Tag Archives: Creative Writing

The Endless Summer of 2017: A Review

Title: The Summer That Refused to End: What Really Happened to Ontario in 2017

Author: Gaia Terra

Publisher: Cosmos

Release Date: June 21, 2017

End Date: Unknown

Rating: 3 Earths out of 5

Review:

Just when you thought summer had ended…it came back for more!

The summer of 2017 definitely started out innocently enough. Without digging too much into the backstory here since it isn’t strictly necessary to know in order to enjoy this instalment, every season has been full of surprises for us these last few years. None of them have been particularly normal. After a strangely warm winter and cold, rainy spring, I was looking forward to seeing what the weather would do next. It was so hot and dry during the summer of 2016 that I honestly had no idea what to expect for 2017. It was nice to see this summer begin so gently. I felt like we were able to reclaim some of the mild spring days I would have loved in April or May once they decided to pop up in June instead.

Wow, were there bumps in the road along the way, though. Yes, we had about the same number of the heat waves I was expecting to find. We also had far more rain than was usual, especially in the months of July and August when it is usually much drier here. I certainly didn’t mind the extra precipitation, and I don’t think our crops did either. What did bother me was how it ended. Normally, daytime highs of 30 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit for the American fans out there) have mostly faded away by mid September. When this kept happening over and over again even as we galloped from the end of September to the beginning of October I was beyond perplexed. I’m all for mixing the seasons a little bit during the transitions between them, but shouldn’t summer gracefully give way to autumn at a certain point in the plot?

I did love the rain, though, and am grateful for how often summer fell back onto this device when her other tricks weren’t working out as well as she had hoped. Once she decides to pass the baton onto autumn, I hope her predecessor will continue this tradition for the next few months. There is nothing quite like a rainy autumn afternoon to set the mood when you’re reading a scary book or trying to finish cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Speaking of Thanksgiving, summer, is there any chance you’ll be retiring before then?

By now my readers are probably wondering if I’d recommend the summer of 2017 to them. There certainly were plenty of upbeat moments during it, especially for those of us who love a strong thunderstorm. What it really boils down to is how much time you’re willing to invest in such a thing. This one was a little long for my tastes, although I can see how it would appeal to true connoisseurs of this season.

Previoius posts in this series:

A Review of Today’s Rainy Weather

Pictures That Need an Explanation

Photo by William Crochot from Wikimedia Commons, license # CC-BY-SA 4.0.
Photo by William Crochot from Wikimedia Commons, license # CC-BY-SA 4.0.

I have a folder full of pictures that I’ve found online at various points.

Today I wanted to share some of the unusual, funny, and unique ones with you.

If you’re a writer and you find inspiration in one of them, feel free to grab it. I’d love to see what story or poem ideas you come up with for it.

All unlabelled images are stock photos and can be used for any purpose. William Crochot’s picture can be used, too, as long as you credit him and Wikimedia Commons as well as include the license number above.

The Statue Guy

The statue guy above has been running through my imagination for months now.

My first thought when I saw him was, “how long does it take to scrub all of that makeup off?”

My second thought was that sniffing a flower just might be the first thing that a statue who suddenly came to life would do!

Everything would be so new and unfamiliar to him that it makes sense for him to stop and marvel at the small things for a while.

pexels-photo-159885-largeThe Abandoned House

Abandoned homes make me sad.

I think about all of the years people spent living in them. There was a time only a few generations ago when many folks spent their entire lives in the same area.

Were they happy years or miserable ones?

Did the people who lived there ever wish to move elsewhere? If they wished for it, did their wish come true?

How many babies were born in that house?

How many people died there?

Why was it abandoned? Are the owners still alive?

If you stepped inside of it, what secrets would the walls whisper to you?

thursday-blogs-2A Woodland Sacrifice

This picture makes me shudder.

There is something unnerving about the juxtaposition between the bare skull and the healthy, young woman who is holding it up that I don’t like to dwell on.

Did she slaughter the animal who once used that skull?

Is this some kind of ritual?

Is she going to be blamed for something that wasn’t her fault?

The possibilities are endless. I haven’t been able to come up with a satisfying story to explain what is going on here, but maybe someone else can.

Sad Cat in a Gift Bag

pexels-photo-141496-largeThis one is just plain silly.

Cat owners, can you explain it?

I would expect a cat to be thoroughly pleased by the presence of a gift bag.

It seems like the perfect place to hide while you’re waiting to swat at anyone who wanders too close to your sharp, little claws.

Why, then, does this cat look sad?

Does she need more tissue paper to cover herself up with?

Has someone refused to give her any treats today?

Or is she actually happy? Is this simply how her face and ears developed?

thursday-blogs-3Lick My Lips

Finally, let me bring you lips covered in sprinkles.

This one makes me feel hungry.

My first thought was, “did the model get to lick the sprinkles off of her lips once the photoshoot ended?” I sure hope she did!

If this were a book cover, I’d expect it to be a young adult romance novel.

The protagonist would be fifteen and falling in love for the first time with a mysterious, new neighbour.

The rainbow sprinkles might be a subtle hint that this story has a lesbian, bisexual, or transgender protagonist. I would not expect her sexual or gender identity to play a big role in the plot, though. She’d be whoever she was, and everyone would be okay with it.

One possibility for the actual conflict in the plot could be the main character conquering an eating disorder. The storyline could open with her trying to eat desserts again without feeling horribly guilty about it.

I would definitely pick this imaginary book up and read the blurb. It caught my eye right away.

Respond

What were your first thoughts when you saw these pictures? How do you think the stories hiding in them should be told?

A Review of Today’s Rainy Weather

Title: Spring Storms: When March 31 Attacks

Author: Gaia Terra

Publisher: Cosmos

Rating: 4 Earths out of 5

Review:

Don’t let the weatherman fool you. Rainy days aren’t just for April anymore.

To be perfectly honest with you, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this very much when I first picked it up. Gloomy, damp, Thursday mornings are such a longstanding tradition in the Spring Storms series that I couldn’t imagine how anyone could put a fresh spin on them. Skipping volume 12 after finishing the first eleven instalments was unimaginable, though, so I kept going. Wow, am I glad I did! The narrator really pulled out all of the stops in this edition.  Her gentle use of chilly breezes was just as refreshing as how regularly she turned the rainfall up and down to suit the general mood of the storm.

With that being said, I did have a few issues with how the clouds were used. Do all of them actually need to be so dark and heavy? I completely understand why you’d need some puffy, foreboding clouds in a storm like this one, but sometimes they floated into downright torrential territory without any warning at all. Ms. Terra could have easily made her point perfectly well without being quite so heavy handed. In fact, making me work a little harder to figure out when it was raining and when it was only threatening to rain would have easily earned this blustery day a higher rating. Everything else about it was exactly what I would expect from the end of March.

I do have to admit that the fog was perfectly handled. It hung around menacingly in the background without ever trying to take centre stage. That is exactly the kind of fog I’d expect for this kind of nuanced weather, and this is coming from someone who normally can’t get enough of foggy days.

Who should jump into Spring Storms: When March 31 Attacks? Anyone who has a strong umbrella, a solid pair of rain boots, and the uncanny ability to keep their electronics tucked away in a dry, secure place until the sun comes out again.

The Room at the End of the Hall

Photo by Thomas Wolf.
Photo by Thomas Wolf.

You followed your normal bedtime routine last night: teeth flossed and brushed; pets taken out for their evening walk; cellphone muted; 15 minutes of reading a pulpy mystery before you slipped into a dreamless sleep.

It came as a surprise to you, then, to wake up on a cold, hard, marble floor. A white wall stands behind you. There is no other direction to move other than forward.

The corridor is so quiet you can hear your heart thumping as you stand up and start walking.  You glance between the columns, but none of them reveal doors or windows.

About hallway down the corridor you realize there is a room at the end of the hall. A warm, yellow light spills out of it as you draw closer.

“Hello?”

No answer.

You walk a little faster now, eager to see if you can find a phone or friendly face.

What do you discover in the room? Leave your answer in the comment section below!

 

 

 

Silent People Love Story

800px-Candy-heartsSomeone found my blog by searching for this phrase recently. I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I thought I’d write a flash fiction for those of you who do. 

Candy hearts litter the dash. What a nice touch for our last Valentine’s Day.

I sneak one as Jake permanently seals the doors and starts the engine. We’ve been together so many years that we don’t need words at takeoff. He does his work and I do mine.

The cargo growls. A faint, sulphuric odour fills the cabin. Damn, the meds can’t be wearing off already. The last dose would have knocked out an elephant. I double the next round and text Melinda. If nothing else, she’ll know how to slow these things down if any more of them hatch. There’s no way this one will survive its midnight crash into Kīlauea.

A silent nod from my captain. All systems go.

I’m ready.

 

 

 

 

The Cupboard Mice: A Parable

Originally posted on February 21, 2013. A family of mice once lived in a drafty old farmhouse. “They’re going to set a trap and we’re all going to die!” the oldest mouse squeaked every time someone forgot the rules: no squeaking, don’t leave droppings on the dishes, and never capture the cat’s attention. No one… Read More

After the Storm: Part Twenty

Just tuning in? Catch up with parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve , thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen of this story. Aunt Lucy must be immortal. Not only had the oldest member of the Mingus Mountain community survived the fever that had claimed so many, she bounced up… Read More

After the Storm: Part Nineteen

Just tuning in? Catch up with parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve , thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen of this story. “What do you mean they just let him go?” Daphne’s joy at seeing both of her children return home safe was quickly becoming tinged with irritation. “When I… Read More

After the Storm: Part Fifteen

Just tuning in? Catch up with parts one, two, three, four,  five,  six,  seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven,  twelve ,  thirteen, and fourteen of this story. It wasn’t until the loose brick she’d pried from the kitchen hearth found its target that Paige realized the trespasser might still be human. She lit a lamp with shaking hands. As Paige crept up to figure out who… Read More

After the Storm: Part Fourteen

Just tuning in? Catch up with parts one, two, three, four,  five,  six,  seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven,  twelve , and thirteen of this story. Paige sat the little stone table her first wife had carved as a wedding present for her decades ago. It was funny how quickly time passed. Fifty happy, painful, warm, and exhausting years flew by in a heartbeat, and now that… Read More