April 2019 Update

posted in: Personal Essay, Photography, Reading, Writing | 0

April was a bit of a busy month. One weekend, an old friend, who I’ve known since grade school, was in town, and we got to spend some time together.

He had seen my posts on Instagram of pictures I had taken on film. He contacted me to confirm that, yes, I was actually taking photos with film cameras. My interest in such inspired him to start shooting on film as well which led him to start buying used film cameras.

For my birthday at the end of February, he rather kindly sent me two classic film cameras: a Canon AE-1 and an Olympus OM-1. I didn’t own either so I was excited to have a couple new-to-me cameras to shoot with. I had the opportunity to use one of them while he was in town.

Canon AE-1 and Olympus OM-1

Thanks to my friend, I now have six film cameras: Olympus OM-1, Canon EOS Rebel 2000, Canon AE-1, Lomography Diana F+, Minolta XE, and a Flexaret Automat VI.

Film Cameras as of May 2019

The Olympus came with a 28mm f/2.8 lens. I was pleased with the results of my first roll of film (Fuji Film 200 Color).

The Canon came with a 50mm f/1.8 lens, although during his trip, I briefly swapped with him and used a 28mm lens for a few shots. I also used Fuji Film 200 Color in the Canon.

The other big even in April was my trip to Cleveland which I wrote about earlier.

I mentioned in my March update that I was working on a few stories. I completed drafts of two of these stories and have since written a draft of another one. The longer story I referred to is still in progress.

I did hire an editor for a collection of stories and should hear back from her mid-May.

I did not spend any time in April drawing. Although that’s a lower priority than my other creative activities, I’m still a little disappointed that I did nothing.

I read two books in April: Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? and Antonio di Bennedetto’s Zama.

I read Are You My Mother? in anticipation of hearing Bechdel talk at the conference I went to in Cleveland. I’m glad I read it not only because it was fabulous but also because it gave me some context to better enjoy her talk. Are You My Mother? is based on her relationship with her mother. Much of her talk was about her personal life so it was helpful to know something about her.

I read Zama because I plan on watching Lucrecia Martel’s film version. I’m a big fan of her The Holy Girl and The Headless Woman, both of which I had seen at film festivals. I recently watched her first feature film, La Ciénaga, which I also really enjoyed.

Zama is a strange and enigmatic novel which seems like it’s well-suited to Martel whose movies tend to be strange and enigmatic. Don Diego de Zama lives very much in his head and is not a reliable narrator so I am curious how he will be portrayed on-screen.

April 2019 Reading Update

Books Read in 2019

  • The Way the World Ends, Jess Walter (Kindle book)
  • There’s No Place Like Home, Edan Lepucki (Kindle book)
  • Controller, Jesse Kellerman (Kindle book)
  • At the Bottom of New Lake, Sonya Larson (Kindle book)
  • Falls the Shadow, Skip Horack (Kindle book)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander (Kindle book)
  • Sabrina, Nick Drnaso (Kindle book)
  • Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng (Kindle book)
  • Asymmetry, Lisa Halliday (Kindle book)
  • Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), Jeff Tweedy (Kindle book)
  • Washington Black, Esi Edugyan (Kindle book)
  • Boca Raton, Lauren Groff (Kindle book)
  • The Hillside, Jane Smiley (Kindle book)
  • Ninth Street Women, Mary Gabriel
  • Amaro, Brad Thomas Parsons
  • The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon
  • Are You My Mother?, Alison Bechdel (Library book)
  • Zama, Antonio di Bennedetto

Despite being busy for part of the month, I was able to find time to enjoy my hobbies (except for drawing). I also found the time to make my first ever Amaro.

Three Stages of Amaro Making
Three Stages of Amaro Making

One of the great things about photography is that it can be incorporated into other things I do (like a friend’s visit or a work trip). As always, I am thankful that I have found hobbies I find to be satisfying activities outside of work.

This Creative Midlife Posts in 2019

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