Flash Fiction Challenge 2020.5.14 – Flat Tire on the Freeway

May 14, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that answers the question, “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you are in absolute danger?” Go where the prompt leads!

 

 

BMW E30 3 Series Goes Tail-Out On Nurburgring, Hits Guardrail Four ...

 

Flat Tire on the Freeway

 

“I had a flat tire.”

“When? Where?”

“Today when I was on the freeway to downtown Los Angeles.”

“It must be awful.”

“My car spun several times until the rear end hit the guardrail.”

“Were you okay?”

“I held the steering wheel but released my foot from the pedal. After the car hit the guardrail, I saw the cars were 1,000 feet away. A police car zigzagged to slow down the traffic. Then he used the speaker to escort me to the next exit. I felt the angel created a shield around me.”

“The angel surely watched over you!”

 

Charli Mills Carrot Ranch Flat Tire on the Freeway

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

This week, Patti invited us to use cropping a shot to bring out the better quality of photography. I’m always interested in doing that, especially when I take photos in a hurry or have a limited choice of my position where I take the photos. The photos may extra elements not desirable to me.

I found several photos in which I applied the cropping. I’ll explain the reasons of doing so. You can let me know if you agree with them.

Before the crop

In this photo I took on the way to Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii, I liked the cliff but it is in the center and I wanted the focal point to be a little off center to make the composition interesting.

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After the crop

1.Maui 1c

I took two steps:

  1. I cropped a little of the foreground and part of the slope on the left to change the composition.
  2. I increased the clarity to being out of the texture of the cliff and have more contrast between the land and the waves.

Before the crop

In the next photo I took in the Kowloon Park in Hong Kong, I included a group of flamingos. It was a smoggy day, and the air was not clear.

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After the crop

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I took three steps:

  1. I cropped of a scattered part of the flamingos on the left and the man on the bench.
  2. I increased the intensity of the color to being out a little more of the pink in the flamingos.
  3. I increased the clarity, even though there’s no way to add sunshine to the sky.

Before the crop

I took the last photo in Nara Deer Park in Kyoto, Japan. With the busy tourists taking photos of the deer, it was hard to get in front of the deer to get them to look at me. This deer turned to me, so I took the shot regardless of the busy surrounding.

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After the crop

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I took two steps:

  1. I cropped the immediate tourists who were taking photos.
  2. I increased the clarity to bring out the texture and the clarity of the deer’s eyes. Now I got the deer looking at me.

Tina suggested to crop less to include the tourists as part of the story. Here is the one with less cropping.

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Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think!

Next week, Sue of Mac’s Girl will be our special guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97 on Saturday, May 16th. Our regular schedule for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98 on May 23rd will have Ann-Christine as our host.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

 

 

Book Review: Mr. Sagittarius: Poetry and Prose by M J Mallon

My book review of Mr. Sagittarius: Poetry and Prose by M J Mallon.

 

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Marje Mallon

 

Mr. Sagittarius: Poetry and Prose by [M J Mallon, Alex Marlowe]

My Review

In Mr. Sagittarius, M J Mallon told the story of the twin brothers, Harold, and William, and their sister Annette. The brothers shared the magic of the little creatures and the natural beauty in the botanical garden.

Harold and William loved sitting on a bench under a golden weeping willow tree. After Harold passed away, William sat on the bench grieving for his loss. A dragonfly came to visit him, and he felt as if he had a conversation with the dragonfly. He went back to his flat unhappy toward Annette, his sister who cared for him. Annette confronted him that the twins only cared for each other and neglected her. William apologized, and they hugged each other. Before the night was over, Annette knitted a rainbow hat for William which he would love for a Christmas gift. When he visited the bench again, he felt the hat flew up and landed on top of a tree next to a ginger-color tomcat. The dragonfly, the cat, and the hat became a magical tale at Christmas.

Annette had her share of the magical moment when she received a gift of bubble bath from her late husband. When she poured the entire bottle into the bathtub, the bubble seemed to be with no end.

This is a lovely story told in a charming way. In between the episodes of the aging siblings’ lives were the beautiful poetry and photos from the author.

Amazon and Goodreads Ratings

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About the Author

I am a diverse author who blogs at https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, poetry, photography, and alternative therapies. My favorite genres to write are: Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories and I love writing various forms of poetry and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka and flash fiction.

I am proud to be included in the best selling horror anthology Nightmareland which received best-seller status with best-selling author Dan Alatorre at the helm.

It is one of my greatest pleasures to read and I have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

I write collaborative articles celebrating the spiritual realm and love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac, sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to m parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald.

As a teenager, I traveled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumored that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practice Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

I am a member of two professional writing bodies: the Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators – SCBWI and Cambridge Writers.

 

Contact the Author

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Flash Fiction Challenge 2020.05.07 – Sprinkles of Tenderness

May 7, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters can nourish or be nourished. Go where the prompt leads!

 

 

Happy Parents Small Daughter Enjoy Sea Stock Photo (Edit Now) 62296897

 

Sprinkles of Tenderness

“I’m amazed Rosie has changed so much since we adopted her six months ago,” said Sam.

“For a while, she went to the corner and face the wall every time I talked to her.” Elaine still puzzled.

“The social worker suspected something happened in her previous foster home.”

“She was afraid of us.”

“I admired your patience. You showed your affection by physical touch, warm smile, and inviting gesture instead of talking.”

“I’m pleased she trusts us.”

“It took us six months to break the ice.”

“She talked and called me Mom two days ago. It melted my heart.”

 

Charli Mills – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge 2020.05.07 – Sprinkles of Tenderness

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy said, “Due to the lock down, we are spending more time at home. But, hopefully this isn’t limiting our interest in photographing. This week, we invite you to share photos taken at home.”

“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home.” – Thorton Wilder

This is the seventh week staying home for me. Like most of the people, I go out only when it is absolutely necessary. I face each day with the hope to stay healthy to enjoy my grandchildren when the pandemic is over. There are enough things at home to keep my life interesting such as gardening, checking my daughter’s Tinybeans account where she posts the photos of my grandchildren, reading or re-reading paperback books, exercising, and even cooking a couple times a week (my hubby took over the full time cooking when he was retired in 2016. Lucky me!).

Spring is in the air. The buds are all over my 30 rose bushes. I started with 12 pink rose bushes. Eventually I added 10 white iceberg rose bushes, and some orange and yellow roses. Now it’s not so boring looking at the roses.

Most of the plants in my garden are low maintenance. I do have several patches  for annual flowers and this is the time to plant new flowers.

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Nothing gives me greater joy to see the photos of my granddaughters every day.

When weather permits, I go on a walk in the neighborhood. On some other days, I can do yoga at home.

Piles of book for reading and re-reading.

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My new cooking is this Sausage and Vegetable Casserole. One 9″ x 13″ dish last for three alternate days for lunch. On the other four days, hubby cooks his regular lunch.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

 

 

 

Book Review – They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher by Pete Springer

My Book Review – They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher by Pete Springer.

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Pete Springer

 

They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher by [Pete  Springer]

My Review

In his book, They Call Me Mom, Pete Springer recalled having many “odd jobs” before he chose to teach as his career. Those jobs didn’t turn out to be in his favor. As he looked back, there were many role models to shape his decision.

Springer reflected on his teaching years and included topics of introduction to teaching, setting classroom, working with students, parents, colleagues, and administrators, disciplines to memorable students, funny moments, and frustrations. He acknowledged the importance of getting to know the students’ academic portfolios before the first day of school. Throughout the year, he created a positive learning environment and promoted student success by helping them to gain self-confidence. He stressed the significance of communication with the parents often resulted in students’ improvement in academics and behaviors.

He discussed ways to work with colleagues by meeting at grade levels to do planning together and to team teaching. For some years he taught P.E. for his colleagues and she taught Social Studies for his class. Once a month, he and his colleague offered special activities to the students and allowed students to choose which one to attend. For getting to know more about the colleagues, he recommended having occasionally after school gathering, BBQ, or a movie.

He appreciated a couple of great principals he worked with for years. Administrators may not have the same philosophy as the teachers, mutual respect is important. He pointed out good communication with the principals is pertinent. When a parent is angry and goes to the principal, teachers are advised to inform the principal of the situation ahead of time.

Springer included some funny moments at school such as teaching sex education with unexpected questions from the students, the writing class with funny grammatical or spelling errors, and the five funny excuses students had when not turning their homework.

Pete took a little while to choose teaching as his career. The passion and enthusiasm showed in this book, I think he is natural to be a teacher. This book is full of advice for new teachers and has many good insights for experienced teachers. Highly recommended.

Amazon and Goodreads Ratings

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About the Author

“I’m a retired elementary teacher (31 years) who will always be a strong advocate for children, education, and teachers. My favorite thing to do as a teacher was to read to my students, and now I’m following my heart and writing children’s books for middle grades.”

Contact the Author

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Flash Fiction Challenge 2020.04.23 – Distance Dating

Charli Mills Carrot Ranch – April 23, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about distance dating. It can be any genre, era, or setting. Who is dating, and why the distance? How do the characters overcome, accept, or break up because of the distance? Go where the prompt leads!

 

Suddenly Dating Long Distance? Thanks, Coronavirus | BU Today ...

 

Distance Dating

Felix went from London to Hong Kong for a summer vocal recital. His mom took him to London when he was thirteen after his dad passed away. A friend connected him with Shirley to be his accompanist. He had one week to practice. They practiced every day at her house and had lunch afterward.

Felix was excited about the success of the performance and signed up to return the next year. The two corresponded after Felix returned to London. The engagement took place in spring the following year and the wedding bell rang in summer instead of singing performance.

 

Charli Mills Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge 2020.04.23 – Distance Dating

 

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