SoFoBoMo, fo’ sho’


National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWri Mo, is a non-competition, a challenge to oneself, wherein writers work to complete a 175-page, 50,000 word novel in one month. It’s an up-front admission by that organization: “Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap.’ The fo-do version of this is Solo Photo Book Month, wherein workers make a virtual on-line “book” of at least 35 pictures inside 31 days.

Scraps of paper have been piling up all around me for decades. Since I’ve never had a cigarette, this has not been much of a hazard. Everything seemed to have pictorial potential: notebooks, hand-drawn maps, found notes, anonymous grocery lists (someone has a website of these; hell, that can be said about everything), signs I’ve appropriated (Walker did it too). Keeping in mind the dicta of Garry Winogrand — “Any and all things are photographable” — and of Harold Allen, that what matters is where you put the camera and where you place the edges, I plumbed my archive and plucked pix thereof.

Ray Metzker speaks of working from a set of concerns, and that’s what happened with this little project. In no particular order, there was the texture of the surfaces, the limited (but real) color palette, regard for “horizon” in each image, the writers’ script, their legibility, and the words themselves.

Because I have attained certain level of cyber-capability (just enough), and working under their deadline, the display of the images isn’t what I envisioned (double-page spreads, blank pages as caesurae). If (when) this appears as a hard copy through blurb or whatever, those and other issues will get resolved to some degree. “Writing” is rewriting.

Most of the other 221 completed books employ more traditional / expected / pictorial subject matter, and may be easier to take at first viewing than this subject matter.  Please offer me some feedback on this experiment; thanks.



  1. i like it i like seeing that you shoot color as well as black and white
    did you take these on the 8×10?
    i will see you in the school year

    • BZ: These were shot without film.

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