Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Inadvertently Awesome

Today's title comes from David-the-barista, the picture from Second Life. My original intent was to use my own photos for the post pictures this week, possibly as prompts, but that would require a camera.

Several years ago, DH surprised me on Christmas morning with a digital camera. This Christmas, our first in our new home, on a gorgeously snowy white Christmas morning, I took same camera out to get some pictures while waiting for everyone to get up (I'm the early riser in our family.) Since I love the cold, love the snow, love exploring our neighborhood, this was like a special present to myself. On with the leopard print rubber boots, on with scarf and gloves and coat and off I go.

I had the route in mind immediately. Leave house, head toward park. Since it's early and a major holiday, I'm reasonably well assured that I can get some shots of the virgin snow, especially in the park, especially park benches (I have a thing for empty park benches.) Since the best way to get to the park is along a gorgeous historic street lined with turn of the century buildings, many of them bedecked with holiday decor, I could not have asked for a better picture taking opportunity. Snow covered wrought iron. Snow covered stone steps. Snow covered bare branches on trees reaching up to the blue-grey sky that implied it wasn't yet done with the white stuff. I happily snapped pictures until the guilt over neglecting family told me it was time to turn back.

Which was exactly when the camera started acting funny. I'd snapped a few different shots of the historic promenade in the park (built in 1803, originally for military drills and parades, later the spot to see and be seen) as well as benches, sky, plaques on and doorways of buildings with historic ties as well, and then...the drag began. Something was...different...about how long it took the camera to tell me it was done doing whatever it is cameras do for that shot. I begged it. One more for mommy, okay? We're going home, really. Then you can take pictures of family members opening presents wrapped in brown paper with colored ribbons, all nice and inside and...nothing.

"Nothing doing," the camera seemed to be saying to me. "No more pictures for the crazy writer person who takes me out in the cold when all the other cameras are inside, watching adorable tots tear into the latest in hand-knitted sweaters and pink plastic minivans outfitted with laser cannons." I took it home, cradled in the warmth of my coat, telling myself it was probably the batteries. I'd try new ones.

I tried new ones. I tried newer ones. I let Housemate Linda have a look at it in case she might see some error I'd made and set things aright. Once more, nothing doing. Camera now sits on a bookshelf in my office, next to yet another set of batteries. I am surprisingly okay with this.

It's not a disaster. Either the camera can be repaired, or it cannot. In either event, the memory card is in there, and I can stick it into my printer (once that's up and running) and all those pictures will still be there. I can still have them, even if not right now. They're safe. They're waiting. They're still mine. Maybe I'll open them on a hot day in July and have myself Christmas morning all over again.

The inadvertantly awesome part? When I sat down to write this entry, I had no idea what I was going to say, and lookee here - I wrote a story. It has a protagonist (moi) and a beginning (plan to take pictures) and a middle (the picture.) and an end (camera on the shelf, dead-at-least-for-now.) It has a black moment (dead camera!) and a resolution (will try memory card in something else.) Some dialogue, and I'd have to call it extremely rough, but gussy it up some and there could be something.

What mundane experience of yours do you think could inadvertantly turn into the seeds of an awesome story?

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