Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Blue Shards

Had an odd dream last night. I was sitting on our front steps, staring into space, because I was so tired. Some of the neighborhood guys passed by and kept commenting about how far away I looked.

The jerks refused to believe it was because I was so tired.

I woke up annoyed and sleepy.

Ah well. That has nothing to do with today's Friday Fictioneers, which are still hosted by the awesome Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. By the way, her book is available for pre-order!

Please Say Kaddish For Me is based in 1899 Russia, and follows a young girl whose family was killed by the violently antisemetic Russian government of the day. It looks very interesting.

Anyway, on to my own story. Playing around with another of my characters from that series I'm working on. If you've been reading these regularly, you'll know a little about my Diana.

These little flashes aren't really related to each other. I'm just experimenting with ideas.
PHOTO PROMPT – © Douglas M. MacIlroy
Genre: Fantasy
Word Count: 98

Blue Shards
            The sky is always the same. Even in this world, with its barren landscapes and blowing snow, a tiny sliver of belonging warms her when she looks up. Today, blue splinters shot through the cottony blanket of clouds.
            Diana shivered and rubbed her mittened hands together.
            “We’re done here. C’mon, kid,” her deceptively slight companion grunted from the garage.
            Tearing her eyes from the comforting heavens, she turned back to the clunky machine rumbling to life within the enclosure. “Ok. Be right there.”
            Her breath’s lonely mist dissipated as she climbed the steps to the vehicle’s cold cabin.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Outsmarted By Crows

Every year, we head up north of Duluth to camp on the shore of Lake Superior and hike the trails. We've been doing this for a few years, now, and every year, the crows crack us up.

They don't have the usual "caw! caw!" call that you'd expect of them. Instead, they scream "AAH!" We were pretty freaked out the first few times, because we couldn't figure out what the yelling was, but we eventually got it sorted.

Last year, my husband got the fire pit ready before we headed out for our first, short hike the day we'd arrived. He tented the wood, balled up paper, stuck it in the hollow and off we went. As we left, we noticed a couple of crows watching us.

As far as hikes go, this one was pretty uneventful. We did some climbing, got the below pictures from one of Shovel Point's overlooks and headed back to the tent.

Pretty, yes? It's a gorgeous area, but we were tired from the long (long) drive and dealing with unfortunate circumstances before we left.

As we crossed the bridge, we heard an "AAH!" not far from us. Across the street, a crow bobbed its head at us and hopped along the fence parallel to our path. It even stopped long enough for us to get the below picture.

Entertaining, social bird, right? We called back, and returned the looks it kept giving us. We've both always had a fondness for those birds, but we didn't linger too long. We were hungry and needed some stationary time.

When we got back, we heard a suspicious shuffling around the corner. By the time we arrived at the site, we discovered one of the crows that had been watching us ripping through the kindling before flying off with bits of it!

We're pretty sure that tease at the bridge delayed us so its buddy could get some choice nest building material. Troublemakers.

That's the last time we make that mistake. Wonder how many other campers these birds have conned out of things.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings: Cute Kitty

Guess my lap is especially comfy, today. He doesn't usually stay put long enough to conk out like that.

Usually, I wouldn't mind, but my leg is in such a position that it feels like his weight is slowly forcing my knee out of joint. Ow. Ow. But he's so cute! Ow. Ow. Ow.

Debate between pain or disrupting adorable sleepy kitty aside, today's Monday, which means word association! Thanks goes out to Luna Niña for hosting Unconscious Mutterings!

  1. Roller coaster :: Emotional
  2. Notification :: Beepbeep
  3. Yellow :: Paint
  4. Humor :: -ous story
  5. Parental :: Guidelines
  6. Blow :: Hard
  7. Duck :: Sasuke
  8. Height :: Difference
  9. Wolf :: Call
  10. Troubling :: turn of events

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Love the Stray

Ok! A few housekeeping things.

I've been quiet on this blog, because of a combination of business and allergy related shenanigans. Stupid allergy related shenanigans. As a result, I've also been woefully negligent in replying to comments. So sorry!

Speaking of comments, it's been brought to my attention that not everyone can use the blogger platform, and I'm looking into installing Disqus or something else instead. I won't be moving to Wordpress, because...I just don't like it. ;)

I've also had an article, Incredible Edible Flowers, selected as Hub of the Day over on HubPages. (Yay!)

Next, if you follow me on Facebook, you'll know that I've had a vignette published! You can find it over at Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and it's titled Swallow the Rot. If that sounds familiar, that's because it was originally work done for Friday Fictioneers quite a few moons ago, now.

Finally! Speaking of Friday Fictioneers, that's what the rest of this entry is dedicated to! Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting, as usual.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot
Genre: Fantasy
Word Count: 99

Love the Stray

            Edwin cringed, tugging his ear in discomfort. “But mom, he looked so sad! I couldn’t just leave him in the rain.” He pouted up at his red-faced mother, edging between her and the slumbering creature behind him.
            Sure, the air was thick with smoke, and yeah, maybe they needed to move, but hadn’t she just been complaining about the neighborhood? Fluffy couldn’t help his heartburn.
            She struggled to calm down. “Son. Love of my life. You know I tolerate most of your pets, but,” volume control failed here, “NO DRAGONS!”

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings - Old Pictures

I've spent most of today feeling absolutely terrible. Stomach is finally objecting to the awful diet I've been feeding it, and the rest of me is objecting to the horrid sleep schedule I've been keeping.


On the bright side, I've discovered some pictures on an old cell phone. Here are three of my favorites.

I love how quirky cats can be. I'm still not entirely sure of what our black and white kitty was doing in that last picture, but it's still amusing.

Anyway, here's today's installation of Unconscious Mutterings, as hosted by Luna Niña.

  1. Science :: Fiction
  2. Everywhere :: Nowhere
  3. Seed :: Starting
  4. Comedian :: Everyone
  5. Philadelphia :: Wow, that word messes with my dyslexia
  6. Disillusioned :: Illusioned
  7. Rolls :: Dinner
  8. History :: Untold
  9. Eagles :: Music
  10. Disappointed :: School

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Baleful Boredom

We live about two miles from a rail yard, so we're treated to the creepiness that is a train horn in the middle of the night on a regular basis.

That's exactly what happened when I first looked at this prompt late Thursday night, and since I felt like playing with two of the characters from one of my novels in progress, here's the result.

Thanks, as always, go out to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 100

Baleful Boredom

            “Wooah,” the train’s baleful call echoed through the darkness. They hadn’t yet figured out the scheduled runs, but Clara was getting used to the creepy sound. Head propped on one hand, she flicked a balled up wad of paper at her half-elven companion’s perfect nose.
            Revelyn ignored the irritating human to the best of his ability, only pinning her with a sharp glare when she nailed him between the eyebrows. “Why do you insist on doing that?”
            She took another shot. “You’re a good target.”
            Sighing, he deflected the projectile and wished for the thousandth time for a different partner.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday Unconscious Mutterings

Still recovering from yesterday's trip. Here's hoping for more productivity tomorrow.

As for now, enjoy the Unconscious Mutterings, as hosted by Luna Niña.

  1. With me :: Are you?
  2. Goodbye :: So long.
  3. Cap ::Steve Rogers
  4. Idiotic :: people
  5. Forever :: 21
  6. Bleeds :: on
  7. Expected :: turnout
  8. Touching :: things
  9. Shells :: turtles
  10. Awake :: not really

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Friday Fictioneers - Shave and a Hair Cut

The one time I spent a weekend in Lilydale, NY with my mom, we stayed in two of the only hotels they had. One of them had actually been a stable at one point, and when the owners decided to turn it into lodging, they elevated the old stable to become the top floor, and built a new addition as the first floor.

If you stayed on the top level, you could supposedly hear the long dead horses moving around at night. My mom said she'd heard them the next morning, but I'd only heard snoring by the floor on my side of the bed.

The snoring was a bit unnerving, since my side was against the wall, and on the other side of said wall was a stairwell. It could have been a trick of acoustics, but hey, who knows? It was pretty creepy.

Today's prompt for Friday Fictioneers reminded me of that hotel, because of the Door to Nowhere.

The title comes from the idea the tapping our frustrated wife heard was to the rhythm of "Shave and a Hair Cut", which would drive anyone to distraction.

Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting!

PHOTO PROMPT © Lauren Moscato
 Genre: Paranormal (...or I guess Realistic Fiction if you believe in ghosts)
Word Count: 100

Shave and a Hair Cut

            Her stupid husband and his stupid obsession with the stupid ghosts is what landed them in this stupid haunted house. For the last week, she’d been kept awake by knocking and followed by cold spots that behaved more like lost children than household drafts.
            Now, she lay in bed, cursed her husband for sleeping through anything and grit her teeth against the urge to scream.
            Stupid. Tapping.
            She’d had enough. “Will you knock that off?!” She screamed, startling her husband badly enough to send him to the floor.
            When he popped up like a disheveled gopher, it was blessedly silent.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Difference a Month Makes

Every month since the New Year, I've been wandering down to the creek not far from my house and snapping a picture on the first. It's interesting seeing how one setting changes from month to month. Even during the winter months of January, February and March, there have been some marked changes.

I'll probably compile a calender or something at the end of the year.

Anyway, I just got back from taking this month's picture, and I'm pretty amazed at just how much difference last month made.

Here's the picture from March 1st:

Snow? Check. Ice? Check. Depressingly naked trees? Check.

That day was pretty cold, but it wasn't the frigid, "My eyeballs are freezing out of my head" cold that Minnesota's famous for.

Now, here's the picture from today:

Open water, cloudy sky, and if you look really, really close, you might be able to see buds on the trees.

The weather today is summer-like. I even wore sandals today!
A photo posted by Emilie Peck (@peckemilie) on
Weather in this area can change at the drop of a hat, but it's still pretty wild to have photographic evidence of that.