Reflections: On Storytelling…

“I think that instinct, that storytelling instinct, rescued me most of my life.” Armistead Maupin Reflections: On Storytelling... The Red Moon by Pedro Pablo Sacristán There was once a little grey planet that was very sad. The people living there hadn’t looked after it, despite them having all the inventions and space ships you could ever need. They had contaminated the whole countryside so much with rubbish and pollution that there were no plants or animals left. One day, a little boy was walking ...

Peculiar Picture #13

Some of my new followers might not be familiar with a Chubby Chatterbox feature called Peculiar Pictures. I was a professional illustrator for many years and much of my work was done on spec or for my own amusement. I have a file cabinet of “peculiar pictures” that have yet to sell. Many of these images just popped out of my head, like this one showing me in an uncharacteristically surreal mood. Like you, I can only guess what it ...

Fuchsia, not Fuschia

It’s ok if you don’t know how to spell “fuchsia” correctly. Fuchsia is often misspelled because of the way it sounds. Pronounced “fyoo-SHa,” this flowering shrub was named after the renowned German botanist Leonhart Fuchs. Most fuchsias are native to South America and other tropical areas, but have been highly cultivated since its discovery in the early 18th century. They are prized for their characteristic showy, droopy, brightly-coloured flowers. Currently, there are over 100 different species. Fuchsias don’t just come in fuchsia, ...

Chinua Achebe: Celebrated Nigerian Author Dies at 82

“The Ibo people have a proverb that when a man says yes his chi says yes also. Okonkwo said yes very strongly; so his chi agreed.” Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe: Celebrated Nigerian Author Dies at 82. Photo of Chinua Achebe 1930-2013 RIP It is with great pain and sadness that I share the news of the passing of an illustrious writer, a great son of Anambra State, Nigeria, and one of the pivotal influences on my life as a reader/writer. It was ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple…

“There is no evil that does not promise inducements. Avarice promises money; luxury, a varied assortment of pleasures; ambition, a purple robe and applause. Vices tempt you by the rewards they offer.” Seneca Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple… Walk with me through the changing colors of the Ann Arbor airport concourse into the purple garden… Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple… A dragonfly perches on a lily. Welcome! Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple… A purple waterlily beckons Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple… A basket of purple blooms wait patiently… Purple is ...

Remembrance Day – ‘We will remember them’

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.’ From the poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon

7 Refreshing Hibiscus Drink Recipes

Late summer is one of the hottest times of the year! To beat the heat, you must stay cool and hydrated! Water is good, but it can also be a bit boring. Add some colour and flavour to your water by making a refreshing hibiscus drink!  Hibiscus flowers  are edible and have a distinctive tangy, citrus-like flavour. As well, they are also a good source of vitamin C! Many people around the world, especially those living in hot climates, drink iced ...

The Island

Hello from sunny Wales!  It’s been a long time since I could say that.  Seems the rains have eased, fingers crossed. Another Wednesday, time for another Friday Fictioneers story.  Thanks as usual to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who is in sci-fi mode this week and also to Danny Bowman, for providing the photo prompt. Copyright – Danny Bowman Genre: Fiction Word Count: 100 The Island The island has been in my family for generations.  It’s home to seabirds and seals, virtually uninhabited most of the year. The crossing ...

I Want to Hear From You!!!

Usually I'm spouting off about something or other here, but I'd really like to hear from you! Now that May is over and summer has unofficially begun I thought it would be cool to go back and look at a few of your favorite things from his Spring. In the comment section below, please share with us the best book you read; movie you saw or experience you had in the few weeks - please include a few sentences why. My hope ...

The Most Unfortunate Typo Ever

"Public" signs have new meaning... For the past 13 years I've worked in corporate Public Relations, which is sometimes called Public Affairs. I spend a lot of time writing and editing a variety of speeches, news releases, talking points and presentations. From time-to-time I'll attend workshops or conferences to sharpen my skills. It was at one such conference that I saw the most unfortunate typo ever. A professional was set to deliver a PowerPoint slide presentation to the audience of which I ...

The All New Baby Toupee

Yesterday we were just hanging out at the house while our middle daughter was holding our recently born son. Some of her hair spilled over onto his head inspiring this little snippet of video humor. It’s only :17 seconds – it made us laugh anyway!  

My Guest Post for Jon Acuff: 6 Things Not to Tithe

Side Hugging with Jon Acuff I’m honored to be guest posting for my friend Jon Acuff today. Jon is a best-selling author of three books, he’s working on his fourth right now and he’s a highly-sought speaker. I’ve met Jon a few times at various conferences where he’s spoken [see photo insert]. Additionally, he has one of the most popular, satirical blogs on the Internet and it’s humbling to share his platform. Here’s an excerpt from today’s guest post titled 6 Things Not to Tithe For ...

Reading is Dead, Long Live E-Reading

I may have possibly overstated the state of book reading in the title of this post – but it’s close. Consider that last Christmas – 11 short months ago – the largest book seller in the world (Amazon) reported that revenue from e-books had finally surpassed sales of print edition books. Is it really a surprise? Consider what has happened in the music industry. When was the last time you bought an audio tape or even a CD? It’s simply easier and more convenient to ...

The $5.37 “Caption This” Contest: Vol. 3

Thanks to everyone who entered to win the extremely generous, yet random, $5.37 cash prize for the weekly “Caption This” Contest. [EdiTOR's Note: In case you didn't notice, with all the money saved on the weekly cash prize - I sprung for a graphic designer to gin up a spiffy logo icon for the contest.] After much deliberation and consultation with photo experts at Kodak (they’ve got time on their hands following the company’s bankruptcy earlier this year)  a winner has been ...

Little Bird Saves Woman!

Okay, 2012 sort of kicked my butt. Yes. It was a stern teacher springing pop quizzes on my unsuspecting soul, re-teaching me things I thought I had already learned, only to discover that I had acquired a sturdy mental assent on theory but the lessons hadn’t completely made it to my heart. Like a strategist leaning over a map, pushing little red pins into cardboard mountains, I hovered over my kingdom, protecting and projecting, paying no attention at all to ...

Too Prepared for Our Baby???

If you’ve been following this blog for the past few months, you’d know that we’re anxiously expecting our third child. In fact, our newborn still has not yet arrived – and he’s nearly a week late. But while we’ve been waiting for him, we’ve been preparing for his arrival. We’ve got the baby carrier and stroller travel system ready… We’ve got the bases for the baby carrier mounted in both of our vehicles… The nursery is ready and waiting to be occupied…. And there’s one ...

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Colour Mixing Blues

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French Ultramarine (Hidden Violet) This Violet biased Blue is semi transparent and contains a large amount of Violet. When you compare it to a green biased blue you can definitely see the Violet colour within it. Ultramarine Blue was – according to Ralph Mayer – originally made from ground and refined Lapis Lazuli and therefore one of the most costly of art materials. Even more confusing is the fact that …

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

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I can’t help it, but summer puts me in the mood for … a vacation. When I think of summer, I dream of languid days spent at a beautiful tropical beach, with clear blue water, palm trees tossing their fronds in the wind, and freshly squeezed lemonade served in a tall glass filled with ice. Sounds simple enough eh? But that’s not my reality at this moment, so I’ve chosen to inhale some summer loving …

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Underpainting

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Underpainting – what value does it have? If you have been following my blog for a while, you will have noticed my shift to underpainting most of my works now. Why do it? Well the main advantage is that it can give great depth to your work if it is covered by several thin layers of paint over the top. Underpainting is not only a rapid and economical way to envision and develop compositions, it also aids the artist …

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No Forks Needed

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No Forks Needed Genre: Crime Word Count: 100 Mary sat at her usual table, her laptop open and ready. The story she was writing was going well, but now she was stuck. Did she kill off the character giving her problems, or try to rework the plot? She was watching the street, waiting for her muse to return, when two strangers came in. One man went to the kitchen. She heard a …

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Creative Processes – Talking About Resistance

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You see, creative spirits need to be free. They cannot create within the bound confines of strangling political and religious systems. It is the work of creatives to push at the boundaries of human understanding. Which of course why so many of them are not recognized as a genius until after they are dead. Society takes a while to catch up and because it does, and for all the reasons stated …

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Waitete Revisited

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This is a theme that has been popping up a bit this year. A couple of weeks ago I was commissioned to do a painting to match one that one of my collectors bought earlier in the year. She requested a similar scene but with a more moody/misty feel to it. Which progressed to an under layer of colour and establishing the sky clouds. These clouds flowed really smoothly – such a pleasure to paint when it all works! …

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Guest Blog: 3 Best Summer Flowers for Gardening

, at Monrovia Nursery Co.

The summer heat forces us to use tough and sturdy perennials in our garden, capable of withstanding the long and scorching days ahead. Thankfully though, these perennials can be quite gorgeous and colorful as well, like the following ones on our list that you can benefit from planting in your garden: Moonbeam Threaded Coreopsis, Red Valerian Flower and the Goblin Blanket Flower… …

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