Ha(r)py Holidays, one and all; also, some HorrorLite flash fiction

Well, it’s been a while. Your bated-breath waiting is NO LONGER! Here’s a(nother)

Meeping Angel
Not my brilliant image. Look on the Internetz!

twisted flash fiction story, or perhaps it should be more aptly described as slash fiction (for those of you who hate horror, light or otherwise, you may of course skip it . . . this is light on the horror Scoville scale, I must say). Probably sums up this crappy orange Nehi year pretty well, however.

I will (I think) return to this blog in January as I get back on my literary feet—unstressed, I hope!—and share some books I’ve been reading and am longer overdue talking about, from friends and strangers alike, some personal travelogues, maybe some Leigh’s Un-Wisdom, too.

In the meantime, stay curious, stay strong, and, most importantly, stay weird.

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Ohmigod, Tannenbaum! A Hallow-istmas story

by Leigh Ward-Smith

They wouldn’t have to walk much farther than a quarter- or half-mile to find a good tree at Old Man Kettler’s farm. Many pines were finished out, as Kettler himself liked to say, in the weeks before Halloween.

So, it couldn’t hurt to check out the stock early, in effect staking out a prize tree before everybody and his brother got to it. Could it?

Brie Cardone didn’t think so, and she’d convinced a couple friends without too much prodding. Adam and Sarah were up for the challenge. In that spirit, ideas were floated, texts were sent, and plans were set.

Dead-set. Continue reading

On the Road with the Wordsmiths

We are on holiday. Nonetheless, for your viewing and reading entertainment, here are a few phone snaps as we travel the states. I hope you all are enjoying whatever season you find yourselves in.

On that #travel note, you might also like to check out Cee’s “Which Way?” photography challenge, which asks for your best photographs of paths, signs, ways, roads, walking trails, tunnels, railways, and so on. Totally unplanned, but I managed to get several pictures that fit the challenge (some not shown here). In addition to seeking your photos, Cee has some intriguing photos of her own this week, particularly a “shadow tree-person” that could easily be used to fuel a fiction-writing prompt.

And remember: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” (Mark Twain, from Innocents Abroad)

Sharing My World: Week 21

ED NOTE: Oopsies! I meant Cee Neuner’s Share Your World challenge, Week 21, but her wife Chris’ post is awesome, too!

If you could make a 15-second speech to the entire world, what would you say?

As much as possible, be kind to animals, including the human kind, and the planet. Keep your mind and body moving. Laugh & smile liberally. And finally, love unveils strength, not weakness. Embrace it.

Photograph of Machu Picchu, in Peru, by Martin St-Amant - Wikipedia - CC-BY-SA-3.0

Photograph of Machu Picchu, in Peru, by Martin St-Amant – Wikipedia – CC-BY-SA-3.0.

If you could take a photograph, paint a picture or write a story of any place in the world, what and where would it be?

Although I am a writer at heart and, as such, I love plotting and planning, daydreaming and nightdreaming, I immediately discarded writing and painting for photography (painting is fun; no umbrage meant!). I felt that photographing a place would be a more visceral, significant experience of the place with the literal equipment that I have as well as the mental and emotional machinery. Ah, but so many places vied for attention. First, Heaven/Paradise/Valhalla/the Afterlife. If I could photograph that, presuming it really exists, and yet come back to Earth afterward for at least a few more years . . . eureka! That would be cool. Failing that and if I weren’t chicken, how ’bout these: Jupiter, Middle Earth, Narnia, Xanth, China, India (okay, all of Asia), Machu Picchu, Alaska, Scotland, and Yellowstone.

If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single store but could remove nothing, which store would you pick?

Reading my fellow introverts’ much-better answers here makes me feel either really unpragmatic or terribly survivalist, because I didn’t plan anything for food the entire weekend. D’Oh! Here are my thoughts. If I were looking at the “busy/active factor,” I would go for a running, camping, biking, art/crafting, antiques, or toy store. If I were more introspective, I would gravitate to the local bookstore (which is in an older two-level home) or any other bookstore or library, an art museum or gallery, or a store in a museum or zoo.

If you were given a boat or yacht today, what would you name it?  (You can always sell the yacht later)

I would call it (the) Raymond Luxury-Yacht, but it would have to be pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove. 🙂

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

  1. Ah, so many things to be grateful for. My family’s love and patience buttresses it all. Specifics? I’m glad we’ve had a cold/allergies because it’s a signal we’re alive and kicking; it could have been much worse; and I think it makes us more aware and appreciative of good-health moments.
  2. Looking forward to: Smiling and laughing, Kid #1’s graduation/carnival; not having a cold anymore; gardening and, I hope, seeing some new life sprouting; running; reading and writing; and spending time with the family.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Reflection Photo

Chihuly art glass reflections in front of the Climatron geodesic dome at Missouri Botanical Garden. Photograph copyright, Leigh Ward-Smith, 2014.

Reflection Close-Up

Chihuly close-up. Photograph copyright, Leigh Ward-Smith, 2014.

For this weekly photo challenge, I am offering up these photographs from several years ago. They were taken on a somewhat windy day as you can see from the ripples in the pool. These large-scale, floating glass sculptures are by artist Dale Chihuly and were installed at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri. Glasstronomical sculptures, aren’t they? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) With or without an inspiring artistic installation, the Garden—also occasionally called MoBot—is a place to put on your travel itinerary should you ever visit the city that is perhaps best known for its Arch and dubbed “the gateway to the West.” Well, thanks for visiting my blog today; please drop by again anytime!