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Tag Archives: photography

Beyond Words: A Fantasy Author Charity Calendar Project

Lauren Zurchin, professional photographer and managing editor of the SF/F blog Lytherus, contacted me the other day about a new project. Basically, she wants to dress up fantasy authors in custom-made costumes and photograph them for a calendar. She has a decent roster of authors lined up, several of whom I’ve read or at least heard of: Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, Christopher Paolini, Gregory Maguire, Tad Williams, Patrick Rothfuss, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Lauren Kate, Lauren Oliver, Maggie Stiefvater, Gail Carriger, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff.

Ms. Zurchin explains further:

This project is huge, and with the support of these authors I’ve taken to Kickstarter to raise the bare-minimum funds needed to make this project a reality. Every author involved in the project has offered limited edition exclusive items up for grabs — prizes that are only offered this one time and never again. Kickstarter contributors can find limited edition prints of their fantasy calendar photo (signed), wall posters (signed), “personalized packs” (containing prints, autographed calendar, and more — personalized and signed by the author), and calendars signed by all fourteen of the project’s participants. There are several high-end prizes up for grabs, including Skype chats with a few of the participating authors. […] The Kickstarter runs through the end of February and aims to raise $15,000.

Enough to pique your interest? Visit the Kickstarter page.

And here’s where things get interesting (aka, the “why you should care” bit): proceeds from the calendar are going to support the charities First Book (which donates books to schools and children’s programs) and WorldBuilders (which raises donations for Heifer International through auctions of author-donated goodies). Worthy causes both. Ms. Zurchin goes into more detail on her website.

I contributed. I don’t have any particular attachment to any one of the authors but I like fantasy photography and the fact that it’s of fantasy authors is a cute idea. And raising funds to make a product that will ultimately be sold for charity sits well with me.

P.S. – For those of you with an interest in seeing authors being awesome, I still have a few of these left.

P.P.S. – I have absolutely no idea how Ms. Zurchin found me. I’m just pleased she did, because otherwise this never would have appeared on my radar.

The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America by Julian Montague

The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America by Julian Montague: This is one of those books shelved in the humor section only because most bookstores don’t have a WTF section. It is, in short, exactly what the title suggests: a study of shopping carts that have escaped their shops and parking lots. The subject matter is taken so seriously and each cart categorized so meticulously that it’s difficult to accept that this is all truly meant as a joke. I read the entire thing, though, and actually quite enjoyed the photography. There’s a certain beauty to the urban decay represented here. My favorite category, of which there was far too little, was “complex vandalism” – and more specifically, the cart somehow launched atop a street sign. I don’t know that I would necessarily recommend this book to anyone, but I suppose there is a certain sort of person whose book collection would be incomplete without it. Find them, and give them this book.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: Thank goodness there’s going to be a sequel. I devoured this book quite quickly, desperate to know what happens next, and the story felt like it ended kind of in the middle. I mean, I suppose it could technically be thought of as “open-ended” but I cannot wait to hear the rest of the story. I love the characters. Basically, this is a tale written around olde-timey photographs. Jacob grew up hearing his grandfather’s fantastic tales of the children he knew when staying in a Welsh orphanage during World War II. After his grandfather’s death and mysterious last words, Jacob journeys to Wales to see if he can find any of these people still living. The photographs were a great addition, though all of them were (somewhat needlessly) intricately described in the text as well. This book, full of abandoned houses and time travel and unlikely companions really captured my imagination. I’ll definitely be reading it again someday.

Photograph Organization

I used to be really good about keeping my photographs organized, but since I went digital, everything’s gone sort of haywire. Right now I have an enormous plastic bin of stuff, among which is included my collection of photo albums: those little kind that hold one photograph per page. This red plastic suitcase thing pictured above once held only odd-sized photos (such as school pictures or anything larger than 4×6″), but lately I’ve been stuffing all photos I get in there because I can’t bring myself to face the albums.

Ideally, I’d like to move everything into full-size binders with plastic pocket sheets. I’m not sure how easy these are to find. I’ve found horizontal ones, but so far no vertical, which is annoying. I figure I can use the trading-card-sized ones for some of the smaller photos, though I’m not sure what to do with the old school photos, since they’re just a teensy bit bigger than the 2×2″ slide pages. For that matter, the horizontal 2.5×3.5″ ones won’t look too great in the trading card pockets either, but I can probably deal with that.

And what about the really weird-shaped ones? I’ve got a few that are 4×7″, 4×8″, 3×4.25″, Polaroids… you get the idea. I know the “magnetic” photo pages are a bad idea over the long term, so I’m open to suggestions. What do you do with your photos?  And don’t tell me to just scan them and trash the originals; that’s not an option. :P

P.S. – I have a bunch more copies of that wedding photo there on top if anyone would like one.

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