Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Almost Done!

Photo: A. F. Litt, 2019


I've been pretty quiet here, especially when it comes to creative content, because I've been busy working hard all year editing a novel for a client.
The good news is that we are almost done, in the final stages of editing, and should be hatching that bad boy out into the world pretty soon!
It's been a lot of hard work, but I am so excited to share my client's writing with everyone in the coming weeks. It's a hell of a story he's told, and I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I have!
More details to follow as they become available!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Preparation for the Next

Preparation for the Next - September 12, 2017 
Originally posted on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/preparation-for-25740525

Considering that I shot and titled this photo a year and a half ago, and that the title feels as relevant today as it did then, it would be easy for me to feel like not much has happened over the past year, but it has.  Life has been busy and crazy and full of peaks and valleys (unfortunately, not enough literal peaks and valleys, but so it goes)...

Creatively, things have been in a bit of a lull, however, which is one of the reasons why I haven't been posting here.  There just hasn't been much to share and there has been nothing to support.  I will not be asking for Patreons while I am producing little new content.

And it might be a few more months before my next projects start taking shape...

This is not to say that I've been completely idle.  For the last few months, I've been working on editing a long and complex novel for a client.  In fact, the plan for 2019 is to focus more on literary projects than photography and video work.

Once I am done with this editing gig, the plan is to return to work on finishing the novel I started back in 2011 while doing some prep work on a second novel that has been germinating for about a year now...

Also, I will be taking another look at the movie on the Historic Columbia River Highway and evaluating the next steps for the public lands project, making a decision on which to tackle first.  As for the former, I do hope to rebuild the crashed out website by the end of the summer, at the very least.

So, there are a lot of "if this, then thats" in my world right now, plus the day job keeping my creative efforts in a very part time mode right now, but I am looking forward to a lot of great, new work lying ahead, just over the horizon!

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

The New Year, Chiricahua National Monument, and Fort Bowie National Historic Site

Balanced rock in Chiricahua National Monument
Photo by Pretzelpaws, August 11, 2003
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chiricahua_balanced_rock.jpg


Apache Pass, Arizona, as viewed from Fort Bowie facing north
Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Arizona
Photo by Wilson44691, March 11, 2009
Public Domain
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ApachePassAZ.JPG

National Parks and Monuments in Distress


In some ways it is hard to believe that it has been 15 months since my last public lands project post (National Parks & Monuments in Distress still feels like a working title to me), but in most ways, it almost feels like it has been much longer.

Life has been crazy and chaotic through all of those long months, but two things, in particular, took me away from this project.  A little over a year ago, I went through some painful health issues which were resolved by surgery, but until the surgery, I wasn't able to focus on much of anything for awhile.  Then, once I recovered from the surgery, new day jobs took over my life and I fell into a work, eat, sleep, repeat tunnel for most of the year.

Over the last couple months, there's been a lot of change in my life.  Some good and some bad, but the result is that the pace of my life has slowed down a bit, my living situation has become more secure and stable, and suddenly I find myself ready to get back to work on this project, beyond the occasional Facebook post (https://www.facebook.com/NationalMonumentsInDanger), for the first time in a long time.

Unfortunately, there were some set backs in my life the last few months, and because of those, I lost my website containing my photos from the parks that I've taken over the last decade, I still don't have access to my hard drives with those images, and it might be a couple months before I can get my good work computer up and running to rebuild.  So, moving ahead, for a couple months, at least, I will be using other folk's images instead of my own, other folk's videos, instead of my own, and there are some dead links on the project's website.  Luckily, this project was not as affected by these data losses as my project on Oregon's Columbia River Highway was...  That website was almost completely destroyed.

However, the set backs led to some positive changes, too.  Not only has my living and work environment improved, but I also picked up a job editing a novel set, largely, in the Apache Wars.  Fact checking the novel led me to the discovery of Chiricahua National Monument and Fort Bowie National Historic Site, which contain locations, like Apache Pass, that appear in the book.  I needed a place to stash some links, and of course, I have a place for National Park Service links all set up and ready to go!

This, coupled with the negative impacts of the government shutdown, fired me up on this project again.  This hasn't necessarily benefited my work editing, but it has been nice ramping back up to speed here, and I think, in the long term, it will serve both the editing and my work here well...

For now, this must remain a side project of mine.  I still need to work day jobs to make ends meet, and I will need to pick up a new, full time day job soon.  But I would like to do some writing once or twice a week, clean up and rebuild the website, and start adding more photos and videos from my own travels as soon as I can. Plus, I should be updating daily on Facebook and Twitter.

The real goal, however, is to aim towards shifting over to making this more of a full time project by the end of 2019 and hitting the road, traveling the country and reporting first hand from these magnificent and fascinating places.

There is a lot of hard work to be done between now and then, and that will limit my time writing and researching more than I would like, but the end result will be worth it, and I hope a heck of a lot of fun to follow!




As for these two parks, obviously I have not visited them in person, and I really haven't had that much time to research them outside of setting up their pages on the site and learning what I needed to learn for my editing job.  They are east of Tuscon, Arizona and I am regretting not visiting them on my trips there in 2016.

Fortunately for them, they fell under my radar because, outside of system wide issues, there have been no specific threats to these units that I've learned of.

But the more we learn about the parks, the more we care about them.  That is a huge motivation for me with this project.  So here are some photos, and click through the links to the website where there is more information.

Happy New Years, everyone!  Let's make it a better one!  #RESIST

51 Geronimo's camp with a sentinel standing guard. -1886


Pinnacle Balanced Rock
Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona
Photo by 
Brian W. Schaller, 2004
Creative Commons ‘Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0’
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A089,_Chiricahua_National_Monument,_Arizona,_USA,_2004.jpg

Friday, December 01, 2017

The Properties of Dust: Love Poems

Crepuscular Rays. Eleven Mile Overlook. Deschutes National Forest. Oregon. August 18, 2012.


All my poems are love poems
scribbled on damp,
whiskey stained paper
in one dive bar or another

On cocktail napkins
or coasters, pulled
from underneath my third glass,

Floating in a lost hour
found somewhere on
the long drive towards
my empty home.

And I should be there
or there or there
again, but I stop again
on the way home,

Climbing slippery stone steps to
the top of the castle-like tower,
smelling the rain, feeling
the cold winter kiss

Blown by the constant freezing wind
to my skin.

Under the tower, a dead volcano
thrusts us up, exposed, into the storm
but I pull that soggy napkin
from my pocket anyway

And I try to write another verse
before my paper is ruined
by the weather.


Rocky Butte.  Portland, Oregon. c.2008

The Properties of Dust

The Properties of Dust was a small book I put together in 2005 for a desktop publishing class at Portland State University. Many of these pieces were written specifically for the book project, and the rest date back to as early as 1990.  The pieces were accompanied by a photo or two in the original book, but, in most cases, I am using different, more recent, photos with this series of posts.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.
Love Poems


Paulina Peak & Camper. Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Oregon. August 17, 2012.


If you appreciate posts like this, please consider becoming a monthly subscriber through Patreon!
Visit my Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/aflitt) for more information.

A. F. Litt on vocal.media https://vocal.media/authors/a-f-litt


Website


The Properties of Dust: Lair

Fremont Troll. Seattle, Washington. August 13, 2012.

Now we are in the lair,
the den, the bed
where darkness lies down to rest
unseen,

Where the strange exhaust of unnatural
pores lingers in the shadows
unseen...

To breathe the air here,
to take inside that bitterness,
is to fill up and clog arteries
with a hundred twisted desires,
with a thousand warped urges.

With the sounds of traffic overhead,
our hearts beat and our minds bend
to that slow madness.

Here, where even billy goats
smell fear and run away,
we recognize the troll
sleeping in concrete
behind us.


Under the Burnside Bridge. Portland, Oregon.  October 6, 2011

The Properties of Dust


The Properties of Dust was a small book I put together in 2005 for a desktop publishing class at Portland State University. Many of these pieces were written specifically for the book project, and the rest date back to as early as 1990.  The pieces were accompanied by a photo or two in the original book, but, in most cases, I am using different, more recent, photos with this series of posts.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.
Lair
Love Poems


Fremont Troll. Seattle, Washington. August 13, 2012.


If you appreciate posts like this, please consider becoming a monthly subscriber through Patreon!
Visit my Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/aflitt) for more information.

A. F. Litt on vocal.media https://vocal.media/authors/a-f-litt


Website


Fred G. Redmon Memorial Bridge, I-82. Near Selah, Washington. May 2008


Trees Under The Bridge - Fremont Bridge. Portland, Oregon. April 2, 2012. 


Cape Perpetua, Yachats, Oregon. July 2, 2011

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Properties of Dust: After the War

Mesa Verde National Park.  Colorado.  May 10, 2016 - www.aflitt.com/mesaverdenp

We were always at our best
when staring into the abyss together,

And we drank wine and ate bread
for the last time together;

laughing a little,
crying a little
as the kettles were overturned
against us,

as our statues were pulled
to the ground.

We did not fear
the burning red skies,
lit by a thousand fires,
as the kettles became drums
beating out fresh charges
against us.

We did not feel fear,
but I do remember our pride…

We knew them as children,
they know us now as men.




The Properties of Dust

The Properties of Dust was a small book I put together in 2005 for a desktop publishing class at Portland State University. Many of these pieces were written specifically for the book project, and the rest date back to as early as 1990.  The pieces were accompanied by a photo or two in the original book, but, in most cases, I am using different, more recent, photos with this series of posts.

1.

2.

3.

4.
After the War

5.
Lair
Love Poems

Balcony House. Mesa Verde National Park. Colorado. May 10, 2016 - www.aflitt.com/mesaverdenp


If you appreciate posts like this, please consider becoming a monthly subscriber through Patreon!
Visit my Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/aflitt) for more information.

A. F. Litt on vocal.media https://vocal.media/authors/a-f-litt


Website

The Properties of Dust: Home

Portland After the Storm - April 2, 2011 - www.aflitt.com


“Can you hold on for a moment? Let me run up and make sure the key still works before I drag my crap out into this soup.”
“No problem,” the driver said as John opened the door and let himself out into the rain. It was really coming down; an unusual mid-summer downpour and the clouds held their burden until the cab pulled up to the house, of course.
Fortunately, the keys still worked and shortly the suitcases were hauled inside, the driver was paid off, and John found himself dripping on the living room’s hardwood floor, wondering what came next. He looked around and found that the room looked the same, minus a few knickknacks whose absence he was thankful for. He sniffed the air and found it to smell fresh and clean. Somehow he expected it to be musty and dusty and...
Neglected? But it wasn’t.
His eyes landed on the answering machine sitting on an end table next to its phone, under the lamp that he’d inherited from his grandmother years before. On a whim, he wandered over to it. He knew it was too soon to expect any messages on this machine, but he also knew that its indicator light quit working years before, so he pressed the button... Just in case...
Of course, the tape was blank.
He pressed the machine’s outgoing message button, but no voice was to be heard, just some clicks. He opened up the lid and saw that the message tape was gone. He tried to remember what the missing tape announced, but he couldn’t. He made a mental note to pick up a new micro-cassette and then promptly forgot about the machine and the missing tape entirely, sucking in a deep breath and moving on.
Not knowing what to expect, he ventured around the corner into the kitchen. Though he knew that there had to be items missing, he couldn’t place what was gone. All the appliances, mostly wedding gifts, were still on the shelves. His mother’s china still lived in the cupboards along side a few older, battered pots and pans. He opened up the fridge and it was empty except for a strange stain in the crisper. The pantry proved to be barren as well.
So be it, he thought. There’s a grocery store right up the block and he didn’t expect to be cooking much anyway.
Retrieving his bags from the living room, he ventured upstairs to the bedrooms. He dropped his things at the top of the stairs; the junction of three doorways. Seeing that, as expected, Katie’s room was completely empty, he drug his bags into the master bedroom. A couple blank spots on the walls in there, otherwise it was the same. Exactly the same, but maybe a little less cluttered.  Like the rest of the house, it was too clean. It felt more like a hotel room than home.
Opening up the closet, he found it almost empty. Some old clothes of his, mostly stuff he hadn’t worn since college, stuff he hadn’t bothered packing... But the smell in there, that brought back memories. Though there were no shoes left on the floor, the scent of leather lingered, along with the faint scent of perfume...
John turned away and left the room, wandered past the stairs and into the bathroom. Same curtain blocking off the tub. The same fuzzy covers warming the cold porcelain of the toilet. But the counter around the sink looked naked, his toiletries still packed, the rest gone... Worse was the institutional smell of bleach masking any lingering hints of the fancy soaps and oils that used to live there. There were no human smells. Just the smell of cleansing and the smell of rain...
The small window in the corner was left open. Suddenly, in that room that had been so completely sterilized that the air was barely breathable, John found himself suffocating, desperate for the fresh, rain-washed air outside. Kneeling down before the open window, gulping in many long, slow breaths, listening to the gentle drips from the overtaxed gutters, rocking gently as if countering the rolling lullaby of waves, he really knew for the first time, truly, that it wasn’t just knickknacks, clothes, pictures, and scents missing from the house. It was missing all that came before...
After a few minutes, feeling the cold air against his face, he opened his eyes. He opened his eyes and saw the row of sea glass lying on the windowsill. The glass that they used to look for on their long walks at the ocean, clinging to each other, whispering of the future... How many years had it been since their lives had seemed so uncomplicated? Before the house, before the vows, before Katie... Katie, who as far as they could tell, was made in that very room.
But those were bad thoughts. Instead, John just stared at that line of little unformed blobs of color on the sill and tried not to think of what was lost. It was then that he noticed that one of the carefully arranged artifacts was missing. A screen secured the window, so it couldn’t have fallen out, no... There it was, down in the corner, next to his right knee, next to a plain, gold ring. It was his ring.
It was their worst fight ever. It was their last fight ever. How did it start? Who knows? After all, it didn’t really start; it was just another flare-up in their long battle... But that time, it was more. It went too far.
John remembered tearing the ring off of his finger and throwing it. He remembered saying words that, usually, he only half felt and barely meant, but that night all the daggers were sharpened and the words cut too deep.
He never wondered where his ring landed until he found it abandoned in the corner, the only dusty corner in a sterilized room. Intentionally left behind, he could see how carefully she cleaned around the space the ring occupied, leaving it undisturbed.
The rain moved on and the skies cleared. The air was clean, rinsed of the dust and the exhaust of the city. The sky became bright and the sun filled the house with light. John unpacked his bags and then sat in Katie’s room for a long time, thinking of the time he’d spent there with his daughter.
Eventually he got hungry and soon he found himself standing out on the sidewalk in front of the house, clutching a small bag that held a can of soup, a box of crackers, a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of soda. He found himself standing in front of the house staring at its familiar structure and its overgrown yard.
That yard... She’d loved gardens but had no green thumb. He’d promised her a castle surrounded by a garden paradise. After he left, that paradise had gone to seed.
John dropped his purchases on the stoop and wandered through the gate at the side of the house to find a brown wasteland in the back yard. Where the front yard had been watered and allowed to remain green and to grow, the back had been abandoned, left to die under the summer sun. The rains earlier that day arrived too late. Everything back there was dead.

Opening up the small tool shed in the back corner of the yard, brushing away the spider webs, he found a shovel. Starting in that rear corner and not stopping until long past dawn, John spent the night turning the dead stalks of the old garden under the earth. Not stopping until all the waste had been cleared away, and the bare earth was ready and waiting to be planted again.



Kali, 2008 - www.aflitt.com


The Properties of Dust
The Properties of Dust was a small book I put together in 2005 for a desktop publishing class at Portland State University. Many of these pieces were written specifically for the book project, and the rest date back to as early as 1990.  The pieces were accompanied by a photo or two in the original book, but, in most cases, I am using different, more recent, photos with this series of posts.


1.

2.

3.

4.
Home
After the War

5.
Lair
Love Poems


Kissed by the first caress of winter...  Gresham, Oregon.  -  November 14, 2017 - www.aflitt.com


If you appreciate posts like this, please consider becoming a monthly subscriber through Patreon!
Visit my Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/aflitt) for more information.

A. F. Litt on vocal.media https://vocal.media/authors/a-f-litt


Website