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The Brochure

Unreal Photos

Enthralled with the ideal, we carefully frame our photos to match expectations, to match what we know we should see and should experience.

Arctic circle in June
What we saw

During a cruise over the top of the world, we learned that even in July, the Arctic Circle is pretty cold and gray.   Okay, freezing, rainy and snowy (I didn’t think you’d believe me, after all, it was JUNE).  In response to the un-photogenic weather, everyone in my group took a photo of the travel brochure cover that featured our ship floating in a bright blue fjord surrounded by blue sky, majestic green mountains.   A contrast to what we actually saw.

That’s why the journal is indispensable.  I wrote about taking that idealized photos of our brochure.  I described the cold, the rain and snow that makes up the Arctic summer experience.  And because I wrote it down, we know the truth behind that beautiful overhead ship photo.

Experience is never the same as propaganda.  It’s also never the same as even the photos you take yourself.


Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach and author. She has published over 300 newspaper and magazine articles in publications like Modern Maturity (AARP), SF Chronicle and Santa Rosa Magazine. She was a contributor to two Chicken Soup Books and has published anthologies of her work, non-fiction works and novels. Her work has also appeared in a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. She has experimented with the self-publishing world since 2001. She has published and self-published seven books through companies like Author House, author assist companies like 3L Publishing and through traditional publishers like Write Life. Her poetry collection, Ammonia Sunrise, will be released in August 2011 by Finishing Line Press and her mystery novel, In Good Faith will be released by Write Life in 2011. Catharine holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in English from Sonoma State University. She is a 25 year member of California Writer’s Club. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix. She works with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to make their dream of producing a book come true. For more information on that, visit her at Catharine has lived in Sonoma County for 25 years and considers wine a food group. She is married to an adorable and very patient man who complains he’s never featured in any of her books. Her grown children who are featured in a few of her books have fled the county.

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