Archive for the ‘Art’ Category
The power of a good camera, an exceptional eye and patience!
Continuing from picture parade ninety-one.
Another set in a week’s time!
Jaw, jaw is so much better than war, war!
Day Seven: Give and Take
Today’s Prompt: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
Remember those “compare and contrast” essays in composition class, in which you’re forced to create a clunky juxtaposition of two arguments? Just because that particular form was a bore doesn’t mean that opposition has no place in your writing.
Bringing together two different things — from the abstract and the inanimate to the living and breathing — creates a natural source of tension, and conflict drives writing forward. It makes your reader want to continue to the next sentence, to the next page. So, focus on your two starkly different siblings, or your competing love for tacos and macarons, or whether thoughts are more powerful than words, or …… you get the idea.
Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!
Emulating people’s speech in written form takes practice, and creating two distinct voices could help you see (and hear) the different factors that play into the way we speak, from our diction and accent to our vocabulary and (creative?) use of grammar. (We’ll discuss the topic of voice more formally later in the course; for now, take a stab at writing dialogue on your own.)
Today’s task makes writing about dogs look like a piece of cake!
I spent quite some time wondering how to approach this, what to draw upon in terms of my own experiences, what the scene might be. In the end, I chose to write a fictional exchange between me and the landlord, David, of my local pub back in the days of when I lived in Harberton, near Totnes in South Devon. (David and his wife are no longer in residence.)
To help set the scene for you, dear reader, here are two photographs. The first is a view of the pub in the centre of the village of Harberton; population 300 persons.
The second image is of the main bar area inside where this fictional conversation is about to take place. The pub was less than a five-minute walk from my home.
“Evening David! Golly, looks like I’m first one in this evening. Must stop looking so keen to have a beer at the end of the day!”
Paul swung his backside onto the corner bar stool and lent his right arm on the bar.
“Good evening to you, Paul. Same as usual?”
“As ever, David.”
David reached out his right arm towards the pump handle at the same time as the fingers of his left hand closed around a pint glass. The sound of the mild ale being poured into the glass was a tonic in itself.
“So how’s your week been, Paul?”
“David, don’t even ask. I seem to have spent most of my waking hours wondering what the hell I’m going to do if the election goes the way it appears to be heading.”
“Well I’m sure Ralph will have clear ideas on that one when he comes in”, David remarked as he handed me the brimming glass of ale.
The pub door squeaked open in the same way it had for time immemorial.
David looked up. “Speak of the devil, here’s the man himself!”
“Somebody call my name?”, boomed out Ralph’s voice.
“David was just saying that you would have clear ideas on the election. But first let me get you a pint, Ralph.”
“Thank you, Paul, that’s mighty gentlemanly of you.”
Ralph removed his light raincoat and sat down next to Paul.
David passed across Ralph’s pint of bitter and took the ten-pound note that Paul held in an outstretched hand.
Ralph took a long swig of his beer and set the glass down on the counter. “So how do you think the election is going to turn out?”
Paul, too, took a good mouthful of his beer and looked across to Ralph. “Well if the media are reporting it correctly, it looks like there’s a better than even chance of UKIP holding the balance of power. And if that happens then I can kiss goodbye to my business!”
David held out Paul’s change in his hand.
“Oh come on, Paul, you can’t mean that! UKIP holding the balance of power will mean an end to the antics of the money-grabbing bastards who have got us into the present mess. Surely, that would be good for you!”
“Ralph, I really wish you are right. But seventy-five percent of my revenue comes from the EU countries and UKIP have pledged to hold a referendum on whether Great Britain stays or leaves the European Union.”
“Well I don’t know! Me, I just want the quiet life with me and Betty enjoying the rest of our years free from all the damned interference from bloody bureaucratic arses both sides of the Channel!”
“Ralph, I can understand that, truly I can. But I’m a long way from retirement and if my business fails I’m screwed, screwed big time!”
“Paul, you worry too much – let me get you another pint!”
Paul chuckled, “Ralph, you know how to win me over don’t you!”
“Anyway, Paul”, Ralph continued, “rumour has it that you aren’t even spending Christmas with us in the village.”
David, putting the second two pints of beer on the counter in front of Ralph and Paul, looked up, “What’s this I hear? You deserting us this Christmas?”
“Sorry gents, but it’s looking that way. I’ve been invited to spend Christmas with a couple of Americans I’ve known for years.”
“Well it’s alright for some lucky sods,” boomed Ralph, “I’m lucky if I can afford a trip into Totnes.”
He sipped his second pint. “America! Bloody Yanks!”
“I said I have been invited to spend Christmas with some Americans. Doesn’t necessarily mean it will be in the USA.”
“Come on then, tell us it’s somewhere even fancier!”
“Ralph, I’ve been invited to go to Mexico!”
And so it came to pass!
Well it was fun to write but I’m not certain that I got anywhere close to what today’s Writing 101 theme was looking for.
Oh well, another day tomorrow!
Returning after a week-end break!
I wasn’t sure if WordPress were going to take the week-end off, so to speak, but it does look as though they did.
Thus the last theme idea that was posted from WordPress was on the 9th and was:
Day Five: Be Brief
Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.
Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.
“None of us will ever know the whole story in other words. We can only collect a bag full of shards that each seem perfect.”
— From 100 Word Story‘s About page
Brevity is the goal of this task, although “brief” can mean five words or five-hundred words. You might write a fifty-word story, as writer Vincent Mars publishes on his blog, Boy in the Hat. Or you might tell your tale in precisely one-hundred words, like the folks at 100 Word Story — an approach that forces you to question every word.
For writers who tend to write more, a longer word count may be considered concise, too. At Brevity, writers publish nonfiction of seven-hundred-fifty words or less: there is space to develop a piece, yet a focus on succinctness.
For inspiration, browse two fifty-word stories — on the silence between a husband and wife, or a story on time and a missed connection — or these one-hundred words by H. Edwards to see how others write clever concise tales.
H’mm, they don’t get any easier!
Here goes ….
It was so nearly missed.
The corner of an envelope. Lost for years under the hallway carpet. Maybe lost for ever if we hadn’t decided to replace this old, worn carpet.
Pharaoh was first to it but I quickly lifted it clear of his nose.
A handwritten address across an envelope bearing an old postage stamp. Why had it never been mailed?
Addressed to Miss Susan Reynolds in New Hampshire. Should I open it?
I read: “Dear Sue, I love you and, yes, I will marry you, love Jim“
Dated Valentine’s Day forty years ago – to the day!
Exactly one-hundred words! (And it was tough to write!)
The power of a good camera, an exceptional eye and patience!
A few weeks back there was a run of picture parades that featured a set a wonderful photographs that neighbour Dordie had found; the last group being Picture parade eight-eight.
Then not so long ago, John Hurlburt, a good friend from our Payson, AZ, days forwarded another incredible set of photographs. So today and for the next few Sundays here they are.
The set continues next Sunday.
As read over on Find Your Middle Ground.
For Christians the world over the Easter weekend is the religious moment of the year.
For all of humanity, believers and non-believers alike, the following simple but powerful words ought to be a reminder of eternal values for every day of the year.
Today’s Quote from Theresa
Beautiful words and image from Theresa at Soul Gatherings. Let it settle in.💛
Originally posted on Soul Gatherings:
In the end, only three things matter:
how much you loved,
how gently you lived,
and how gracefully you let go of things
not meant for you.
~ The Buddha ~
Thanks Val for allowing me to republish this. (Val Boyco of Find Your Middle Ground.)
Another guest essay from the old lamplighter.
It seems to me that it is so incredibly easy to be influenced, even engulfed, by bad news.
Back on the 20th I posted an item that had been sent to me by John Hurlburt, who is the old lamplighter, called Interstellar News.
Here’s another essay from John that is a great reminder of that old adage: We are what we think.
Misery Is Optional
There’s always been a delicate balance in the struggle between growth and stagnation. The emerging universe invariably prevails. The good news is that absolutely insisting upon the denial of reality naturally backfires in the long run. Common sense has repeatedly saved our collective bacon from the fire as our species has faced former crises. The stakes have never been higher.
There’s a natural balance that runs through our relatively brief species history. Extreme cultural alternatives include plutocracy and anarchy. There’s no question that if we’re not an active supporter of an inclusive solution we contribute to our collective dissolution.
Nero fiddled while Rome burned. There’s a current global analogy. Global media communications reflect hate, divisiveness and violence. The obvious truth is essentially ignored. A result is our present state of angst, paranoia and associated stress disorders. We compensate with bread and circuses.
Indifference doesn’t have to be a local reality. We’re all naturally connected in whatever we conceive of as God. We share a common soul. If we are wise we’ll act accordingly. We’ll accept our inherent responsibilities as stewards of Creation. The fulfilment of positive actions in according with the nature of our being is a blessing that keeps on giving.
an old lamplighter
These are beautiful words and whatever one’s religious or spiritual convictions if we don’t recognise that we are all “naturally connected” then it won’t be long before we run out of bread and circuses – and deservedly so.
Going to close this post by using the following picture and quotation taken from the latest Terry Hershey newsletter.