Saturday, June 28, 2014

Все реки

I wrote this, as they say in Russian, in one breath (на одном дыхании). The character came to me in the end of March (March 28 - notes from in my journal), and I sat down to work on it on April 7, according to my computer files. The work was finished in a couple of hours, and as much as I was tempted to reread it, I decided to let it sit for a day. Then I decided to let it sit for another day. And for a week. Then I forgot about this piece. When I finally opened the file (a month or so later), I was afraid to read it - it's always scary to read what you wrote for the first time. To my huge surprise, I loved what I read. I don't think I changed a word in this story.

Все реки

Утро было солнечное, росистое. Лишь птичьи свирели нарушали покой. Да еще плеск воды. Выпрыгнув лихо из ладно сделанной лодки, Вельям приладил весла, чтоб не уплыли, и растянулся рядом, на берегу, поросшем камышом. Мышцы слегка тянуло от гребли – сколько он плыл, час, два, а то и все три? Незаметно веки налились свинцом, и Вельям уснул богатрыским сном.
Проснулся он оттого, что кто-то громко дышал ему прямо в лицо, а потом еще лизнул в нос и щеку. Перед глазами был большой лохматый пес, язык высунут, пасть открыта, будто улыбается.

Welcoming All

The photo was taken (by me) in Colonial Williamsburg, in the Fall of 2006. Enormously creative Jazzy Jack reminded me about this photo by posting her photo of trees archway, please stop by to enjoy her sunny photography and talented poems (they are not prose, Jack - those are poems!).

I know there are technical issues with this photo - the upper left corner is bleached out, and the whole contrast thing is a bit out of balance. But it was a great inspiring moment, and I am happy that I captured it. I love the way Jack described her arch as "welcoming all" so much - I even used it as a title for this post. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spring Branch

The photo was taken on March 30, 2007, in Alt Park, Cincinnati, Ohio. We had an unusually early, rapid and hot Spring that year.

I began getting more interested in photography after my daughter was born. Before that, I also tried taking pictures of whatever objects might interest me - in particular, I remember my very first trip to Saint Petersburg (Russia) when I was still a teenager (14 or 15 years old), as a part of a school children's group. The boys in our group made fun of me as all I seemed to care about were the architectural details, buildings and sculptures which this amazing city is filled with. Not people, and especially not those boys, interested me photographically then (OK, I admit - boys did interest me, though I hid it pretty well even from myself) - but it was the architecture, the atmosphere of that beautiful town which captured my heart forever. You see, I grew up in a small blue collar town which was the same age as myself. All the buildings looked the same and pretty boring. (I loved my hometown, but not for its architecture.) When I first landed in Saint Petersburg, I could not believe that people actually lived there - went to school, to work, shopping; seeing and feeling this beauty every single day of their lives. So I tried to capture as many places and buildings as I could with my small, but heavy black and silver camera. Most of my photos turned out to be way too dark, or overexposed, or blurry...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Утро для дочери / The Morning for My Daughter

Пока ты спала,
Я раскрасила небо.
Оно стало синим,
А облако -- белым.
Я спрятала звезды --
Достану их вечером.
И желтое солнце
На небо повесила.
Я дождик включила,
Умыла траву
И радуги краски
Вплела в синеву.
И утро запело,
И утро проснулось,
Чтоб ты улыбнулась,
Чтоб ты улыбнулась!

Декабрь 2003
Westland, MI

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Русалочка. Часть 1

She came to me for the first time a few days ago when I was taking a walk on the beach. Very often, when characters come to me, the story they tell me in the very beginning is different from the stories they tell me later, when I start writing. She kept me busy for the whole day - at first, I wrote down the first draft as I returned home from my walk. Later that day, I felt moved to write another of Rusalochka's (Mermaid) stories which happened to be twice as long as the first one. I let it sit for a couple of days, and as I started typing the second version, there were some changes again - minor changes to the first part of the story. I sense that there will be more significant changes to the second part, but I can never tell before I actually start writing. The story was written in Russian, so that is how it appears here as well.

Часть 1 

- Утопленница! Ой, караул! Люди! Спасите! На помааащь! Помогитя-а-а-а-а! Утопленницаааа!
Старушка кричала так истошно, что хотелось выключить ее как телевизор.

Ну какая я утопленница? Я ведь живая – мокрая, продрогшая до костей, но живая!

Я колотила руками по воде изо всех сил... Дальше не помню. Провал в памяти.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


It matters not what you do as much as how you do it. Creativity is not locked up in writing fiction or knitting whimsical socks. You can raise your kid creatively or "by the book" (whose book? why their book?). You can approach your accounting creatively, well, more or less, up to a point when it's not interfering with the law. You can do any of your daily choirs creatively. Or not.