Make Something: Palindrome

Write a palindrome. Bonus: Illustrate it!

Today is our last day of restful vacation in the Columbia River Gorge (tomorrow we travel home). As we moved from one lovely site to another—fruit stands, orchards, vineyards, restaurants, vistas, tasting rooms—I carried pencil and notepad, playing with words and phrases that read the same both forward and backward.

For awhile, the best I could do was evilAlive … and though I toyed with the idea of drawing little devil horns and a pitchfork on the A, I really wanted a more positive message.

Finally, at a tasting room, a gentleman poured us a glass of pinot noir. As I prepared for that taste, I looked at the letters on the wine bottle, but backward. And there, in “pinot,” was “nip.” And a nip is a sip of alcohol! So my palindrome was born:


Of course, I wanted the bonus illustration. So I asked Jim to give me a quick lesson in HDR photography, which he’s been playing with all week long. He showed me how to set up and hold the camera, nice and still to get three shots of the very same image: one dark, one light, and one just right. Then, back in our hotel room, he coached me through the editing process to merge the three images, then mess with various settings to get the effect I wanted.

My result is not as dramatic as the images Jim has produced this week, but I like it. These are pinot grapes on the vine, just beginning to turn from green to red in the August sun.


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