OnTheGoWithAmyO.

"Live The Life You've Imagined." ~Thoreau

Archive for the month “September, 2015”

TREE FROG IN THE RV – AUGHHHHH!

This little “escapee” will soon be returning to home to East Texas after finding his way *inside* my RV this morning!

So how did this little tree frog end up hundreds of miles away at the beach in Port Aransas, Texas?

09252015_TreeFrogBESTIt all started when I was staying in Livingston a few months back. I’d see this little tree frog sticking to the RV windows at night, catching “bug dinners” thanks to the bright interior lights.

A few days before I left Livingston, I kept pulling this tree frog off the RV and sticking him on a nearby tree; however, by the next evening, this sticky bug catcher would be back on my rig!

“You can’t come with me,” I’d say.

He proved me wrong.

About a week after I set up here in Port Aransas, I saw Mr. Tree Frog sticking on the bunkhouse slide out.

“Surely not!” I thought, but alas, it was.

From that point on, my evening ritual included making small water puddles for him (and the local toads) as I watered my outside plants.

Often, I’d see him sticking on the side of my RV slide out, waiting for the water and bounty of bugs that followed.

Twice, he was perched on my utility hookups, as if waiting for the nightly “faux rain shower.” He was not scared of me, and would even allow me to lightly drizzle him with water from the hose.

It was an agreeable set up, but now, less than a week away from moving to a new RV Resort on the beach, I was worried that he’d get left behind or worse – a meal for a hungry seagull.

This morning, I was awakened by commotion in the rig!

The cats were after something and, trying to quickly shake off sleep, I ran to the kitchen to find out what they had found.

It was the little frog, sitting in the middle of a ring of cats.

The little frog was completely unharmed, and most likely untouched. My guess is the kitties tried to touch him, and his stickiness freaked them out.

I quickly scooped him up, dressed, and drove him over to ARK (Animal Rehabilitation Keep). ARK is the place that rescues all those baby sea turtles you see in the news, plus injured seagulls and other wounded marine life.

They took him in, and after identifying his species, informed me that tree frogs are in fact not native to the area.

Luckily, one of the staff members has family in the Houston area, and will soon be transported back to Deep East Texas (they took the information of where he originated). In the meantime, this lucky little frog will be kept safe and sound, with all the fruit flies he can eat!

I know it sounds silly, but I feel like this little tree frog and I had become… well, friends. Sadly, much like with ET (from the movies), it’s time for this visitor to go back *home* – to his own kind, to his own world.

Good luck, little tree frog friend. You’ll always be a special memory from my RV travel days!

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Are You Still A Writer Or What? The Struggles of a Writer/Photographer

For the past month, my life has been consumed with photography – bordering addiction, I happily admit. When I’ve got a camera in hand, I find myself excited, soothed, inspired, focused and alive!

My newfound passion for photography has left little time to write fiction.

So am I still a writer?

Since childhood, I’ve enjoyed dreaming up stories about characters who cross my imagination, then putting those visions into words on paper. So why would I question whether I was still a writer?

Back in June, I completed a feature-length Romantic/Comedy screenplay that I’d been working on for about 18 months. It was a joy – and a relief – to send it off to three screenwriting contests.

My plan was to jump right in to the next major project, yet I could not seem to “commit” to any one story. I tried a variety of tactics to force myself to choose a new writing project: bribing myself with goodies, denying simple pleasures, and everything in between.

So I picked up my camera in order to redirect my frustration.

WOW! I had forgotten how much fun this could be!

Granted, my Journalism degree required several photography classes, and my job as a sports editor and reporter at newspapers and magazines usually required that I provide my own photos for the articles. However, so much has changed with the introduction of digital photography that it’s been like a whole new adventure!

With my camera in tow, I could spend hour after hour taking pictures of sea shells and sand dollars…

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…or capturing images of photos of sailboats on a sunny Saturday afternoon…

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…or dolphins as they bring a ship into the channel at dusk…

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…or a pelican on the jetty waiting for a fisherman to throw her a fish…

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…or delicate flowers radiant after an island shower…

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…nightly festivities at a popular marina hangout…

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…or slow shutter speeds to create unique “painting with lights” images.09222015_AntiqueWhiteLights_BEST

The hours spent taking photos seemed to fly by in a blink of an eye – much like when I’m writing.

Therefore, instead of fighting this passion for photography, perhaps my current project isn’t writing, but instead seeing the beauty all around me with fresh eyes and new perspective though the lens of a camera.

Artistic expression is limitless, abundant and evolving. I am and always will be a writer, but that’s only a part of my creative soul.

Where will photography take me? I have no idea, but I promise you that I’m going to enjoy the ride!

Make it happen,

AmyO.

Photography Opening A Whole New World

09152015_WhiteFlowersbyFence

These small ordinary white flowers had gone unnoticed by me for the past few weeks.

Today they caught my attention, so I stopped to take their photo. I never realized how delicate and colorful they are.

My renewed passion for photography is helping to “open my eyes” to the beauty that is surrounding me, if I’ll simply slow down to notice it. I feel like I’m seeing a whole new world!

#PhotoJournal

Do You Have An Eye For Good Photos? I Need Your Help!

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE!

When I’m out adventuring on the island with my camera, I usually take a ridiculously large number of photos of any given subject, then narrow it down to a handful of the best shots.

From those, my goal is to pick just one; however, sometimes I can’t decide!

So I’m starting a new fun weekly “game” called #TopPickTuesday where I’m asking for your help to decide which photo out of two is the best.

Please take just a moment take a look at these two photos, and make your Vote in the comments.

You’ll really be helping me out!

PHOTO 1:

09152015_ShoreBird01b

PHOTO 2:

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Please leave your Vote (Photo 1 or Photo 1) in the Comments section. You’re also welcome to provide detailed feedback as to why you prefer one over the other.

Many thanks in advance for your help!

~AmyO.

Midnight Sand Crab Rescue! (You heard right.)

While taking my dog on her final potty break of the night, we found this little sand crab, so far from home (well, a few blocks, but to a sand crab, it’s a mighty long way).

He (or she) was probably a stowaway on a neighbor’s fishing boat.

Thinking quickly, I grabbed an empty Tidy Cat container and scooped him up (no pun intended).

I was going to return him to the shore in the morning, but couldn’t handle the *scratching noise* coming from the tub (real or perceived, we’ll never know).

So I loaded him up in the truck, and just dropped him off at the jetty. We said our farewells and I think he gave me a wink before his sideways journey onward. (I swear I’m totally sober.)

Lucky sand crab now has his pick of beach sand, jetty rocks or warm salt water.

My heart is happy!

09122015_SandCrabMidnightRescueBEST

Writing Time! August 2015

Inspired by the monthly tweets of author Jamie Todd Rubin (@jamietr), I’ve been tracking my own writing time for the past few months.

Not only does this help ensure daily writing accountability, but it’s also helpful to have handy on those days when I find myself feeling frustrated for “not writing enough.”

While some writers like to track the number of word written, I prefer to track time, since screenwriting and some of my other projects can’t be accurately tracked by word count.

Writing Tracker for the Month of May

My sole focus during this time was to finalize my Romantic/Comedy screenplay to make the June 1st deadline for the New York Women In Film & Television Writers Lab competition.

May2015_LineGraph_BEST

Fueled by the looming deadline and copious amounts of coffee, I fired up the tubro engines for the last half of the month!

  • I’d wake at 5:30 a.m. (without an alarm clock), dashing to the laptop, ready to write.
  • I’d force myself shut off the laptop around 1 a.m.
  • There was a notebook with me everywhere I went to capture ideas and notes as they hit my mind.
  • I also took two personal days off from work during the last week of May.

As a result, the completed and polished Rom/Com script was submitted to three national screenwriting contests, and I was pleased with it.

Jump to August: A Horrible Start!

There were a couple of RV travel days, as well as the unexpected back-to-back losses of a few dear friends in June and July, so I was working through the emotional gut punch.

Through sheer determination, I was able to get back into a daily writing routine after the first week of August.

Since Aug. 8th, I’ve met my minimum 30-minute per day writing goal (as indicated by the green field).

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Tracking Three Writing Categories

Since there were three separate categories for my creative writing, it seemed logical to break it down respectively.

(1) Screenplay: Although it’s already been submitted to the three contests, it still needs revisions based on feedback from the Blue Cat Screenwriting competition. Deadline for resubmitting is in October.

(2) Blog/Other: This category includes blog posts, website updates (OnTheGoWithAmyO.com), and writing involved with my new photography project.

(3) WIP (Work In Progress): From August 12-24, I browsed through my Story Inventory for a new project. I “interviewed” each story in longhand on paper, along with its characters, plot possibilities, concept, theme and my interest level in order to decide which one was the most ready to be told. A decision was made, and the writing began on Aug. 26.

August may have started like snail, but it ended like a cheetah!

Top 5 Writing Goals for September 2015

WritingScheduleSlide_AugSeptOct

  1. Complete a character analysis and detailed storyboard for the current WIP.
  2. Continue to write for at least 30 minutes every day.
  3. Complete revisions to the Romantic/Comedy screenplay and finalize contest submissions for the year.
  4. Finish website content (OnTheGoWithAmyO.com)
  5. Tie in On The Go With AmyO. Facebook page posts with this blog.

Hope to have a good report to share in about a month.

By the way, if you’re a writer, do you keep track of your daily writing time/word count? If so, how?

Write on!

AmyO.

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