. Tug of war, cat?
Gracie: Cat? Stuffed duck, cat. Duck, cat?
Gracie: Cat? DuckyEgg, cat. This one squeaks. Cat!

Poor Gracie. I think she needs a little brother.

You Want Fries With That?

Why does the boy with the anarchy tattoo work at McDonalds?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Well, you know I have a thing for Bruce.

This one reminded me of an old joke.

When you're down and out,

Lift up your head and shout,

I'm down and out.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Here's why.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009

Archaeology News

This made me feel old.

Archaeology gets groovy with ’60s commune dig.

When kiddo announced she was going to England to study paleo osteology, I told her I had old bones right here.

I was more right than I knew.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


600 posts and still have something to say.

Who knew?

Monday, October 05, 2009


Just got home from EMT class,
and there was a bear in my front yard.Changed the focus of my entire day.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Technical Regrets - UPDATED

Every year, come spring, screenwriting contests entice entries like fresh blossoms to thirsty bees.

Hopeful scribes plop down their funds for a variety of prizes, coverage and the occasional scam.

Several of the contests have risen like the proverbial cream on an otherwise dull bucket of milk.

The Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, sponsored by the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences,
Yeah. Them.

is the extra-creamy top of this bunch.

I've been entering the Nicholl's for a while. I've quartered, semi-ed and once had a script in the top 30. When I had a manager, he told me, he heard from a Nicholl reader, whom he also represented, that my script, that year, had the highest ever rating of a script that didn't win. I put this down to gossip and so what.

Entering the Nicholl is a Rite of Spring around here. Sweating out the placement, a summer ordeal.

Imagine my reaction when I receive this email today.

Hi Cynthia,

Congratulations again on reaching the Nicholl finals.

( . . . )




That's what we EMT folks say instead of --

Shit. You're having a heart attack.

Didn't last long though, as this was the next email in the queue.

Hi Cynthia,

As many of you already are well aware, we sent two e-mails to you this morning. The first was a regret e-mail telling you that you did not advance to the Nicholl finals. Sadly, that was the correct e-mail.

( . . . )

All of the Nicholl finalists received phone calls yesterday alerting them of their status. If you only received an e-mail from us, that means that you did not advance to the Nicholl finals.

( . . . )

Best of luck with your writing. Again, we apologize heartily for the confusion engendered by the congratulatory e-mail.

Best wishes,

Greg Beal
Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

Don't know the technical term for when the heart just breaks, but I have to say, fucked, works for me here.

I wonder how many, and hope it is only a few.

Should we accept the apology and move on?


Does anybody care about the momentarily risen then dashed hopes of a few unproduced screenwriters?

Ask me later. I'm still wading in spilled milk.

~ P O S T S C R I P T ~

Saturday, 10/3

News of the screw-up with the Nicholl Fellowship notifications is traversing the Internet. 84 of the 09 semifinalists received the finalist email in error.

Greg Beal posted this on the American Zoetrope Screenwriting Board.
Since most semifinalists have realized that finalists receive phone calls, I'm surprised that the e-mail was not immediately recognized as an error.

Well, pardon the hell out of me for not immediately recognizing YOUR error.

No matter, this should not have happened, and we beg your forgiveness. Please accept our sincerest apologies.

Okay. Moving on.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

All The News That Fits In Print

So, kiddo is in England,

and I'm not.

AND this song makes me cry, every damn time.

But, I'm staying busy.

This happened.

I finished my grant-funded photography show and am now trolling for a place to display it. Since it is political, and not politically correct, this has been slow going.

Responded to a fire in the forest, started by an unattended campfire. Some jackass, too drunk to realize his fire was not out.

Got to use this thing, which is called a Rhino but looks like a hoe.

Put out the fire.

What would Smokey say?

To make sure I kept myself occupied, I signed up for the next level of EMT training which absolutely, positively insures I won't be able to do anything for the next four months except study, go to class, study, study, study.

Why did I think that was a good idea?

I don't remember.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bon Voyage

Very early this AM,
kiddo took off to Europe
to become a Master of Science.

We did a lot of this.

Homeland Security Threat Level is ORANGE.
Whatever that means.
And I'm NOT going to think about it.

Her Dad and I watched the plane wing away.
Kinda like kindergarten, but not quite.

Not everyone got to go.

Have fun, Honey, learn lots,

and remember what I said about those Irishmen.




Monday, September 14, 2009

You Can

You can have anything you want --

if you want it badly enough.

You can be anything you want to be,

do anything you set out to accomplish,

if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.

Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Do You See What I See?

This is Jake, my mother's cat.

He happened to be reclining nearby when I was wandering around making test shots with my new close-up lens.

What's that in his eye, you ask?

A reflection of the porch railing.

Way cool, no?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


After a summer of hiking through burned woods,

I needed to look at something else.

Plus -- new lens.

Friday, August 28, 2009

You Know You're In Montana ...

When you need the heat on

in the morning,


the air in the afternoon.

Summer's over.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

1. I remember, I remember Mama.

No, wait, old movie title.

I remember, I remember when sirens in the night meant someone else had to get up.

2. Dear Kiddo, I want you to know I'm proud of you.

But remember, once you get to Europe, never offer an Irishman a ride, unless he is really cute and will marry you first.

3. Is that my pen!!???

Give it back.

4. I'm trying to resist the temptation of Godiva.

But what fun is that?

5. I'm saving a kiss just for you!

6. If I made a birthday list a trip to the ocean would definitely be on it!!!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to errand day being over, tomorrow my plans include being the only medical person on duty for the community, and Sunday, I want to relax!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Every so often, I check my site stats to see the searches that disgorge the innocent at my cyberspace doorstep.

Google Searches that landed souls here:

disney movies spool grandma underground monsters

I wonder what they were looking for -- and my blog was #1 in the search return list.

gaeilge mór agam

Still looking for someone to speak Gaelic and COYOTE UNDERGROUND is #3 on the list.

it's not polite to point

Yes, I am Miss Manners, and that search reaped this picture.

filmfantasy paint

What the hell is that? And why am I #6 on the list?

Looking for me?


Someone actually looking for me? Here I am.


8th on the list if you just want a coyote.

black velvet pencil

Alas. #2 on the list for the poor souls still looking for Black Velvet Pencils which are the best pencils ever made that you can't get anymore.

potius sero quam nunquam.

6th on the list for Latin quotes. Am I moving up in the world? From a Gaelic translation for Give me a Guinness to Latin for Better late than never. Moving into more elegant territory.

And then this notice --

McAfee tested the sight and didn't find any significant problems.

Apparently, I'm safe, relatively.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To Blog or Not

Number 1 Fan asks, "Why aren't you writing on your blog anymore?



1. It's summer.

Such as it is. In Montana. Which means yesterday morning, August 17th, at 8:30 AM, the temperature was 35 degrees.

Counting ourselves lucky, it wasn't 35 below here boss.

2. Other projects.

I've been on four hikes into burned wilderness for a grant-sponsored photography show, and besides being depressing, this takes time.

See pix above from the latest foray.

Actually, the show is almost finished, and I've learned getting a new camera and the newest version of Photoshop at the same time one takes a paying gig, might not be the best of planning.

3. Nothing to say.

Well, you know better than that.

I wish they'd stop calling that child, Blanket.

Could they please stop obsessing about what Michelle Obama wears. I don't care what she looks like in shorts or bare arms. Although I'm grateful to her for bringing cardigans back in style.

Isn't it scary to see what some of our neighbor citizens think and will say in public.

4. Blogging is so over.

Could be.

I've noticed a few of my favorites sporting long times between posts.

But, the Internet, being what it is, undoubted thousands shall rise to take the place of those too lazy, busy, bored, mute, or evolved to blog.

Until next time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Not Everybody Gets A Meteor Shower

So, it was my birthday, yesterday.

Bought enough cake to share with the fire department 'cuz we were having training last night, then decided, those firemen don't need any cake and kept the whole thing for myself.

Happy Birthday to me.

They will thank me later.

Every year on my birthday, earth gets a meteor shower.

You're welcome.

I remember when the phrase -- I'm almost [FILL IN THE BLANK] years old -- meant, I'm about to get to do something I didn't used to get to do.

Occurred to me in bed yesterday morning -- I am almost [expletive deleted] years old. And my next thought was, CRAP. Am I still alive?

I remember when you couldn't trust anyone over 30.

Now, anyone under 30 looks suspiciously immature.

Hugh Romney is 73.

Nobody's perfect.

Monday, August 10, 2009

An Ri Ra

Took in the An Ri Ra Festival in Butte. It was nice, albeit over-priced.

Since it is August, I took a sweater, raincoat and hat. Although rain, the night before, pounded one of the concerts, the weather Saturday was perfect.

Since I began my Irish Studies, I've developed an affection for Butte.

It's like a rowdy cousin who makes every outing more fun, but you wouldn't want to live with him.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The power of imagination makes us infinite.

John Muir

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sad and Shocking News

Blake Snyder, writer of SAVE THE CAT, died August 4th of cardiac arrest.

Tributes here, here and here.

I wrote about my experience with his screenwriting method here, here and here.

His method changed my script writing for the better.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Fairy Pictures

Look, I got a picture of Tinkerbell whilst shooting through the trees.

Can you see her now?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Forest Fatal

Went on the third and fourth hike into the burn for my grant-sponsored photography show.

I'm starting to get a handle on what I want/need to do -- after panicking when I realized that burned trees are like fence posts -- all the same.

Still depressing, walking through miles of forest-no-more. Any patch of color catches the eye.

And this little doll, on the side of the road that didn't burn.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fear Not

You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience
in which you really stop
to look fear in the face.

Eleanor Roosevelt