Changing Seasons 2017: October

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Newly shorn, the meadow lies bare now under the October sun, the golden trim giving accent to the surround of autumnal trees. The air holds a bitter nip that the early light is hesitant to dispel, but the clear sky promises pleasant hours ahead – a welcome change from the wet, windy and overcast days that have characterized the month so far.  The benches beckon you to sit, but the chill encourages you to continue your exploration.

Beyond the meadow, the woodland beckons.

Within the shelter of the trees, the light is filtered through a filigree of golden brown leaves, whilst the air is heavy with the scents of damp earth and decomposing vegetation – an aroma unique to the season. Birds sing from their concealment above. Underfoot, fallen leaves squelch, a moist mess after the recent rainfall.

Your senses absorb each fleeting stimulus, recharging your energy as you bathe in nature’s beauty. The sun rises higher in the sky. You know that you are now ready to face whatever the day might bring…


This post is for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons Monthly Photo Challenge. All of the pictures were taken on a single morning at the meadow. The weather during the rest of the month, unfortunately, didn’t inspire me to go out photographing. Or to leave the house at all, really…

I hope you like them.

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Monochrome Monday: Small Comforts

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Small Comforts

Cara dropped onto her bed, tugging the blanket over her shoulders as weariness pinned her to the mattress. Sleep soon began to smother her thoughts. She welcomed its oblivion after the backbreaking work of the day.

The voice of the new girl jolted her back to awareness.

She was tempted to respond – irritably – but tiredness held her silent. She gritted her teeth, trying not to listen as the girl whined about the harsh conditions and the uncomfortable bed. At least the brat had a bed, as hard as the thing might be. She ought to just be thankful for that and save her whinging for the issues that actually mattered… Unfortunately, the girl would probably be learning about those soon enough.

Cara pulled her blanket over her head. She’d spent too many nights huddled in whatever shelter she could find, with only newspapers and a thin coat for warmth, to not be thankful for the small comforts she’d been granted. At least here they were out of the elements. And away from the predatory men who stalked the city streets.

Most of them, anyway.

The new girl fell finally silent as the door creaked open. Heavy footsteps crossed the room.

Word Count: 2oo


That story suddenly became far darker than I intended it to be. :\

Sorry

The picture is another one taken at the Southwell Workhouse. I think the light and the bleak setting tends to lend itself well to black and white photography. And to rather dark stories.

FFfAW: The Truth in the Tale

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The Truth in the Tale

Jonin enjoyed telling stories. He couldn’t deny it. As a knight of many years’ service he had numerous exploits to share. But there was one thing everyone wanted to know – what really happened after the Battle of Ebden Moor?

There were only a few known facts. He and Mikael had been missing for months, given up for dead, only to reappear, riding double on a mysterious horse that vanished soon after. Beyond that was… open to interpretation.

And shy of truth.

The truth… was that Jonin knew little more than they. He had no idea where he’d been or what he’d done. One moment he’d been upon a battlefield. The next, a fey beast was carrying him and his closest friend home. And several months had passed.

Mikael, annoyingly, had told him little. He’d claimed Jonin had been wounded, though no sign of injury remained. He’d insisted they’d spent the months travelling, but no memories leant credence to his claim. He’d offered no explanation for the horse.

His audiences didn’t need to know that, however…

Word count: 175 words

To read the other entries, or to submit your own, click the little blue frog.

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Dorothy. Thank you, Dorothy.

As you can possibly tell from how late I’m posting this, I struggled a little with this prompt. It was only once I changed the bike to a horse that I had any idea what to write at all. Unfortunately, the ideas then flowed so thick and fast that writing a story in only 175 words became an absolute nightmare! This is the third one I’ve written. The first is over 700 words, the second nearly 600 and not yet finished!

The 700+ story is more or less complete, and tells Mikael’s side of events. I might post it later…

Rudolph Colouring Picture

I thought I’d reblog some of the colouring pictures I shared last year. This is the first of a set of ten, all of which can be found in the Christmas Colouring Pictures category tab above. Feel free to download this or any of the others to print out on paper. Hopefully it’s perfect for keeping the kids entertained for a while.

I like to use this picture as part of a craft activity, where the kids use small bits of wool for his face, fabric for his antlers, and red foil for his nose.

To make it into a Christmas card you can position the picture on the right hand side of the page (in landscape orientation) before it’s printed out onto a sheet of cardboard. Make sure the picture is entirely on the right – otherwise, when you fold the sheet in half the picture will be partly on the back of the card. And, yes, I’ve seen this happen quite a few times!

Have fun. 🙂

The Storyteller's Abode

Rudolph Colouring Picture

Here’s the first of my Christmas colouring pictures for you to enjoy. I have lots more to come…

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Moonage Daydream

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“Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah…” – David Bowie, ‘Moonage Daydream’


Like so many others across the world I waited eagerly for the supermoon to rise a few nights ago. Unfortunately I found myself to be disappointed as the overcast sky hid it from view. Luckily for me the sky did clear a few hours later, but the moon was so high by then that the pictures I took had little of interest to them – especially when compared to all the wonderful shots that had onto flooded the internet from around the globe.

Well, last night (after finishing my Nano writing for the day) I decided to have a play around with one of the shots in Photoshop. It’s been a while since I last did any real photo editing, so it was fun to get really creative with it. I found myself singing the Bowie song, ‘Moonage Daydream’, whilst doing so – one of my favourite tracks off the ‘Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ album. It just seemed to fit. If you don’t know it, you should follow the link above and check it out. 🙂

This, by the way, was the original photo I worked from. It’s quite a noisy picture, which is what gives the sky in the edited version its colour:

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Back to Nano for me now. I’m still over 7000 words behind the daily target, but there are enough hours left in the day that I should be able to narrow the gap some more…