Thursday Writing Prompt No. 145

We’ve had some record rainfalls in the Maryland area and some nasty flooding. While there have been jokes about building an arc or buying a boat, the floods have had devastating effects on some areas, such as Ellicott City, Maryland.

I don’t want to make light of a serious situation, but the constant rain and overcast skies are taking their toll in more ways than one. And so for today’s Thursday Writing Prompt your topic will be rain. (Surprise!) And to mix things up even more, I’m asking you to write a short poem about rain. Even if you never write poetry, do the exercise and see what you come up with. It doesn’t have to be an award-winning verse, just write whatever comes into your head.

One way to approach poetry is to pick up a pen and paper rather than use a computer or tablet or phone. I find that doing things old-school tends to slow me down, but for writing poetry that’s just the mindset you want to cultivate. Typing fast is great when I’m on a roll with a story or novel, but sometimes it’s just better to take the extra time for musing.

 

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Main Street Photography

Main Street in Laurel, Maryland, looking east. I applied effects with Topaz filters to give a surreal look to the image. No cars were removed or harmed during the photo shoot.

Main Street in Laurel, Maryland, looking east. I applied effects with Topaz filters to give a surreal look to the image. No cars were removed or harmed during the photo shoot.

I want to get back into photography. My camera gear has been closeted far too much, and I have been holed up in the house way too much. I’m telecommuting full-time now, which is great for some things but not so much for others. And I’ve gotten so fed up with traffic around here that I just don’t want to go out. There has to be something to draw me out. Years ago I would go out driving just to explore, but we have so much rubber-stamp development there’s really no point driving 20 miles just to see what’s 15 miles from your house. Yawn.

There aren’t a lot of vistas around here, either, so taking landscape photos is a bit difficult. But I am interested in doing some urban/architectural photography. I went out to Laurel’s Main Street several years ago to take a series of photographs for a class project. It was a rainy day and traffic was incredibly sparse, so I took advantage of it to take this rather desolate-looking photograph. I like how the road leads the eye to the horizon, and the adventurer in me wants to travel that road and see what’s up ahead.

Today is overcast and now I’m wondering if I could find something that interests me enough to take some photos with emotional vibe, but I don’t want to drive that much. There are plenty of buildings here, just so much of it is generic uber-development that it doesn’t seem to have any soul. But there are some odd shops along Route 1. Maybe I’ll pry myself away from my desk and step outside, despite the 23-degree weather. Yikes!

NaNo Kickoff Party


I’m looking forward to NaNoWriMo, and now it’s less than two weeks away! Sunday I’m going to a regional kick-off party in Columbia and meet some of my fellow Maryland “Wrimos,” which is what participants in the writing madness are called. Honestly, I’m still pretty optimistic at this point about doing the program. It’s not about writing perfect prose and ending the month with a finished manuscript, it’s about writing 50,000 words. That’s 1,667 words a day. I can so totally do that!

I have a term paper that I’m working on for my graduate history class, and the draft isn’t due until the first week of December, but with NaNo coming up I didn’t want to drive myself too crazy and have two major projects to work on from scratch. The good news is that I have actually been working on the paper, and I have about six pages’ worth of stuff written. On Tuesday I went over to the library and wrote about 1,700 words. It’s pretty rough — it’s mostly notes, but it’s words on the page. The final page count for the paper is 20 pages, so I’m nearly a third of the way into it. My goal is to have 10-12 pages written by October 31, which is looking very possible.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Following up on the post Thoroughly Modern Ducky, I have a few more images from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to share with you. The day we were there was bright and sunny, without much of the haze and humidity that besets Maryland sometime in mid to late April. That made it an excellent day for photography; reflections were bright and crisp and allowed for some quick shutter times. That was important, since we hadn’t brought our tripods.

Paddle Boats
Paddle boats awaiting summer’s tourists

The Inner Harbor area is a curious mix of old and new. At one end of the harbor the U.S.S. Constellation is moored. The Constellation holds the distinction of being the last sail-powered warship built by the U.S. Navy, and is now a floating museum. The complexity of the ship’s rigging and masts contrasts with the smooth contours of the U.S.S. Torsk, which is anchored directly in front of the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Another ship, the lightship Chesapeake, also calls Baltimore’s Inner Harbor home.

U.S.S. Torsk
The U.S.S. Torsk, SS-423, has made Baltimore her home since 1972.

National Aquarium in Baltimore
The National Aquarium in Baltimore (and seagull).