And so my disordered and disorderly daily January (including belated Advent Blog) posts continue with what should have been but is not the one I originally drafted for Third December (Advent Day Three). For the same reason that I considered it necessary yesterday to replace the intended Day Two post with Advent Blog Day 2: Caring (something written some time ago) so today I have replaced the intended Day Three post with the following entirely new offering:-
I recently gave a summary of the ups and downs of writing in 2020 and offered thanks to a number of people Advent Blog Day 19: First Annual Thanks (2020) for their practical support of my writing in various ways during 2020.
Appropriately there was thanks offered therein to The Hedgehog Poetry Press, which happens to be the enterprise of a certain Mark Davidson. Publication of my first Chapbook collection this year will be a significant moment in my development and I shall have Mark to thank for that (Mark I).
I have also thanked the hard-working and multi-talented Mark McGhee, man of many guises and instigator of many projects including You Call That Radio (which I recommend you catch on YouTube, including past episodes). I am grateful for the exposure I received on this show twice in the last week of December (Mark II).
Now it is my pleasure to thank and introduce you to a third Mark, who assisted me in a couple of very important ways in 2020. Mark Mutch O’Hare is Mark III on my journey to raising profile and hopefully helping my work reach a reasonable number of readers.
Mark is a photographer and I have engaged his skill and artistry to produce headshots and ideas for cover art. If you look elsewhere on this site, particularly the Home and About pages you will see examples of his work duly credited to him. But those pages show just three out of many images he produced for me to choose from and, without boring you with the full details of the processes, I have come to recognise that there is a great deal more to his work than pointing a camera or applying a filter.
The thought of headshots concerned me and with some justification. I generally feel very uncomfortable being photographed, even in a group. I have produced some odd facial expressions in many photos and don’t like looking directly at the camera.
Mark worked his magic, starting with setting up the shoot at a time when he knew the outdoors light would be just right. He managed to make me feel relatively relaxed and got the shots he wanted fairly quickly. He agreed to come back again the following week to repeat the process following my post-Lockdown 1 haircut, for a bit of contrast. The whole process was surprisingly painless and the results exceeded my expectations.
Similarly, Mark turned around the cover artwork very quickly but provided me with a large number of options and versions. I don’t want to say too much about the old photograph from which he was working. That’s something I may say more about if one of these ideas is approved by the publisher. Similarly, I am only going to feature here the raw image sent to the publisher, as it is the most abstract representation and the one I think best fits the title and nature of the work.