November 19, 2009

No. 43 and Looking Ahead

Union Pacific's Coast Line near Aromas, Calif. - August 2005
(click to enlarge all photos)

Birthday #43 has come and gone, and it seems like a good time to make a few new year's resolutions (January 1st can't have all the fun, right?). Priority no. 1 is very short term: finish a Coast Line feature article for the NRHS Bulletin magazine... this frakking piece has been in suspended animation longer than the astronauts in Planet of the Apes! As of this writing only 300-400 words remain before the 16-page opus is a wrap. It's my biggest article since the book, and it's good to get the rail journalism juices flowing again.

Next: more frequent blogging. Between Twitter and Facebook, I could easily get spend months dispatching bursts of 140-character prose and eventually succumb to full-blown writer's ADD (friend Dave Styffe swears that FB should be called Timesuck). Either service makes a blog post feel like an epic. It doesn't help that I've approached the last few blog entries like mini-features, complete with the usual procrastination that accompanies any magazine project. So the new goal is shorter, more frequent entries. Seeing how this post began Nov. 19 and went live Nov. 24, I'd say there's nowhere to go but up. :-)

A quick aside: tonight my Epson V700 scanner was acting up while trying to scan some old Kodachromes, and in a desperate attempt to jump-start the thing I grabbed a photo from a small stack of prints. Who would have guessed that it was a vintage birthday snapshot? But lo and behold, here is yours truly with my mom and dad, Jill and Chuck Lawrence, at our home in Fontana during the early seventies.

This year it took a bit more effort to douse the birthday candles . . .

Since this is fast becoming another epic, I'll sign off. It's time to get back in the saddle. A personal symbol of hope is this sunset view of Mecca, California, near the Salton Sea, on a night when things weren't going well. The next day brought a drastic comeback filled with photographic surprises. So this is a reminder of resolution no. 3: to keep looking forward. Happy Thanksgiving!

Mecca, California, July 2009 (EL photo)

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