Three Straws, and Reflections
This post actually has nothing to do with photography. I’ve been so busy lately focusing on the photography aspect of our business that sometimes I forget that my first passion was writing. In recent months, any time I met someone I intruduce myself as a photographer… forgetting that in the Army Public Affairs world, I made a name for myself as a journalist, and that just last fall I was working on my second novel. Just a few months ago, photography was nowhere on my mind. It was just something I did extra.
I was a writer.
Then photography proved to be a craft with a high demand, and God showed me that I had a good eye for the art. Soon, my writing fell by wayside as photography proved to be a good source of income for my family. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same about my story-telling, so photography took priority in my ladder of passions.
Then, this week I received an email telling me I made Honorable Mentions for a fiction writing award hosted by the University of Pittsburgh.
Although I didn’t win any prizes with the story, I was told the judge was impresed by the work.
“Three Straws” gave me nightmares, which was really really good. It’s the exact trouble the protagonist, Eli, is having, his dreams haunted by children with faces that look “as if someone had taken a utility knife and carved at their lips, noses and eyelids.” The imagery is disturbing and strong, the storyline intriguing. The supporting characters, including a mysterious patron at the diner where Eli works, are well rounded and we feel the presence of their own lives off the page. Like the hole behind his trailer that Eli compulsively returns to to dig, I felt myself returning to this creepy tale, taken as I was with its well developed themes of religion, work, and letting go.
You may find it strange that someone like me might write a “horror story,” but at the core of “Three Straws” is a message of salvation. Eli’s struggle reveals that we, as sinful creatures, cannot rely on our own works.
Receiving this honorable mention made me realize that I don’t want to lose track of my passion as a writer, even as we become more and more known as a photography business. I think that much would be lost if I abandoned that craft completely.
I sense that God used this as a reminder of my other talents. There is still much I want to accomplish through writing. I have a novel on my computer that’s only halfway finished, and it would be a great shame if I never got around to completing it.
With that said, I don’t mean to alarm anyone — especially all of you who have already entrusted us with your family and wedding photography in the coming months. We are still very much committed to photography. It’s something we love doing, and something in which we want to continue to grow.
What may happen, however, is that some changes may take place with this website so that I can incorporate my writing into it as well. We certainly want to keep our photography at the forefront for all of you to enjoy, but we may add another page here in the future dedicated even more to writing.
Thank you all in the meantime for your support, and we pray that we may continue to serve you to the best our abilities and talents!