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Rights of Passage

Rights of Passage

Some years ago, I knew a wizard video editor. His mastery of editing could have been the key to open doors of national, even international recognition. So why did a potential sparkling career come to nought?

Patience, overvaluing worth and ability, combined with an arrogant attitude, answer the question. His way was the only way, and a belief he was better than his film school peers did him no favours. And there are other considerations: His ability using editing software was excellent, the finished work repetitive. Reliance on and excessive use of effects gave the productions an amateur look. He knew the software inside-out. He could make an effect, cut or audio improvement on the video timeline in an instant. He’d learned how to use the software but failed to produce unique productions.

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I’ll christen the editor Ed. Ed could not appreciate the work of his peers. Never would he ask how or why a section of a film’s production was made in a certain way. Always his opinion was: ‘I could make that better’, which in the right situation is a good attitude and one to be encouraged. Was Ed’s inability to attain recognition or employment in the film industry because of his mediocre productions? The answer is ‘No’. His work would have improved with experience, and he would have gained considerable recognition.

Liken him to an artist with a studio full of materials and enthusiasm. And for all the tools and technical know-how. When the artist’s work is reviewed, the opinion is: ‘What is the artist attempting to reveal This piece does nothing for me’. Equipment and knowledge cannot compensate for creative ability, and competence is the result of verbal interaction, trial and many errors. There is no doubting artistic growth needs bravery and the taking of chances. Wrong directions, blind alleys, creative roadblocks and happy accidents are essential learnings in the artist’s journey.

Perhaps the worse aspect of his’ way to the stars’ was the deception of Ed’s media presence. It portrayed an image of experience and expertise: of course, time-served professionals saw through the smoke. A fall was inevitable: with little interest in his output, the wind of truth blew his smoke-screen away. Ed thought he could helicopter ride to the summit, not have to climb the mountain. Today he stacks supermarket shelves.

At the outset of his career, a humble attitude and accepting menial positions would have given Ed a higher chance of success. He would have climbed the film reel to become recognised as a brilliant editor: inevitably receiving rightful and deserved acclaim. By taking the time to establish his presence, and demonstrating a willingness to learn and share and care: the success he craved could have been accomplished.

Creative careers benefit from the helping hands of experience. As a ‘runner’ in a media production office, Ed would have learned the more appealing aesthetic aspects of video production. As an enthusiastic member of a team, he’d have become known, liked and respected. Ed was an amateur, and although good with software, he possessed no experience of actual media production. Believing his work could better experts with tens of years in the film and television production industry evidenced immaturity and guaranteed failure. Even now working the mundane to Friday job he still thinks himself a film director! Today his video output is ‘project zero’, and no the lower rungs of the film industry career ladder are now too high to grasp. There are plenty of students graduating from film school ready to do anything to work in the industry. He may have fared better if he’d understood an apprenticeship is essential to success. Working and interacting with experienced people is the way many careers are forged.

Nothing happens without effort: Creativity and failure are part of ‘The Rights of Passage’:

Great artists choose to make every new piece a creative exercise: never believing they know all, and there is nothing more to learn. Some use a pencil and paper to draw a portrait and write an essay about a subject. Others need a studio full of paints and brushes and prepared canvases. The tools do not matter; for example, Daniel Johnson used colouring pens, an old piano and a cassette tape recorder to become a millionaire. 

My journey has taken me from expensive production tools to three main items. My work is produced with an iPhone, iRig microphone and an eight-year-old MacBook. I have written over five and a half million words in the last two years earning a good living from words and pictures. More important than the material aspect, is the immense pride in seeing our events business thrive, through artistic creativity — link to LizianEvents.

I possess no formal learning of writing, image taking and video recording. My ‘Right of Passage’ is attending book and trade show lectures to learn about creativity. My library of books, DVD’s, old school VHS or anything creativity related is growing. More important is talking to as many creative people as possible. And my learning is with the attitude of grace and respect for those who share their knowledge.

On the 28th of October, my book ‘Write: Publish and Promote a Book’ is published. It is twenty-thousand words focussed on the promise of the title. And my thoughts are it is an excellent book, the best book I have written. It could not be completed without the help of friends who read through the chapters and provided feedback. The book’s twenty- thousand words stand on the five million written over the last three years. My work improves because of my creative friends. Without their input, comments and critic, I would still be lost and without purpose to my life.

Thanks to all who help me with my future…

Five million words? Yes: Below are my Grammarly statistics:

Whiter Than White

A Journal Entry:

I sip my coffee. My iPad is out of date, a ‘generation two’. It makes searching the net tedious, and there is frustration that I cannot download iMovie. At the moment, I’m re-searching MoJo Journalism. MoJo is a style of journalism using only the most basic of equipment. In the past, a 35mm camera, notebook and pencil were the necessary journalistic tools. Today an iPhone, external microphone and editing software allows the journalist to produce an item anywhere in the world, and publish it in an hour. I see the potential for MoJo at The ‘Well Being Shows’ Liz, and I organise. Although I have a MacBook Pro for business use and it has Final Cut editing software, I like the idea of editing on an iPad. My fingers are too big to use iMovie on my phone.

I search eBay and discover plenty of 6th Generation iPad with 256gb of storage and 4G priced around four-hundred pounds. I decide to buy one. After the decision is made, I follow the usual path of researching iPads. My coffee is getting cold, and for a moment, my thoughts are on sipping the coffee without spilling it on my whiter than white tee shirt.

Whitening Chemicals From Around The World

Many of my friends know I am obsessed with clean clothes. Working out how to get white linen fresh and snow white is one of my most significant challenges. Next to the washing machine is a collection of cleaning powders, soap flakes and liquids, stain soaps, bicarbonate of soda, soda crystals. Whenever I travel I always return with a new white-washing miracle chemical. My holy grail is not a golden challis. It is blinding white shirts. An arch-enemy is the coffee stain: one of the most difficult to deal with: unless the coffee is washed out before the material dries it will stain the cotton.

Liz is downstairs: I hear choking: “Lizzy, are you ok?” No reply, my voice is raised “Lizzy, are you ok?” No response: Christ Lizzy is choking, and there is silence. Fuck, I don’t want Lizzy to die, out of bed in a second, racing down the stairs “Lizzy, are you ok?”

In the kitchen, Liz is folding my white shirts. She has hiccups, loud and strange sounding. “Christ, I thought you were choking. I called and then shouted, you didn’t hear” “I couldn’t hear what you were saying: I have hiccups: did you know you’ve spilt coffee on your tee-shirt?”

Panic over. I realise how much Lizzy means to me: the fear of her choking went through me like assassin’s knife. The shirt is put in to soak. I decide there is no need for an iPad. Other things in life have more importance.

The Philosophy of The Beach

Free-flowing thoughts:

On the beach, I sense the futility of life. Nothing helps me understand my inner-being better than being here. It is where the safety of the land meets the hidden depths of the sea. Oceans of exploration, taking risks and finding new beginnings. My conscious mind is seemingly sane – the unconscious mind troubled.

Blue sky or massive storm represent calm or anger. The wind and its hidden abrasive sand are harsh sentiments within conversations. The sun blinds or enlightens. A sea of hidden dangers: Sky, water, sand, wind and sun symbolise humanity’s attitudes and personalities. Why are so many addicted to water? Water and emotions: tears of happiness or joy. Does a diver’s inner-being return to the safety of the womb? Does a sailors yacht represent freedom? What words are hidden in the rumbling waves? ‘We will bring you home and take you away’.

I think how little we know of life’s mysteries. Nothing is needed to be happy. As we age, we know less than children, the magic of imagination is easily lost.

My mind wanders: I make a recording it also free flows: the choice is to limit the editing:

A title is evasive – I’ll settle on “Beach Philosophy”

Alice and Bella played all day:

I watch Bella and Alice play: they do not need money or property. Their happiness is within imagination and stories about sea serpents and mermaids.


The construction of sandcastles and mermaid palaces is evidence of the girl’s creative minds. Kids should be guided to know that peace, happiness and working together opens the gates to a fulfilling life. And of course, I realise, they already know this truth, it is the illusion of adulthood, which destroys reality.

Tools of The Happiness Trade

See You Soon

Death – Rambling Of A Madman – I Am Insane Today

Rope Knife 'Lucky Stone' ? Which One? Which Way?

Rope Knife ‘Lucky Stone’ ? Which One? Which Way?

The ageing process’s effects upon one’s body is insipid, inevitable and unwelcome.  In truth we have to blame the design team for poor workmanship and product development. Lets face it even a tin of beans has instructions on the label. I possess the most valuable and complex electro/chemical body of life in the known universe and sod me there are no operating instructions apart from instinct and intuition. Not only have I wrecked the mechanical structure, the central processing unit is overloaded and through numerous confusions it blows fuses with regular occurrence. I am now one of the unfortunate few my fuse box is so damaged it is beyond repair.

I’m sliding into the ‘Happy Valley’ all is not as it seems. So let me cut through the web of years which traps many fools to the glory days of their distorted past and enter into a free fall toward the inevitable, named ‘death’ and have a few random thoughts about the designer (God) and the so called ‘Spirituals’ who profess to understand the Creator. There’s no heaven awaiting and the hell I’d prefer an imagination too.

God, the greatest writer, author, script-writer of all. Designer of the Universe is a confusing entity. He’ll bless random men or women and at the same time in the story – Shadow a child with thousand’s pestering flies and award the ballon stomach medal of starvation for the agonies – He’ll cancer a saint and long life a tyrant.  The creator is a victim of writers block for all of his creative ideas he’s stuck. The master cannot finish the story with a different ending. Unlike a poorly written film there cannot be a sequel to tidy up unanswered questions. His stories place all of his characters in the quicksand of death.

Surely all that really exists is every memory retained within my mind? When life is over, the fat lady will sing and the incinerator’s flame will disappear my body and within my living mind I know I am content in the no thing of tomorrow. And, pleased my body will release my mind from the burden of thought. Burn me up Scotty the enterprise is over.

I no longer care that the certainty of a final sleep looms in the calendar of existence. I realise I don’t give a fig for the sods who have hurt, despised, tricked, deceived or hated me.  In fact I realise it is not the experience of the many difficulties which mattered, it is the fact I’d allowed myself to become part of the non senses’s.

Best of all – NO the brilliance of my death is the probability more than a few will comment, “Good riddance I’m glad that bastards dead, I hope it was painful.” And I guide them to the certainty I’m pleased that in my absence I’ll still having an effect. And don’t deny it enemies, I know a few of you and maybe I spend a few hours researching your lives and lies before its over. I’m pleased to have agitated your petty, arrogant know all minds.

Old World

Old World

I realise I was never as sharp as I believed myself to be. I’m certain my mind is as blunt as a chewed fruit pastel and about as much use. I’ve made and lost a fortune and now I don’t give a toss people buy my work because of the lessons learned.

Old friends you’ll impress no one with generosity, kindness and charity. These are the attributes the rich take advantage of. I’m certain the moron believes giving to others will make them rich. They’re as IQ deficient as the small minded who pick up pennies thinking luck is the seed of wellbeing. Generosity never can and never will make a pauper wealthy, generosity is the privilege of the rich . What I should have known is worrying about others and buying friends is the toil of an idiot.

Spirituality is like planting an acorn in a desert in the hope there will be an oak tree on the spot the following day. It is a vacuum which sucks the  words –  Common Sense – Fact and Certainties –  From ones imaginations and reasoning, for without common sense, fact and certainty, the venom of the spiritual viper will paralyse its victim before eating it alive.  It is vacuous and will leave nothing more than questions and nothing.

To be a spiritual being all that is required is to swim in an ocean called truth and as many explorers of this evasive attribute discover the truth drowns many a pilgrim. And those who can work, interact, buy, sell, give, take enjoy, lie a little, drink to much, smoke when life is at an end, not be slave to money, and love this world and hate the bastards who destroy it, truly understand life. For there is no mystery, there is one journey, one life, happiness or pain. I’ll take happiness every time .

This last paragraph entices me to comment on some of the God whisperers I’ve met. From them I’ve learned valuable lessons. People do talk behind our backs and humans will conspire to deceive those they are envious of. And sycophantic wasps try to enter the beehives of those who believe themselves superior.  Anyone can write a book of right thinking indoctrination, which seems to give wondrous answers to life’s conundrums. Problem is there is no answer, life’s a guessing game and as good as the worst bastard who comes into your environment. I’d guess just one in a million spirituals can live by his or her  beliefs and I’ve never met that evasive number one, probably never will. And by the way, if I’m given a choice I’m not being reincarnated as anything other than a rich, healthy and wealthy man who lives in a world of sublime happiness where every human is stunning to look at and does not argue. It will be a world where cigarettes and booze will not kill me and motorcycles are as safe as breathing the air at the top of a Swiss Mountain summit.

Sunday Morning Texas - As Desolate as My MiND

Sunday Morning Texas – As Desolate as My MiND

I do not care if a celebrity dies or is billionaire. I know Hitler was a murdering bastard and millions of Germans loved him. Dangle a carrot of fear or prosperity and a whole populations follow the lies of a tyrant. When the Jews were pushed into the cattle wagon it wasn’t for tea with the Rabbi was it? And those who watched did they understand right and wrong? Of cause they did.  The world is full of vindictive, poisoned mind bastards who wallow in their self importance. I am not a sheep or a slave, I’ve no interest or care for opinion or critic, like, love, dislike, hate or hate me, bring it on sweethearts I just love to have caused an interest in ME!

There comes a time when we realise we can say as we like.  I know I have, and now do. It is a fact I’ve have enjoyed myself talking absolute crap to people all of my life and I will continue to do so. If I’d have known what the deal was, it would not have been a desire to be a diver, dentist, becoming a ‘mature’ theosophical degree student or all round good egg. I’d have been a writer and tap tap tapping on the key board is the way I should have gone right at the beginning, and the work does not have to be perfect. So many want to be perfect, pick holes in the work of others, rip the hearts out of those they do not know. I despise these ‘I’m better than you’ tossers and laugh and I mean laugh at their arrogance these critics are comedians in a concentration camp. Christ I know so many people who profess to know everything and they have FUCK ALL. They are fakes, fakes, fakes at least in my lie I am a reality.

Had I had written about a laughing leprechaun and an astronaut stranded in space things may have been different. Lets continue the possible story… During my early career, I’ll lie and say I’m queer. For a few years I go into obscurity in Berlin, surrounded by crazy Communism and cocaine addicts. My body and mind is abused and Against the odds I come back form obscurity. Over a forty year career I write and publish 258 short three minute stories, which is incidentally 13 hours of reading or seven shorts each year of the time scale and in return for public adoration of my genius I become worth eight hundred million or about three point one million per story. Above all I will do everything my way and without compromise. Would it work? Of cause it would, it did for the man who was a true genius, his name is of cause David Jones.

I believe his real wonder and majesty is within in the third from last sentence.

So I will repeat it.

Above all, I will do everything my way and without compromise.  

If only I knew then, what I know now! I’m on my way in my own world and I dislike, detest, even hate some people, that is my being, my character and personality. I love and adore only a few and I could not care for any human being I do not know. I my final years I’m writing to antagonise, and I have no interest in anything other than tapping and recording my thoughts. Which I do Because I CAN do so, do not like my work? Then don’t read it, tell others not to read it, go out of your way to find fault.  Make no mistake Miss Scarlett No Clue Though – If one, just one reader likes this essay, for all of its mistakes, ‘typo’s’. nonsense, then it was worth the effort.

Its all random, flee flow paragraphs. I’m not dead yet but the final sleep seems to be a sublime option.

Junk Shop Doll

A life of Abuse Awaits

A life of Abuse Awaits

The mind spins.  Thoughts wander.  Yesterday, last week last month.  Forward thinking is hopeless. Too many ideas thwarted by the whispering feeling time is running out. The sand in the hour glass of a lifetime has nearly filled the lower reservoir. Do not waiver now, do not capitulate.  All tasks must be finished before a new one is undertaken.  Why did I write that word? Is the subconscious mind reminding me of the undertaker’s hearse?

Even writing this blog brings me full of foreboding.  The picture I have chosen, the lonely doll, who would want her?  She’s too big to be carried around and surely it will be difficult to find new clothes to fit her? She’ll be in the cabinet until the car boot sale, the graveyard for no sale toys.  The owner he doesn’t care, a fiver is all he want’s.  And yet, I learn from the plastic figure.  Patience, silence, theres always a chance.

I discover she’d found a new home ‘Who bought her Ken?’ ‘An art student Ian, he’s going to spray her in differing colours, body blue, limbs four other’s and the head will be untouched’.  Why did I ask? The doll’s become a surgical experiment.  My mind goes back to concentration camp horrors taught by history teachers. If the doll had a memory who would it think of as the student placed her on the experiment table?  Would her eyes see the dismembered limbs and torso being sprayed blue? Horror of horror when will her troubled life end, or was her life difficult?

Once loved and surrounded by other dolls and toys and the little girl grew up and found real people to play with.  Or was she just to big a doll in the first place? Unwanted, ostracised for her beauty and grotesque size.  The other toys being of a smaller scale, she didn’t fit in the small community she could never become part of?  And why did she loose her clothes? The indignity the flesh toned plastic portrays makes me feel ill at ease.

You think, Ian your crazy, a doll effects your mind to these thoughts.  I answer why does a diamond ring represent love and mean so much?  Why does a sunset or sunrise evoke such feelings of wonder? I wish I’d paid the fiver and saved the Junk Shop Doll as a representation of the sharp knives of experiences which scar ones life.  And what would I have done with her once I’d possessed her?  Initially found some clothes, returned her dignity, spoken to her when no one knew?  The tragedy is I would have tired of her, the vacant stare, the whimsical oversized eyes and the unkempt hair.  I’d have wished her to be with the artist, because I would come to hate her.  The smug ‘knowing’ half smile, the silent answers to my questions and the revealing of my inner thoughts.  One day the artist may hate her too. For he may find her to be adulterer! Each time someone buys one of my prints of this image, she is mine and betrays her lover.  Yes, she may only be a model, but I know artists and they see life in a different way, he has taken her, made her into a representation of his inner creativity and if he discovers she’d already been abused, what then?  I’ve answered the question already…

On The Road

Print Your Own Book

Print Your Own Book

On the Road

Why do people like to travel?  In my mind travelling must ignite the nomadic spirit within me.  I do not need too many possessions.  The ownership of anything restricts me from moving.  Theres a great feeling to sit on a plane, train or bus and know there is no object left behind to loose, to be stolen, nothing is being de-valued.

The Nomad believes the town dweller is no man!  I understand this today – I wish I’d have known this truth in my yesterdays.   To know that nothing imprisons a man more than ownership of objects is a truth so bright, so clear, it is like all real truths, evasive and for most humans impossible to see.

The nomadic spirit is within us all and dead in most.  Material restriction is the assassin of a few remaining western nomad’s.  So the very few who attempt to travel on accumulated funds will have a restricted journey, which ends when the funds run out.  No a lifetime Nomad needs an income.

This is why I’m steadily disposing of all excess material objects and accumulating intellectual wisdom.  This blog is part of the objective.  Its a slow process nurturing an idea.  The most profitable way to earn a living is selling something which is of intellectual value.  A book, a song, a picture are three good examples.  I write short stories and its is my intention for these short stories to become my income.  And my work is already selling, which indicates to me the plan has merit.  I do not wish to put the horse before the cart as I know full well the income has to be secure before the journey begins.

You may think that earning a living selling cars, giving legal advise, being a doctor, dentist or candle maker, driving a truck or staking shelves in the super market is a better way to accumulate wealth, possessions and a secure future.  O.K thats your deal stay with it.  When you enter your final sleep everything you own becomes someone else’s – Its my wish to do more with less and writing is the tool of freedom.

A Nomad without the desert is a rare being.  His world has no boundaries, no limits, no restrictions.  A desire for Africa may turn to China may turn to America may turn to Chile.  To me the very thought of the Nomad is excitement, adventure, discovery.  Not exploration, this does not interest me.  No the journey and the interactions are the magic which draws me into the desire to be a Nomad.

To be a Nomad one may have little regard for security in the way the town dweller knows or understands safety or security within their existence.  In the second paragraph I write of the desert nomads contempt of the town dweller and I understand it.  Any who believe they need to protect that which they own, is restricted by the very nature of this belief.  Their furthest journey will be a holiday where seeing views easily seen on the National Geographic Channel will fulfil their expectation of travel.  I do not dismiss their way, their path, indeed I desire them to be safe and secure, few of use can become nomadic.  Its a major step even to think of the way of life, even the possibility of it will seem like a madness to those who value possession and material security.  Many dream of the freedom, few will turn dream into reality.

Why do I need those who stay at home? Who live their life of apparent security.  Surely some of them must be my income!  Indeed they will provide the gauge of when I can embark on the journey.  As my book sales increase there will be a tipping point, which once passed will provide sufficient income to call myself Nomad.

I do not write for money and now I am writing of my desire to earn enough from my books to travel.  I never write for money – I write because I enjoy the meditation – Its of no concern if I write about crime, murder, love or supposed spiritual stories.  I write, and the more I write the better I become.  Anyone who writes every day will culture their work to an acceptable standard.  There are many blogs, web sites and individuals who will help with the marketing of a book use ’em if you want to –  I’m clear in my mind those who write to better their craft and self publish their work – Will – sooner or later hit the required standard.  No-one can plan for success.  Everyone can work toward it!

Bruce Chatwin is to blame, his books  (I have read all of them many times) inspired me many years ago and I began to revisit his travels around four years ago.  It seems to me his desire to travel and write stories about those he met along the way is a top top way of life.  Although, I have to note that I disagree with his words “No man can wander without a base.”

I can!  Writing is my path.

You Are The Lens

Image ~ A picture –  Infiltrates the mInD

You Are The Lens

You Are The Lens

When a photograph is taken it is the photographer not the camera who composes the image, adjusts the exposure and finally gently presses the shutter button.

It is a simple task – there is no real difficulty any modern camera is capable of recording the most detailed images.  I use an old Canon 5d and a new 50mm f1.4 lens this combination is able to capture detail beyond any film camera I have used.  Up to a few years ago I owned what is still considered to be a fantastic camera – The Hasselblad Super Wide my goodness its an excellent tool – And, I’m pleased I do not own it now.  What a hassle (perhaps the name Hasselblad foretold the future?) – Film, exposure meter, developing the film and the darkroom’s enlarger to print the image.

I can take a picture and if I so desired, the image can be viewed on the internet in 5 minutes or less.  The old Canon and the Superwide are nothing more than boxes containing the recording equipment and it is the LENS which allows the image to be focussed on the film or the digital sensor of the camera. Many experts lead you to believe the lens is more important than the camera – The fact is if you have the finest Leica lens and its out of focus its as useless as a toy camera.  You may have the best brain and six degrees of intelligence.  If you cannot focus on your work and use your wisdom clearly your a 31 I.Q zombie.

Most of the sharp, perfectly exposed and golden thirds composed images I take are sterile, too precise.  The brilliant pictures I see are not always in FoCUS or PErfEcTlY exposed!  The pictures which interest are often taken with a  phone – The so called wake-up selfie has zoomed around the world because people wanted to see what their favourite celebrities look like when they wake up. These picture do not ‘tell’ a story, they are records of an event.  Its an important consideration.

Pictures taken of a dolphin being killed by Japanese fishermen cause me more pain than any of Don McCullin’s War pictures (some of which are out of focus!) This is not to write his catalogue of work does not effect me, his work is incredible,  his printing…’knock out’ and it does nothing for me!  In my mind the images recorded by McCullin and other war photographers make them thieves of their subjects pains, sufferings and deaths – without the suffering of those in the images there would be nothing and the impact of the imagery is the suffering depicted, not the ability of the photographer – Consider as well that war still continues, so the argument that anti- war is the purpose is as weak as my tea- Although the images, become a terrifying truth of mans inability to work for peace and exposes his ability to design the weaponry which work for war – The war photographer is part of the news recording system, not a conduit of peace.

And in the same way the fisherman murders the dolphin – The soldier will kill the terrorist –  The terrorist the child and the photographs do nothing or it seems very little to change the madness. Or does it enrage and perpetuate the murder?  Is the war photograph’s spirit that of blood?

A short story IS not a photograph – no story is!  Nor is a photograph a story. What is happening when we look at photograph?  The viewer is making an interpretation of a moment in time.  Is the life journey of the child who is photographed moments after his parents have been killed by the AK47’s bullet followed? No, no, no the photographer does not – How do you know the indignity of the photographers intrusion has not twisted the child to become a terrorist? You can not be certain.  I’m a writer I think – I ask what effect could this action have upon those involved?

And yet, as I look at the work of Eve Arnold my mind is simulated to ‘Wow there is an artist at work’ Am I right?  I do not know! What I do know is no one will tell me what I like or not.  I like the technique of McCullin’s  pictures – The pictures are interesting ‘for a moment’ and I can only remember his image of the ‘soldier in the morning’ his record of events do not inspire me to look at the WHOLE of his work or buy one of his books – I’m right in MY mind – could well be wrong in YOUR mind.

Lets go back to Eve Arnold – In 1978 she is with Bruce Chatwin ( himself no photographic slouch) – Together they are following Mrs Indira Ghandi on her election campaign.  Chatwin writes in his book ‘What Am I Doing Here?’ That the great photographer complains that one 0f 100 or more rolls of film she exposed one was ‘a dud (see below)’ – I am assuming that she used 35mm and there are 36 exposures on a roll that equates to 3600 images.  If you go onto the Magnum photographers site you will discover some of these images.  Three are worth looking at.

  1. – Mrs G asleep on a plane.
  2. – Mrs G weighing herself.
  3. – Mrs G surrounded by journalists.
100 + rolls of Film

100 + rolls of Film

The question is could you have taken these pictures?  Yes, you could ~ If you had had the photographic landscape and Mrs G as your model.  The hard truth is, place, situation and people are the key to the image and record enough images you’ll take a fire cracker.

When I look at the images of Maryilin Monroe which Eve Arnold took on the set of the 1961 film the ‘Misfits’ and the previous ten years of images of Monroe captured by Arnold – I feel many of the picture are ‘alive’ and there is a story within each one.

Bruce Chatwin’s observations about his time with Mrs Ghandi and Eve Arnold titled – ‘On The Road With Mrs G’ – which became the Sunday Times Magazine article published on the 30th of July 1978 is a brilliant piece of journalism and it is interesting to reflect after reading it, that this article is the result of six weeks of work.  This indicates there can be a massive time investment in a good piece of writing.

My writers tools are, camera, audio recorder and notebook – I photograph an image and write its past, future, probabilities, possibilities – The camera and the notebook record the initial memory, impression, feelings and I make them into a story.

And we, incidentally learn something in this article about Bruce, who’s famed for his use of the ‘Moleskine’ notebook, he used a tape recorder.  If you know anything about the notebook craze you will understand the significance of this, if you do not I’ll guide you – Most believe he made a few notes and drew a few sketches and his books were written from these small snippets of information, this is probably true, and why many believe many of the encounters in the travel books are fictitious!  When it mattered and the information had to be accurate its evident he tape recorded the events.  The writer is able to use every tool available to get the story – I use my recorder on bus journeys. in cities,  in Nevada desert.  I record as much information as possible and re-listening, re-viewing and re-reading –  takes me to the memory of how I felt.

B. Chatwin uses Tape Recorder

B. Chatwin uses Tape Recorder

The clearer I make my view of life the better a story writer I become.  The more I distort what is seen, the more difficult it is for a reader to understand my description.  A writer is the lens and the camera and he writes what he has recorded into fiction, fact or articles.

Are words more expressive than the picture?  In my mind. Yes – Does the picture speak a 1000 words?  In my mind. No.

If you’re a writer you are the lens and camera… Be careful where you sharpen your focus.

Stories Everywhere

Action Man


Everyone’s a writer, a pencil and one sheet of paper, add a fews words, its all that’s needed. A few words become many, which become a chapter, some more chapters and you have a book. 10-20 thousand words make a good short story, five hundred words a day and a months work you have your book. It’s a real achievement, a marker in ones life, to say “I have written a book” –  It is fairly easy to self publish it, so why not do it? The answer is there is no reason not to write your own story.

There are many who tell every one they are writing or going to write a book and it is never seen. Its best to write alone, keep your words your own until they have become a book, liken it to a child, turned to adult, ready for the world.  Do not think of a book as a 90 thousand word monster, which of cause it can become, it will begin as a rough idea, a few words, scribbles in a note book, keep on writing, by allowing the pleasure you get during the ‘writing of’ to become the ‘reason why’ the story will have more of a chance of being finished.

Read the blogs, ideas, self published reviews on any subject from cameras to pet frogs, millions of people like to write and, they are writing short stories. To believe that a short story can not be a masterpiece or does not conform to certain parameters fails to account for this progressive and lightening fast way of Western life. Flickr and Instagram are instantaneous art forms. Shorts are viable and popular.

How do you find a story? Anywhere. My friend was seen in a junkshop, look how he’s dressed. How did this tough guy end up in girls clothing and what is the diver taking from his pocket? Take a day to think about it. You’ve got yourself a story. If there were 20 people who wrote a 2 thousand word story about this Action Man, on reading the drafts every one would be different, each a masterpiece.

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