Day 10

Day 10 complete! Today’s practice was much shorter. 18/19 minutes. Though shorter than the other videos, I was ok with it. Today when I woke up I was almost trying to talk myself out of it. ‘Oh it’s Sunday, sleep in, do Day 10 tomorrow.’ Instead I got up and did it. If I start talking myself out of something… it means I won’t do it. So, I reminded myself, this is for my health. I’ve made progress in my getting rid of the weight journey. I’m noticing changes… KEEP GOING! Also, this is good for my mental well-being. I’m still grieving. Yoga seems to help calm my mind. I’ve been working my arse off and I need to keep going. It’s paying off!

Keeping in the theme of the Victorian Era, I LOVE Victorian gothic novels and Penny Dreadfuls. We were at the Bloodsuckers exhibit at The ROM yesterday (highly recommend this exhibit) and there was a section showing gothic novels and I felt myself starting to nerd out. Actually, I nerded out over the entire exhibit.

A little Penny Dreadful factoid. When newspapers and publishers started to print serials (aka Penny Dreadfuls, Penny Bloods, Penny Horrible, Penny Awful etc.) the literacy rate in the UK and North America went up!

If you aren’t familiar with Victorian Gothic novels (though you may be and unaware of it), some titles are Varney the Vampire, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and Carmilla.

Here is an interesting article if you want to learn a bit more about Victorian Gothic Novels.

Day 9

Day 9! Are you sick of me yet? Guess what… 21 more days of this! Yah! A huge reason I’m doing this is for my health. I need to lose weight and get my cholesterol down. When I added yoga into my workouts before, it made a huge difference and to be honest, doing yoga now, I feel much better already!

Something I’ve been interested in for a really long time is Memento Mori, aka Death Photography. This was a very popular practice in the Victorian era, along with Spiritualism. Both of these are fascinating to me.
The BBC has a good article (if you want the Coles note version). Give it a read. There are also a lot of fakes or photos that are confused for Memento Mori. Portrait photography was very, very popular, but methods of taking photos were slow and tedious and many times subjects had to stay still for long periods of time in order to get a crisp photo. To help, stands were used to help clients keep their heads still. There are a bunch of those photos circulating and being labeled or mislabeled as Memento Mori photos. Don’t be fooled!

The photo of the young lady laid out in the coffin is Memento Mori. The second photo is showing traditional Victorian portrait photography.

Redheads Writing in Cafes #3

After an amazing weekend of wandering around my hood Saturday and talking about creative projects on Sunday, I am back to regularly scheduled writing in cafes. Today’s cafe writing is in the very popular Junction writing spot and office for many creatives, Full Stop. In the summertime, you can enjoy the air-conditioned inside or the sunny back patio! It’s a wee bit chilly today for a patio, though I am looking forward to this alternative once it warms up a bit more.  Who knows, there may even be a few posts of Redheads Writing in Cafes… on a pub patio with a cold, crisp cider replacing the cuppa joe.

As I mentioned, I had another amazing weekend with my fella, along with discovering or rather re-discovering some creative pursuits of days gone by. Many years ago on a planet far, far away, I went to college and got a diploma in Graphic Design and another in Photography. I especially adored black and white photography. Adored it! I loved every aspect from taking the photo to the dark room to the finished print. I was an avid photographer for a few years; until I had to make a choice. A horrible choice.

When you are an artist, you take on a variety of jobs to pay your bills. On many occasions, those jobs don’t pay enough and you have to either get additional jobs or sell things to be able to pay for essentials such as rent. When you are faced with possible eviction, you have a tough choice and in my case, it came down to selling my equipment.  My thoughts at the time were, ‘I can always buy second-hand equipment again when I can afford it.’ Sadly, that never happened and I still regret that decision.


Fast-forward many years later, I started to get the itch again and began my quest to get a DSLR camera. Owning one would be two-fold for me. One part using the camera for vlogging and one part to start taking pictures again.  My plan was to start saving funds and eventually when I could afford it, buy myself a camera. Apparently, the universe and three amazing people had other ideas and I received a camera for Yule. I had absolutely no idea I was getting this gift.

Since receiving the camera, I have been taking many photos and video footage around my home, mostly playing with all the of the settings on the camera. This weekend I took my camera with me for a stroll through High Park.  The cherry blossoms on the Sakura trees were about to bloom and I wanted to get some shots and once my fingers gripped the body of the camera, it felt like there was nothing stopping me and something that was hibernating for quite a long time, woke up again. I shocked myself that I remembered everything about exposure, composition, lighting and other fundamentals. It was like meeting up a with an old friend again and everything just flowed again as if no time had passed.


Since reacquainting myself with my old friend the camera, my mind has been bursting with ideas. As I walked to Full Stop, I was putting together an idea for a photo project. As I stood in line waiting to order my coffee I was sketching out, in my mind, an outline. The moment I sat down at a table, I started writing it all down. I personally feel that photography and writing go hand-in-hand. Quoting a fellow writer and photographer John Oughton “They do go hand in hand. Both require sensitivity to the world and careful examination of its phenomena. If you look at the two Greek words that make up “photography”, it means writing with light.”

When I was originally learning photography, I was inspired by a photographer named Ruth Orkin. She was self-taught and passionate about her craft. I am once again reading and researching her and in awe of her legacy. Though her style is very different from mine, it’s her passion for her art that is truly my inspiration.

Owning a DSLR has opened up another route for me in my creative journey. Each day when I wake, I feel like I am bursting at the seams. I am excited to see where I go with this creatively. My style of photography and vision is much darker than the photos I am posting in this blog entry, those photos will come later. I feel that I still need to learn all the ins and outs of a digital SLR. Though much of the functionality of taking a picture is the same, there are many more bells and whistles. This, of course, is all part of the adventure.


Till next time. Fully caffeinated, this Redhead out!