The Reader at the Anderson Center

In Mid-June I went down to Red Wing to see a Meg Hutchinson concert. Meg’s my favorite songwriter and has a wonderful poetry book out, so I took down a copy of The Reader: War for the Oaks fresh off the press for her with the intention of asking her to do a reader at some point. Then I got to the venue and it was obvious that would be overcomplicating things.

June 14, 2014. Click to embiggen.

June 14, 2014. Click to embiggen.

The concert hall at The Anderson Center in Red Wing is a remodeled barn, and the best use of knotty pine I’ve ever seen. It’s a gorgeous space, and Meg was kind enough to take a moment after her show to model for me with her book. I think this is going to be one of my favorites from the series.

Olive and Sinclair Mexican Style Cinnamon Chili

OliveSinclairStone ground in Nashville, Tennessee! Well, I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean to me. Nashville isn’t really at the top of my mental list of chocolate-producing areas, or for that matter even on it. I suppose it makes them unique. Perhaps I could find out more if the brown-on-brown design of their website were at all readable.OliveSinclairBack

Anyway, the chocolate. Ingredients are nice and simple, as befits a stone-ground chocolate: Cocoa Beans (Ghana), Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Organic Ceylon Cinnamon, Kosher Salt, Cayenne Pepper. The bar is thin and broad, in nine squares with a rather attractive company logo on them. More importantly, they break apart cleanly and easily. The bar is wrapped in foil, still the best way but unfortunately getting rarer.

OliveSinclairInsideTastewise, this is a mild bar, both in chocolate and in chili. Both exist to complement the real cinnamon, which is deserving of its center-stage role. The cayenne adds just enough kick to keep the cinnamon in the spotlight, while the chocolate just holds them together. It’s not a stunning performance, but it’s reasonably nice, and sometimes reasonably nice is what you’re looking for.

The Reader: War for the Oaks prints and preorders

The Reader: WFTO Kickstarter has finished, but it’s still possible to buy prints from the series and preorder the book.


Click to embiggen.

Larger images and titles can be found at or my portfolio page.

Back cover photo also available, but I foolishly took a prime number of photos.

Back cover photo also available, but I foolishly took a prime number of photos.

Preorder the book for shipping on June 24th or pickup at Fourth Street Fantasy.

The Reader: War for the Oaks: $39.95 + $5 shipping in the US. Contact for international shipping.

Looking for Guest Editors

So, Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer made a post about the trouble photographers can have making good small versions of their portfolios to show off to people in setting where it’s impractical to show the whole thing:

A few weeks later he sends me a link and an email. Email says he’s been working very hard at the edit and describes some of the process. Link contains 30 or 40 pictures.

All the pictures I really liked from the 850 are gone.

Always a potential problem. Either you “self-edit” someone’s work by sifting through large masses of pictures, or you look at a tighter set and risk maybe not seeing the ones that would be the payoff for you.

I’ve never had a solution for this dilemma.

I don’t have a solution for the dilemma, but I have a way of playing around with it that might be helpful, and should be good blog cross-promotion. Basically I’m looking for other photographers who are like me – you have a  blog, you have a several-hundred-photo portfolio – to play a game. We each look through each other’s portfolio, pick out a small number of the ones we like the best – probably ten or so, lest too many photos swamp the blog – and blog about it. If we do this several times, then we’ll get several different perspectives on our work, and have a better idea of how to form a best-of portfolio that will make a strong first impression.

Playing Piano at Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs

Something from last fall’s Montreal trip. I got to a rendezvous early and spent some time with the cathedral. They had this piano sitting out for anyone who came along to play.

October 1, 2013, Montreal.  Click to embiggen.

October 1, 2013, Montreal. Click to embiggen.

I didn’t stop to play it, but I did get a nice picture. I don’t know that I intend to do a musical-instrument equivalent of The Reader, but it’s nice to encounter one in the wild.

One Day More!

Just one more day left in The Reader: War for the Oaks Kickstarter, which ends on Monday afternoon. We’re funded, but overfunding is always good. If you’re the sort of person who dislikes uncertainty, now’s a good time to get in on the Kickstarter discounts when you know the project is going to happen.

Peg Kerr at Minnehaha.

Peg Kerr at Minnehaha.

I’m working behind the scenes on two really cool additions to the book. These aren’t promises because I don’t have them in hand yet, and at the last minute anything could go wrong, but it looks like I’m going to be adding one really cool essay (to a lineup that already includes Alec Austin, Sigrid Ellis, Marissa Lingen, Sarah Olsen, and music writer Katherine St. Asaph) and one additional photo that I’m very excited about. For the photo I’m still looking for a model, who needs to be someone with daytime availability this week.

Alena with many canoes at Lake of the Isles.

Alena with many canoes at Lake of the Isles.

The KS has been fun, but I’m kind of itching to get the book publication process started and books actually in hand. This is very exciting and I’m learning a lot of useful things. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of it.

Kickstarter for The Reader: War for the Oaks

If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been neglecting the blog for a while, it’s because I’ve been working on putting together the Kickstarter for the physical book version of The Reader: War for the Oaks. Along the way I had to pretty much learn videography from scratch, so my video ought to be entertaining for that at least.

Today happens to be my 146th birthday – if I was born on the planet Mercury – so today only there’s a pledge category for a 24×16 print for $146. (Kickstarter norm $180, regular price $250.)

We’re at 40% funded going into Minicon, which makes me pretty happy so far. I’ve got promo stuff and will be carrying around a couple of proof copies of the book, so feel free to seek me out at the con.