Friday, February 16, 2018

Aside from the whiteout, it was good.

A writer buddy of mine is working on a mystery novel set just west of Calgary. She asked if I had any photos of specific areas in winter. She likes to get the descriptions accurate, and use them as promotional material. Yes, to one of the areas but not in winter, no to the other. Not like going out and taking photos is a hardship or anything.

Wednesday was the day. I packed snowshoes and traction aides, plus winter gear, and my camera gear. I knew the first place, a particular set of waterfalls. Traction aids! Hard pack snow and ice everywhere. Some of the walkways were closed off but people had been ignoring that. Some people even climbed over the rail to get closer to the falls. That's why they make bigger lenses.

The weather was cloudy and the light nothing special, but I thought of these as more description photos, and not art, so that was ok. Once the falls were done I headed for the next two places not all that far apart, which happen to be bridges.

Holy doodle! It's maybe 10 K at most from the waterfall to the first bridge I wanted. It went from calm and cloudy, to snowing a bit, to snowing a lot and fairly windy, to snowing really hard and quite windy, to driving along really carefully in near zero visibility with the wind rocking the car like a big truck had passed me. Maybe it did and I couldn't see it. About the time I was passing a telephone or power pole, the next one would be barely visible in the murk. I crawled along for a while, aborted the trip to the first bridge, and ended up in a parking lot in Bragg Creek to wait it out. This photo is after the snow calmed down a bit. When I first pulled in I couldn't see the trees behind the saloon and didn't want to open the car window.

It was a good time for lunch. Afterward the snow had mostly stopped so I was out to the second bridge, scouting locations. The watery ice was a beautiful blue green.

From there it was off to the next bridge, navigating carefully, and driving really carefully on a twisty turny road. By now the snow and wind had stopped and it was almost a nice day. I found the bridge no problem. As I told my buddy, whatever the map tells you, or you may have heard, this location sucks for getting rid of a body. There's an unless, of course, but we need not get into that here. It's not a good looking bridge or interesting in any way, unlike the pink one I found last year about this time. I took some documentary photos for my buddy and moved along.

You'd think that a remote road so close to the mountains would offer some first rate landscape scenery. I drove along for a while, carefully, looking for it, but no. Blah, blah, and blah. Rolling hills and lots of trees. Maybe in better light there are some possibilities. Maybe in the fall or summer when there is more green than the evergreen trees visible. Maybe. It won't be the first place I think of when looking for a nice dramatic sunrise landscape. Home again, still driving carefully.

After supper (lamb shank, if you must know) I headed out to wash the car. It needed it. At first the pressure washer didn't do anything to the snow. I had to work at it.

It turns out to be good timing. My buddy is about to write the more detailed description soon. I'm looking forward to a FaceTime discussion about it.

My own novel, you ask? That plotting the major events from all the novels on one timeline was a really good idea. I found a bunch of contradictions. It gave me an idea for getting a character from A to B that I had been stuck on. I'm thinking about where the story needs to go after the bit I've written so far, and what needs to go with what in each chunk.

Part of the trouble with the first novel (both chronologically and first written) is that it wasn't sure if it was a murder mystery, a tech thriller, science fiction, or a love story. A novel can be a combination, of course, and that makes it a bit more compelling. But to throw it all in the pot leaves the readers awfully confused. I had weeded out the science fiction part (leaving just a couple teasers), and dialled back on the tech thriller part, trying to find the balance between setting description to help the readers, and having the setting drive the plot. So lots of fun there.

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