Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Photo Copyright 2013 Amanda R. Dollak

Photo Copyright 2013 Amanda R. Dollak

How does autumn inspire you?



Accidental Photo 002

The last accidental photo I shared was a prime example of the fun but mystifying photos tucked away in old rolls of film or dusty SD cards.  We accidentally come across them one day much to our surprise.  Often times we can identify the object or objects in the shot.  Sometimes, we can even pinpoint where the photo was taken.  However, we have little inkling about the when or the how or the why.

With this next accidental photo, though, I can answer every question.  What is it? This is a shot of a branch, obviously.  Where was it taken?  I remember vividly that this was in the backyard of my previous home.  When was it taken? That night I was enjoying a summer marshmallow roast with my kids.  How and why did this shot happen?  My son accidentally dropped my camera onto some melted marshmallow.  The lens cover got stuck partially closed, and I accidentally hit the button while attempting to clean the gooey goodness out of my camera.  Yum, what a delicious memory!

Do you have any accidental photographs that bring back wonderful memories?

Grass Closeup

I know I’m a little strange, but back before I switched to digital photography, I always looked forward to the little unexpected surprises when my photos came back.  The accidental snapshots, the strange orbs or streaks that sometimes appear, and the imperfections caused by an imperfect photographer.  They made taking photos fun and exciting.  You never knew exactly what you were going to get back.

Of course, this uncertainty was usually a bad thing.  There was always the chance you might blow capturing that priceless memory.  Or your thumb might get in the way.  Or you might accidentally cut someone’s head off in the shot.  There wasn’t much trial and error with basic film.

Still, I miss the mystery and the suspense of seeing what would develop from my laid-back photo shoots.  In a way, it felt like painting in the dark, and then waiting for the lights to come on to see the final product.  Even with the imperfections, it’s still a work of art.

That is why I get all excited when I’m cruising through my digital photos and stumble upon accidental photos–you know, the ones that are clearly on your memory card, but you have no clue how they got there.  They are visual proof of what goes on when you might be distracted or someone else is fiddling with your camera.

Today, I thought I’d share with you this accidental closeup of grass.  I’m guessing my daughter took it, but I can’t be certain since she has absolutely no recollection and we all were using my camera that day.  When I came across it tonight I couldn’t help but imagine that this is what our view would be if we were little pixies.  From that tiny perspective, even a nicely trimmed lawn would look like jungle.  Look out; it’s a jungle out there, my friends!

Beach 001

Some of you have noticed that I’ve been AWOL for quite some time.  I spent over a month on a blogging-free vacation.  Although I love blogging, I needed some time away.  During this vacation of mine, I was the maid of honor at my mother’s wedding.  I took a week long vacation to SC with my family and had the honor of introducing my two children to the beach and the magnificent ocean.  I also spent some time working on my novels and writing some poetry.  But most importantly, I took some time to rest, relax, and de-stress.

It is amazing how stressed, overwhelmed, and bent out of shape we can become after having far too much on our plates for far too long.  Sometimes we just have to stop, shake things up a bit, and get away.  That is what I had to do, but now I feel refreshed and renewed.  I’m back and feeling better than ever!

How are you all doing?  What have you been up to while I was off on my vacation from blogging and overworking?


Blue has been my favorite color since 3rd grade.  I think I like blue so much because it is such a versatile color.  There are peaceful and calm blues.  Some blues are so soft and subtle that they make me want to drift off to sleep.  Other blues are more bright and happy.  And some blues are dark and melancholy.

If I had to choose a color, though, that puts me in the mood most to write, I would have to pick yellow.  Yellow is so cheery, warm, and energetic.  Yellow reminds me of sunny afternoons, vibrant spring flowers, and living butterflies flittering about.  Yellow stirs up some of my happiest memories as a child: banana-flavored popsicles on a hot summer’s day, fireflies glowing in the night, and yellow sundresses that I loved to wear.  Just a splash of vibrant yellow makes me smile.

And we all know that if we are worrying, stressed, or feeling pressured, writer’s block is bound to settle in.  So, my advice is to surround yourself with things that make you happy.  No matter where you write, ascent your workspace with what you love.  It will help you clear your mind and focus on your writing.

If I ever have an office, I know I will definitely paint it yellow.  But right now, I only have space to write at the desk in my kitchen or wherever my laptop will take me.  That doesn’t mean I have to skimp on my workplace accents.  Right now I have a small glass filled with dandelions, which my children picked me yesterday, sitting on my desk.  Some of my favorite upbeat instrumental music is playing in the background.  And a number of my children’s recent pieces of artwork are hanging around me.  It is an inviting place.  It is my happy zone, and it helps lure me back to my writing even when I am tired after a long day.

What do you have in your workspace that helps put you in the mood for writing or makes it more inviting?