Got no real writing done today, so here is a picture.
Free day in Asheville, North Carolina, so headed over to the Biltmore Estate, George Vanderbilt's monumental exercise in vanity.
Standard admission is $55, which I thought a bit steep. "Youths" got in for half that.
"Welcome to Biltmore, sir, how many?"
"One, please. Can I convince you that I'm a youth?"
"No, sir." Smiles. "Are you military?"
No, ma'am, I'm just old."
"Old will get you $10 off, sir."
Late summer afternoon, Maryland, not far from my house. (Lightbox is enabled, so be sure to click on the image.)
They look so elegant, these snow geese, at this point in their glide path to the beach or water. What comes next is a goofy sort of falling out of the sky and they do not look elegant or graceful or even like they've done it before. They look lucky to return to earth alive.
Every year, we spend Thanksgiving weekend at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, timed for a piece of the snow goose migration. I will typically shoot about 1,800 images and keep maybe 100.
The first two projects on tap are self-published books that collect earlier work:
- When You’ve Nothing Left to Burn, Set Yourself on Fire, a photographic chronicle of varsity intercollegiate athletes at practice. Practice is what athletes mostly do; they spend far more time on the practice field than in actual competition, for the most part. I spent nine months documenting the practices of 23 Johns Hopkins University teams—football, cross country, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and more. When You’ve Nothing Left to Burn will collect the best, plus an essay. Should be completed in the first half of 2019.
- Profilia: Collected Encounters With Interesting People, an anthology of profiles written over the past 35 years. Meet a thoroughbred trainer, an indie rocker, a novelist, a humorist, a fencing coach, a psychiatrist, a deaf boxer, and a sign painter. Also scheduled for completion next year. (Profilia is a working title. I need something better.)
Both with be self-published, probably by Blurb, which will make them expensive. But both will also come out as ebooks, which will not be expensive at all. Watch this space.
Beyond that, a slew of projects are vying for my attention, including protoessays on urban feral cats, the literature of walking, the problem with obedience, a farm-to-table network and the chef at its center, and radical cartography. Plus, possibly, an unconventional writing manual that springs from advice from Jack Kerouac. And something that might be big, currently codenamed Codelegger. Plus a lot of pictures.
Should keep me busy.