A Vision of Lucy and Book Giveaway



Okay, I admit it. I’m a terrible photographer.  If it wasn’t for the annual school photos my kids’ childhoods would have passed into unrecorded history.  I guess you could say I’m a person who likes to see the big picture.  I hate to spend birthdays and trips to Disneyland looking through a tiny lens.


That’s why I made my husband the designated photographer during the early years of our marriage.  Big mistake; he stands six foot six which explains why our photo albums are filled with clouds, treetops and the roof of Sleeping Beauty’s Magic Castle.  In his defense he did get some great shots of our son’s cowlick.


I guess by now you might think it strange that I would write about a lady photographer–in the 1800s no less, when cameras weighed a ton, required long exposures and dangerous chemicals.


Stranger things have happened.  I just discovered 136 photos of my right ear on my cell phone.  Who knows?  This new technology might make a photographer out of me yet.


Excerpt from A Vision of Lucy Tree 099 clip art


As the book opens we find Lucy sitting in a tree determined to photograph a legendary white stal-lion known to roam nearby.  Her troubles are just about to begin:


A rumbling sound alerted her. Peering through the branches, she realized it was the Wells Fargo stagecoach, two days late as usual.


Sighing, she wiggled into a more comfortable position and restlessly swung her bare legs. No wild stallion would make an appearance as long as the stage was in the area, but she had no choice but to sit and wait.


The rumbling of the stage grew louder, as did the impatient shouts of the driver urging his team of six horses up the slight incline. To while away the boredom, she decided to take a photograph of the stage as it passed below.


She adjusted the camera so that it pointed to the road and peered into the viewfinder. The image, though dim, was clear on the frosted glass. No black cloth was needed. She moved the lever to adjust the shutter speed to high.


Fingering the leather bulb in hand, she waited. The bulb, attached to a rubber tube, allowed her to take photographs without jarring the camera. Steady, steady—


Startled by voices, she pulled away from the camera and blinked. The stagecoach had stopped directly below her and the driver disembarked, hands over his head.


It was then that she noticed the three horsemen she had seen earlier, their faces now hidden beneath bright colored kerchiefs. She had been so focused on the stage she failed to notice their presence until now. The sun glinted against the barrel of a gun and she gasped. Covering her mouth with her hand, she watched the drama unfold below.


The stagecoach was being robbed. Shock soon turned to delight. She couldn’t believe her good fortune. A wonderful photographic opportunity had practically fallen into her lap—or more accurately, at her feet. Just wait until Jacoby Barnes hears about this!


The gunman came into view below her, yelling, “Get the box!” He was no doubt referring to the green wooden Wells Fargo money box strapped next to the driver’s seat.


Praying the bandits would not notice her high-button shoes strewn at the base of the tree, she peered through her viewfinder.


The lens was focused on the driver, but if she moved it to the right, just so . . . heart pounding with excitement, she leaned forward and readjusted the camera, tightening the rope that held it.


 A twig snapped and one of the robbers looked up. She quickly pulled back and lost her balance. Arms and legs flailing, she fell through the air letting loose an ear-piercing scream. She landed on the stagecoach roof with a thud, sprawled face down.


The startled horses whinnied and the stage took off, taking her with it and leaving the startled gunmen, passengers, and driver in the dust.


I’m giving away a copy of the book so speak up!  On another note my publisher is getting ready to launch “A Vision of Funny” photograph contest with prizes for the most humorous photos.  You’ll be able to post entries on my Facebook page. Watch for upcoming announcement or sign up for my newsletter at www.margaretbrownley.com


Meanwhile, tell us what kind of photographer you are.   Do people pose or run when they see you pull out  a camera?  Finally, how many ear photos do you have?


Anything can happen when posing for Lucy–and usually does.


A Vision of Lucy (A Rocky Creek Romance)


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49 thoughts on “A Vision of Lucy and Book Giveaway”

  1. Margaret,

    Loved the excerpt! What a hoot! I’m a shutter bug, and usually come home from vacations with hundreds of pictures. I’m also one of those who takes about 50 pictures of the same thing from every angle. It’s a sickness. :o)

  2. Hi Margaret, My husband’s done photography professionally. Do we have a ton of pictures? Nope. To borrow a phrase, the shoemakers family has no shoes. I used to joke that I’d write him a check if he’d take more pictures. He’s got a great eye, so he doesn’t just snap away. He watches and waits and then gets an amazing candid shots. It’s work for him.

    I’m not a photographer either. I did a lot of it in the past and am just kind of tired of it. I hear that will change when I have grandchildren 🙂

    Enjoyed your post as always!

  3. I agree with Kirsten Arnold – that excerpt was a hoot! Thanks for sharing it!

    I am a shaky photographer so used to take a few pictures of the same thing for good measure, which tended to be expensive. Thank goodness for that Delete button on digital cameras nowadays!

    When my mom passed away in 1995, my sister and I sorted through all her photographs, intending to sort into four piles for us and our siblings. When we were done we had over 25 piles, as we included neighbours, other relatives, certain friends, etc. There was this huge pile, however, of garbage/recycling photos that we just couldn’t believe existed. My mom had several pictures of someone’s nose, ear, neck, etc., and remember that digital wasn’t out yet! Well, that got us thinking about our own photographs, so when I got home, I took out all my magnetic photo albums and removed dozens of our own bodily part photographs, as well as some other “stupid” photos, leaving gaps within most pages.

    I have since started scrapbooking those old albums and am being vigilant about throwing out duplicates, etc. People think I am nuts for throwing out baby photos of my kids, but I really don’t need 5 pictures of my son lying down on the hospital bed, wrapped up in a blanket. Scrapbooking takes forever, but it is so worth it. I feel like a great weight has lifted off me when I chuck all these photographs and only keep the best. Friends love coming over to see my progress. What surprised me the most, though, was how many men really just wanted to see the cars from their past. On the other hand, I have chucked almost all photos of wedding cakes, no matter how elaborate.

  4. Nena, horses make great subjects. Did you know that the first photograph of a moving horse was taken in 1877? The purpose was to settle the question as to whether all four of a horse’s hooves leave the ground during a gallop. As the photograph proved the answer is yes.

    Thanks for sharing

  5. Hi Laney,

    Gotta watch those body parts. You know what happened to the congressman.

    You brought up an interesting point about men: They do love photos of their old cars. It would never occur to me to take a photo of a car, any car. Weddings cakes maybe.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I usually take the pictures in our family. My husband says I take pictures of everything. Right now my focus is taking pictures of one year old grandbaby!

  7. Oh this is a marvelous story Margaret… I can just imagine the scene… I am usually the picture taker in our family… so is my oldest niece. But I must admit I have not got the hang of my cell phone camera yet. I tend to never get the picture right on..I am either too close or to far away… But I am learning..

  8. I’m not much of a photo taker either. I’d rather watch my kids baseball games than take pictures of them. In fact, the last time I tried to take a picture when my son was up to bat, he fouled the ball off and it hit the fence an inch from my camera lens. Scared me to death – but I did get a decent shot.

  9. Hi Anon,

    Oh, wow, you do have a problem. I don’t think you can leave the house anymore without having your photo taken. We still have cameras at our intersections though I think they just outlawed them.

    Have a great and picture-free weekend!

  10. Hi Karen,

    So glad you agreed to be a filly! Glad you got a good shot of your son’s foul. BTW: did you know that the term snapshot was originally a hunting term?

    Have a great weekend.

  11. I take pictures only of people w/ nerves of steel, so they don’t run but then they’re never identifiable anyway.

    Sorry but posted my comment mistakenly on prior post.

  12. I loved the excerpt. I love to take pictures. I normally take pictures when I go someplace for vacation. Though the last couple times I went somewhere I forgot to bring the camera along. I love to take pictures to have to look back on and remember that day.

  13. Margaret,

    My mom used to get soooo aggravated at my dad because many time when he took the picture he would cut off the very tops of everyone’s heads. LOL I can picture them now, going round and round over that, and her being so mad at him. He was so interested in photography, and for awhile had his own little darkroom set up where he developed pictures. I am the photograher, or WAS, in our family when the kids were little. I would take pics of them doing everything. LOL Now, my daughter Jessica does it professionally. She works for an actors casting agency and does tons of headshots for people–and LOVES IT. LOL

    Cheryl P.

  14. Hi Margaret, I loved your excerpt. Sarah and Jenny were both so much fun. I can’t wait for Lucy.
    I love taking photos with digital cameras. I take bunches of shots, and then delete all those less-than-successful ones without feeling so wasteful. I enjoy choosing which ones to keep and playing with Photoshop. Plus I don’t end up with shoeboxes full of prints like I used to.
    I’m afraid I would have hated taking photos back in Lucy’s day.

  15. Back in the day of black and white photos, I took many pictures of my first two children. By the time my third son was born, I ran out of time and energy to snap his cuteness all the time. One day he asked if there were any pictures of him and I pulled out a really good picture of his brother, (who looked exactly like him at that age), and said, “Yes, this is you.” Aren’t I bad??? We laugh about it now, 50 years later.
    Now, most of our pictures are taken by the kids. My older son has tons taken from the back of his horse, showing a pack string in front of him. He actually does take some very good ones. I totally stopped taking pictures when the digital cameras came out. I put my 35mm away and finally got rid of all of them.

  16. Margaret, you’re so funny. You always give me a laugh. I’ve never taken a picture of my ear but man do I have plenty of my fingers. I never can get the message not to put my fingers over the lens. But then, that’s the old fashioned kind of camera, the only kind I have. I realize this very much puts me in the majority but I never have seen the need for a camera phone. I want my cell phone to dial numbers, an old-fashioned concept, and that’s all. I don’t need to surf the net or any of the other things these cell phones do now days. Thanks for an entertaining blog.

    Congratulations on your new book release! Woo-Hoo! Excellent excerpt. Loved it. Can’t wait to read this story.

  17. Awesome excerpt, Margaret! I love the anecdote about your husband. oxoxox

    I think I take really good pictures, composition-wise LOL. Probably from studying art. I am great with the camera now LOL since it’s my smartphone. Last night my Zumba buddies and I went out to dinner and martinis to celebrate our second year exercising together..the waiter took a pic of us with my phone and I got it on Facebook with just one click.

  18. Cheryl, I had to laugh at your mom and dad. My husband and I still fight over his habit of taking photos of rooftops. You’d think after all this time he would have learned to lower the lens or I would have given up.

  19. I really dislike getting my pic taken… as for taking them, not so often now… I need to get a new camera. I do not go crazy taking pics, but I do enjoy taking them to capture special moments like trips, b-days, my little nephew’s quirky moments…

  20. Oh your book sounds like so much fun!! I was the one to take all the picture for the family for over 30 years. I kept them well organized for the first 20 or so and then chaos and as much as I’ve tried it’s too overwhelming to figure the time and places anymore. Then digital came along and I still took the pics for a while but my kids grew up and I gave it over to them. Problem is, everything seems to get put on the chips or in someone’s computer but I don’t have any real pictures!!! so in a way it’s progress as to you know if the picture comes out ahead of time and there’s no more pictures of ears lol.

  21. I was the family photographer until my five-year-old tossed my camera over our stairway balcony. Funny thing is that when she grew up we discovered that she had a remarkable nack for photography and took over the job when she became a teenager. Now with camera phones we’re all the family photographers, but hers are still the best.

  22. My husband takes the photos and is a perfectionist. They are always great since he is fussy. We have them on the computer now and enjoy them greatly.

  23. Great excerpt!
    I take a lot of pictures of my grandsons and my flower garden.
    I don’t have any ear pictures—don’t use a cell phone camera.

  24. Thanks for the excerpt. Everyone needs a Lucy in their life. This one sounds like fun. I have to have humor, at least a little in the books I read. It is so necessary to make life run smoothly. If there isn’t any, we loose our sense of perspective.

    I was a pretty good photographer at one time. I spent a lot of time teaching myself the settings on my SLR camera, experimenting with exposures, and lining up shots. I have some really nice shots from long ago. Nothing like being foot loose and fancy free. When I got married and the children came along, more often than not I was lugging babies and their stuff and my DH had the camera. He takes decent pictures, but doesn’t spend much time framing, lining up or working with lighting. Point and shoot is pretty much it. Now that the kids are grown, I am trying to get back into photo mode. My SLR is still here, but we now have a fancy SLR style digital camera that adjusts itself. It take a bit of the art out of the picture because it will adjust the way it wants to not the way you want to. My DH also doesn’t understand the waiting around for lighting, clouds, shadows, movement or just the right “whatever” that will make the shot special. He certainly wouldn’t understand my sitting in a tree waiting for a wild horse to show up. My being in the tree wouldn’t really surprise him much, but the fact I was actually able to get up into a tree would be a surprise. My surprise would be in being able to get down.
    I do have some cute, funny pictures of our children when they were little, but none of them are on the computer.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

  25. Great information.
    The book sounds really good.
    I am a terrible photographer but I can paint a really good watercolor picture. I interpret it my way.

  26. Im a terrible photographier,but my son is great,he takes pictures for the local newspaper

  27. I don’t like to have my picture taken and I don’t like to take them of anyone else. We took a lot of my son when he was small but we never get the camera out anymore.

  28. Thank goodness that Honey is such a great
    photographer! If you look at a batch of our
    photos, you can always tell which are mine.
    They are the fuzzy ones where you can’t tell
    who is in the picture! The down side of being
    a very good photographer is that you are the
    family member not in the photographs!

  29. I take beautiful still-shots, in other words, non-living things. Particular, scenic and landscape shots are my forte. When it comes to the living, moving people I’m so-so. Usually, I get the whole “posey” shots, but with each snap I am improving.

  30. My cell phone pictures are almost always of the floor or a wall or the countertop. Why do they put the camera on/off button right where you place your finger when you pick up the phone?

  31. I’m not a great photographer, but I do try to take pictures of the kids a lot. I had a great aunt who always had 2 cameras with her – one for prints and one for slides. And she absolutely refused to take a picture of anything unless there was a person in the picture also. She was a character! Miss her lots!

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