Sublime Sunlight   17 comments

1,614 Sunlight Breaking Through Stock Photos and Images - 123RF

Is there a certain time of day when you are most creative? When you handle the ‘business’ side of writing? What’s your favorite time of day?

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When I Am Most Creative?

I’m definitely a night owl, and I have a fulltime job that occurs during the day. In some ways that’s great for me because I can work to make money when I would normally be sleeping and then when I get home from my money job, I can be most creative during the time when I’m most awake. It works for me. I do sometimes find the need to sleep confining, but I also only need about 6-1/2 hours of sleep, so that leaves a fair number of hours in which to be creative. When I retire or the book business starts supporting itself, I look forward to sleeping to noon and then working to 2:00 am writing books.

Business Time?

Of course, being an indie author means I’m also a small-business entrepreneur. While it would be lovely to just write and publish books, I know nobody would read them if they didn’t know they exist, so there’s marketing of all sorts that needs to be done. There’s posting on Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, and Parler, as well as Goodreads and there’s ads on Amazon. That all takes time and money, and I’ve discovered I can’t just let Amazon ads ride automatically because the cost will run away with me while other times the ads are priced so low they get no clicks. There’s a balance to be achieved where I spend no more than half of what my books earn, but I aim to spend less than 10% of what my books earn. Some months I manage that and sometimes I don’t.

Finding time to do book business is a challenge that I constantly fight with because it takes away from writing time. I’ve tried various times of day, but I most often use part of my lunch hour for marketing. I log in, get the job done and get out because I’m already in business mode and I also have a one-hour deadline, trimmed to 45 minutes because of the need to eat and use the facilities. That leaves my evenings free — mostly — for creative endeavors.

Favorite Time of Day?

My favorite time of day has nothing to do with creative writing and it is also seasonally influenced because I live in Alaska, which has such extremes of sunlight, so my favorite time of day varies with the seasons. In the summer, when we have about 19 hours of sunlight every day, my favorite time of my day is about 9:00 pm on any sunny evening when the sun comes around to the north side of our house. It’s still pretty high in the sky, so It turns the birch trees a green gold and scatters golden beams across our vegetable garden. It also lights up the headboard of our bed and, if I have my way, I’m sitting right there sucking up the rays. Seriously, the photo at the top of this article tries to capture the sublime moment of our summer evenings, but it doesn’t. I’m not sure a camera really can.

But in the winter, we get as little as 2 1/2 hours of sunlight a day (with about two hours on either side of civil twilight and I love to sit in my living room, which is on the south side of my house, and watch the low sunlight of a January midday filter through the steam from my coffee or tea as it wavers up into the dry indoor air of my winter home. Sorry I don’t have a photo, but this snap of what I can see outside a friend’s window at the same time of day will have to suffice.

Exploring Fairbanks, the Golden Heart City - Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Range

That’s the Alaska Range — Mts. Deborah and Hayes (Mt. Denali is just off the right side of the shot because you can’t see it from Dan’s house because there’s an upland in the way. That mist in the winter air is called ice fog and it occurs naturally at about -20 below zero near rivers and lakes. It’s actually ice crystals that collect near ground level. Those trees in the foreground are black spruce and the flat area beyond is the frozen but still moisture-producing Tanana River.

Posted July 19, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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17 responses to “Sublime Sunlight

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  1. Your pictures are beautiful, Lela, and the colour is so orange. Our light is much more yellow here but that would be at sunset and sunrise. It is bright and sunny most days here. I am always amazed by people who can work/write at night. That is not something I can do. I get up early and write as that is when my mind and creativity are at their best.

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    • Circadian rhythms vary among humans. Part of what I don’t like in the morning is that I know I have a deadline that is hard — I need to be to work at 8:00 am. But at night,if I’m in the middle of a scene, I can say I’m quitting at midnight, but flex it a little so I can finish. I’ll short myself on sleep for a night for that.

      The light in the winter here is usually very blue-white, but the sun looks like a frozen green grape in those photos. In the summer, the light is white-green except around sun dip (what I call the sun goes below the horizon and comes right back up and the sky never gets dark. Then it gets more yellow and we have a really long sunset-sunrise. Last night was the first time in three months when I would have struggled to read a book on the deck at 2 am (solar midnight here doesn’t match the clock).

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      • It is so interesting and different. In South Africa sunrise and sun set only move by about 90 minutes between summer and winter. It is always dark in Johannesburg by 7.30pm.

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      • That’s Seattle and New England, the two places we visit most often. We’re always getting caught by sunset when we hike.

        How are things going in South Africa? We’re hearing stuff, but our media is so politically entralled, it’s hard to know what’s truth and what’s propaganda.

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      • It has been pretty bad here with terrible riots, looting and burning last week. It was mainly in the province of KwaZulu Natal which is at the coast, and there was a bit in the townships here in Gauteng. I was proud to see our people stand up against the looters and start defending malls and medical centres. Out of adversity some good has come as there is a feeling of unity among many South Africans that I haven’t experienced since 2010.

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      • I watched an interview Lauren Southern did with Ian Cameron and I thought “Wow, that’s horrible – at least as bad as last summer in the Lower 48.” Alaska’s high personal-firearms ownership rate naturally suppresses riots here, but I had some author friends hearing gunfire within earshot of their houses and my husband’s high school best friend watched the New York riiots from his apartment (rioters tried to burn the building). But then, as so often happens with our media here, people started insisting Lauren Southern can’t be trusted and Ian Cameron is just a shill and it’s hard to know what to think. I guess I know how the Europeans on my Facebook page felt about last summer — “Oh, it’s peaceful protesting. Pay no attention to the burning building the reporter is standing in front of. That’s just a warming fire.” (Rolling my eyes.)

        I don’t know what I can do besides pray. Stay safe. If there is something I can do let me know. I could interview you for a Medium article. Getting the real news out can’t hurt.

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      • Yes, it never hurts to get the news out. The protests have died down now but they could occur again. The affected areas now have no shops or malls and no jobs. I thought the riots in the USA were very disturbing. What happens in the USA impacts the whole world. In fact, it is probably where our people got the idea to do this looting and burning.

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      • Not that I have any controll over it, but I’m sorry for any ideas our pissed-off people gave your pissed-off people. I’d love to work up a Medium article on the subject with an on-the-ground source. My email is lelamarkham@gmail.com and basic questions to start would be your name (and whether you want me to use your last name or not) and where you live. Maybe a little history of where that is since Americans don’t know much about South Africa. And then based on your answers there, I’ll ask me questions.

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      • HI Lela, thank you. I’ll send you an email.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The link disappeared on me, so I stole it from you. Not that it matters. Great photos!

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  3. What fantastic pictures, I start early and finish late, with real-life in the middle.

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    • I’m just not awake in the morning most of the time. Mid-summer sometimes, when I’m normally getting about 5 hours of sleep just because of the light of darkness. I normally sleep about 6 1/2 hours a night (and an occasional 7 1/2 on weekends), so that leaves about 7 to 9 pm when I can write while also watching television with my husband and then from about 9 to mightnight, he’s asleep and it’s quality time. But if I try to write early in the morning in the winter, I get too tired to write at night and then my body starts demanding more sleep and pretty soon I can’t write at all. Just not a morning person, I think.

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  4. Your ice fog sounds similar to what we call frozen fog. It’s when the air is warm enough that it’s foggy, but cold enough that when the fog clings to small branches or tall, dead grass, it turns into ice crystals. (but there aren’t any ice crystals in the air.)

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    • Oh, we get that too. We call it hoare frost. It makes the branches all sparkly like they’ve been decorated for Christmas. Usually happens in February, the last consistently cold month of winter. I’d bet you get some ice fog along rivers when it’s really cold. It is naturally occurring at about -20’F.

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