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A Frog, Food, and Cajun Culture: A Trip to Louisiana

Originally posted on my Contingency Writer’s Blog

I arrived home at about midnight this morning after a 10-day trip in Louisiana. The primary reasons for my visit were to see family, and to work on a romance novel and the third Detective Games entry; although it became a great deal more.

Instead of a linear progression for this blog post, I’d like to try out bullet points!

  • I tried my hand… er, legs, at Irish dancing. My cousins had been Irish dancing for years, and I had come along to support them. Their instructor welcomed me to join in as well. My fencing instructor had always said I should go dancing, and about a year apart from his remarks, I was clumsily thumping across a multipurpose ballet studio.
  • Trekking through Jean Lafitte National Park, I wished I had first put on some bug spray, with the presence of a multitude of mosquitos. But the beauty of the marsh and swamplands were incredible, and afforded the opportunity for many pictures.
A tiny tree frog

A tiny tree frog

A young alligator surfaces near a walkway

A young alligator surfaces near a walkway

  • We visited Destrehan Plantation and took a tour of the grounds, with its grand trees covered in Spanish moss, and learnt of the vast history, including the day to day lives of the household owners and the enslaved, as well as the construction process and architectural functions. At the end, a blacksmith with a heavy cajun accent, demonstrated the use of his forge.
  • The food. Oh boy, the food. The delicious simplicity of red beans and rice, messy po’ boys, savory gumbo and jambalaya, fun flavors with stuffed snowballs, and the mandatory beignets (from Café du Monde) I had to have on a daily basis.
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Beignets and powdered sugar! Yum!

Savory gumbo!

Savory gumbo!

  • The French Quarter was a fun experience, with sights to see, a banana smoothie in hand, and trinkets to be had in the market.
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The Jackson equestrian statue

Set Afire

Today we used our fireplace for the first time in a long while. Naturally, this provided a great opportunity for some photography.

As the fire died down to embers, and the crackle quieted to a murmur, the remaining wood chips were lit up in the remains of the fire's fierce glow.

As the fire died down to embers, and the crackle quieted to a murmur, the remaining wood chips were lit up in the last of the fire’s fierce glow.

Breakfast Delight: Pancakes with…

…dark chocolate, whipped cream, and vanilla bean maple syrup.

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These pancakes have the perfect balance of vanilla maple syrup, as well as the option of whipped cream and special dark chocolate from the famous Pennsylvanian chocolate factory (*hint, hint*).

Not only did the pancakes taste great, they also were very quick to make. The pancakes were  the freezer variation (made from scratch would have been the best option), which was the most efficient option, time-wise.

It’s a writer’s breakfast! At least for this author.

Misconceptions of the Wise

Rainbow

Rainbow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve begun taking English composition, Psychology, and Government courses at a local university.

I am surrounded by people of all ages, with as various dreams and aspirations as the hues of the light spectrum. Yet they all manage to flow together and coexist.

For differences do not make dissonance. It is often our generalizations, reservations, and purported revelations that are inharmonious.

‘Your hands have made me and fashioned me, An intricate unity; Yet You would destroy me [1].” 

(This quotation is drawn from Job 10:8. It illustrates a point which is in itself is a misconception. See 1 Cor.)

Of all the Christian Bible, I am most continually drawn to 1 Corinthians 13, which I have drawn upon before. I would argue that it is a universally acknowledged truth, whether you are an adherent to Christianity or not. The relationally corrosive properties of selfishness are all encompassing.

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whetherthere are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love [2].

Making Waves: Anon, a Duck

Duckology (PNG Image)

A duck makes waves as we pass by in a canoe.

As I was equipped with a Kodak Easyshare, and aboard a rickety canoe, I wasn’t able to capture as clear images as I had desired. I utilized the GIMP sharpen mask to try and get things back into shape.

Cheval Ailé et Tour Eiffel: France Photography

Paris Portait (PNG Image)

Ahhh, beautiful Paris! This wonderful sunset scene was captured a few paces away from “Le Coucher du Lion.” Also in the vicinity of the popular Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.

As the others, this photograph was taken using the Kodak Easyshare M341, with a focal length of 6mm, and settings at 1/400s, f/3.1, ISO 80. Thank-you WordPress.

 

 

 

A Parisian Medley: Photographie

Rouen-Giverny (PNG Image)

A photographic medley of France. I incorporated flowers from Monet’s Garden in Giverny and the memorial cross of Joan of Arc in Rouen. ©2012 Zechariah Barrett – All Rights Reserved.

Up the Mangled Tree: Leaning on Firm Ground (II)

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“We found this tree while searching the mountainside for our kayaking destination. I struck me as peculiar and I decided to snap a pic while stumbling over the steep, rock-strewn slope.” And boy was it steep at times, or perhaps it only seemed so, since I was attempting to take decent compositions along the way while keeping up with our party. Note the blur in the upper-left hand corner, tis’ evidence of my… “gracefulness.”

The Likeness of a Pear

At the moment, I’m focusing on refining my still-art skills through Art Academy.

Via today’s lesson, my subject is a pear, which has been placed in grayscale for an easier model.

My sketches have been rough at best, though improvement is on the horizon!

The Crashing Waves

The first imagery presented in my novel is that of crashing waves (and a rude awakening to boot). Within the prologue, it sets a mysterious tone for the novel, albeit does not come to fruition until the seventh chapter. It was also the first passage I turned to when I began systematically revising my novel for stylistic disruptions.

Below are photographs I’ve taken on my travels, any guess as to where? Or what [type of] body of water? The answer may seem surprising.

CoverOcean-AW (PNG Image)

A beautiful portrait of the interweaving hues of blue, lapping against the shore with great tranquility.

Crashing Waves-AW (JPEG Image)

This crop is my favorite of the two, albeit not the one used for my “working cover,” due to size restrictions. The scope of the waves, and the flow of the water is much more comprehensive.

 

The location was by far not the most striking, as Oregon, Ireland, or France. Although I attained some nice compositions, with some slight altering to return them to their intended beauty.