Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A little piece of GLORY for Beth Kephart

One of my favorite books of 2012.
My good friend Beth Kephart wrote a blog earlier this week in which she shared part her her work in progress (WIP.) The work, as usual for Beth, was fantastic. She also asked us, many of her writing friends, to share part of our WIP. Anyone who knows my process knows I don't share my work when it's a WIP. But for Beth, I'd do just about anything, including this.

My WIP has had many names. It was called MAX BLACK. Before that, it was called "project lice & porn."  Now, it is called GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE.

A mouthful, I know. And it may change again. For now, we call it GLORY for short. So here's a part of it....


I got my first camera from my mother for my fourth birthday. It was a very simple Leica M5 in a leather case.  Not a digital camera. Darla O’Brien believed in film. She believed in emulsion and silver halide. She believed in something called The Zone System, which was developed by two photographers named Ansel Adams and Fred Archer around 1940. (Incidentally, Darla O’Brien’s mother was born in 1940. She was a saint. That’s what everybody always told me. She'd been fighting cancer since age fifty. She did not own a microwave oven.)
            The Zone System divided the tones in a black and white photograph into eleven zones between maximum black and maximum white. The challenge was to make an image that represented all eleven zones. Maximum white was a ten. Maximum black was a zero. Max white was blown out. Max black was nothingness.
            Max Black was my code word for dead. Max Black would be what I secretly called the petrified bat because I was picky about saying something was what it wasn’t. The bat was not petrified. Minerals couldn’t have replaced its cells. It was just dead. Zone zero. 


So there you have it, Beth Kephart. You made me do something out of my comfort zone. Next you'll have me shopping or wearing mascara or something.

In other news, I have no other news.
But I'll be back later this week, I bet.


Bryson McCrone said...

This is what's holding me over till October. ;)

José Iriarte said...

Very cool. I'm jealous of your crit partners. :)

Anonymous said...

Leica! Pricey glass for a four year old!!!

Beth Kephart said...

What I said was...

Wait. I had another glass of wine since then, and I am not nearly as articulate as I was when I was saying that what is so brilliant about your work is how specific your details are, how knowing, and how you can hold all of that inside a jaunty-voiced frame.

And that I love it.

Tell me this went through?

A.S. King said...

Thanks gentlemen!

Joe, I have no crit partners, so don't be jealous.

A.S. King said...

Anon: HA! I am so happy you noticed. Yep. it was an old Leica, though. And Darla was a very strange mother, so that accounts for something. :)

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Oh my. And how much longer must we wait for Glory? I am a huge fan. Everybody Sees the Ants blew me away.

A.S. King said...

Susan, I neglected telling you that information! ALl going well, you'll see GLORY in fall 2014.

Beth: you rock.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Fall 2014? Wah!!!! :)

Guess I'll just have to go back and reread all your other books while I wait. I'm looking forward to the new one.

(And can I just say that I am encouraged when you told someone else you work without a crit partner. I've been feeling adrift without a group for the last 10 years. Having trouble adjusting to being a lone wolf when everyone around me is talking about their crit group this and that.)