Alycia Christine

Enchanting Art, Encouraging Tales

Tag: Alpine

“Paper Castles” Is Out Today!

Paper_Castles_Cover_2-4x6Just wanted to remind everyone know that my new short story “Paper Castles” is available today!

Story synopsis:

When Kate Bennett first meets Jo Hitachi, she isn’t sure what to think. How can a person make a decent living selling origami in Washington, D.C.? But with each new paper sculpture that he makes, the simple artist hints that he’s more than he seems. He’s asking her to trust him, but can Kate really afford to trade in the security of her ambitious career for a life built out of love and paper castles?

Want to buy it? Go HERE.

Want to read the excerpt? Go HERE.

Want to ask me questions about the story? Contact me HERE.

By the way, I’ll have a full newsletter with new Treasure Chest loot in April, so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t yet.

Now on to our somewhat regularly scheduled blog…

Cactus_Colors-4x6ACCactus Colors

Since I didn’t get the chance to send out a blog post on Tuesday due to being horribly sick, I thought I should at least show an awesome photo to everyone today. I took this particular photograph while traveling between Alpine and Fort Davis a few weeks ago. I love the contrast of the deep blue sky with the bright green cactus.

I shot the photo with an f-stop of f/6.3. I used a semi-fast shutter speed of 1/500 seconds to keep the rich, crisp detail of the cactus and its droplets of rain water. To keep the deep blue sky from getting washed out, I chose a low light sensitivity ISO speed of 100 with no flash. I photographed the subject with a small zoom lens and a fairly short focal length of 55 mm. As always, I used Photoshop to add some of the contrast between my dark and light colors back into the image.

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, art, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

Flashes of Perspective: The Misty Mountain of Alpine, Texas

Mountain_Cloaked-AC4x6Last week I had some surprising photographic fun while driving to and from Alpine, Texas. Normally I prefer photographing the country near Alpine in spring or fall when the vegetation’s color is richer, but I had my camera with me just in case I found a good opportunity. I wasn’t disappointed.

I was heading north through the Davis Mountains after just after a rain storm had moved through the area. There were patches of mist and clouds still shrouding the sky and one of those patches afforded me this spectacular shot!

I took the photo hand held with an ISO speed of 100, f-stop of f/7.1, an exposure time (shutter speed) of 1/500 second, aperture of 4.5, focal length of 140mm and no flash. I believe the mountain is called Mitre Peak. If you are interested in purchasing an art print of this piece or any of my other photography, please go to my dedicated photography website. Thanks!

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better one perspective at a time!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, art, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

Ink Blots and Tea Stains: A Photography Workshop like No Other (Archive)

HorseshoeSilhouetteACS4x6What a weekend! I spent this weekend shooting buildings, stars, cowboys, and horses in and around Alpine and Fort Davis, Texas, with renown Texas State photographer Wyman Meinzer during a workshop organized by photographer Vicki LeBlanc. I learned so much from them and from my other workshop classmates. I cannot wait to put all of their advice to hard work. I promise to post photos on soon, but, for now, I’m back to my regular work schedule of processing photos, writing, and meetings.

On a different note, my novel Skinshifter was liked, but nonetheless turned down for publication by Hadley Rille Books, but the editor was kind enough to suggest three other publishers looking for stories like mine. I have sent the novel manuscript off to one of them and am waiting to hear back.

While I don’t have time to add it now, my next blog will include a creature profile.

Until we meet again, may your ink blots be liberal and your tea stains tiny.

[~]D Alycia

Flashes of Perspective: Happy Halloween from one Tired-out Texan (Archives)

Life in West Texas has been busy and sickly of late. The beginning of October saw the arrival of the 67th Annual Reeves County Fall Fair & Livestock Show and my first attempt at running a photography and art sale booth. My work showed beautifully and attracted a lot of interest. I’m hoping to build upon the experience with an even better booth during the Alpine Artwalk November 18 and 19.

I have also been hard at work editing a fantasy novel that I wrote a couple of years ago and the rewriting process in combination several rounds of stomach bugs and sinus infections have left me little time to shoot or process new photos for the website. I’ve finally begun to upload the Alpine and Big Bend Balloon Bash shots today and expect to finish the project by Wednesday. I also hope to capture some good wildlife photos on my upcoming trip to the Texas panhandle. This is the time of year that flocks of Canada geese invade the Texas panhandle. I cannot wait to capture their precise flight patterns!

By the way, when I “process” digital photos, I take the best shots from a photo shoot and correct the light levels and size of each photo. I save my photos at high resolution in both .TIFF and .JPG formats so they can be printed clearly. Each photo receives a special artwork title so that customers and place orders more easily. Occasionally I will do additional corrections to my photography such as cropping or color enhancements. Most of the time; however, I prefer to leave my photos as natural as possible.

Since it is Halloween, I will leave you with this spooky image (2869) taken in March of this year. The cloud covering the moon reminds me of a lioness, hence the title “Lioness’s Moon.” I hope you enjoy it. I’m off to finish my processing. You can find all of this week’s uploaded photos in the “Objects”, “Scapes”, or “Human Nature” galleries of the photography website. If you want more information about my fiction, please visit my regular website. Thanks!

Until we meet again, I wish all of you brilliant flashes of perspective!

[ O*] Alycia

Flashes of Perspective: The Big Bend Balloon Bash in Alpine, Texas (Archive)

I have discovered a secret about myself. I love shooting hot air balloons! You might think the idea of a photographer loving to shoot a subject—any subject—would be redundant. After all why would I bother staring through a camera lens, if I don’t love what I do? But here is the secret I’ve discovered: loving what I do and loving what I shoot are two very different things.

I’ve loved hot air balloons ever since I was a toddler, but I had never been able to ride one until my husband’s and my Colorado vacation this year. It was an amazing experience punctuated by the feeling of watching the world pass around me in slow motion. Our balloon’s landing in a cactus field did nothing to curb my enthusiasm and the addiction was sealed when I finally viewed my beautiful photos from the flight.

Those balloon photos are still some of the most popular photos I’ve ever circulated so when the 2011 Big Bend Balloon Bash (BBBB) was announced for Labor Day Weekend in Alpine, Texas, I knew I had to go. Instead of two hot air balloons for my camera to play with, there would be 18! The event was a small pleasure event rather than a full-scale competition which meant the entire atmosphere at the Alpine-Casparis Municipal Airport was refreshing and relaxing: perfect ingredients for gorgeous photography. I contacted the BBBB coordinators to see if they needed an event photographer and was enthusiastically invited to participate.

Saturday’s weather was perfect balloon flying weather. The National Anthem was played and pilots began unrolling their envelopes* at 7:30AM. AT 8:05AM, the first balloon “Too Much Fun” lifted into the air. Several other balloons followed suit and the pale morning sky soon began to fill with color.

By 8:20AM, my assigned chase crew was yelling for me to hurry inside the van and then we were off to track down our flying balloon across the Texas countryside. I shot as many photos as I could while we bounced over the country roads during the next hour’s chase of our balloon. When our balloon finally landed in a pasture several miles from the airport, it took all six of the chase crew, passengers, and pilot to gather up the envelope and stow it with the basket, cables, propane tanks, and burners inside the van. I thought we would surely blow out a tire on the rough terrain as we made our way over stone pastureland and dirt roads back to the main highway. Fortunately, I was proved wrong.

By 10:00AM our van arrived still intact at the airport and I shot photos of four first time balloon flyers being initiated during the traditional champagne toast. The toast proved a bit different than my own initiation in July. Whereas I had merely toasted my pilot and crew with a flute of expensive bubbly, the four initiates that I watched through my camera lens had to drink their alcohol without the use of hands while their balloon pilot poured cold beverage down their backs. Still their initiation was mild compared to the ceremony of a first time certified pilot. He had to kneel and slurp his champagne from a cup amidst the deluge of two beers, three sodas, a bottle of champagne, and a 30 gallon ice chest. Saturday’s festivities were finished off with an old-fashioned cookout and lots of good gossip.

While Saturday dawned to perfect weather, Sunday and Monday proved too windy for safe flying. Even though my possible photos of the event were whittled down to one day, I still shot some amazing photos and even managed to deepen my addiction of hot air balloons.

Hopefully I can release my photos to the general public for purchase within the month. Right now my gracious event hosts have first dibs. I have all of the event photos listed in the password-protected “Clients Only” Gallery for now, but I promise to send out an announcement once I do release the BBBB photos for general purchase. Until that time, I will be busy uploading several wonderful carnival photos to the “Objects” and “Human Nature” Galleries. Enjoy and please visit the official website at for more information about this event.

Until we meet again, I wish all of you brilliant flashes of perspective!

[ O*] Alycia

*Envelope is a term used for the balloon-shaped material portion of a hot air balloon that fills with hot air and allows the entire apparatus to fly.

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