1. It was 62 degrees yesterday. 62! Isn’t it the best feeling after a cold, snowy winter when you have the first mild day? You open the windows, dash outside wearing open-toe shoes and just…linger. There’s still plenty of winter left, but it’s like spring is saying, I’m a’ comin’!
2. In the I-had-no-idea-this-could-be-a-career category… Introducing pet photography. At a volunteer event for Best Friends Animal Society, I met Marshall, who takes photos of people and their pets for a living. He has amazing portfolio. Actually how he gets those six bulldog puppies to sit still long enough for a photo is amazing in itself. Dogs were allowed at the event so I couldn’t help but snap a few myself. It never failed that every time I was about to press the button the dog would get up and walk away.
Aleksandra, who is fostering the lovely Miss Lollie, has offered the following tips on photographing your pets. (A little plug for Lollie: she is a beautiful, 3-year-old pittie living in Takoma Park, MD and looking for her forever home.) Aleksandra makes it look and sound so easy, right?
After about five dozen photos, here is what I came up with from the Best Friends event. Not exactly blowing you away, you say? They’re blurry, you say? Right. I’m not quitting my day job to be a pet photographer any time soon.
3. One of those photos is of a dog who was adopted from the Great Beagle Rescue last July. She is the blur in the second picture above. Her name is Juno. It was so awesome to see her in person that I got choked up. She is one of 120 beagles rescued from an animal testing facility (plus a dozen or so chimpanzees) where she had been confined to a crate 24/7 and her first four years of life consisted of invasive test after invasive test. As luck would have it, this lab went bankrupt. They locked the doors and walked away, leaving all of the animals inside.
Here’s a video of the beagles arriving at Pets Alive, a sanctuary in upstate New York. Have a moment of joy when you see the beagle touch grass for the first time in her life.
4. As I’m going around shamelessly promoting The Writers’ Salon, I’ve come across something I’ve only heard about in passing – a blog tour. Many publishers have cut way back on budget busting country-wide book tours, except for the biggest authors. So they are looking for cheaper and more modern ways to promote authors and their books. Sometimes the houses hire outside publicists to handle the “tour” and some of these third-parties base their entire business arranging blog tours. I’ve been asked to participate in a blog tour as a reviewer. It will be coming up in April and I haven’t read the book yet. But I’ll give you a hint – it’s about animals. (I’m sure this is not a surprise to many of you.) Have any of you participated in one? If so do you have any tips? If you’re an author, did you feel it generated interest and most importantly increased sales of your book?
5. Even though I love classic movies, I’d never seen a Charlie Chaplain flick. I got a collection of 1914 shorts from Netflix this week and was…disappointed. The perfect symbiosis of slapstick, pantomime and odd little gait that made him famous wasn’t there. It was hard to follow the plot lines and the humor was so dated it didn’t even make sense to me. In one scene a woman is dancing and the screen card says, The Spearmint movement…very Wrigley. I sort of get it. I think. It’s a play on Wrigley gum and the word wriggly. But sheesh. And no fault of the production company because I’m sure that they had limited archives at their disposal, but in some of the shorts, the actor’s heads are cut off which makes it really hard to follow their facial expressions, you know. I’d chosen this DVD at random and after further digging learned that in this stage of his career, even Chaplain wasn’t Chaplain yet. It’s a bit like watching Meryl Streep just starting her career in a laundry detergent commercial and wondering why all the fuss about her. He had to perfect his act when he would morph into the Little Tramp. I’m going to give Chaplain another go and watch him in the 1931 City Lights, a feature length silent. I’ll let you know if that one changes my opinion.
Have a great long weekend, everyone!