This week I bring good news and bad news. First: The Good News. I don’t have “jet lag.” Now the Bad News: I have pneumonia that has
been simmering since I got home.
Apparently, it’s not uncommon in this age of recycled cabin air for stressed passengers on long flights, but it is uncommon for me. Perhaps I am not invincible, after all.
|North Atlantic Sky #1 - May 2012 - Jan Bowman|
So what does any of this have to do with writing? I’ve been sleeping a lot, drinking lots of
fluids, and thinking about clouds. I
took a number of cloud photographs while I was away and in looking at them, I
realized that while blue skies are lovely and suggest contentment, I think it’s
actually clouds that capture our imaginations, with their variations of light
and dark. Their interesting,
recognizable shapes connect at some primal level, just as good fiction does. Dramatic
events unfold every day in the skies overhead in whatever place we find
ourselves. Weather is everywhere. We only need to look up and think of the
complex layered possibilities in cloud structure that also exists in fiction - as
metaphors - in the ways peoples, communities, countries and relationships function.
|North Atlantic Sky #2 - May 2012 - Jan Bowman|
So I decided to find out more about the different cloud
types and their significance for weather.
I went to an actual book and I would highly recommend it. Did you know
there are ten major cloud types recognized the world over? I didn’t.
Did you know they have amazing names like: cirrus, altostratus, stratocumulus, and
altocumulus? I didn’t. Did you know that
the tufted altocumulus cloudlets which look peaceful from below, indicate
instability at cloud level? Did you know
that a single cumulonimbus, with its distinctive anvil shape can reach higher
than Mount Everest? All of this and more
comes from a wonderful book, Clouds by Eric M. Wilcox with stunning photographs and a splendid forward
by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. In much of the world, clouds are viewed with a sense of wonder. They provide complex mythical links to our greater universe. However, in the culture of our particular time and place, people tend to spend more time looking down, at their i-phones or the ground, instead of looking up at the sky. They've become disconnected from the universe.
|North Atlantic Sky # 3 - May 2012 - Jan Bowman|
Did you know that...
|Scottish Highlands Sky # 4 - May 2012 - Jan Bowman|
“In Arabic, to describe someone who is lucky or blessed,
they say: 'His sky is always filled with
clouds.' What better way to put it.” From Introduction to Clouds.
And finally, did you know that there is a Cloud
Appreciation Society and that Pretor-Pinney is the founder of it? I
didn't. Here's the website: www.cloudappreciationsociety.org
Ralph Waldo Emerson called clouds "the daily bread of life."
Jan Bowman’s work has
appeared in Roanoke Review, Big Muddy,
Broadkill Review, Trajectory, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato
Eyes, and others. She won the 2012
Roanoke Review Prize for Fiction. Her
stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories
and a story was a finalist in the “So To
Speak” Fiction Contest. She is working on two
collections of short stories and currently shopping for a publisher for a
completed story collection. She has nonfiction work pending publication in Spring
2013 Issues of Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of
“Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and
publishers. Learn more at:
Interesting pictures and thoughts. Wondered what kind of camera you use? Thanks for sharing, AliceReplyDelete
My camera is an Olympus Camedia D-395/C-160, a basic early digital camera. It was a gift - maybe 5+ years ago and I decided it was time to learn how to use it - finally. It's not fancy, nor was it expensive. It is small. Takes clean, clear shots. I am thinking of getting a smaller, better one...but maybe not. This one has served me well over the past two years. I am pleased you read and liked Entry 67.
AND - Yes, I'm feeling better today. Regards, Jan
Interesting thoughts on clouds. I have a YA fantasy novel I'm working on, and one of the themes is clouds (being indicators of good luck). My husband was skeptical of my idea, but I'll have to show him this post!ReplyDelete
Happy you liked the post and photos. The book that I mentioned is really wonderful. Hope you can find a copy and that you like it, too. Might be helpful to you as you explore this idea for your YA fantasy novel. Good Luck. Hope to learn more. Regards, Jan
Magnificent photos! I hope that you're doing better.ReplyDelete
Yes. I am. I sent a response to this from the workshop, but the internet system was a bit unpredictable and I see it did not make it to these comments. So - thanks for your appreciation of the photographs. And also - thanks for your good wishes. If you are the Pam (poet) at the Gettysburg workshop, drop me a note. Would love to know how it went for you. Wish I could have gone this year. Maybe next year!
I like this you can also see ohReplyDelete
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