Self Reflection And The Glass Of A Photographer’s Viewfinder

We can always discover a little more inside ourselves if we took the time to look in from the outside.

SEETHINGS and SEETHINGS 2 are the first two books of a trilogy — a darker look at love, marriage, sex and photography. It’s about a photographer eager to capture the perfect lightning bolt in his lens, but ends up in the middle of another type of storm on the other side of the camera. (excerpts are found here)

The narrative places the reader at a cliff on the banks of the Brisbane River. The body of another photographer is found by morning joggers hanging by a tree root. The plot follows our protagonist until five mystery deaths line up to reveal an explosive ending that’ll horrify the tender-hearted.

If I could leave you, dear reader, with a few words — not everything a photographer needs to understand about the pictures they fail to capture come from using a inferior lens or a poorly chosen shutter speed. Sometimes the answers they seek are found deep within themselves. Thank God most don’t focus on that and choose to blame their equipment instead. It’s better to question that or the composition of a yet-to-be-taken photograph than confront the inner-self on why the passion to create is greater than the art. Finding answers there can stir the darker parts of our soul, raizing a dangerous Beast within.

Get ready for twists that will bend your senses!

-Michael

Character Spotlight: Maxine Sewell. (Dark Fiction Dissection)

Maxine heads a group of small business owners who specialise in photographing weddings. Most of the newer, inexperienced photographers who are breaking into this field, see her as an authority figure and look up to her for guidance. Those who have been around much longer know that they are mistaken to look up to her for anything.

Maxine Sewell.

  • Early thirties
  • Single but on/off again relationship with Andrew
  • Wedding photographer
  • Loves going to parties
  • Central figure to the photography industry
  • Enjoys red wine and Champagne

Her Rubenesque form and aggressive personality helps her get her messages across. No one can out-do Maxine’s vitriol or volume once the wine flows. She can drink anyone under a table or out-argue them over it. Nothing stops Maxine when a party is in full swing.

As a photographer, she isn’t creative or even all that successful, but she certainly is loud. She’s a rambunctious woman whose abruptness is often mistaken as confidence, but it often disguises what little she actually knows about photography. Bridge burning is her only real talent — as once her bluff is exposed and that facade falls, she turns nasty quickly.

Andrew is another photographer. He’s from the northern suburbs and has an efficient business on his side of town. It’s no secret that he and Maxine are seeing each other. He’s playing her, calling on the big girl when no one else is available. He makes it clear that he wants to remain single — and he’ll say it to her face when everyone’s listening. Maxine says she doesn’t care and the friends-with-benefits arrangement works well for her. It’s not true. She’s lonely and everyone knows it. No one believes her, not even Andrew. He’ll just smile and pour her another glass of Merlot. Maxine will be there for him anytime he needs her, no matter how much it hurts her to wait.

And then there’s Mitchell, another eligible male photographer who lives and works much closer to Maxine. She’s been watching him through a separate lens, wondering if he could be the one. Unlike the rest of her male-colleagues who are either too old, too broken, or incapable of holding a meaningful conversation, he’s the only guy she’s willing to try. He seems nice enough, but he’s refused her, twice. She knows he’s married, but she’s also seen him dating other women. It doesn’t make sense. Why won’t he accept her offers. She’s good enough. And why won’t he tell her what’s going on with his wife? Maxine needs to be informed at all costs!

She hates men keeping secrets from her. She’ll find out what’s going on with Mitchell even if it kills her!

SEETHINGS is written with a happy ever ending after you won’t forget.

Michael

“Forman’s writing style is artful, with the protagonist Mitchell’s warped thought processes masterfully exposed. The author has a powerful and vivid command of language and his word pictures are stark and disturbingly real.”

– Linda J Bettenay, author of ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’ and ‘Wishes For Starlight’.

Body Found In Bushland Near Beach – Fine Adult Fiction

Another woman’s naked body was discovered by bird watchers in the early hours of this morning. The body belongs to that of Verna Julenthorpe, 37, of Eagle Farm. She was last seen by friends yesterday afternoon. Her body was found on a naturalist’s boardwalk at Nudgee Beach at approximately 5.00am after a night of torrential thunderstorms. 

Police won’t speculate on her death and deny that this one has any link to the Storm Killer Murders reported in the media three years ago.

Despite the similarities between this and the five victims found in isolated areas of Brisbane’s outskirts, investigators are adamant that there are no connections. They’ve asked the community to remain calm.

Residents in the area have reported no suspicious activity in the area prior to the murder.

Joe Callim, a resident of Nudgee Beach, has a property adjacent to the forest that connects it to the beach where the body was located.

‘Yeah, sometimes we see headlights in the park and folks try to camp here overnight but something like this hasn’t happened before. It’s a quiet community. I can’t believe it.’

‘I doubt anyone would’ve heard her call out. The storm would’ve blocked out her screams,’ says resident.

Mr Callim continued, ‘If it happened during the storm [that we had last night] then no one would’ve known. The storms would’ve blocked out her screams. It poured so hard that I couldn’t even hear my tv.’

According to police, Mrs Julenthorpe appears to have driven herself to this location to take photographs. What she was photographing or happened to her after reaching the beach is still unknown.

Like the other victims three years ago, no attempt was made to conceal the body.


Hi! It’s me!

I spent many hours around Nudgee Beach, fishing, sailing and photographing the area. When I wrote SEETHINGS 2, I knew I wanted to see a murder committed there. It’s a perfect place for it.

It’s reasonably close to Brisbane but it’s an almost forgotten area.

I used to take students there. We’d stand on the mud-flats at low tide in the darkness waiting for the dawn light to color the sky. I’ve lost count of how many shoes I muddied over the years showing them how to capture the perfect sunrise shot!

Nudgee Beach - Another Picture Postcard
Nudgee Beach – A Picture Postcard

The walking trail mentioned in the novel is a real place too. My students enjoyed using it while shooting the birds that waded in the shallow waters for their early morning feeds.

Nudgee Beach - Picture Postcards
Glorious sunrises at Nudgee Beach

At night, romantic couples often meet in and around the beach, the car park and the nearby Mangrove Forest. (Some just enjoy watching a perfect moon rise across Moreton Bay.😉. How boring!)

Although the main car park is well lit, a smaller one that’s nearby isn’t. The forest trail that meanders it’s way through the mangroves and passes by a beach hasn’t any lights at all.

It’s possible that, when the conditions are right, visitors could come and go without being noticed.

And so a perfect murder scene is set, ready to be filled with intrigue. All I need to do is find a reason for two people to come together on a summer evening just before a thunderstorm.

In fiction, that’s not hard to do.

She uses dating sites to find part time lovers. He’s out shopping for another victim. Photography is their common interest. Both have their respective needs met near an isolated shoreline using photography as a ruse to meet.

A camera bag is found with her phone still inside it, minus its SIM card. (He uses it for something quite gross. You’ll have to read the novel to find out what it is.)

Okay, I’m evil and mentally sick. I get it… but I write for the neo-noir genre, right? It teeters between psychological thriller, horror, erotica and murder mystery. It’s supposed to be evil. That’s the deal.

So if you’re a sick person too, pick up a copy of my book for your reading displeasure. It’s available as a paperback or an e-book.

Michael Forman

A Sailing Affair
Two Random Victims
Childless Couple
Charm Bracelet
Author: M.Forman
Avail: e-Book

‘Forman’s writing style is artful, with the protagonist Mitchell’s warped thought processes masterfully exposed. The author has a powerful and vivid command of language and his word pictures are stark and disturbingly real.’

Linda J Bettenay, author of ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’ and ‘Wishes For Starlight’

Amateur Photographers Discover Body

What are you looking at? I'm not a real reporter. Got you!

Reporter: Julie Sephlia

MF News & Media


Logan City: Two Meadowbrook photography TAFE students taking a walk this morning, discovered a woman’s near naked body in low-lying grass on the banks of the Logan River.

A stock Logan City shot for trainers

Charlene Foley, 38 of Kingston, was last seen on Wednesday night after she told her husband she was going for a walk for fresh air. She never returned.

Logan City Police have released the following statement:

‘Mrs Foley appears to have left her Kingston address at about seven thirty on the night of the 15th and then made her way along Juers Street.’

‘We believe she met someone, relocating to a Meadowbrook address soon thereafter. There were sounds of a struggle on Juers Street, and we’re currently looking for a white sedan that was seen in the area around that time. We are also searching for her mobile phone’s SIM card.’

‘Cadets from Oxley Academy will be doing a ground search today, retracing her movements along the river, Armstrong Rd and its surrounds.’

Photography student Len Skapp who discovered the body said, ‘We were photographing birds and I said to John what’s that in the background? I thought it was someone sunbathing in the grass.’

Mrs Foley leaves behind two daughters and a son.


Len Skapp? Surely you didn’t believe that oddball name, did you?

I didn’t write it into the book like that. That’s a serious adult piece inside there. Len Skapp is just a spontaneous name l came up with for this post for fun.

Naughty me.

Please enjoy what was put into my slightly deranged, neo-noir styled novels now. 😉

Michael

A Sailing Affair
Two Random Victims
Childless Couple
Charm Bracelet
Author: M.Forman
Avail: eBook

“Forman’s writing style is artful, with the protagonist Mitchell’s warped thought processes masterfully exposed. The author has a powerful and vivid command of language, and his word pictures are stark and disturbingly real.”

– Linda J Bettenay, author of ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’ and ‘Wishes For Starlight’.

Brisbane: Photographer Hanged By Camera Strap

She died. I can’t believe what I’ve just heard. I just got off the phone with Sarah. Maxine and I were talking just yesterday. She never said she was going out with her camera. She was supposed to be at home all night.

It’s typical though. That explains why she was so nice to me. She pumped me for information on how to take lightning photos and listened to everything I said — so uncharacteristic for her.

That bloated, ungrateful and frequently belligerent bitch defied me and did something foolish. She’s always doing idiotic things. And now its effects are fatal. She’s accidentally hanged herself on her camera strap right beside the Story Bridge. What a stupid thing to do! Oh, Maxine!

I shouldn’t speak like that, after all, Maxine died in tragic circumstances. She’s worth more than that. Everyone is. When someone leaves this world, even enemies deserve respect. Okay, she wasn’t actually an enemy, just an acquaintance — more like a pain in-my-ass who happens to be in the same line of work as me. She often turned up at social events to get drunk and harass me.

She heard that my spare time was taken up trying to get the best lightning photo of all. I suppose she thought she could outdo me. Why? Weddings are her speciality, not storms. She did another irresponsible thing, and it didn’t work out this time. She died due to her boneheaded stupidity!

with lightning

Sure, she was due some karma, but not something as dire as that! No one should go this way — and to do it so public, too.

Yes, I think you’re a classless human being, Maxine, but you’re not a complete imbecile. Why would you scramble across the top of a cliff in the pouring rain, for God’s sake? You must’ve tried to get a better angle of that iconic bridge. What was the point? There was another way to get it without the danger.

But there’s no telling Fat Maxine what to do. When she gets an idea in her head, she won’t let it go. If wine’s involved, she’ll defy everyone to make a point. But how did she get past that fence? She’s too obese and unhealthy to climb it. Even top-class athletes would find it difficult to climb on a dry day. I don’t get it.

Police said that she was on the other side of it and then slipped on the mud. She fell a little way down the cliff-face when an exposed tree root caught hold of her camera strap. She was barely a few feet down and then dangled there until she passed. Some guy on the bridge saw her body when he was out for his morning jog. It was a shocking discovery.

What I don’t get is how the camera strap came to be around her neck in the first place. If she were using her tripod, she wouldn’t have had it around her neck at all.

Farewell Maxine. I know it’ll be a much quieter world without you and your drunken rants.

Pure Evil and Kindness

-Mitchell

(Read now: SEETHINGS.)

Five women’s bodies are discovered after the nights of thunderstorms. Their spouses are suspected of the crimes, but it becomes clear that someone else is responsible. There’s no blood and few clues. A storm photographer who specializes in taking pictures of lightning may be the only witness.

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