Adventures in Tick City

I finally got a new bike, and it’s actually a really old bike, and a really ugly colour, but it rides better than the old bike, so all is well. I really wanted to take it for a long run, and Joe had a free day (he and his fiancee are planning a wedding, so that rarely happens!) so we set out around the town. I saw a pile of junk off the side of the road, so naturally I wanted to check it out. (Who doesn’t want to look at old piles of garbage?) The piles of garbage lead to a trail and two really dead and flattened and dismembered opossums but I thought we should still check it out. Joe sent photos to Trina, who is usually the voice of reason in situations and she didn’t seem alarmed, so we set out. It was really pretty and for the next two days, random ticks kept appearing in our lives. One climbed down his suit jacket at Church. The moral of the story is, if you’re going to explore creepy junk piles, be prepared for ticks. The junk piles were cool though. See below.

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Joe happily texting Katrina, oblivious to the ticks clinging desperately to his clothing.



Bonfire Weather

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People always say “don’t take photos in the heat of the day. The light is too harsh”. Usually it is, but sometimes you just have to do it. Sometimes the day is so beautiful and the weather just perfect, and you want to preserve the washed out tones and the bright glare because it feels good and the moment is good. You can’t always follow the rules with Art and life. Sometimes you have to follow the direction of your heart.

The Stotts

I’m counting this as an adventure.

Also this is mostly a post where I brag that these are my friends.

My cousin Sarah is a fashion and band photographer and she wanted to get practice doing music videos, so she asked our friend James if she could do a video of his song “Father”, because it’s a really beautiful, emotional song. She asked me to do some behind the scenes photos.

We checked out an abandoned building at first, which was really cool, but she ultimately decided to just film them at “The Farm”, a place just outside Dunnville, which it turns out, has a really cool light set up and fog machine.

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Check out the Stotts on CHCH morning live here

And in Sarah’s music video here.



New Adventures

When I was in third grade, my teacher showed us how to “make our own books”. She would make hard cover blank books for us with cereal box covers and hand sewn binding, and we could publish our stories. All of my stories ended with girls wishing for peace on earth. I’m not sure why I was so fixated on that. I was however, hooked on writing. I think I published about eight of my own books that year. I’m fairly certain I did one in second grade too, but I can’t remember how that would have worked out.

Anyway, I wrote stories all through high school and by the time I graduated I wasn’t too bad at it. I gave up on writing full length novels though. I enjoyed the symbolism and shortness of shorter fiction way too much. For a long time after that, I wrote non-fiction and only half finished short stories if I had a vivid dream that I thought could turn into a great story. I rarely finished even those, although I have a collection of really great starters.

A few months ago, I submitted some photographs to Paper Street Journal and a short story I had written based on my graduate school research. I studied the Inuit at Chedoke Sanatorium in Hamilton, but the research paper was really disjointed and without a strong argument. The Paper Street Journal published my story. It felt like a long shot, but they did, and even though it’s a newer publication, I’m still really excited about it. I guess the point is, don’t give up on your childhood dreams. They may yet surprise you.

Photos of Inuit children at Cherokee Sanatorium in Hamilton. There History is very sad, and relatively unknown. Please look into it, but start with my FICTIONAL work obviously.

Check it out here: The Unnamed Baby, by Charity Blaine.

Open Mic Night (my life in a nutshell)

Some random day in December, I decided to document my entire day again. It wasn’t anything special. A Wednesday.

I like to read first thing in the morning. First my bible, then something light while I drink my coffee. I was reading Luanne Rice’s Silver Bells.

Wednesdays are soup kitchen days, so while my aunt and uncle are setting up there, I let out their cavalier king charles spaniels.

This particular week, at the soup kitchen, Sarah was decorating for Christmas. I took a few snaps of some local fellows while I was there for my documentary photo project on beauty.

Some candid photos, while we sat and chatted afterwards.

Wednesday afternoons, I usually edit any photo work I have backed up, but I also worked on some cheesy Christmas cards.

Made dinner, did dishes, played with rabbits….

Normally on a Wednesday evening, I go to Bible Study, but it was cancelled this week. Also the library was having its Open Mic Night…

The performers were amazing. A little mix of guitar, bango, mandolin, singing and poetry. At the end, one of the performers started a Christmas carol and everyone joined in. It really makes you appreciate living in a small community on nights like this. Everyone is so supportive of one another, and if they don’t know each other before the evening, by the end, you’ve probably met. Dunnville is generally pretty supportive of its library, and although it’s still small, the Arts community is really great and works together. It’s like I’m trying to convince you to move here. I’m not, but I do love it.



Abandoned Mini Putt Course

I didn’t see the “No Trespassing” sign truthfully, although it was very prominent. Despite the fact it’s completely rundown and we played here as kids, I still think it’s beautiful, or maybe that’s why I think it’s beautiful.

And a few snaps from around Dunnville that evening, because it was really very lovely.