I didn’t plan to freelance but ya know

I didn’t plan to freelance, sure i’d thought about it when i got my first DSLR camera, canon 550D, over ten years ago but i didn’t have the capacity to deal with peoples wants and weird requests. I didn’t want to and life was too darn short. However. Recently i was unbelievably lucky to be asked to create short reels for one of my favourite brands, and it was amazing. You can see the first two on my website by clicking here or do directly to my youtube here. I hope it is something that can continue. It revitalised my interest in photography and filming which also happens to be my 8 to 5 job too. I feel lucky to have these opportunities afforded to me, though i’ve worked hard for every single one of them. It was worth the work. Now we’re acting, script writing and creating art by ourselves. The beginning of that film ranch dream i mentioned. Check out Melody Ranch and Old Tucson studios to see what i’m talking about. I want something similar in Texas but not necessarily in the Piney Woods. Maybe somewhere near the hill country.

Anyway, it fell right into place for me. If i get another commission i know what i need to work on. Timing & scheduling and calculating an appropriate price, which is rather hard when you desperately want to make sure you don’t over charge. Can you relate to that?  Thanks to my job i’ve also been able to find and learn about tools that can improve my own platforms such as youtube & my wordpress — i’m sure you’ve noticed things slowly transitioning. I do feel very lucky and grateful.

Product still from freelance work. Old west Cologne by Outlaw Soaps next to horses muzzle.
This evening i’m doing a little of this and that, knitting and planning out my next book which is bitter sweet. Jack and i are watching the new Chuckie movie and so far im not too sold. Seems more like a joke movie similar to Scary movie than a  legitimate horror flick. Sadly we both somehow managed to get sick as dogs and we’re pretty concerned we both might have covid.  People have been wearing masks less and less and i’m sure that hasn’t helped. I’ve already been home from work for a week and im not sure how well it’ll go down if i need to quarantine for another two weeks. I definitely miss interacting with my department and being in my normal routine.

Anyway, so even though i didn’t plan to freelance it looks like that might be exactly what i’ll be doing with my weekends.

 

Deadwood Gulch, Dakota Territory


Well, my time came, there in the gulch of rotting gold mines, smoke and dead wood i turned the ripened age of twenty eight. I don’t feel any older. I dont’ feel aged at all. I reckon  i’ll stop recognising my birthday as time goes on, feels a little like i’m living on a timer. It’s not an attempt to escape the daunting journey of old age and perspiring into the casket — more a case of saving my brain from feeling like its got so much to accomplish and far too little time to do it in. I don’t expect to grow old much anyhow.

This year my birthday was something out of this world, something more fitting of the old world we all left behind — a world most of us choose to forget because we’re too scared to face how cruel we could be. Jack surprised me with a trip to Deadwood, South Dakota, a place i’d always wanted to see. I wanted to walk to the badlands, sculk around Chinatown and stay at the Bullock Hotel on Mainstreet with its ghosts and windows looking into the old thoroughfare. All of which we did. Together the best way i know how to be.


We rode the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stagecoach around town and made fast friends with the drivers. They asked us to move into the house down the street and start working the town with them. And that was only the first hours of our first full day, my birthday.  We found a new favourite haunt in the Wild Bill Bar, the original number 10 lot on discovery where Wild Bill Hickok was shot by Jack McCall, with a buckboard full of dead animals nailed to the wall and red lantern lights hanging from the embellished bar frame; we couldn’t resist the place. I hope to make it there often even though it’ll soon be nine to twelve hours away. I shall never forget my life, though brief, when it was in South Dakota.

We visited Mount Moriah where Hickok, Calamity Jane and many other familiar names rest in peace, at least for the most part. Seth Bullock and his wife rest on top of the hill (its actually a god damn mini mountain haha), forever looking over Teddy’s tower somewhere beneath trees on the other side of the gulch. It was murder for me getting up that damn hill but it was worth it, i of course insisted on wearing my finery, to see my sweet Calamity and pay my respects to her and her supposed lover of time gone by, all of which consisted of boots, linen shirt with long sleeves, my good felt hat and my best jeans.

I see a lot of myself in Martha Canary. I suppose all my years i always had been a little different. I cut off my hair and i dressed as boy for most of my youth, and even once my hair grew back, and to this day, im still largely mistaken for a man. The cussing and such dont much help on that account. All this while i was dreaming of living in a place where it always felt free and everything else was unnecessary. It was a dream i didn’t believe would come true. The difference between her and i, is that my choice of self neglect is not juicing the corn, i have long since made the decision not to drink but that didn’t hold up all that long in Deadwood. No. Its a place where the folks are good, the nights are something to aware of but the Black Hills are scared land and i have never in my life seen anything as beautiful. There were fresh water creeks laced with wild bank flowers of all colours. Red deer danced and pranced through life all safe and fine. A little ways away you’ll even see mountains and hills full of buffalo. Right now their babies are all red, small and unsteady but perfect. Anyway, Calamity to me is who i am by day, all cussing and unladylike.  However when my depressive state  and sad sad suicidal ideations take over i believe i become more like Joanie Stubbs. Thats what i’ve named the dark side of my life. Joanie and Jane. I don’t mean that in some weird fan obsession in regards to the show or movie, i mean that as a survivor and that is something that helps me keep on.


Deadwood for me was always going to be a game changer, i just had that feeling you know? And in my previous blogpost where i mention coming to the end of our travelling days, the end of finding some foreign state to live in being done. Well i don’t know.  I could move yesterday to be amongst the Black Hills. Its holy ground to the Indians, the red nation, whatever they prefer. We’ve caused a lot of harm on that land, any land, but to me that land is a powerful, a spiritual place and something i can never un-feel. It all lives there on those hills. Though we may never move there, its a place to come as often as a wage allows.


Theres something wild and strange about meeting real like minded people who just fit into your life like puzzle pieces created millions of miles apart. The folks doing the street and bar shows took to us quick and fast. They were all like us and they impressed us as i believe we impressed them. I never have had the feeling that i wanted to interact with people, because i always felt that my head and my heart were some place else. Somewhere i’d never find anyone worth talking to who was the same. But i found  folks in Texas, and i sure as shit found some in Deadwood to boot.

For now i believe thats all i have. Im trying to juggle a lot lately. Training LeDoux, working full time, packing house, keeping appointments and writing and reading. Sadly i dont believe i’ll have my photo editing time till im in my new place in Texas. We’ll see.

where the wild horses go

A few Sundays ago i went out with Sarah. We took a trip out to the bottom of Sheep Mountain and sat amongst the wild horses that live there. We pointed and picked out the ones we thought were prettiest, we talked and we took picture after picture. It was supposed to snow and at the lull of that mountain we saw it brewing like an ugly pot of tea with too much old milk.
Suddenly we found ourselves in a curdled barrel of wind and sleet and snow.

I think i did pretty well considering i didn’t actually own a Zoom lens then, so had to make do with the equipment i did have. The zoom lens i want is around $1200, however — i had my eye on a cheap one to use until i can afford to spend a random $1200 from a single paycheck. Well — last week Jack jsut went ahead and surprised me with a little zoom lens and it works great! It does the job it needs too even though its not “top of the range” so to speak, not that that matters of course.


I’m looking forward to giving it a try out there one of these days. Photographing these animals is genuinely a dream come true for me, and i can’t really believe i get to do it on weekends now, and go to the barn and ride during week — working with good folks and learning to train horses. I feel pretty lucky.


It gives me the same feeling when i go sailing, this great surge of passionate inspiration rushing through me, desperately wondering if i wrote it all down and if i remember.
And i do. I always always always remember.
Anyway, It’s Sunday night now — i’m ready to go to bed soon and wake up to do the whole spiel of a work week all over again. I hope you enjoyed some of my wild horse photos from my first trip out to see them in Laramie. Over time i’m hoping to share a little more about my life at home with writing and whatever else. Its something i don’t really do much of because my house doesn’t look how i want it to, so i prefer not to take pictures inside. If that makes any sense? Bad lighting and dark corners and a lot of  wooden boards that whole deal. Also, when i’m home i don’t really do much. I’ll knit a sweater or work on a logo for the rescue — maybe take a quick 30 minute yoga session, but nothing really worth pulling out the camera for and snapping a picture of. I thought of perhaps taking pictures of my work station where i do my editing, videos and write. I guess if i fixed it up some it might be worth seeing.