Monthly Archives: January 2014

Travel theme: Wood

Ailsa’s wood theme this week was a tough one for me…not because I never photograph wood, but because I do it so often. I had hundreds of pictures to sift through because I have a love affair with wood, from tree stumps to shipwrecks to antique furniture to hand-carved architectural details.

You can travel over to Ailsa’s blog Where’s My Backpack? to check out some other wood-themed photos.

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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Challenges, Photography



Much to prove

The first time I saw a ewe give birth, I puked. A brand new lamb, bathed in my lunch.

The flu, I swear.

But the old farm hand asked with a sly grin, “Learn that in vet school?”


A challenging prompt this week from Trifextra: Take the snippet The first time I saw… and add 33 more one-syllable words to create a 38-word story.


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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Challenges, Fiction


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Travel theme: Illuminated

I have a lot to learn about nighttime photography, so I don’t have a lot of great photos for Ailsa’s challenge this week. I decided that illuminated didn’t necessarily have to mean nighttime, so I threw in one shot with the sun streaming through the window for good measure. 🙂

Check out others’ interpretations of Illuminated at Where’s my backpack?

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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Challenges, Photography



The Big Blow

c2a9dawn_q-_landauPhoto copyright Dawn Quyle Landau

Mama, what is it? Why you cryin’?

Remember dat piddly-ass check FEMA gimme after Katrina? $1700 for “rent and expenses”?

Yeah, don’t know how dey ‘spected you to live on dat kinda money. Why?

Dey want it back.

Want what back?

Da money!! Dis here letter say there was some kinda “clerical error,” and now dey want da money back. It been six years! Dat money gone! Why else I be here livin’ offa you and Jeanie?

Okay, Mama, just relax. We gonna fix dis.

Oh, Lordy. First my house, den my freedom, now my dignity. I got nothin’ left.


It’s Friday Fictioneers time again! One hundred words in response to a photo chosen by leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. There’s a solid group of 80-100 writers who contribute stories each week–if you haven’t checked out the links, you’re missing some great fiction.

Dawn’s photo is actually of a bathroom in Barbados, but no roof, missing steps…I immediately thought hurricane damage. So I went to Google to see what interesting things I could find about hurricanes and stumbled upon the outrageous story of FEMA trying to reclaim nearly $600 million from Katrina victims six years after the relief payments had been made (I was living overseas at the time, consciously avoiding as much US news as I could, so I missed the story when it actually occurred in 2011). Now, I can understand trying to recoup losses from fraudulent claims, but trying to squeeze money out of innocent folks (many of whom are elderly, disabled, and economically unstable) because of the agency’s own internal errors really rubbed me the wrong way.


Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Challenges, Fiction



Ice, Ice, Baby

It is cold here in Virginia, as it has been throughout much of the country for much of the week. Taking advantage of the fact that the mercury actually rose out of the 20s a few hours after sunrise, I ventured out this morning for a walk around the lake. It’s frozen. All the way across, although not nearly solid enough for skating. Some curious youngsters had chucked pencil box-sized rocks out there to test the ice’s strength, and none of them broke through the surface. A flock of about 50 Canada geese were sliding around out in the center of the lake, honking in disapproval at their inability to get their feet wet (I wish I had seen them land there…and try to take off again). As I walked along the dam, I noticed some very cool, but unexplainable ice formations shrouding the winter-dead vegetation:



Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Observations, Photography, True Life