Posted in Dreams, fiction, Nature, poetry

Painting Landscapes with Bob Ross

It’s the imperfections that make something beautiful. That’s what makes it different and unique from everything else.

– Bob Ross

Last night, I enjoyed digitally painting alongside Bob Ross for the first time. His soothing voice helped quell any anxiety as he takes you away to a fantasy world of luscious landscapes. Bob also said that as you’re painting, you can create a story along the way. So, I will link up to Denise, author of Girlie on the Edge’s Blog for her Six Sentence Story word prompt.

Invigorated by the fleeting, fresh smell of pine, Mirela admired the radiance rippling across the lake during her morning stroll in the fields while munching on her croissant breakfast egg and ham sandwich.

Mirela vanquished her fear of unknown and retreated to the mountains, a dream destination, away from the noise and bustle of the city life she’s been in the thick of for decades.

The care of her sanity was treated with high priority during a tumultuous time in history, so the guidance of her heart has led her and her husband to this peaceful place.

She enjoys the quiet moments of checking out the woodland creatures scurrying away to their homes holding food tightly to their chest while hiking her way through the woods.

As she came back from her brisk walk, her husband had just finished chopping wood to add to the crackling fire on the hearth of the fireplace.

They walk into the cabin together preparing to drink a glass of delicious wine and feast on some delicious pot pie.

Also in response to:

Posted in Awards, Books, Dance, fiction, flashback, Music, Nature, Quotes, Social Justice

A Sunshine Odyssey

Good evening everyone! There’s a lot for me to celebrate in life today! I just love to do the best I can with what is given to me. It’s a thrilling feeling to partake in such a creative adventure! When I receive a gift of an award, it’s a confirmation of appreciation from the giver. Someone out there has appreciated something I wrote and shared. If I left the world a more inspired, compassionate, and hopeful place, an award to me serves as a catalyst for me to continue reaching for better horizons.

I’ve been nominated at least 15 times this past year for Sunshine, Mystery, Solidarity, Kindness, Liebster blogger awards. I’m grateful for your friendship and support via your comments. It gives me great joy to consistently be recognized for these qualities here on WordPress. Moreover, I’m glad I don’t actually receive any real trophies because I don’t have space for that. 😉

Many thanks and kudos to these hardworking bloggers! Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke, Sadje @ Keep it Alive, Mr. A @ Barbarian in Gentleman’s Clothing, Irene @ My Slice of Mexico, Mel @ Crushed Caramel, Kiwi @ Kiwi Katastrophes, Laura Bailey @ All the Shoes I Wear, Jenna @ The Sunshine Artist, Myexpressionofthoughts @ Beauty lies within yourself

I have taken a different approach with my award nominations today and wrote a story from their questions about myself in third point of view. Pictures are from Pixabay. It will be a blend of fantasy and truth! 🙂

I was inspired by Word of the Day – Odyssey

“HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME?” Ciar, god of darkness, gradually began to suck the remaining light in the galaxy into his mouth which resembled a terrifying black hole.

Sa, space warrior princess from the kingdom of Texas, was temporarily distracted by his impeccable rock hard abdominals, but she was more preoccupied with his black hole. One non-negotiable, unalterable term in this life, is that Sa will survive.

“Sorry? What’s that? I can’t hear you!!!” Sa just used her most commonly spoken phrase against the god of darkness. Will you look at that? 🙂

“Golly, whatever did I do to him?” She unhappily fought against the immense forces that threatened to kill her. What does Sa do to cheer herself up when she is unhappy? She hums a tune of an electrifying song. In this case, the theme song of Ghostbusters galvanized her and became her saving grace.

Ghostbusters 2016 Theme Remastered (Walk the Moon Version)

She pulled a glittering lever, and was not prepared for the recoil. Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket thrusters propelled her out of Ciar’s influence. Elon Musk gave her a parting gift, his most powerful rocket, and wished her good luck on her odyssey. Commandeering a rocket ship is one talent Sa would love to improve upon! Sa thought back to when she read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy scanning her memory for any clues. “YEE-HAW!” Ciar’s bad breath is the least of her worries.

Ciar’s army has besieged her beloved hometown. Ciar’s rhetoric was powerful, and he has swayed the minds of various citizens to commit heinous acts and convinced them they are doing right by the kingdom by terminating who they felt to be the enemy. Who was the enemy? A neighboring community whose was seeking asylum from the ravages of their own war-stricken home? It’s an event that has changed Sa’s perspective on how we live in society.

In the next twelve months, Sa looked forward to the day when the migrants would be settled into their new homes with the help of RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. One of her friends told her how hard she has been working around the clock to help furnish their new homes. Sa shared a value with her friend: caring for those who have difficulty defending for themselves. If she won a lottery, she would love to get each of the boys she met while visiting her friend a pair of printed Oxford leather shoes and help them feel fabulous.

One great thing about being in outer space is that Sa isn’t like the dwarf, Sneezy. Her seasonal allergies don’t act up! Drenched in sweat, Sa glanced outside the window and marveled at the moonglade against Earth’s ocean surface. “Now this is something to write home about on my blog!” Filled with nostalgia, she missed swimming in the sea with the dolphins and her friend, a marine biologist.

Sharing an oceanography and geology course together, Sa admired her friend’s determination. The marine biologist was studying and documenting how the threat of global warming was affecting the dolphin population. The dolphins were having a difficult time adapting to the changes to their habitat, changes to their migration schedules, and it’s even affected their ability to reproduce.

Sa opened up her laptop and began typing a post so that her family can read her latest adventure! Sa was grateful for her parents for teaching her how to be brave in the midst of adversity. She once studied her family tree in the genealogy department held in the third floor of the public library. Even though her roots were derived from diverse backgrounds in monasticism, education, art, aquaculture, one quality was clear: bravery was the connecting link to Sa’s ancestry line.

One of her fondest memories was with her father when he taught her how to play basketball despite her not being too athletic. He pushed her to the edge of what she may have thought her limitation was, but he showed her that she isn’t as fragile as some people made her feel. He nurtured her bravery every step of the way.

She pondered on what they were doing now. She missed washing dishes side-by-side with them. A single tear floated in zero gravity. It’s the little things that seem to get to her. Before Sa left Earth to fight a galactic battle, she filled out a Texas Tree Survey from the Arbor Day Foundation. She felt so proud of herself for taking the time out to complete this survey. She received a gift for 10 free flowering trees (5 American Redbuds and 5 Dogwoods).

Despite being a space cadet, she remained hopeful for a better future for Earth and all its creatures. She knew that there were other people out there who would be wiling to plant trees, rebuild habitats, and help nurture the planet back to health. Her only regret is she might not see the delicate trees grow into the royal beings that they are. Its blooms are startlingly attractive to her when cloistered together.

Her penpal, Cassandra, would get a kick out of this blog post! Although Cassandra chose the monastic life in the convent as a nun, she loved reading about her childhood friend’s adventures in the world. The last time Sa connected with her was by passing her in while shopping in a mall outlet. It felt so good to see an old friend!

If Sa died in outer space today, she would want the world to know that she loved Earth so much. She is a caring, adventurous gal with a sense of humor who would do anything including fighting the god of darkness to protect her loved ones! ❤ 🙂

Posted in Books, Culture, fiction, Freedom of Expression, poetry, Quotes

Freedom of Expression – Art!

Good evening everyone! I’m here to participate in Richa’s “Freedom of Expression” challenge! She shared some brilliant quotes about art, so stop by and take a peek! 🙂

ABOUT THE CHALLENGE

Every Thursday, I will pick up a “prompt word” to be acted upon by y’all. You are free to go wild with your imagination and interpret the “prompt” in any way that you like – photo, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, quotes, articles or drawing/painting – whatever works for you!
In short, it’s all about you being the BOSS and choosing the best way possible to express and depict your understanding of the prompt and go berserk!

Richa @ iScriblr

It’s interesting that Richa shared this quote below! ❤

Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons.

Al Hirschfeld

I’ve been heavily sick for the past few days with a severe cold and allergies. My congested mind couldn’t really focus on anything too complex, so I decided to open up a steam punk coloring book I got from a convention last year featuring the amazing artwork of Brian Denham.

The box of Crayola crayons was just innocently sitting there on one of my shelves. 😉 As I opened the box, I relished a moment of silence as I marveled over the colors. It’s been too long since I last colored. I enjoyed blending the colors and developing the gradients and shadows of his “Victorian Secret Girls of Steampunk” Antarctic Press collection.

This morning I read a post on Riddles and Reveries called “Quotes from Anna Karenina”. I’ve only watched the movie with actress, Keira Knightley. It’s a visually stunning masterpiece of a tragic tale by Leo Tolstoy.

HDwallpapers

I couldn’t help but write a short story after I encountered this quote by Leo Tolstoy’s character Anna in Riddles and Reveries:

“If you love me as you say you do,’ she whispered, ‘make it so that I am at peace.”

Anna Karenina

So without further ado, here is a fan flash fiction of the aftermath of Anna Karenina’s death!

Life After Death

Train’s blaring lights struck
Horn sliced through sun-speckled air
Deafening silence

Anna’s life flashed before her eyes after she threw herself in front of the train. Darkness filled her vision in an instant. She blinked and awoke to find herself flying between the branches of a forest alongside a majestic angelic warrior with scarlet feathers and bright purple robes.

She smelled the refreshing scent of pine trees as the rays of sunshine warmed her entire body. A flock of blue jays sang joyous songs as they fluttered in the trees. The morning dew of the forest floor bed sparkled revealing a faint green glow that extended to a glistening meadow beyond. She felt her warrior’s healing presence – a protective and nurturing force.

Anna felt light – free of the torment and the burden of the jealousy she harbored for so long. Her cheeks flushed with the color of a new born rose. She was no longer shackled by societal conventions of imperial Russian orthodoxy. Anna took a deep breath. She could finally feel her husband’s, Karenin, forgiveness seeping into her soul. Her skin tingled at the former memory of her lover Count Vronsky.

A moment of peace is worth its weight in gold. Anna no longer felt like a caged animal. Her spirit is free to roam and experience this new grandeur of life that laid before her.

Posted in Books, Quotes

3.2.1. Quote Me- Creative Writing

Good morning everyone! Tales from the Mind of Kristian tagged me for Rory’s challenge on creative writing a few weeks ago. Thanks Kristian! He wrote about what he learned in a creative writing class he took which I found thought provoking. Here are my two quotes that I wanted to explore!

“Time passes, as the novelist says. The single most useful trick of fiction for our repair and refreshment: the defeat of time. A century of family saga and a ride up an escalator can take the same number of pages. Fiction sets any conversion rate, then changes it in a syllable. The narrator’s mother carries her child up the stairs and the reader follows, for days. But World War I passes in a paragraph. I needed 125 pages to get from Labor Day to Christmas vacation. In six more words, here’s spring.” 

Richard Powers, Generosity: An Enhancement

I thought the above quote was interesting because it made me think of two books in particular: “Airframe” by Michael Crichton and “The Glory Field by Walter Dean Meyers. Both have roughly the same amount of pages, yet the entire story of Airframe takes place in roughly 3 days whereas The Glory Field covers the lives of several generations of a family line! Fellow writers, you can be a time lord! 😉

“Evocative memories seared onto the writer’s unconscious mind forms the essential cadence that brokers a writer’s telltale, shadowy light. Floundering in the commodious darkness, the writer’s seeks to discover a ray of lightness that inhabits the darkest recesses of their fitful humanity.” 

― Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning” came to mind after reading Harper’s post. I read this book during my early college experiences. He survived 4 concentration camps and somehow found purpose and meaning  behind these experiences. 

“What is to give light must endure burning.” 
― Victor Frankl

Posted in Concepts, Culture, fiction, poetry, Technology

Wintry Virtual Reality

Photo Credit: KUKASMUU.COM

My friend knew that I was intent
on exploring a stimulating new hobby
so she gave me a gift of virtual reality for Christmas
and helped me strap on the goggles over my eyes.

Anticipating a special adventure,
I wake up in a red telephone booth
which transported me into a kind
of magical wintry masterpiece
in the snowfall of my mind.

I was taken aback by a set
of yellow eyes staring back at me
through the foggy window
with its brilliant iridescent fur
coruscating against the snow.

I suddenly remembered that
the game maker added a nice feature
where this mythical canine
will serve as a sapient cynosure
for the rest of my journey.

The quest involved finding a golden tree
in a labyrinth made of holly bushes
guarded by the Ice Queen
who spoke in riddles and resided
in a sacred temple outside the entrance.

Grateful for my linguistics background,
I felt like it would be fun
to have some tea and chat with the queen,
but little did I know of what I 
was going to encounter in this reality.

In response to… a lot of words and phrases this past week! Thank you for your inspiration! 🙂

Posted in Concepts, Culture, Events, fiction, Photography

Friday Follies: Ep 1.4 – Sticky Scandal

Psstt…..National Enquirer! After you’re finished dealing with the lunacy surrounding the story of Prince Charles, I got a question and a possible leading story for you! I came across this label that ensorcelled me today, and I’m dying to know what the scandal is!

All of the sudden, this gum was censored, and I’m wondering what sticky situation he’s been in to deserve such an honor! In fact, he’s wearing CENSORED as if he has just won a pageant! There’s no walk of shame here folks!

Was he playing a game of “Spin the Bottle” with his friends, and Juicy Fruit asked Rain 5 Spearmint here to spill the beans about a forbidden love tryst? All this time, I thought Spearmint was single?

He was so cool in his demeanor with us, you just thought that maybe he wasn’t amorous, you know? Underneath the icy menthol exterior layers, he actually might be a cinnamon fireball?!

Or….did Trident spearheaded the issue and dared him to share an embarrassing picture of himself getting pulverized by someone’s shoe? Perhaps, the image was too graphic for the public to see….

I’m intrigued by the mystery, and inquiring minds want to know. 😉


In response to:
Proscenium: Friday Follies- Ep 1.4
FOWC with Fandango: Tryst
Word of the Day Challenge: Lunacy
Daily Word Prompt: Ensorcell

Posted in Books, Concepts, Culture, fiction, Quotes

Sacrifice: A Burnt Offering

“My destiny is to save others so that their destinies may be achieved.”
Benevolent Bodyguard, Magic the Gathering

Discovered a new challenge via Fandango. Teresa from The Haunted Wordsmith gave an fun prompt: “open a book — any book — to page 62 (physical or ebook) and copy line 6. Then use it in a short post.” This is a line from “The Prayer of David: In Times of Trouble” by Michael D. Evans. I finished the sentence to give some context:

“An offering that really costs us something, not an of-fering of convenience but an offering that really challenges our faith, is a burnt offering.”

A continuation from Ominous Meeting

Sinclair’s voice echoed in her mind, “I am your servant. Your wish is my law.” Chills ran down her spine as Aiyani attempted to conceal her fear. She was clearly perturbed.

Sinclair saw the trace of panic in her eyes and slowly set the lighter down. “Ms. Bellefeuille, whether you’d like to admit it or not, there are dangerous people after you. Native American women are frequently targeted.”

The grip on her gun tightened. Aiyani challenged him, “Judging by the glock in my hand here, I think I’m well aware of that.”

Sinclair treaded carefully. He felt like he was walking on a tightrope. One false move, and the rest is history. “Your father was concerned about the state of his own health and made arrangements for his next of kin to be protected. He thought you’d remember me, but apparently that is not the case. Quite naturally, he anticipated that you’d be skeptical, so he told me to share with you a verifying childhood event.”

nature photography of river near trees
Photo by Michiel Alleman on Pexels.com

“When you were ten years old, your father took you out to Maine one winter to visit some family members. You wanted to ice skate, so your father took you to a pond. He said to you, ‘Of course my dear! You are my treasure. Your joy is my reward.’ As you skated, you fell in the icy water after skating over a thin layer of ice.”

“I was the stranger that fished you out. I activated a series of advanced heating packs. The hypothermia exacerbated the conditions that you already faced with Raynaud’s syndrome. You were in the hospital for several weeks. It’s a miracle that you’re alive.”

Aiyani was taken aback. She has not told anyone that story. The memory of Sinclair’s facial features are hazy. It all happened so fast, and she pushed the memory as far back into the recesses of her mind. Maintaining a level of caution, she loosened the grip on her gun. She was thoughtful and silent, as Sinclair continued.

“I trained at the Kenshin-Tekina Gisei Martial Arts Academy for bodyguards for many years. Kenshin-Tekina means devoted and Gisei means sacrifice in Japanese. We have learned what it means to give up everything in order to protect our masters. It can be a lonely path to follow, yet for those who feel that this is their calling in life, it can be rewarding as well.”

“Students have learned the ethical code of Bushido in which samurai were bound to accept death in battle rather than flee or surrender. Even in the midst of pain & hardship, we are loyal and honorable to our superiors until death. We have a deep reverence and respect for family honor and a willingness to sacrifice oneself for that honor.”

bushido

“A few miles away from the Academy, we hike up the mountains to an altar where Ainu indigenous tribes of Japan practiced the tradition of the Iomante ceremony in which bears were sacrificed in burnt offerings. Hokkaido encouraged this ceremony to be abolished in the 50’s, but the Environment of Japan announced that animal ceremonies were an exception to the animal rights law.”

“We have come a long way since then. However, one day our teacher told us to bring one item that was dear to us such as a book or jewelry. We set it aflame in a bonfire symbolizing our own sacrifices that we would have to make on our journey ahead.”

“So Ms. Bellevuille, if it hasn’t been made clear earlier: before I bring my need, I will bring my heart. Before I lift my cares, I will lift my arms. More than anything I want, I want you first to feel safe in every season and every moment.”

In response to:

  • VJ Knutson’s Weekly Challenge: Sacrifice
  • Laura Bailey’s Maniac Monday’s 3 Way Prompt: Reverence
  • Teresa at The Haunted WordSmith: Page 62, Line 6
  • FOWC with Fandango: Trace
  • Word of the Day Challenge: Kin
Posted in Culture, Dance, fiction, Music, Nature, poetry, Quotes

What happens in Japan stays in Japan

The spirit of Halloween is upon us!

halloween-2837936_1280.png

10.14.18
I’m sipping some tea this morning working through Brain Games Crime Scene Investigation puzzle book this morning. One of my coworkers who formally worked in the Air Force recommended it to me when I told her I enjoy Sudokus and word problems. She frequently shares with me stories of her adventures, murder cases, and criminal psychology. It’s been a sort of game between us as to who shares the next interesting case!

After talking with blogger lwbut about Japanese poetry, Japan was on my mind quite a bit. A week ago, I was intrigued by RayNotBradbury‘s post #coolprompts ‘Danjyo Kankei’ which explored various sociological aspects of Japanese relationships. I’ve blended three of her prompts to make a fictional piece.

4) You met an old friend, you haven’t seen him/her 10-15 years. She (or he) is living in Japan now. Describe your conversation.
5) You are Japanese maniac (psycho, murderer). What are you planning and why?
6) Haiku, Senryu

It was difficult to imagine stepping into the shoes of a Japanese maniac like they do on the TV show Criminal Minds, so I kept it in third person.  🙂

Mount-Fuji-Japan
http://viralscape.com/airplane-views/mount-fuji-japan/

A middle age man snored loudly next to me as I was finishing a Japanese horror movie marathon while chowing down on some Haagen Dazs ice cream. Travelling for 13 hours in economy class is not easy but I was grateful that at least I wasn’t alone while watching “Ju-On: The Grudge”. Its description intrigued me: “Ju-On: The Grudge revolves around the ghosts of a woman and her son who were killed by their husband/father. Having died with a grudge in their hearts, they haunt and kill all who come in contact with their house.” I briefly look out the window of the airplane and enjoyed the brilliant view of Mount Fuji as we sped along the layers of clouds.

When my former roommates found out that they could retire in Japan, they were thrilled and jumped at the opportunity. I stayed behind in the states to complete my schooling, and saved up for a trip to visit them. I missed them terribly as they were like family to me, but I was happy that they could enjoy such a beautiful retirement.

When I arrived at the airport, I saw a large crowd of people waiting for their loved ones with balloons and flowers. I could not miss a neon hot pink poster board being waved around in the far back with the words scribbled in large block letters:

WELCOME TO JAPAN SA

I heard someone calling out my name. I bulldozed my way through the crowd as best I could with my petite frame and headed towards the back. Sangel elbowed Anya and pointed at me ecstatically, “There’s Sa!!” The sight of the pair of them brought tears to my eyes. Sangel wore a Hawaiian shirt that featured koi fish swimming around in a pond, and Anya wore a flowing silky dress featuring various cherry blossoms. I gave them a hug and stopped when I noticed a parrot perched on Anya’s shoulder. It suddenly squawked a haiku at me!

animal-84485_1920
Ara Macao Parrot: Public Domain Pictures

Welcome to Japan!
Hope you enjoy the beauty!
Have a peaceful stay!

“Did you train your parrot to recite haikus, Anya? ” I cried in laughter at this marvelous red bird with vibrant blue, yellow, and green feathers that was now bobbing its head up and down affirming that she did.

Anya’s blue eyes twinkled behind her gold frames as she gave me a warm smile, “Konbanwa, Sa! Meet Roy named after father who recently passed away. After I taught it some tricks, Roy became a bit conceited. Dad would have gotten a kick out of this. He did say to pay attention to what you can learn from the Asian culture. 😉 I taught myself a little bit of Japanese too, but just enough to get by. Someone else wants to say hello to you…” Sangel whipped out a Hello Kitty stuffed toy behind his back.

Let me tell you… after watching 13 hours of horror movies, Hello Kitty holding a cheeseburger is a sight for sore eyes! Always having food on his mind like a Snorlax Pokemon, Sangel said, “Why don’t we all go out to eat?”

 

While walking down the streets , I heard a girl screaming frantically as she ran off to join a dance group. Alarmed, I was distracted by a sudden blast of music comes from a surrounding series of speakers.

A group of girls huddled together and began to dance to the song of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I never seen a Yasakoi dance flash mob in person before. Seeing the hair fly around as they danced in synchronized fashion made for a dynamic experience.

yasakoi group
Yasakoi group

After the Yasakoi group finished dancing, we found a sushi and hibachi restaurant. We took our seats around a chef who was handling a large flame. Anya began to draw a few Japanese characters on a napkin and passed it along to me.

ショーをお楽しみください?
Shō o o tanoshimi kudasai?

Enjoy the show?

 I nodded as I watched the chef entertained the guests with the flames around the table.

hibachi2
Hibachi at Benihana

For some customers, the novelty of the fire show has worn off long ago, and they huddled together in a corner watching TV. There was an anchorwoman reporting something on the news. An image of a forest with the caption Aokigahara showed up on screen.
forest.PNG
Sangel saw me looking at the screen and spoke up after he finished chewing, “The Aokigahara forest is also known as the Suicide Forest northwest of Mount Fuji. Some people think the forest is haunted by the dead spirits.

It is rumored around town that there is murderer who is hunting down unsuspecting hikers who want to get a better view of Fuji for sport. Our neighbors think the murderer is addicted to getting an adrenaline rush from this recreational activity.

Their deaths are reported as suicide by the forest police station when their bodies are found. Cell phones don’t work out there, and victims have no way of calling for help. Whoever is doing this is covering his/her tracks really well and found the perfect cover until he/she killed two undercover police officers.”