Twilight at Red Rock Canyon, NV (December 2008)

So much to see and do around Las Vegas that has nothing to do with casinos.  Caught this shot as my wife and I left the Canyon after a good day’s hiking.  I think the picture is cool and a little eerie. 


Combining photography and writing

When I was younger (meaning college age), I was sure that I was going to be a writer.  The main thing holding me back, I thought to myself, was my lack of real experience in the world.  Having grown up in the South, it’s not like I was ever really exposed to majestic mountains or exotic locations. I felt I was living a life of isolation, devoid of adventure.  This dearth of experience, I reasoned, needed to be overcome if I was to become the writer I knew I could become.

It wasn’t until the last few years that I realized I was stalling.  I was turning my writer’s block into the Great Mental Wall of China, ensuring that I would never complete any sort of writing project. But the funny part was that I was doing this while fooling myself into believing that all I was doing was preparing to write.  One of the tools I used for this was photography.

After joining the military in 1995, I finally was able to see the world.  My personal comfort zone was destroyed forever, and for the next 12 years I was able to see and do things that a lot of people never will.  Throughout all this, I kept telling myself that I needed to capture these experiences somehow.  One day, I will translate my life into the background of a novel.  And the mechanism I used to record this was often photography. Photos of ice capped mountains, searing deserts, massive waterfalls, and the like filled my albums, and nearly all never really served the purpose I had hoped they would.

That was until recently.  This blog is the most obvious manifestation of my renewed interest in sparking writing creativity through photography.  But I also was able to recently complete an assignment for Associated Content that thrilled me more than it should have.  This assignment simply said “Write a story about an image you have taken.” When I read that, old desires reignited, and I dug through my pictures.  Interestingly, the one that caught my eye for the story wasn’t one of the more dramatic photos I’ve taken.  It was a sepia image (cheap digital camera) that I took of a small church in a secluded part of Iceland.  The story has nothing to do with Iceland, but this image finally did what I had wanted my photos to do for years: it provided me with a creative impulse that translated into a story.  I’m including the link below.  I hope you enjoy.

Evening and Morning: The Day Tony Miller Sold His Soul

I love this picture.  Gollfoss (Golden Falls) Iceland (August 2002).  This imposing waterfall looks like a big crack in the earth.  Take a close look at the edge if the water in the foreground…those are people.  I have shots from the edge, but I’ll have to post later.

Anyone writing a book? The time is coming to choose the topic of my next novel manuscript

I’m still wading through editing my first-ever manuscript.  It’s slow going, but I still hope to have it out to agents by the end of the year.  Once I finish my editing, I plan on pulling together notes for my next effort.  The only problem is, I’m not sure where exactly I want to invest the time.

My first work started as simply an academic exercise.  I wanted to prove to myself once and for all that I could finish a novel from start to finish. As part of the exercise, I chose an idea that I had thought up relatively recently that I wasn’t all that attached to.  This idea took root as I wrote, and I believe it’s a pretty good comedy.  The manuscript working title is Chasing After Vanity, but I’m probably going to change that before I send it out to the publishing world.

So now I’m trying to decide whether I want to do something else fun, like a science fiction book, or something that’s a little more thought provoking.  I’d like to decide before November, because I intend to flesh my next manuscript out during National Novel Writing Month (I have an older article about that down below…31 Aug or 1 Sep).

Anyone else out there currently in the midst of writing a book?