Author Archives: Miriam Hurdle

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge: Photo Prompt – The Messenger

It’s the middle of the month challenge ~ time for a photo prompt! Colleen wants us to use this photo as the inspiration for the poem.

 

 

The Messenger

A

bottle

half buried

in smooth white sand.

Reminder of kisses,

warm braces and loving gazes,

our future we celebrated.

Through cruelty we were separated.

Holding tears this bottle I picked up.

“I’m alive, call this number, my love.”

 

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge: Photo Prompt – The Messenger

 

 

 

August 15: Flash Fiction Challenge – First Homemade Low Sugar Plum Jam

August 15, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sweet jam. It can take you to the kitchen or the smokey room of a back-alley bar. What makes it sweet? Go where the prompt leads you!

 

jam logo

 

It was a long, wet, cold winter this year. The surprising news welcome us back from our trip to Hong Kong and Japan in the middle of January. The previous wet winters came and left in a hurry, so I didn’t expect anything different this year.

The rain was persistent and heavy, dropping week after week. It didn’t let the sun come out even for one day. The sky wore a gray cloak in prolonged mourning. For eight weeks, the first thing I did in the morning was to look out the window, checked the color of the sky. There wasn’t any contrast of fluffy white and clear blue. Then I went to the backyard to check on the two plum trees and the clovers on the slope next to the trees. There were scattered white buds on the trees, and yellow spots on the clovers, but the flowers only smiled to the sun. The bees were not there because only the yellow flowers could invite the bees that time of the year. Without the bees, even if there were plum blossoms, there was no promise of any plums in early spring. I repeated the same routine every morning.

By the first week of March, the white plum blossoms formed a party. What a precious sight that my camera couldn’t resist. This protective mom checked every white bud and flower, then checked the yellow clover, and the sign of bees. They must be synchronized, and the conductor of this orchestra is the sun. I counted the number of white pedals got wet and folded and dropped.

A check of the ten-day forecast was in order. There was a glimpse of hope for a clear sky. I would believe it when the sun shows up. And it did in the middle of March. It synchronized all the players.

The plums kept me picking. For the sake of curiosity, I tallied them. From June 16 to July 15, 2019, one thousand and one hundred plums (1100) were picked. What a year!

 

 

First Homemade Low Sugar Plum Jam

 

“What are we doing with all the plums?”

“We eat them.”

“How many can we eat?”

“As many as we can for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

“You picked 475 in two weeks but only ate less than 75. They are getting mushy.”

“I know. I’ll take them to some meetings to give them away.”

“Can we sell them?”

“Are you kidding? How do I do that and who would buy them?”

“What if we can’t give them away fast enough?”

“I’ll find some low sugar plum jam recipes and do my first homemade jam.”

“It sounds like a plan.”

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction, August 15, 2019 – First Homemade Low Sugar Plum Jam

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #59 – Angles

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #59 – Angles. This week, Ann-Christine invites us to look at the world from different angles and interpret what we see. I found a few quotes and a few sets of photos. The quotes may not refer to any photos so I do not link them together.

“The first impression of a new subject is not necessary the best. Seen from a different angle or under different condition it might look even better. Always study a three-dimensional subject with one eye closed” – Andreas Feininger

“Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue…” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“One moment the world is as it is. The next, it is something entirely different. Something it has never been before.” ― Anne Rice, Pandora

 

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1.IMG_7563 hemisferic

The buildings in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain include Valencia Opera House, Hemisferic, Prince Felipe Museum of Science, Oceanografic, and Agora. They were designed by Santiago Calatrava. The photos included are the two views of Hemisferic which is a splendid Laserium, Planetarium and IMAX cinema.

 

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Whenever weather allows, my camera is ready to take photos from the airplane. It was snowing on this day before Christmas. Portland, Oregon doesn’t have heavy snow and I was happy to get a bird eye view and a close to the ground view of the somewhat snowy landscape.

 

LA arboretum Peacock

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Every time I look at these photos of the peacock, I was glad my camera snapped them. It was not too often I could have a behind the scene view of the peacock.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #59 – Angles

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #57 – Taking A Break

The theme for Lens-Artists Challenge this week from Tina is: Taking A Break.

The Huntington Library is a great place to go when we want to take a break. I lived about 2 miles from The Huntington in the early 1980s when there was no admission fee. We are now living about 25 miles from it and it’s convenient to go to spend a day. Since I have been there many times, during the last visit, I took time to read some manuscripts in the library and read the descriptions of the art collection. Taking photos is not allowed in the library. It’s allowed in the art collection with no flash of the camera so I took photos of the famous Pink Lady and Blue Boy.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is an educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington (1850–1927).  It is in Los Angeles County in San Marino, California.

The library contains a substantial collection of rare books and manuscripts, concentrated in the fields of British and American history, literature, art, and the history of science. Spanning from the 11th century to the present, the library’s holdings contain 7 million manuscript items.

In addition to the library, it houses an extensive art collection of 18th- and 19th-century European art and 17th- to mid-20th-century American art. The 500 acres property includes 120 acres botanical gardens, the Japanese Garden, the Desert Garden, and the Chinese Garden, along with the Rose Garden, Australian Garden, Herb Garden, Shakespeare Garden.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington_Library

 

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Lens-Artists Challenge #57 – Taking A Break

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge – Rock Star

August 1, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rock star. You can feature a central character or write about the feeling like a rock star. Go where the prompt leads!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for photos of the beatles on stage

 

Rock Star

 

John Livingston stood in the center stage. It was their first concert on the road.

Ringo started the percussion. John, Paul and George plucked the guitars for three beats. They sang on the fourth beat.

“Hey Jude…, don’t make it bad…”

The fans screamed. The girls reached out their hands.

“Take a sad song and make it bet…ter…”

The screaming got louder.

“…Na-na-na na… hey Jude.”

The four bowed to reach to their fans. One girl pulled John so hard, he fell off the stage and hit his head.

“Ouch!”

“John, wake up. You’re late to your camping trip.”

 

♪♫ ♪ ♫♪ ♪♫ ♪

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Rock Star

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #56: Seascapes and/or Lakeshore

The theme this week from Amy for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #56 is Seascapes and/or Lakeshore. As I searched my photos, it took me to ocean, beaches and lakes from my travel and the neighborhood.

Some of the quotes I included maybe the voices for saving the ocean as the ocean has served us.

 

1.Huntington 1

Huntington Beach, California

“The beach to me is a sacred zone between the earth and the sea, one of those in-between between places where transitions can be experienced – where endings can be mourned, and beginnings birthed. A walk along the beach offers the gift of the unexpected.” – Joan Anderson

 

2.Laguna Beach 2

Laguna Beach, California

“Worry is something you can make as big as the tallest mountain, or as small as a pebble on the beach. It is up to you to decide which you would rather have.” – Byron Pulsifer

 

3.Laguna Lake

Laguna Lake, California

“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” – Michael Josephson

 

4.Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, California (Taken on a different day)

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

 

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Huntington Beach, California (Taken on a different day)

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

 

6.Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach, Australia

“People ask: Why should I care about the ocean? Because the ocean is the cornerstone of earth’s life support system, it shapes climate and weather. It holds most of life on earth. 97% of earth’s water is there. It’s the blue heart of the planet-we should take care of our heart. It’s what makes life possible for us. We still have a really good chance to make things better than they are. They won’t get better unless we take the action and inspire others to do the same thing. No one is without power. Everybody has the capacity to do something.” – Sylvia Earle

 

7.Newport Beach

Newport Beach, California

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.” – Rachel Carson

 

9.Port Douglus

Port Douglas, Australia

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” – Vincent Van Gogh

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #56: Seascapes and/or Lakeshore

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #55 – Dreamy Dreams

The theme this week from Ann-Christine for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is: Dreamy. I will tweak a little bit here. The photos I chose present dreamy images, but the quotes I picked are about dreams.

 

1.Maui

Driving to the top of Haleakalā, the East Maui volcano (in Hawaii), the tallest peak is 10,023. feet.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

 

2.Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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A helicopter riding with the glacier landing on Chugach Mountains in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean

 

4.Yellowstone hot spring

Mudpots in Yellowstone: Hot springs that are acidic enough to dissolve the surrounding rock. Typically, also lack water in their systems.

“I have had dreams, and I’ve had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.” – Jonas Salk

 

5.Alaska 2007

Driving along a river in Anchorage, Alaska

 “Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes

 

6.Yellowstone gey

Old Faithful, the most famous Geysers in Yellowstone, erupts every 90 minutes.

“Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.” – John Updike

 

7.view from the plane

Overlooking the mountain range on Pacific coast from the airplane.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

 

8.Key West night

Fog came in after nightfall in Key West, Florida.

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” – T.E. Lawrence

 

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Sunset on the west coast on the way from California to Oregon

“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #55 – Dreamy Dreams

 

 

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