Posts Tagged ‘photography’

November Sunset

Posted: November 22, 2013 by writingsprint in Photography
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sunset

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My friend Chris took the first photo while she was hiking in the woods. I think it’s a breathtaking, mysterious, soul-capturing picture. It inspired me to think of all the cool, wonderful, strange things that come to mind when we think of the woods.

calcified batThis is the creepiest thing ever. A lake in Tanzania is so alkaline that it calcifies the animals that die in it. Good inspiration for fantasy, horror, and myth writers. (Photo by Nick Brandt, Across the Ravaged Land)

Where Were They?

Posted: July 31, 2013 by writingsprint in Drama
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'Stare' by Mikko LagerstedtWhere were they?

Jack lay on the floor of the rug by the door. They’d been gone for hours. Why did they have to go without him? He wasn’t worried that they wouldn’t come back. Not really. So far, they always had. When he was little he’d been afraid they would never come back again, not ever. That had been more than he could bear.

He’d lain there while they got ready to go. They had it down to a system. Whenever they went out at night, they started talking in more urgent voices around 3:00. The kids had to get home or they had to finish what they were doing. Some of them took showers or baths. Sometimes Jack got lucky and it meant they were going over to the grandparents’ house, with their old, creaky house and the different smells and corners to check out. When they started putting on different clothes or makeup, that was the giveaway. That meant they were going out to dinner, the movies, or something else fancy. No dogs allowed.

Jack had a system, too. As soon as they started showering or changing clothes, he lay in the middle of the first floor where they could see him. Usually someone would walk by and give him a scratch on the back. They told him what a good dog he was. He always liked that. He wanted to make sure they knew that he knew that something was up. He would watch they go back and forth. He would get ready to watch them go, take a quick nap, then guard the house for the rest of the night. If they took him along, it was best thing ever!

They usually came back smelling like someplace with fancy food. Other times they smelled like popcorn and sugary drinks. Other times their shoes smelled like stale beer or cigarettes. Ugh.

Maybe they would come back with leftovers. Once they came back with doggie ice cream and biscuits like he’d never tasted before. He still remembered it: buffalo wing flavor for dogs. Jack licked his chops thinking about it.

But there were no leftovers, yet. Jack sighed. First they had to come back.

They sure had been gone a long time. He’d waited long enough that he started to feel that old fear that they wouldn’t come home. It scratched at the edge of his ear, a fly that he tried to shake away.

Jack’s ears lifted up. He thought he heard the car.

I once knew someone who had a gift with photography. She would take a friend’s picture, usually when they weren’t expecting it, and the picture was always the essence of who they were.

What is it about black and white photography that turns any moment into passionate art? Even a picture of a dog!

Tonight’s picture is called “Stare” by Mikko Lagerstedt.

Raindrops from the Roof

Posted: September 24, 2011 by writingsprint in postaday2011, postaweek2011, Writing
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"Raindrops from the Roof" by Matthew Beall

"Raindrops from the Roof" by Matthew Beall

Art loved the rain. His friends called him Artie; his wife called him Marshmallow when no one else was around. His wife had been in Heaven for seven years now, and Art needed some time away from his friends. He sat on the porch of the family house by the lake in New England, watching the rain fall off the roof gutters. Tiny stars of rain fell off the edge, glittering worlds of water, beads of glass that landed on the deck and vanished into worlds pooling at the bottom. Each drop was a disaster to the microbes underneath and life to the ants and soil that they filled up. Art smiled. He’d smoked two doobies in the past three hours. He hadn’t done that since the sixties, and it made him feel young. “As long as I don’t strip naked and go running through the woods again,” he said to himself. He hadn’t done that since the sixties, either, and what had been charming and applauded then would get him labeled a freak today.

It felt ironic now. Today, he walked in the rain for fun. When he was a kid, he had first learned to love the rain on a day at school when he’d been too shy to talk to anyone, and he felt like he had nothing to say. It had been raining outside. During recess, he sat down by the window and looked outside at the rain falling. The thousands of water drops landing in the schoolyard reminded him of tears. It felt peaceful. For some reason, if the world was crying for him, he didn’t have to feel sad, so the sadness slipped away, and he just sat there watching the rain.

This post was inspired by a prompt from Indigo Spider.

2 a.m.. Sofia walked in a hunch, trying to get as far away from her house as she could. Her feet landed on the ground like pistons striking: mechanical, hard, and in her case, desperate. This engine was about to break. Under her arm she had stuffed a ouija board into a paper bag. She whimpered. In the hard shadows, she heard the snick of knives. The soft shadows were worse. There, she thought she could hear whispers. Sofia tried not to cry. The sky rumbled low, bass growls, and dark clouds felt low enough to brush the roof tops.

The cross around her neck protected her. She knew that. A friend had seen the board at a yard sale, and thought it would be a nice gift for Sofia’s children. It had been unwrapped in the house on Christmas day. Christmas! Sofia had nearly shrieked. She bit her lip, wishing she had. She thought she could feel the board’s evil heart beating through the beat. Sofia had gasped, but smiled sweetly and said thank you. When nobody was looking, she had blessed herself.

The kids had loved the board. Her husband did, too, and he never played games with the kids. Joe played sports with the kids, always sports, whether it was lawn darts or catch of kicking the soccer ball around. They would turn the lights out and ask it questions. The triangle wouldn’t move for Sofia. She smiled as she felt the cross’s weight on her chest. It had been a gift from her uncle on the day of her Confirmation, and she had never taken it off.

A distant thunderclap made her wince. Sofia moved faster. Where to dump it? Where?

Now her cat was meowing at corners, and Joe was drinking and wouldn’t say why. She kept coming home to find the board opened on her dining room table, with everyone swearing it had been put away the night before. The children were swearing and dressing in strange clothes. Her best friend said it was a new musical artist they were all listening to, but Sofia didn’t believe it.

She stumbled. The board fell out of the bag and landed face-up on the sidewalk, next to a house that looked like her own. The flower boxes were different, though, and so was the trash by the steps. It was like her house in one way: it was innocent, like hers had been. Sofia’s blood pounded in her face. She clutched the cross and said a soft prayer in Italian, begging for this family’s protection, and offering thanks for releasing her family from this curse.

Abandoned Ouija Board

The spinning head and projectile vomiting was the last straw

“You will find more in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” St. Bernard of Clarivaux

“I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, and climb black branches up a snow-white trunk. Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, but dipped its top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.” Robert Frost, Birch Trees

A shady day on the Great East Lake.

A short study in textures near the house. Sorry for the big, bandwidth-hogging HD pictures, but I like them that way!

New Hampshire Morning

Posted: August 7, 2011 by writingsprint in postaday2011, postaweek2011
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New Hampshire morning

Misty morning at the Great East Lake