180: Easel of Memories (Stocks Prize Assessment) – serendipitouswriter

180: Easel of Memories (Stocks Prize Assessment)

180: Easel of Memories (Stocks Prize Assessment)

In the visible landscape, the wasteland white greedily swallowed everything. Blackened trees with heavy arms loomed over the broken body, curiosity animating their unmoving features. His vacant eyes traced the lining of sparse grey clouds. For a brief moment, he thought of his younger brother, who had had his knees drawn up to his chest, his eyes perpetually gazing into a void the living could not see. He wondered if he would be contorted in a similar posture while he stole a glimpse of dark curtains concealing the conclusion of a long-winded saga.

A freezing lethargy gripped his bones as the winds of winter strangled his exposed throat and ate at his rapidly drying eyes. He wanted to grab at the falling snowflakes and watch them with hopeful eyes. He wanted them to blossom into memories of autumnal contentment from when he was in his hometown.

He thought of his mother’s peaceful countenance. His early morning walks through grass glistening with dew and the previous night’s rain, watching gold and brown autumnal leaves breaking away from stark branches and coming to rest on a desolate dirt road. Watering his younger brother’s dead pot plant with its withered brown leaves. He thought of a saturated panorama of a picturesque town he did not understand, nor did he associate sentimentality with it until he graced it no more. The mental picture was whisked away, the howls of the winds enough to snuff the fires of memory.

Miniscule snowflakes pushed down his weary eyelids. Upon the black canvas he saw shadows roll a grainy film of a young boy standing in his mother’s room. Steadily he watched the rise and fall of the woman’s chest until the boy turned, the neck of a white bottle of medicine clutched by stubby fingers behind his back. He surmised that the boy had given his mother the medicine, but the woman’s features now seemed to be unnaturally still. At what point can a rescue become a murder? Small, spindly legs with ice for feet skated down his spine as he realised the woman had surrendered her right to wake again. The moving picture blurred in his vision as his tears stained the canvas. The little boy’s new companion, regret, drained the picture of any vivid colour. The fiery heat of his tears melted the canvas, and the picture fell away.

Shadows repatched the canvas, replacing stained patches with new quilts of black until they stood aside in silence. A new sequence of shots began; their salient feature his younger brother fiddling with broken twigs in their cramped backyard with a lone tree and a vast expanse of inky blue sky smiling upon their heads. His younger brother was carefully placing them side by side in a childish pattern. Some of the shorter lengths hugged each other while gnarled brown fingers were carelessly tossed aside as if they were outcasts.

“A new artwork?” he asked.

The younger boy stiffened at the sound of his voice, but continued intertwining stems with stems and discarding the unusual lengths on the sides. A tense silence ensued between them before the younger brother paired a stem with a twisted knot for a twig. The young boy stood up and glanced at him furtively before snapping both of the twigs in one swift motion and darting back into the house, his steps echoing fury and angry frustration. Spring grass engulfed the broken bodies of the twigs, and he was left with his jumbled thoughts. The shadows shook their heads and drew a thick, velvet sable curtain over the picture. Instead of relaying a new film, the shadows belched plumes of thick, black smoke. Instantly, he recognised this preview – it was a preview of a grand show he didn’t want tickets for, but somehow had one seat reserved under his name. He tried batting the shadows away, but they would not stop coughing up what he realised was slow poison. His limbs weakened as the smoke wafted through his mouth and nose, crawling through every nerve in his body. The shadows stopped coughing so that they could laugh, their cacophony of accusation reverberating deafeningly within his ears. Somewhere, a pair of fingers sealed themselves together, and the laughter of the shadows was cut off. Not even an echo remained. He held his breath and waited.

There are blissful memories, and there are woeful memories. Sometimes, the sun will routinely cast its rays and somehow they will gracefully filter through a poorly shuttered window. Other times, the sun may not shine at all, and instead it will be muddy rain pounding vulnerable blinds. On most days in a given winter, a loving mother will prepare a hot breakfast for her children and promise that the winter will move on soon. When winter will finally exit, so will a mother who leaves behind her children in a strange world she has yet to finish teaching them about. A house filled with light and life had been severely dimmed. A house where the children had taken their first steps and learned their first words was now devoid of any vibrancy and warmth.

There is a first for everything. The first breath, the first laugh, the first cry, the first photo, the first step, the first kiss, the first argument, the first gift, the first book, the first lesson. But there is never a first death.

In the morning, the winter’s winds washed him clean of the sins and suffering of life.

~ Serendipitous

Source: 180: Easel of Memories (Stocks Prize Assessment) – serendipitouswriter

Stream of consciousness Sunday: The wrong stuff, part twenty two…

I have added the link to Part Twenty two to the end.

Stream of consciousness Sunday: The wrong stuff, part twenty one…



Welcome to the semi-regular, almost certainly temporary Sunday slot for SoCS, wherein we continue the adventures of Hannah and friends, this week with the help of Linda G Hill’s prompt;

” “no.”  Try to think of a specific number, as “no.” is often used as an abbreviation for “number,” and write about it. Or, use it as a word. “

Ok, off we go…

The Wrong Stuff.
Part twenty one – The gang’s all here.

Hannah looked down through a gap in the leaves of the lower canopy, from her position on the branch of an ancient, spreading oak tree, a dizzying twenty feet above the ground. She had clambered up here after Frank had rugby tackled Forrester and carried him through the rift and now had a good view of the clearing and the few remaining searchers, who roamed unenthusiastically around the woods below.
Two of Forrester’s protection detail were stationed at the rift, keeping a wary eye on it whilst staying a safe distance away and making aimless circuits of the clearing, peering into the gloomy dawn light which filtered down through the branches of the trees and occasionally talking quietly on their radios.

She looked at her watch; it was nearly an hour since Frank and Forrester had disappeared and now she was getting cramp in her thigh.
Hannah eased her frozen, numb arse off the branch and lowered her feet onto the one beneath her, carefully locating hand-holds before stretching her stiff legs and continuing her descent.

I can’t just perch in a tree and wait, she thought, I have to get to the rift, I’ve got to…

Then she slipped.

It was lucky for her that she passed between the two lowest branches, giving her a clear, uninterrupted fall of about eight feet to a relatively soft landing of the leafy woodla…


The Wrong Stuff Part twenty two

The wrong stuff, part twenty one…

The wrong, stuff part twenty

The wrong stuff part one

NaPoWriMo #29: Bugs

reproductive termites
Eastern Subterranean Termites: winged reproductives

NaPoWriMo #29: Bugs

I, the bug killer–
Enlisted two more of me
To rid us of bugs.

*reminiscing on the time our office building was infested with reproductive termites*

©Tremaine L. Loadholt 29April16

Feature for Ten: haiku

via: NaPoWriMo #29: Bugs

The Erhu—The Chinese Violin | Welcome To Aussie Emus World

Welcome To Aussie Emus World





It was in Santiago South America that I was first introduced to the Erhu. Ana and I had been exploring the streets of Santiago, Santiago was not new to Ana, but was an exciting new experience for me. The architecture that dated back over a hundred years was mesmerizing, there were elements of many pre colonial countries still in existence and their buildings beautifully presented and maintained. Some had seen the brunt of earthquake damage as did many normal buildings.
Every street and every corner led to a new adventure, the streets were alive with the vibrancy of the people and culture, food stalls dotted the footpaths with their enticing aromas, street buskers added to the flamboyancy of the streets, buskers who portrayed statues, motionless until approached, street pavement artists with their beautiful paintings depicting various scenes, magicians to enthrall the crowds, and in between were street stall holders, selling a vast array of goods from decorative jewelry to shirts and sunglasses. Every street giving off a carnival atmosphere. Interposed were dancers in National Chilean costumes giving demonstrations of the National dance The Cueca.

We entered one street that was set back from the main thoroughfare, here I could hear the strains of music that did not seem to be the normal mixture of Chilean music, this music had more of a classical sound to it, or an Asian sound to it, it reminded me a little of the music I recall in Vietnam in 1970. We continued on towards the origins of this incredible music, and came across a young Chilean teenager playing a very unusual instrument, the music he made was absolutely beautiful, captivated I watched as he played this two stringed instrument and produced the most hypnotic sounds that entranced the mind.
After the young Maestro finished his music, I had questions to ask, and through my interpreter wife Ana, we found out the name of the instrument, it was a Chinese Erhu, the young player had been taught it at one of the musical academy’s in Santiago. His busking was his income and we bought one of his CD’s and congratulated him on his performance. From that moment on it became my desire to obtain an Erhu and endeavour to learn. Back in Australia through our many travels I realised that obtaining this instrument was no easy task, the music stores had never heard of the instrument, it is only now that I have learnt it is called the Chinese Violin in Western countries but still where to obtain one was still a problem.

Last week we visited Adelaide in South Australia for a few days, it was there in Chinatown that I saw my beloved Erhu, at a small stall were two young Chinese girls selling Chinese musical instruments, and they also demonstrated playing the instruments. We purchased the Erhu and also received some papers in respect to having lessons on the Erhu by the noted player Zhao Liang. Having come this far in my quest for the Erhu there was no question in not taking up lessons to learn to play this exquisite instrument, the only problem is we live about four hour away from Adelaide; however we have plans to continue with the instrument, but need to work out a lesson itinerary to accommodate travel.

I have included a video clip of the Erhu being played by a professional, however I assure my readers I have no aspirations to reach the standards of the Masters of the Erhu, they are truly the Masters. If I can make some sounds and enjoy the instrument then it has all been worthwhile. Please listen to the music and I am sure you will find the hauntingly beautiful music as captivating as we did.


Source: The Erhu—The Chinese Violin | Welcome To Aussie Emus World

My Article Read (4-28-2016) by lafayetteangel



Posted on April 29, 2016

  1. What is lacking in your faith? The Fix-it Shop-Filling Station

  2. Has Ted Cruz lost his mind?…

  3. The Erhu—The Chinese Violin

  4. Taller, stronger wall for White House planned; southern border still waiting…

  5. Just one more… or is it two?

  6. Intermission (6) – Fort MacDill, Tampa/St. Pete, FL

  7. Forever Ballerina

  8. Movement politics

  9. On the Maori claim to ownership of NZ’s water:

  10. Advertisements from long, long ago — For the Children™ edition

  11. Find the cat hiding among the owls!

  12. Sorry Ted: I’d Rather Not Fight, But It’s Time That I Switched

  13. America: Pray, Pray, Pray!!

  14. Government…

  15. Why the Right Book Reviews are So Important for Authors

  16. Snippet of The Day 04.28.16

  17. I’m Back….

  18. Color My World: Yellow Green

  19. 26/30 “Jamaican Bun”

  20. No one knows

  21. I Really Wanna Know

  22. Celebration

  23. Otwartość na zmiany   (Openness to change)

  24. Jujur Pada Diri Sendiri   (Honest In Yourself)

  25. Snow!

  26. My Thought of the Day – 4/28/16

  27. Betrayal..

  28. Reminding

  29. Disembarking The Organization Struggle Bus

  30. Apply To Be My Friend

  31. The last time

  32. FOTO DO DIA   (Photo Of The Day)

  33. Tent – Rob Goldstein 2014

  34. Can Quality Sleep Be A Factor In Preventing Diabetes?

  35. The Light

via: My Article Read (4-28-2016)

Why Creative Freedom May Be Holding You Back | Glory Begin

Originally posted on Glory Begin

By Allison Marie Conway.


There is something an artist does bravely, without asking and without being told.

There is no instruction manual on how to do this thing right or how to ensure it is “successful” by the world’s standards.

And yet just doing this one thing is reason enough for an artist to call himself a success.

It is the reason she does her most soulful, moving and beautiful creative work.

It’s happening now all across the world. You might be doing it.

In fact, I KNOW most of you are doing it (and doing it damn well, by the way, lovers, bravo).

What is this elusive thing the artist dares to do?

The artist claims the freedom he has been so given to create.

He dares perform such a rebellious act as turning a blank page / canvas / screen into something powerful by filling it with HIS words, colors, choices, perspective, imagery, sound, flavor, sweat, blood, tears, emotion, passion, sensation.

She dares turn the vacant emptiness – the astonishing, vacuous, menacing, punishing void – into the magic of HER idea. capturing and executing a vision out of what appears to be nothing at all.

By picking up a pen / instrument / paintbrush and turning the blank into an expression, the artist dares to use the freedom many are too afraid to claim.

And it may sound counter intuitive (okay: it sounds WICKED counter intuitive) but using our freedom to create is brave because freedom is scary.

No one tells us we are allowed and no one promises to be there when shit goes wrong. No one tells us how because there is no “how” there is only making this up as we go. No one knows what it takes unless they do it themselves. Most people do not use the creative freedom they have because they are afraid of the unfamiliar, of being in a wide open place that is uncertain, uncharted, uninhabited.

Fear of this vast, glorious freedom can hold us back unless we dare to claim it and step into it boldly, with confidence and faith. I believe the Universe is here to raise us up.  That we must do what we are afraid to do and trust that a Higher Energy is on our side and wants us to take the leap.

// because // 

i will take the menacing sunlight and turn it into
the softest rain
i know you like the
way it falls.
i will take the screaming and turn it into
the slightest steady breath
i know you like the way
and even as you twist your thorny
mind around such fears as being
being crucified lost banished mistreated
ridiculed threatened cheated
i will wait for you to let go
of them
as long as it takes, time doesn’t
matter the least bit to me.
i have been waiting all this time and i will wait
out eternity to see
you fly
to hold your head up high
to live as though i live
for you and know at last,


go to the source now


Source: Why Creative Freedom May Be Holding You Back | Glory Begin

Story #36-The Magic Umbrella, Part 1

The Magic Umbrella–Part 1 by Susan Bruck

Myrtle was on her way home from first grade when the sky split open with a resounding crack and all the waters from the heavens seemed to pour right on her head .  She stood still, unsure of where to go in the sudden deluge.  The rain was so loud she couldn’t hear herself think.

Then the water stopped falling on her, although she could still hear it.  She pushed her dripping hair out of her eyes and saw a boy standing next to her. She had never seen him before, which was strange, because everyone knew everyone in her little town of Grendleford.  He had blond hair so pale that it was almost clear and pale blue eyes, and he had an umbrella.  It wasn’t an ordinary umbrella.  It was shaped like a mushroom and was bright blue and green with swirls of orange and bright yellow five-pointed stars.

“Hi, Myrtle,” he said.  “Can I walk you home?”

“Sure, thanks,” said Myrtle.  “Hey, wait. How do you know my name?” []

Source: Story #36-The Magic Umbrella, Part 1