I had a chance to see Cocoa, Florida’s July 4th fireworks from a height on Friday and snapped several photos. They were taken looking toward the S.R. 520 bridge over the Indian River Lagoon. Here are a few of the more interesting explosions. Happy summer!
I’ve been neglecting my blog. I’ve been consumed with several projects, including editing two books – it’s so exciting to work with other writers as an editor. That’s how I started my career in journalism, as a copy editor. It always seemed like something I could do while I wrote other things, and I did, though I eventually became a reporter (and videographer and photographer). I’m also working on the third Storm Seekers novel, Zap Bang.
But in the meantime, I’m scheduling events for 2014. Come see me at the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science on Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. I’ll be sharing stories, videos and photographs from my 17 years of chasing storms in Tornado Alley and Florida.
Happy holidays, everyone. (Oh, yeah, and if you need a gift or a good read for that new Kindle or tablet, won’t you consider Funnel Vision and Tornado Pinball?)
I have several events coming up, and I hope you can join me to talk about storms and books!
On Sunday, Nov. 10, I’ll sign books at a party marking the launch of a new storm photography exhibit. It will include photos from this year’s chaotic storm season. The party is 2-5 p.m. at Rocket City Retro Mid-Century Modern Furniture & Design, 331 King St., in Cocoa Village. The free event will feature wine, hors d’oeuvres and storm videos in addition to photography of tornadoes, lightning and severe weather, displayed amid Rocket City Retro’s stylish furnishings and gifts from the 1950s to the 1970s. My photos will be on display through Nov. 30.
I’ll also be at the Meet the Authors Book Fair Nov. 23-24 at Eau Gallie Civic Center, which happens in conjunction with ArtWorks. I’ll be signing “Funnel Vision” and “Tornado Pinball,” the first two storm-chasing adventures in the Storm Seekers Series.
Also catch my storm photography Dec. 2-31 at the Cocoa Beach Library, 550 N. Brevard Ave. In a free library talk on Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m., I will discuss what it takes to shoot great storm and lightning photos, drawing on 17 years of experience chasing storms in Tornado Alley and Florida. And I’ll sign books, in case you haven’t picked up yours yet.
See you out there!
I was lucky to get invited to an Independence Day party on a top floor of a condo overlooking the Indian River Lagoon and Cocoa, Florida’s excellent fireworks display on Thursday. Shooting fireworks is a lot like shooting lightning – you need a tripod and a camera you can put in manual mode so you can hold the shutter open for several seconds. But at least you know approximately where the fireworks are going to be.
Want to see more? Here’s a slide show. Prints are available.
I’m excited to be doing a book signing with three other Space Coast authors on Dec. 7 at Eau Gallie Arts District’s First Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. This time, in addition to the gallery walk and vendors, there’s a Christmas tree lighting complete with a visit from Santa and entertainment. We’ll be in a tent on Highland Avenue. Who’s “we”? There’s Terry Cronin, who will be signing his entertaining “Skinvestigator” mysteries, about a crime-solving dermatologist; Karlene Conroy, co-author of “The Don Quixote Girls,” about four sandwich generation girlfriends and the issues they face together; and Carol Ann Didier, author of the “Apache Warrior” romance trilogy. And I’ll be signing my storm-chasing adventure “Funnel Vision.” I’m very close to finishing the sequel, “Tornado Pinball,” and I’ll be writing a lot more about that and my National Novel Writing Month experience, which is almost over … just a couple more chapters …
The Eau Gallie Arts District is the Eau Gallie neighborhood of Melbourne, Florida, centered at Highland Avenue and Eau Gallie Boulevard. There’s a lot of great energy there right now, with new galleries and big changes at the Foosaner Art Museum (formerly the Brevard Art Museum). This will be a fun night.
Signed books make nice Christmas presents. So there’s your commercial announcement du jour. Have a great day.
I have a busy next few days scheduled and would love to share them with you:
First, come out to the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers’ Festival tonight and Saturday. There’s a full slate of fascinating films and other programming planned, from the comedy show tonight to the Florida Filmmakers Matinee Saturday starting at 9 a.m. That’s when you can see my documentary, “Hourglass,” about sand sculptors battling the weather and the clock to prepare for the Art of Sand festival. Get tickets and see the schedule for the event, at The Oaks Premiere Theaters in Melbourne.
Also, at noon on Monday, you can hear me chatting with Seeta Durjan Begui on “Seeta and Friends” on WMEL-AM radio. You can listen online.
Monday evening at 7 p.m., come to a free storm-chasing presentation at the Eau Gallie Library (sponsored by Friends of the Eau Gallie Library). I’ll be talking about the realities of storm chasing, showing video and photos and my short documentary “Chasing Reality,” and signing copies of my novel “Funnel Vision.” That’s the storm-chasing adventure to which I’m writing a sequel right now!
Learn more about upcoming events in my calendar.
I’ve been busy lately. Lots of photo shoots. Not nearly enough storms. And then there were the four lost days in which I disappeared into stomach-bug purgatory. But I’m hopping again and looking forward to speaking on Saturday afternoon at the Orlando Science Center about storm chasing. You can find me at 2 and 3 p.m., chatting in easily digestible 20-minute segments, about how storm chasers find tornadoes. [UPDATE: I’ll introduce the “Tornado Alley” movie at 2, then talk at 2:15 and 3:15.] I’ll also share fun facts about the extremes of Florida weather.
Look for me on the fourth floor, in the Science on a Sphere area. While you’re there, you can pretend to give a weather forecast on TV. The image here shows my attempt to do this. All I can say is, green screens are tricky.
At OSC, you can also catch Sean Casey’s “Tornado Alley” IMAX movie, which has some beautiful storm footage and a neat little story about the frustrations and triumphs of the Vortex 2 tornado research team. Of course, the film also features Casey’s home-brewed tank, the Tornado Intercept Vehicle. He visited OSC recently. I won’t be bringing a tank, but I will bring a piece of a car that was trashed by hail!
Thanks to the Orlando Sentinel’s Theme Park Rangers for noting my appearance Saturday. Also, OSC interviewed me by phone and shaped my answers into wee nuggets for its blog. I have more events coming up, which you can find in my new calendar: storm-chasing talks, book signings, and another talk about storm photography in Vero Beach.
I’m in the mood to play with photos, since I’m anticipating my upcoming storm-chasing safari. While I await a better weather pattern, I’m keeping occupied with photo opps at home in Florida, like this pretty sunset Sunday amid dying storms over the St. Johns River. We desperately need any rain we can get, and I’m hoping Monday will be more productive.
But since it was beautiful for most of Sunday, we went to a local car show with friends. Vintage Kulture’s event in Cocoa Village was a feast for the eyes and imagination. I love shooting the retro-futuristic lines of these cars and giving them even more vintage flavor in processing.
I had a chance to help SCB Marketing cover SpaceCoast Business’ Business Leaders of the Year gala last week. This is the video I produced from the event. If I can’t be filming tornadoes, I have a good time filming the people of our area doing their thing.
So this is what I’ve been up to for the past couple of weeks – watching Art of Sand grow out of the green grass of Space Coast Stadium. OK, actually, it’s growing out of piles of sand that were packed into forms on the infield track, and I haven’t just been watching, but filming the process. It’s been an amazing journey – an appropriate word, as the theme is “Travelers.” The sculptors have come back from the massive deluge of last weekend, and their beautiful pieces are ready to see. The festival officially opens Friday, Oct. 14, and extends to Oct. 23. More info at artofsand.org.
This video shows the build, with several time-lapses to give you the flavor of the work. But you’ll have to go to the festival to see all the amazing detail in these sculptures. After watching the masters, I want to make one myself.