Photochrom Pages Up!

Posted by: Richenda at Thursday September 27, 2007 in

Goodness me, my little project took a lot of time. I stumbled on the ‘views of England’ photochrom collection on the Library of Congress site and look what happened next! Hours and hours of work.

Worth it, all worth it. And I am excited because this is the official re-launch of the Abbey (and Photochrom ) Pages. I scaled back my original vision drastically. Originally I wanted to create a page for every Abbey. I could dream, right? I think I got a total of 8 pages done that way.

The pages now are much more extensive in terms of photography, though the descriptions are a little lean. Still, photographs include Folk & Costume, Landscapes, Throne Rooms, and Shrines as well as Abbeys and Cathedrals. The monastic aspect, however, is what really intrigues me, so that is the main focus. I will continue to flesh these pages out, but at a much slower pace. And I’ll work primarily on my Monastic Pages . I have two books waiting to be transcribed after English Monastic Life and that will be a big enough project to keep me busy for months.

(After all, all the web time is really stolen time, isn’t it.)

But yay!! I am in a celebratory mood! I will have to temporarily spring myself from the carrel and the cloister (At the moment I am working at a small table by the window in the library, lol.) so I can shout my joy at finishing this latest, largest bit.

But before I pack up and shout, there are a few awards I want to hand out. I have spent a lot of time with these images and there are a few that really deserve
special mention.

Most Overexcited Architecture, to the Germans for the Cathedral at Cologne.

Most Beautiful Ruins goes to Tintern Abbey despite the fact that Tintern is such a shoe-in for this category that I was determined to chose something else.

Most idealized. All these photographs qualify for consideration in this category, but this one is really stretching it. It is a very idealized, western gaze on the ‘beautiful bucolic life’ of the shepherd in the Holy Land.

Most Natural Beauty. In amongst this idealized collection, I had to include this photograph. Not part of the Detroit Photochroms, this picture captures the spontaneous spirit of a pretty Tunisian girl.

Most Ethereal. It’s hard not to give all the architecture points to Germany, especially the Bavarians, but this photograph of the Cathedral in Slovenia is really just spectacular.

Most Beautiful Costume. I do not wear a veil or a burqua, and as a suburban woman of the west, I have a very hard time making sense of the ideologies that inform the garment. But…there is no denying that this photograph makes an impression on the viewer, both for the beauty of cloth and the statement of the garment.

Most Picturesque. A three way split, between the church in Aix, France,

St. Angelo’s in Italy

And the rustic Markarska Cathedral

Most Likely to be Compensating for Something (like, living in a valley.)

Two awards for this one,
Best Gate and Most Likely to be Manned by Orcs

Another Lord of the Rings award goes to Fantloft church, awarded
Horse Lord Favorite

Best Fairytale Castle. Got to love those Bavarian Castles, and if Cinderella didn’t marry into this one Disney’s got the whole thing terribly wrong.

Best Use of Ivy. To England’s Raglan Castle:

Most Pointy. Yet another win for the Germans. (Stiff competition for this one.)

Best Graveyard to Douglas Church on the Isle of Man:

and finally, Most Amazing All ‘round:
First Place to the convent Mara Saba:

And Second Place to the gravity defying builders of Lichtenstein:

These images and much more can be found on my Photochrom Pages . I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.

Vin Weasel

Posted by: Richenda at Sunday August 12, 2007 in

So much for a nap….can’t sleep. And another hour down. They don’t seem to have trouble with sleep, though. So I’m picking up the mess around them and passing out blankets to anyone I see shivering.

It’s is also quite astonishing how many soda cans our 48 hour festival team can drink and empty in this house. It’s like Easter around here, except that instead of the Easter Bunny hiding colored eggs, I have a cohort of Actor Bunnies stashing soda cans.

It’s kind of pretty, actually, like red and silver and green and gold Christmas ornaments in a living Holiday tree…except that it’s soda pop and aluminum containers we’re talking about. I’m not sure which is worse, the sugar or the
consumer waste.

But all in the name of art and synergy!

And speaking of art and synergy I found my 4:00 am lyrics revision sheet. lol. Um….not pretty. Most of the lyrics were finished by 2 in the morning or so, but one of the verses was a little trite and so I thought I’d work some revision. The rules? I needed to make the syllables work, we have to move the plot forward, and use words and phrases the character would use.

It was probably too much to ask at 4 am. I’d like to take credit for the final result, but, though I came up with the rhyme ‘Vin Weasel’ (which is genius), I would have discarded it if Jeff D. hadn’t convinced me not to. And it was my husband who came up with the phrase “king of wussy-land,” lol. A little sophomoric, you say? Yeah. But perfect for the character. And it works wonderfully on screen. Here’s my worksheet:

Not pretty! I liked the spider ending, but that got dropped when filming. Didn’t need it. And the ‘rant in the vent’ works really well without it.

Time is ticking…

Get Me Those Eggs!!

Posted by: Richenda at Sunday August 12, 2007 in


You really have to know this group so anyone reading this won’t thing this is one whit funny. Though maybe younger brothers everywhere will roll their eyes in a knowing way….

But I found a little note written on the back of an envelope. It’s from my older son’s friend Matt to my younger son Michael. (Matt and Nathan had to run out and try to organize sets. But they can’t film at the jail after all. :( Not enough notice.) But Matt’s wonderful and Michael has hung around with that group so long he’s like friend and younger brother to the whole group. But they still razz him for his long emo-style hair and junior status.

(At this point, however Michael is indispensable. He’s smart, and knows his way around sound recordings and a boom microphone. He’s now the on-set recording engineer. They couldn’t do without him.)

I’m not sure where the junior-guy joke “make me some eggs” got started, but it stuck. Maybe it’s from the movie Willow when Mad Maudigan bellows for the Brownies to: “Hey! Get me some eggs!!” ? Sounds possible.

Anyway, had to post the note when I found it. Some things you never outgrow! So, in solidarity to friends and brothers everywhere, here it is:

King of the Hostages

Posted by: Richenda at Sunday August 12, 2007 in

What is it about filmmakers? To get that perfect shot, one has to, shall we say, move forward in a determined fashion. Even if that means your actors spend hours tied up on the floor.

We are knee deep into the 2007 Portland 48 hour film festival. 10 hours to go. My son and husband are partners and own P3Pictures, though my son runs the show. My husband is creative adviser, producerand does the music. My son is director and king-in-pants. He works closely with his friends, especially Matt Thogerson and Jeff Drovdahl. They are all very talented and energetic.

On Friday evening the three of them went to the opener, and drew ‘Musical’ as their docket. OMG.

The good news is that the Fairhurst family are talented little boogers when it comes to music. Three of us compose. Three of us sing, one of us very, very well (my daughter). Plus, a number of the P3P contributors sing well. And we’ve got recording equipment…so YES!!

The bad news is the Fairhurst family are talented little boogers when it comes to music. lol. Perfection is the standard, nothing less. But…catch here? We have only 48 hours. A musical in 48 hours is kind of like pulling a rabbit out of a hat anyway. Now add one fiery-eyed music composer/musician (my husband) and it’s a recipe for…well, panic in the streets.

Ten hours to go, and…What am I doing right now? Blogging! So helpful! lol.

Ten hours to go everyone is asleep (on the floor, sofas, tables, wherever) except the composer and the director/editor who are both red-eyed and a little crazed, to be frank. I myself have had only about 4 hours of sleep since Friday morning and when I found myself wondering earlier if I’m wearing clean underwear or not, I realized just how serious this business is! If I’m wondering about strange things, and all I have to do is coordinate the house, feed the hoards, and pick up soda cans, what state must my husband and son be in right now? Hmmm…. I’m pretty sure I can guess the answer the underwear question.

So far, the movie is really good, though. Wow. No really. Wow. What talent in this group! They wrote songs and lyrics and story the first night. I serve as story consultant, a critical role in the brainstorming/ story structure phase. They call out ideas, I channel them structurally—emotional arc, plot manifestation, dramatic question, opposing goals…..or the seven ‘C’s as I like to think of them (expanded from Algis Budris): Character Call Confusion Conflict Crisis Catharsis Conclusion….I think that’s it. The structure right away helps them get a good story going fast.

Anyway. That first night they got things written composing started by midnight. Recording started at 11:00 on Saturday. Filming started at 8:00 on Saturday night. They straggled in here at 5:00 this morning. (I was waiting with paperwork, like a horrible legal….what kind of familiar would corporate lawyers have? If witches have cats and boy wizards can have toads and rats…I guess lawyers would have spiders. Yes?)

They filmed a heist last night (yes, set to music) complete with murder and hostages. I laughed so hard as three bedraggled looking crew/actors filled me in about how they were tied up for an hour while the filming went on. Three of them tied and two lying on their sides. It was apparently not the most fun they ever had (they were still working on getting feeling back in a few fingers as they filled me in.) Two of them complained most, and when the third one piped in, they didn’t really sympathize with him. lol. Apparently, he had been tied up sitting in a chair . lol. From the vantage point of the two on the floor (one of whom was supposed to be a corpse and got repeatedly shoved under a desk), this was the coziest, most comfortable position imaginable! They called him King of the Hostages and denied him the right to complain (though, to be fair, he was also tied up).

And it made me wonder if this same thing held true in real hostage situations. If a hostage is somewhere more comfortable, do the other (less comfortable) hostages feel resentful? Do they think of him as ‘King of the Hostages?’ I’ll bet at least some of them do.

Very strange world this is!

Well. I hope they make it in time. Less than 10 hours to go. With “musical” they don’t have a hope of winning…but they can still make it memorable. And I’ve seen peeks at the footage and music as they edit the two together and so far I’m just blown away. It’s really good. Drawing “Musical” might be a recipe for disaster, but…perhaps also a chance for glory? I’ll have to see what the King of the Hostages has to say about it!


Posted by: Richenda at Tuesday August 7, 2007 in

Book launch, Yay!

My friend Kat Richardson’s new book, Poltergeist, sequel to Greywalker, came out today!

I wasn’t able to go to Seattle for the ‘sequel launch’ but I got to celebrate anyway. I popped on over to Barnes and Noble and snagged a copy of Poltergeist from the fancy ‘buy me! buy me!’ promotional box on display in the Sci-fi/fantasy book section.

I was so whipped up into a celebratory frenzy that I frightened my fellow book browsers by snatching up my LG Verizon phone for a quick snap. lol.

(Ok, ok, so the pic’s a little fuzzy. I’m not a photographer, k? I’m twitchy. I can’t hold still.)

(And no, I didn’t add that red star thing-y in photoshop. That was on the box in the store. For real. Some crazy weird obsessed fan did that.)

Anyway, book in hand, I then bragged loudly at the checkout about how super-close Kat and I are, friends since before birth and joined at the foot before surgery and all that kind of stuff. And then I scurried home.

I haven’t had so much fun since I went to Kat’s Greywalker party and got anaphylactic shock!

[Note to readers: Never try a new anti-biotic before traveling.]

Since I didn’t get to go to party my book isn’t signed, but Kat will be in Portland (Beaverton) on the 20th, so mark your calendars.

It is a bummer that I missed the party, though. ‘Specially since I missed seeing another good friend of mine. ( And she knows her way around good food and so I missed a good meal in the bargain. Drats.) But I did get to visit with Kat just last week when she was in Portland. (She tried to snooze in my spare room while my teenagers played music until three in the morning….um….sorry about that.)

Ta da!
Who could ever hope to really have this much fun again?

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