My challenge for an auto-focus slump

A close-up of a Unicorn tea infuser

Every once in a while, I feel like I’m relying on the auto-focus in my camera a little too much. I don’t like that feeling.

Do you know what I like to do to fix it? I pick out a white–or mostly white–object and practice shooting it in manual focus mode. I find monotone objects, white in particular, challenging to focus on. Once I get the hang of focusing on that object, I’m more likely to do it with my other photo subjects again, too.

Maybe that’s the same thing other photographers do, or maybe it’s the complete opposite. I’m honestly not sure. I just know it’s something that works for me.

Admittedly, this chubby little unicorn isn’t quite as in focus as I’d like him to be. I still need to practice on him, and maybe some other objects, more over the next little while. But I’ll get there again.

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Recipe: Apple Cake

An apple cake

In some ways, I’m very late in getting this recipe posted. I meant to have it up months ago, but, well, I just never seemed to get it written.

But you know what? Posting it now works so much better, because this Apple Cake is perfect for fall. Apples are ready to be picked, and the spiced vanilla base is the perfect flavour for this time of year. You really can’t go wrong with it.

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A Q&A with Laura Chapman, author of Counting On You (plus an excerpt!)

I so enjoy hearing from the author of a book I can’t wait to read. That’s why today, I’m happy to be welcoming Laura Chapman, author of Counting On You, to the blog to talk a bit about books, writing, and her new novel.

Plus, Laura was kind enough to provide an excerpt from Counting on You. And I have to tell you, if her answers in the Q&A don’t leave you wanting more, the excerpt certainly will.

First, though, hop on over to Laura’s giveaway, where you have the chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card and an Amarillo Sour Starter Kit, which includes two shot glasses, two coasters, a bottle opener and pens with the bar’s logo on them. (Please note that this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.)

Now, let’s get this Q&A started, shall we?

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Favourite five: Podcasts about writing

As part of my efforts to learn more in the area of writing, I’ve been trying to listen to podcasts more often. It should come as no surprise that I’ve found some that I tend to listen to more regularly than others.

Today, I want to share my top five with you. I hope you get as much out of them as I do.

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Dainty

A white strawberry flower

I have a few new, tiny little flowers on my strawberry plant. I’m not sure if they’ll grow into actual strawberries yet, but I’m hopeful that they will. It would be nice to get a few more before fall hits.

These flowers, though, have some of the daintiest petals I’ve seen on my plants. They’re tiny, and they look like they could blow off with the slightest breeze. And yet, they’re staying put. Which is surprising, considering some of the winds we get where I live.

I’m definitely not going to complain about that. I’m quite happy to have a few dainty-but-strong flowers in my collection.