TDWC – The Doors Behind the Doors

Dan Antion at No Facilities hosts the annual Thursday Doors Writing Challenge in May. It goes from May 1 to May 31. Bloggers were invited to submit door photos for the prompts. I submitted three door photos. It was my pleasure that Dan used one of my photos as his prompt to write Uncle Otto.

 This is my first year participating in Dan’s Thursday Doors Writing Challenge. Kerf’s Zen Garden Entrance caught my eye and inspired me to write this flash fiction piece.

Zen Garden Entrance – photo prompt submitted by Kerf

“The door was there. I swear.” Jack frantically scanned left and right across the wall, unblinking. There was no trace.

He dashed toward the brilliant white wall, banging with both rigid fists. Despaired, dropping to the ground on his knees, arms raised, fingers glued to the wall, knocking with his forehead.

“Calm down. Panicking doesn’t help.” A soothing voice rippled through his head.

“Okay. I don’t have forever to find the door. Hurry.”

He inspected the area where the door appeared, traced up and down, side to side, with his fingertips inch by inch.

His left small finger came to a stop with the sensation of dipping into a dent. He carefully pressed the finger to ensure the position. Replaced the small finger with his right index finger, he tracked the invisible contour clockwise. A metal ring stopped his finger to go further. He hastened to put his fingers through the ring and yanked. The door opened slowly with resistance. He squeezed his left leg and then his body through before letting his fingers leave the ring.

The door closed behind him. It’s pitch black. The glare from the previous room played tricks on his sight. He blinked and blinked. He squeezed his eyes shut and opened them again.

“Come on. Show me the door. I don’t get all day.”

“Calm down. Panicking doesn’t help.” The soothing voice returned.

“Okay. I know.”

He stepped backward, cupping his head with both hands, sinking his body with his back against the wall until his bottom hit the floor.

His pupils opened slowly. He detected rainbow waves on the wall in a circular room. No sight of a door.

“Of course. Why would you make it easy for me? I’ll find you.”

Even though with no logic, he glides his ten fingers through the waves. Disappointed. His sense of compass direction told him he covered the entire circular ground.

Pressing his ear on the wall, he tapped the surface with his knuckles as he went around again slowly.

“Hollow… hollow… hollow. Wait, this sounds solid. Got to be a door.” He swept the immediate area up and down and around and felt nothing.

He tapped again to find the area between hollow and solid. Then he positioned the upper right body on the solid and thrust with all his might.

The door swung open. He dropped and flew to the other side of the room. He heard a bang.

“Sh**! My head. It hurts.”

“At least you found the door behind the door.” His inner partner justified.

“Now what? Two done, one more to go. Time is running out.”

“Calm down. Panicking doesn’t help. Remember?”

“What is this? What is the Disco Ball doing here? A dancing party?”

“Never mind. Find the last door.”

The reflections from the Disco Ball mirror spun on a wall. Jack could see a door spinning counterclockwise with colored reflections. He ran after the door. The spinning went faster and faster. He was just half a step behind from grabbing the door handle. With determination, he pushed and leaped on his right foot. He did it. His right hand is hooked onto the door handle. As soon as he touched the handle, the door dissipated into darkness. Revealed before his sight was a small rocky and low-ceiling cave.

“Clara! Clara!” His voice echoed.

“Here, Jack?”


“Follow the stream upward.”

“I’m coming.”


“Here I am.”

“Untie me.”

“Okay. We have 35 seconds. My watch synchs with the timer.”

“See the light? That’s the opening. Let’s run.”

“Can you run?”

“I can. Let’s go.”

“Ohh, it’s a cliff. The bomb will go off in 5 seconds. Can you jump down to the ocean?”

“We have no choice.”

“Jump away from the rock as far as possible.”


~ ~ ~



“You screamed.”

“I did?”

“You fell asleep. You only got a few hours of sleep after your night shift. Thank you for coming to our yacht party for my mom’s birthday. Some guys went down to the boat and just flipped over for a dive. Do you care to join them?”

“I love you, Clara! I’ll give my life to save you.”


“I love you so much. I wouldn’t let anyone hurt you.”

“You talk funny. I love you too. The server opened another bottle of Champaign. Let’s go celebrate.”

“Of course. To your mom and to us.”

~ ~ ~

If you are interested in joining the writing for the Third Annual Thursday Doors Writing Challenge, click the link, pick a door, and write a story, poem, novel, screenplay, musical score – anything at all. Post your writing on your blog and email your post to Dan.

TDWC – The Doors Behind the Doors




Thursday Doors – Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

The Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge at Dan Antion’s site No Facility for people who love doors and architecture to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos, drawings, or other images or stories from around the world. If you’d like to join us, simply create your own Thursday Doors post and then share a link to your post in the comments in Dan’s post.

I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day with your mothers in the family last Sunday. We wanted to have Mother’s Day brunch, but many restaurants didn’t accept reservations for Sunday. Just showing up and waiting for several hours wasn’t what we wanted to do. So, we had Mother’s Day dinner on Saturday. On Sunday, we spent the morning visiting Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. It was a delightful trip admiring the beautiful flowers and sceneries there.

I didn’t find any doors at Crystal Springs. So, I borrowed two photos from their neighbors, Reed College and Eastmoreland Golf Course, with doors.

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is a botanical garden located between Reed College and the Eastmoreland Golf course in southeastern Portland, Oregon in the US. The Garden covers 9.49 acres. The first rhododendron show was held in 1956. In 1964, the Garden was officially named Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, for the numerous springs within the Garden.

The original garden was designed by Ruth Hansen, a landscape architect, and a Portland Chapter member. The portion of the garden known as the Peninsula was designed by Wallace K. Huntington and was dedicated in 1977. The rocks used to build the waterfalls and other features were gathered from Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams.

Shortly after entering the Garden, we’re welcomed by an arched wooden bridge over a pond with waterfowl and water creatures. The garden is home to over 100 types of birds and other wildlife.




Canada geese and their goslings

There are over 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants in the garden. They are donated by volunteers and interested individuals or purchased with specially donated funds. Rhododendrons typically bloom from late February through July, and peak in late April to early May. The well-maintained Garden is a relaxing place to visit year-round.


I fell in love with the gorgeous rhododendrons and azaleas. I bought seven varieties and different colors of these beautiful flowers. So far, I planted two azaleas and one rhododendron in my front yard. I’ll plant the other four in the backyard soon.

Check out more Thursday Doors posts by clicking the following link.

Thursday Doors – Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden




In the Tree’s Shadow by Denise L. Finn – Blog Tour

I’m delighted to welcome my friend, author, and blogger, Denise L. Finn, as my guest today. Please join me to celebrate her new release of In the Tree’s Shadow, a collection of short stories.

Thank you, Miriam, for having me visit today to talk about my short story collection, In the Tree’s Shadow.

“Playdate” was a part of my personal short story challenge. I had a family member pick a word, and then I used that word to find an image on Canva. The image that came up would inspire a story. My husband picked the word, ruthless. So, between the image found, and it being right before Halloween, I was led down an interesting path.

What if you took your child to a house for a playdate, and it was like visiting the Addams family, minus the good humor? Sandy brings her son, Bobby, for such a play date. The house is dark, and the windows keep the light out, and on a wall are some scary photographs.

 Sandy and her son get into a situation that might not be a way out of that house.


A collection of short stories where dreams and nightmares coexist.

Nestled inside these pages, you’ll meet a couple in their golden years who take a trip with an unexpected detour, a boy desperate to give his brother the Christmas gift he asked for, a girl with a small glass dragon who is at the mercy of her cruel uncles, and a young mother who has a recurring dream about murder. You’ll be introduced to worlds where people get second chances and monsters might be allowed their desires, while angels and dragons try to help. Happy endings occur, but perspective can blur the line between good and evil in these twenty-seven tales. Since the stories vary between 99 and 12,000 words, whether you have only five minutes or an entire evening to settle into reading, there is something that will suit your time and taste.


I forced a smile and turned away from the picture. The yellow eyes were watching me. I nervously stuffed a cucumber sandwich into my dry mouth. Big mistake. It caught in my throat and then burned. I could taste the hot peppers as I coughed. I was positive I was going to die.

“Are you okay, Sandy?” Jessie’s clear blue eyes showed concern as she handed me a glass of water.

“Yes, I swallowed wrong.”

Bobby clung to my arm while Freddie sat on the couch, wearing a frown. This playdate was a huge mistake.

“Freddie, honey, why don’t you show Bobby your room?”

Freddie’s face lit up. “Sure. I can show him my new ax!”

I cleared my throat. “Ax?”

“He asked for it for his birthday, but it’s been put away. He knows we don’t play with weapons when we have guests. Right, Freddie?”

Freddie let out a loud sigh. “Yes, Mommy. No weapons on playdates. I remember. But can we show him later?”

Jessie winked at me. “Maybe later.”

I gently detached myself from Bobby’s tightened grasp. “Maybe we should go with them.”

“We’d be in the way.” She waved. “You two be good.”

Bobby followed Freddie down the hall like he was on death row making that last walk to his end. I was with him. They decorated the place like a haunted house, and the windows had dark drapes keeping the light and the world out. What wasn’t black was gray, and the pictures! I shuddered. These were things of nightmares, including the so-called school picture of Freddie.



  1. I never tire of watching it snow. The first time I saw it happen was when I was a teenager.
  2. We have what we call a hall ghost. It’s friendly and patrols the hallway.


D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include children’s books, adult fiction, a unique autobiography, and poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:






D.L. Finn blog

Amazon Page




Thursday Doors – Tulip Festival

The Thursday Doors is a weekly challenge at Dan Antion’s site No Facility for people who love doors and architecture to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos, drawings, or other images or stories from around the world. If you’d like to join us, simply create your own Thursday Doors post and then share a link to your post in the comments in Dan’s post.

I have two doors in this post. One is the door of the windmill and the other is the door of the Berry-go-round in the kids’ area in the Tulip Farm. The rest of the photos are the tulips that I wanted to share with you.

We had a family outing to visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival on Sunday, April 23. This was my first time being there. I had been looking forward to this trip for quite a few years. I missed it one year because the weather was cold, and the flowers were not blooming.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is 40 acres of land with over 100 varieties of tulips, a windmill, and a view of Mt. Hood on a clear day. The owners have been growing tulips since 1974. The farm has expanded beyond the beautiful tulips and added a gift shop, food, and family-friendly fun in the kids’ area, train rides, and pony rides. Visitors can purchase fresh-cut flowers and potted tulips, or tulip bulbs for fall planting.

Two days prior to the trip, my daughter checked the Daily Field Report. She reminded me to wear boots because the field was muddy. I was glad she thought of reminding me. Wearing my rain boots made me walk freely in the soft mud. We didn’t see Mt Hood because it was cloudy, but at least it wasn’t raining.

We spent almost two hours walking and taking photos of the tulips and admiring the stream trucks. After a light lunch, we took our granddaughters on rides in the kids’ area.

We all had a wonderful and fun day. I hope you liked my selection of the tulips I shared.

Thursday Doors – Tulip Festival

Tina Lost in a Crowd by Miriam Hurdle

What a wonderful surprise! Thomas Wikman, a retired software/robotics engineer, the Leonbergers owner, lover, expert, and trainer, featured me three times in four months. Wow! What an honor. Today, he features my children’s book, Tina Lost in a Crowd.

He bought my book for his friends who have young children. Before he mailed the book to his friends, he wanted to look at it but ended up reading the entire book and reviewing it. What a delight to find his enthusiastic and honest review. Please head over to enjoy his review. While there, check out “Bronco” his handsome Leonberger, and his book.

This is the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle" by Thomas Wikman. Click on the image to go to the location for the book.

Amazon Purchase Link

Leonberger Life

This is a Leonberger blog but sometimes I post about books that I want to promote. This post is a review and a promotion of a very good children’s book called Tina Lost in a Crowd Paperback – April 15, 2021 by Miriam Hurdle and illustrated by Victoria Skakandi.

I bought this book for friends of ours who have young children, but I read it first. I found it to be a very good and useful book, which is why I mailed it to them. Your child getting lost is one of the many nightmares’ parents must suffer. Yet it is such a common occurrence that your nightmare is bound to come true at some point. Would your children know what to do?

Front cover of the book Tina Lost in a Crowd Paperback. It features a child looking lost. It is colorful.
Front cover of the Tina Lost in a Crowd Paperback. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the paperback.

The paperback version of…

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