Saturday Symphony #19 – The Magic Paintbrush

Jude is the host of Saturday Symphony. This weekend’s theme is:

TALES FROM THE FAR EAST. The far East includes;
– Russian Siberia
– Mongolia
– Taiwan
– China
Japan
– North and South Korea
– Hong Kong
This week share something themed from this part of the world.
It can come from real life experiences, a favourite story, history, myths, books and legends.

Hello! I’m really excited about this prompt because I will be sharing a tale from a new book I bought from the bookstore during Thanksgiving break. I waited in line at the Japanese bookstore for about half an hour before being able to go inside. In fact, I haven’t even read any of the tales in this book until this post.

The Magic Paintbrush

China, chinese folktale

There once was a very poor young man named Ma Liang who loved to draw very much. One night he had a dream that an old man gave him a magical paintbrush and asked him to help people. When he awoke, the magic paintbrush lay beside him.

Whatever Ma Liang drew with the magic paintbrush came into being and he used its powers to benefit the struggling people around him. He used the brush to paint a river next to a dry field and to draw food for the poor. Quickly his fame grew, and everyone was grateful to Ma Liang.

In the same village lived a rich man who soon came to covet the magical brush. He didn’t want to help people but instead wanted to paint gold and make himself richer. In the dark of the night, he sent his servants into Ma Liang’s home, and while Ma Liang was sleeping, they stole his brush.

The next day, the rich man painted many pictures of riches beyond belief. But no matter how many he drew, none of the images would come to life for him. Frustrated, the rich man ordered his guards to capture Ma Liang and bring him forward. When Ma Liang arrived, the rich man demanded that he draw for him or face punishment.

The quiet Ma Liang smiled and agreed. He asked the rich man what he would like, and the rich man said he wanted a mountain of gold. So Ma Liang painted a mountain, but he painted it in the middle of a vast sea. The rich man then demanded a large boat to sail the ocean with enough room in its hull to carry all the gold. So Ma Liang painted a huge sailboat, and the rich man and all his cronies got in it and set sail. But when they got halfway to the mountain, Ma Liang painted a wicked storm, and the boat capsized and all the men were lost at sea.

From that day on, Ma Liang and all the people of his village lived happy and peaceful lives.

Featured Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash


Saturday Symphony #16 – Together In the Shadows of the Forest

Hello all, happy Saturday!

Jude is the host for Saturday Symphony. Here is ponderous thought for the week :

FAIRY TALE EDITS
Ever wanted to change the fate of one of your favourite fairy tale characters?
This week share with us,
Which character?
In which tale?
And how you’d change their fate.

This week I’m inspired by the story of Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the hunt. She is a fierce warrior and can be quite vindictive when someone kills those that she protects or insults her family. She and her brother Apollo killed Niobe’s children when Niobe mocked Artemis’ mom, Leto. You do not want to get on her wrong side!

Artemis remained an eternal virgin and never married. Actaeon, a mortal hunter, mesmerized by her beauty once saw her bathing naked in the valley which was forbidden. Artemis who was very livid turned him into a stag, and he was later killed by his hunting hounds.

In my poetic retelling, I explore what would have happened if Actaeon and Artemis fell in love instead. What if they got married? Would Artemis learn how to be forgiving? Would she take a different, less extreme route to justice?

Below I played around with Magnetic Poetry to create this story. 🙂

Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time, there was a royal newlywed who lived in a castle nestled in the forest nearby a glistening lake. The beloved couple ruled over the kingdom to the best of their ability honoring the previous leaders who recently passed away. The king and queen were deeply in love, but for reasons unexplained, they had difficulty bearing children.

Image Credit: Pixabay

They decided to visit a village of fairies who lived within a grove of jacaranda trees near a majestic waterfall. There was one famed fairy, in particular, who could help them with their barrenness, and her name was Florence.

The royal couple packed for food and supplies for a day’s trek, saddled their horses, and ventured out into the forest. The cool breeze whipped around them as their steeds galloped onto the soft ground. They smiled at each other the moment they listened to the resounding sound of the waterfall swishing on the boulders.

The jacaranda trees were a sight to behold! Lavender blossoms gently fell about them as the fairies warmly greeted the king and queen. One of the fairies welcomed the couple into her home, and put on the tea kettle. “How can we help you?”

Blessed by her hospitality, the queen smiled. “We’re looking for a fairy named Florence. My husband and I are in need of her assistance.” The fairy gazed at the queen thoughtfully for the briefest of moments before she left to fetch Florence.

The king clasped the queen’s clammy hands as they waited, “We will be fine, I’m sure.” The queen gazed at his hazelnut eyes warmed by the twinkle in his eyes and his reassurance.

“NOW…. who is need of my assistance?”

The queen was startled by a loud, sing-song voice. The couple turned around taking in the sight of Florence. Her hair was a brilliant shade of ultraviolet which framed a lovely heart-shaped face. Her crooked nose was accompanied by a gleaming broad smile.

Breaking out of a trance, the king introduced themselves. “My wife and I are having difficulty bearing children, but we would love to raise a family someday.” Florence nodded in understanding, “You came to the right fairy. I can help you with that!”

In her satchel, she took out some magical blackberries she harvested while searching for various herbs. She mashed them in a bowl and poured special nectar on them to mix. She gave the concoction to the king and queen, “Here you go! Drink this, and it will grant your dreams.”

The couple was willing to be open to various possibilities, and obediently they drank the delicious drink excited by what will unfold in the coming months.

Tell the Story – Marceline’s Stage Fright

Inescapable
Nowhere to turn but the now
Moon is spotlighting

After meeting with lobbyists from various advocacy groups all day, Princess Marceline attempted to sleep. Despite residing in the comfort of her castle, she was entangled in her sheets and unable to rest in her bed as she tossed and turned. In her dream, she was supposed to pitch several ideas and initiatives to help her country recover from the damage caused by war by presenting a speech in front of the people she served. Wearing a brilliant blue gown designed by fashion designer, Pierre, she marveled at the beauty of the intricate lacy French brocade near her wrists.

She pulled the curtains aside and stepped forward out to the balcony. As her subjects’ eyes attentively stared back at her, Marceline’s typical poise was disturbed by her inability to speak. She suddenly remembered something that a dear friend once shared with her which elevated her spirit.

Surfing in crowds is like mind over matter. If I don’t mind it don’t matter.”

Brodus Rogers

Her trembling was imperceptible from such a far distance, but she refused to be daunted by the anxiety of her temporary muteness. She drew in strength from her loyal, dedicated audience and smiled. She turned to her interpreter on the right and began performing sign language. The interpreter read her hands and began speaking into the mike and out to the crowd before her, “Thank you for coming out today. Contrary to a popular critic’s prediction that the crowd will not come out due to the cold and rain, it seems like today is quite the exception!” Marceline slowly felt the anxiety melt away as the crowd cheered in unison.

Lucid dreams present
A chance to change the outcome
Dignity and charm

Inspired by the prompts below:

#OctPoWriMo2 – Morphing into a Gourmand

A mother was once frustrated!
Still unsalted
Picky eater
Desired sweeter

Are you a little changeling?
Fairy humming?
Not wanting food?
I can just brood!

Surprised to see a growing girl
Giving a twirl
Eating a lot
A food for thought

Nuggets of Gold: Tuesday’s Thoughts

Good evening! I experimented with minute poetry today as I was pondering on this quote above while eating some French onion soup with seasoned toast tonight in a charming restaurant downtown. Like the fairy girl in this story, I was once a picky eater, but now I sometimes can be a gourmand. I need to slow down when I eat. A work in progress! 😉 Would love to show you what I’ve been eating for the past few months down below!

Boyfriend’s homemade goulash
Schlotzsky’s Deli’s incredible sandwich
La Perla’s Blue Hawaiian
Pops Pops Honeydew boba tea
My own squash and sausage soup
My friend’s impressive opera cake
Tech conference food
WP Engine’s complimentary meal

A-to-Z Challenge: Volunteer

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”

Frank Serafini

Fueling the Desire to Rise Up to the Challenge

This past school year I have been volunteering with a local youth literacy group helping improve the reading levels of two second graders. It all started when I was listening to a young girl I encountered while helping sell books and other types of media at a local flea market with my friends. She told me she hated reading and as a teacher’s pet, she only reads during school.

I have to admit that her statement stung a bit. The love of reading has been instilled in me ever since I was a young girl. The library is my second home and it was where I felt the mental freedom to explore. Even if it wasn’t hers, there are so many stories out there that I think she would enjoy!

At my school, there was a research symposium at my school where I read the poster about literacy research. According to its community profile, San Antonio has the 2nd highest illiteracy rate in Texas. According to the US Census 2005, even though it ranks 7th among US cities in population, it is 60th in literacy. (Source: City of San Antonio Planning and Development Services Department. Statistics and Map Book. Rev. February, 2010. )

After catching up with a former colleague who is now the youngest state representative in our state legislature and listening to his teaching experiences, I felt inspired and decided to sign up to be a volunteer to understand the common problems that these kids were facing.

Reading Buddy Experience

“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” 

Vera Nazarian

I was pretty excited to learn more about the two students I was assigned to. I enjoyed learning about the boys’ families and friends, what they love, and what they want to be when they grow up. It was difficult at first because they didn’t like the books that the program had selected. So I invited the boys to browse the shelves for a book they would like. They introduced me to the world of Mo Willems. Apparently, they already treasured the adventures in any book written by Mo Willems.

“If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.”

Francois Mauriac
The adventures of Piggie, Gerald and friends

I showed them an atlas, and they seemed really excited to learn that there was a world outside their bubble. They enjoyed following along the words of my origami book. I read them stories from RL Stine and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I really enjoyed this experience, and come to deeply care about these kids.

“Fairy tales in childhood are stepping stones throughout life, leading the way through trouble and trial. The value of fairy tales lies not in a brief literary escape from reality, but in the gift of hope that goodness truly is more powerful than evil and that even the darkest reality can lead to a Happily Ever After. Do not take that gift of hope lightly. It has the power to conquer despair in the midst of sorrow, to light the darkness in the valleys of life, to whisper “One more time” in the face of failure. Hope is what gives life to dreams, making the fairy tale the reality.” 

L.R. Knost

Previous Posts in 2019 A to Z Challenge 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

White Elephant #3

Teresa from The Haunted Wordsmith created a lovely event tag called White Elephant for the holiday season. I see this as a way for me to express appreciation for other bloggers I follow. 

For Fandango @ This, That, and the Other, thank you for hosting Word of the Day, FPQ, and writing hilarious and original flash fiction. I want to give you a hang glider so that you can “try to fly like an eagle” or at least helicopter lessons to fly over California! 🙂

For the Dark Netizen, thank you for your flash fiction, haikus, senryus, and twittering tales. It’s been a thrilling ride! I got for you an original copy of Brother Grimm’s Fairy Tales which were originally very dark. 🙂

Photo from Flavorwire.com

For True George, thank you for sharing your riveting stories. Your experience has helped create interesting tales. In relation to your latest story, I hope you will be able to use this sensory deprivation tank to give you another sort of out-of-body experience and serve as inspiration for another tale! 🙂 

Huffington Post

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 4

Many people enjoy going to the opera during their leisure time. Though an acquired taste, costumes and overall story is enjoyable! I visited my first opera when the weather was balmy. I still remember my dress swaying in the breeze.

Conflicted because it’s an incredibly beautiful opera, yet reminds me of an individual who always made me feel beneath him figuratively speaking. *sigh* He can go ahead and have the top bunk anyway! See if I care! Okay, I’m off my soap box now… Learned a lot from the experience. Time to move on! 🙂

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

In response to: 

#Fable – Once Upon a Time

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
– Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagarie

pretty-woman-1509956_1920

Once upon a time,
in the enchanted woodlands
the shades of green are subdued as
orbs of gold catch the sunshine
within the morning dewdrops
that rest upon the blades of grass

Golden autumn leaves burst into confetti as
Thousands of cardinals shoot into the sky
their loose feathers sprinkling harmony
waking up the spirits of the forest

Sharing the prophecy of true wealth in which
authentic happiness begins when one knows oneself
igniting the fire of life that burns within our souls
during the darkest and coldest times

Sun is shining through the stained glass window
of a home within these enchanted woodlands
Fragmented crystalline light heavenly illuminates the room
Dust particles float down and rest on the nose
of a girl named Amaryllis peacefully sleeping
who sneezed from the accumulating dust

Now awakened, Amaryllis groggily rubbed her eyes
and opened the latch of her window now letting in
the rays of sun which delivered a cathartic experience
purging any negative feeling of being fully awake
filling her with warmth and energy as she delighted in
the morning glories that shyly acquiesce
revealing their vibrant blue blossoms
Her senses explored the vast beauty around her

She breathes in the elevating scent of the pine trees
nestled in the depth of the golden forest that stretches for miles.
Two rabbits, black and white, hopped in front of her window.
Black rabbit urgently said, “A stitch in time saves nine!”
White rabbit implored, “You’ve got to pick up every stitch!”
Black rabbit yelled, “It is the season of the witch!”

Amaryllis stared at the pair, “How strange!”
“These rabbits must be dissembling the facts!”
“There is no witch! I have all the time in the world to do all I want.”
Wondering if she was dreaming, she went back to sleep
but the rabbits hopped into her room and crawled on her bed.

White rabbit tickled her nose, “Please wake up! It’s important!”
Black rabbit stamped on her face, “The witch will destroy everything!”
Unable to ignore these annoying creatures any longer,
she grudgingly woke up and looked out the window.
Sure enough, the witch glided down the mountain
from where she lived and began terrorizing the forest.
witch
Golden forests turned to ash the moment the witch touched them
The spirits within the forest shivered from her presence and hid
Cardinals once sending out beacons of hope now burst into flames
Dissonance begins to wreak havoc in harmony’s place
Morning dewdrops evaporated into steam
Creating a heavy fog that obscured vision
Morning glories withered away
Light from the stained glass window
was now mercilessly grey
Amaryllis was now brooding
about this deplorable state
She faced a great challenge
“Why didn’t she listen?”

The black and white rabbits now camouflaging
with the colors of the room tugged at her shirt
simultaneously said, “Amaryllis, you can fix this!”
With the command of military generals,
the rabbits gave clear instructions.

“Go up to the balcony of your home
where your parents were entrusted
with the care of a spinning wheel.
Spin the wheel three times and life will be restored
The witch will go back to the mountains.
This is a magical maca root to help you brave the storm.”
The rabbits handed her a three beige bulbs
as they took shelter underground.

The ceaseless destruction and the rabbits encouragement
prompted her into action as she ran upstairs.
Tornadoes propelled around her at high velocity
making it difficult to reach the wheel.
She stuffed the maca roots down her mouth and chewed
A wave of energy pulsated within her
She sat down and took a deep breath in
She spun the wheel three times.
The storm stopped and the tornadoes dispersed.
The dismayed witch glided
back to the mountains and
Amaryllis sighed
in relief.

Have you ever noticed when time seems to stretch out when you’re walking from one place to another? Other times, it feels as if it’s short? Now, imagine the distance that it takes to get from one state of mind to another. When people say, “Time heals all wounds”, others will like to also add, “It’s what you do with your time that helps heal.”

Moral of the story? Time is fleeting. What you do with your time can determine where you will be. Do not procrastinate for what can be done today. Your dreams can unravel by choosing to do nothing. Don’t wait until things are deplorable before you decide to do something.

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In response to: