I used to think it would be interesting and exciting to be a photo journalist. It would combine my love of writing with my mild interest in picture-taking. I grew up in the era of Vietnam when many photo journalists were war correspondents. What a great job! Right? Being there in the action where you didn't have to rely on bogus news reports censured by the government for your news. You would know the truth first hand - well, until you got shot....
When I was 15, I watched on television as the most powerful hurricane to hit the United States mainland in recorded history (Camille) bore down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The part of me that wanted to be a photo journalist, and before that a jockey (until I realized I was getting too big and I was to chicken), watched with rapt attention as reporters stood in the Buena Vista hotel (which ceased to exist that night) and talked over the howling wind. What a rush!
OK, ok, I was 15! I know flying bullets and 25 foot storm surges are events you want to avoid. Scientists now say that people who actually DO those things probably have some kind of gene that intensifies their need for adrenalyn rushes - I am not one of them. But I could dream. The reality is I did pursue my heart's desire - to be a novelist - and I had the thrill of seeing my novels in bookstores - twice!
However, after about 4 years of whining and and producing nothing and raging against a publishing industry that doesn't want what I do, I feel that I may be on my way to recovery and finding other, more lasting reasons to write than simply publication. Changing what and how you write to accomodate a market isn't as easy as it might seem. It's like changing your love of home and becoming a world traveler or giving up your passion for water skiing for stamp collecting. You can do it through a process of sacrifice, self-redefinition and self-denial. But where is the joy in that? Even if your sacrifice is for God or for a loved one, the adjustment may never be complete or fulfilling.
So while I ponder my future as a writer and think about the possibility of finding someone out there who actually likes diversity and might take a chance on a thrice published nobody, my soul is dying for lack of a creative outlet. Hence this web site and my new, fledgling interest in photography.
These are my pictures and my words. I have been a writer since I was 11 years old when I won a short story contest at my elementary school, and I have taken pictures since I was about 12. But photography as a hobby is a new thing for me. I have a very cheap camera and I am reluctant to buy a good one until I find out if I'm going to be willing to put time into this. I have a fairly expensive computer that I bought for my so brilliant writing career which is in what appears to be a permanent case of the doldrums, so I don't want to make the same mistake again.
Anyway, here are my pictures so far. No war zones, no hurricanes, no hang gliding, no white water rafting - just my ordinary life and travels. Hope you enjoy!
page last updated 05/28/00.