Flash! Fiction Friday! Jeanne d’Arc

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

It’s Friday again – which means it’s time for the weekly dose of Flash on one of my favorite Flash Fiction sites.  I had 2 ideas buzzing around in my head over the photo prompt – a painting of Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc, to us Westerners over on this side of the pond) created in the 17th century – so rather than beat myself up over choosing one or the other idea to pursue…I did ’em both.


Heavenly Desire

156 words


“You know what I ask,” Michael whispers seductively in my ear, his hot breath tickling its way down the back of my neck. “You know you want to.”

His velvety, angelic voice sends a frisson down my spine.  His soft-spoken request is the brush of downy wings tickling every hair on my body to stand erect, rigid, eager to give in to the raging desire pulsing through my soul. I can feel the desire…the want…slide down the length of my body to pool in my chest.

The sibilant hiss of my pulse pounding in my ears chants “Yess, yesssss, yessssss,” in time with my wildly beating heart as this ache of desire threatens to consume me in the heat of its crescendo.

The Archangel requests I give my life for King, for God, for the greater good as the wailing trumpets herald in a new day of flame and retribution.

Today, I die for my country.

Museum of the Damned

159 words


“This late 19th century painting by Eugene Thirion is a classic example of French Political Art…” the tour guide’s bright, vibrant voice dropped away as Sylvia gaped, mesmerized, at the sweeping whorls and splashes of pigment, carefully arranged to suggest human forms, within the gilt frame.

She stared harder as the design shifted, slowly spiraling, distorting the figures into a maelstrom of swiftly-spinning color which sucked at her sanity, tugged at her soul.

“I burn,” hissed a sculptural voice, echoing from the whirlpool to Sylvia’s ears.  “I saved them all, and they burned me for my efforts.”

Completely ensnared, Sylvia reached for the roiling vortex even as it stretched toward her, knowing, but not caring, that the touch meant madness, fire, death, damnation.

An icy hand clamped on her shoulder, painfully forcing her knees to impact the cool mosaic floors of the museum.

“Don’t stare at them, my dear,” chirped the tour guide, “You wake the damned that way.”

Cleaning off the Memory Card

a IMG_3442 crop

Spinning LED Bo-Staff

The Squidnificant Other (SQO for short) …

I’ll fill you in on that story later – it’s long, involved, and defiles 😮 an undisclosed, sandy location.

… got some shirts for Christmas.  Not jtardis shirtust any shirts, mind you.  These were soft cotton blend T-shirts.  What was on those shirts made them special – priceless, even.  Printed on these amazing cotton chest-coverers were a screen print of a Dalak on one and the T.A.R.D.I.S. on the other (Doctor Who fans in the reading audience may begin drooling now…).  The REAL value of these shirts was the story behind them.

These weren’t some mass-produced, off-the-rack, let’s spend 5 minutes and find a gift apparel…these were made to order.  Dave’s friend found a local screen-print artist, floated the artwork ideas, and paid the artist to craft the screens then used to print the art onto the chest of the shirts.

THIS is what happens when one thinks outside the capitalism box and aims to support the local economy.  It was a wonderful present, and I’m happier indeed for knowing this gentleman is a friend of my SQO.

Soooo… we simply GOTTA show these wonderful creations off to the world…GO GRAB THE CAMERA!

And after a couple of quick clicks, the camera gets plugged into the computer, so he can share the T-Shirts with the world according to Facebook.

Holy crap.  I’ve got old stuff on here!

Anyone else have this happen?  You take a short series of shots because the muse points your vision at something you HAVE to take a picture of, you Oooooooh and Ahhhhh at the little view-screen on the back of the camera, and then tuck the camera away, completely forgetting the neat images you’ve caught?

Yea…me too.                                     All.  The.   Time.

I’ve got shots of the moon & cloud formations, taken in the fall, which didn’t turn out so well.  DELETE!

I’ve got shots of the candlelight shadows on the wall.  Looked good on the view-screen, not so much excitement on the computer screen.  DELETE!

I’ve got some random pictures of the cats being cats.  Cute, but I’ve got terabytes of the same.  DELETE!

I’ve got shots of me in my new over-the-shoulder camera rig.  GAWD!  There are 230(ish) reasons I stay BEHIND the camera.


a IMG_3447 cropI’ve got shots from the Feastival, which was the day after Thanksgiving…Ooooh.

This wasn’t a short, random shoot, and I remember several moments of pure delight as shots were captured – so I SHOULD have been excited to play with the SOOC images and tweak to perfection.  But the commute to and from was longish, late in the evening, and I had a wicked cold that weekend – so I’m gonna let that be my excuse for not immediately pulling the images from the camera.

That’s my story…and I’m sticking to it!


Ever have so much fun you go up in a little ‘poof’ of light?

The Feastival is a yearly event hosted by a local band and spinning tribe at the Concord House in Concord, Wisconsin – a tiny little unincorporated town mid-way between Madison and Milwaukee.  The House itself had its humble beginnings as a pole building for turkey farming before being turned into this very rustic dance/reception hall…and the family who run the House have been in the hospitality business for generations – so they KNOW how to host a rocking-good party.

The kids are well-immersed in the spinning/fire tribe that have made this an annual event – and this year convinced me to tag along.  As the weather had gotten cold, and the heater in their car isn’t working too well, the invite was part entreaty (pleeeeeeeeease don’t make us go alone and freeze our butts off all the way to Concord) part bribery (there’s food, music, alcohol, and a chance to point your camera at new things!) and part meet-the-parents (I’d not been introduced to the DIL(2B)’s side of the family yet).

How could I say no?

It was a great time.  I got to meet-the-parents (chilling for parents as well as the younger couples!!!) – availed myself of the array of yumminess spread by all members of the tribe (the Feastival is also a potluck) – and enjoyed the simple community energy generated by this group.

Make no mistake, this is a very grounded group.  They celebrate coming together to come together – not to measure their portfolios or show off their new acquisitions or any of the other stuff that people enmeshed in the throws of capitalism meet for (translation:  no dick-status-measuring here!).  The festival is …folk… centered on people, family, and community.  There’s no better way to describe it.


Otis Redding Tribute Band

Aside from the blues/R&B band – the floor show put on by the gatherers was spectacular.  This group create art with their bodies and props:  twirling hoops, poi and staff generate patterns in light vs. dark as they flow across the floor.

a IMG_3458 cropBecause this was an indoor event, and it was cold outside – they didn’t light their props on fire, but used much-less flammable LED lights embedded within their gear.

That I got to catch this amazing light-show was an honor.  One I hope to repeat as an annual thing.  Enjoy my shots!

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I new It!!!

A Fractal Glass

The Daily Post serving another photo challenge I find irresistible:

It’s the first photo challenge of 2015, and the theme is “new.” Cliché? Perhaps, but clichés develop for a reason. For many of us, the year’s beginning is time to take stock of the past and plan for the future; this week, let’s get excited about those plans by celebrating what’s new.

IMG_0180What’s new?  Well, lots of stuff is new.  I got a new bra – but I’m not going to take pictures of it (you can thank me later!).  There’s about 6 inches of new white stuff on the ground.  Someone on Facebook posted a new meme, had a new political rant, picked a new fight with a new person, or posted a new picture of a new mod they can vape on.

Oh…let’s not forget the new -14 temp that goes along with winter in Wisconsin – it certainly made venturing out to this first Monday of the work-year a bracing morning experience!

We all love ‘new.’  The word speaks of something not-before-within-our-sensory-field.  Yea…excitement!  Something we haven’t come into contact with before.

Although…if New and Improved Tide gets any more ‘New and Improved’ … it’s going to dissolve your clothing…


I see new stuff every day.  The clouds in the sky haven’t put out that exact patterning ever before.  The people around me haven’t been in that configuration prior to this meeting. Look!  New footprints in the snow!

The lead-in photo above is a new frost-pattern I captured on my window just the other day…which reminds me…my landlord really does need to think about replacing the windows in our building.  What made this photo really pop are the Christmas lights in the window of the building across the driveway.

It doesn’t take a resolution at the beginning of the calendar year to find new stuff – it just takes being aware of your surroundings.

I’ll leave you with a movie quote from Joe vs. the Volcano – one that, decades later, I’ve tried to incorporate into each and every day:

My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.

Flash Fiction – Shades of Grey

Rose lineup Flash FictionAnother Friday – another Flash Fiction piece posted over on Flash! Friday.

I had fun with this one (well, OK, I have fun with all of them :D) – the photo prompt was a black & white picture of a black kid hugging an electrical panel while looking at the busy shopping avenue laid out before him.

magician's taleSeveral years ago, I read a book called The Magician’s Tale.  The character we follow is a photographer who is completely color blind – she sees only in values of black and white.  The story was powerful, and one thing the author did to remind his readers of her affliction was have her ruminate periodically over her inability to see in a normal human spectrum.

So this week, with David Hunt’s book surfacing from the mire that passes for my mind, I wrote this week’s flash fiction entry entirely in black and white.



Shades of Gray

160 words

The pearly-white beetle whistles a merry tune down the slate-colored street, chirping at the enormous silvery bus spewing leaden exhaust as it labors with its belly-full of passengers.  Ladies parade across the granite avenues between street and shop, wearing brilliant ivory suits, clutching frosted alabaster bags straining at their seams.

I cower, my terrified breath ravaging my throat.  I do not belong here.

Yesterday, I fled into the raven twilight – choosing the uncertainty of ebony and onyx star speckled skies for my bedroom ceiling, instead of the resolute beating promised in mother’s alcohol-poisoned eyes.  The reek of cheap spirits and cheaper perfume preceded her down the sooty, cracked plaster hall, her face the obsidian color of guaranteed violence.

Flight, rather than clenched knuckles forcefully sending blossoms of bisque, bone and cream fireworks to explode behind my eyelids, was my hasty decision.

But now, alone in this big, monochrome world, I’m wondering – where do I go when I’ve run from home?


WHAT is mightier than the pen???

I’ve pretty much decided I like this new home for the blog on WordPress – so I’ll be moving some of my favorite old posts over here.  This originally was posted on Google’s T&T on October 18th.

PenIt’s amazing what you can find when you start typing in strange requests of Google.  Today, I found a gem in a pen refill.

I work in an office.  While working, I use a pen…frequently.  Useful things, pens…as they are handy for jotting down notes, doodling, scratching hard-to-reach-places, pointing at things, and a host of other spur-of-the-moment things you need that slender object in your hand to do.


I have a favorite pen.

Within everyone’s lives, they acquire ‘favorite’ things – stuff that they use or gaze upon on a daily basis.  It’s hardwired into our brains to recognize things we come into contact with repeatedly, and to attach a feeling of familiarity to them.

With that said – I’m attached to this favorite pen of mine.

This particular pen was received as a freebie from a marketing company years ago, pre-branded with the company’s name on its shiny red barrel.  It was addressed to the owner of my company, who preferred the cheap plastic ones he could chew on – so I acquired it in his stead.  Funny enough…about a week after the pen (and the included marketing come-on) arrived at the office, I received a call from the marketing company wanting to know how “He was enjoying his free pen.”

Dontcha just love salesmen?

Well…I enjoy my lovely little pen M-F, 9 to 5, excluding Holidays and Vacation time  – it has a nice feel and weight to it that you don’t get from your cheaper disposables, and so continue to buy the replacement ink cartridges for it.  Alas…the name of the marketing company and salesman who called those many years ago has been lost in the darkest corners of my memory.

But I still have the pen.

Would you believe  –  –  I’ve chased co-workers across the office for my pen?   Quite unconsciously, a borrower will occasionally attempt to become a thief – especially at the beginning of the work day before the coffee has kicked in.

After 7 or 8 years of superb service, my pen has become quite unique amongst pens (that ‘I’ve been front line on several wars’ finish is unmistakable) so it’s easy to single out from the plethora of cheap disposable Bic ballpoints inhabiting my co-worker’s desks…even when I don’t catch the thief in the act.

Well – the refill ran out of ink today.  Yea, it happens.  It just shouldn’t have happened so soon based on my normal usage.

Soooo – frustrated with my brand of ink refill                        – into Google I go.

THE first thing to show up?  This gem

I haven’t had this good a giggle in a while.  The level of snark – NINJA.

I’ll be giggling all the way to Office Depot for my new refill.

sorry instructables…it won’t be a Mont Blanc.