Friday Fictioneers: The Eyes Have It

Over at the Addicted to Purple blog, Rochelle has challenged us to write a story of ±100 words based on the photograph below.

Photo Prompt © Adam Ickes

Photo Prompt © Adam Ickes

Genre: Narrative Fiction

Word Count: 100

The glassy black eyes in the stuffed head of the Big Horn sheep brought back my childhood memories of time spent in the waiting room of the eye doctor.

It was in the late 1950′s and Doc Mueller was living his “Papa Hemingway” fantasy. The man was excited by his yearly safaris to Africa, bagging Big Game and displaying the heads and hides in his office for all to see.

The African Elephant turned out to be his last trophy. Doc’s efforts to display the huge animal underscored his heinous act.

He swapped his Winchester for a Kodak.




I don’t know what to think about this turn of events, but apparently my Horoscope for this week came true! JixiPix has notified me that I won their photo contest last week with the entry of my new blog header which was created, in part, with one of their apps. My gift is a free download of one of their many apps.

I would like to thank everyone who encouraged me and made suggestions as I changed the header of my blog to this image:


Thank you so much,

Related link: JixiPix Photo Contest

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Relic: An object surviving from an earlier time, esp. one of historical or sentimental interest.

Sea-faring Relic © Allan G. Smorra, All Rights Reserved

Sea-faring Relic
© Allan G. Smorra, All Rights Reserved


A Bit of History

The three-masted, steel-hulled, square-rigged Balclutha is docked at San Francisco’s Hyde Street Pier. Launched in Scotland in 1886, the Balclutha rounded South America’s Cape Horn 17 times carrying coal, pottery, cutlery and whiskey to the growing city of San Francisco. It took a crew of 26 men to operate it’s 25 sails on a voyage that lasted 140 days.

The ship was also part of the Pacific Lumber Trade, carrying 1.5 million board feet at-a-time of timber for the Australian Mining industry for use underground. In 1901 a special act of Congress permitted the Balclutha to engage in trade between American ports, and so she began hauling canned salmon between Alaska and San Francisco. For a brief time in the 1930s, the Balclutha, renamed the Pacific Queen, appeared in various Hollywood movies—most notably in the film Mutiny on the Bounty (starring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton).

“In 1954 the San Francisco Maritime Museum purchased Pacific Queen for $25,000. Assisted by donations of cash, materials and labor from the local community, the Museum restored the vessel and returned her original name. The ship was transferred to the National Park Service in 1978, and Balclutha was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985.” —NPS website

When you visit San Francisco—it’s not a matter of if—and you find yourself on Fisherman’s Wharf, it will be worth your while to go to the Hyde Street Pier and view this relic of days-gone-by.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Friday Fictioneers: Gathering Clouds

Over at the Addicted to Purple blog, Rochelle has challenged us to write a story of ±100 words based on the photograph below.


Photo Prompt © Kelly Sands

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100

He could never again look at cloudy skies as he did in his youth. Was he ever young, or did maturity and responsibility, at a level that few would ever know, rob him of the memories of playful summers past? It all came down to the clouds on that day in August. Too many obscured the target and too few left a window of vulnerability to the populace below.

11:01, the binary time that sealed the fate of the city of Nagasaki and of all the generations, worldwide, that followed.

Have clouds obscured our ability to learn a lesson?



Header image photo credit: Wikipedia

The End of My Innocence—Part 2


writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2“On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today, write about finding something…Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.” —Writing 101, Day 13: Serial Killer II

This is a continuation of The End of My Innocence. We pick up our story as Tom and I are on our way to work at the Appliance Repair Center for the day.

Innocence Lost, Insight Gained

Tom stopped the truck at a red light and started coughing. The severity of the cough increased about every five repetitions and after about twenty coughs I could see that he was in pain. The light turned green and so did Tom as he coughed and drove and swerved and heaved.

We stopped at the next red light. Tom said, ”I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m ok, I’ll be alright.”

“You don’t look ok, or sound alright. Why don’t you let me drive and you can rest, drink some coffee, maybe have another smoke,” I said, searching for anything that I could think of to get him out from behind the wheel of that truck.

Days Like This

The Big 5 Challenge over at Across the Bored this week is an interesting one: How Old Do You Feel?

Some days I feel very old when I realize that I understand Roman Numerals.

Somedays it's just like this © Allan G. Smorra, All Rights Reserved

Some days are just like this
© Allan G. Smorra, All Rights Reserved


Take it away, Van:

Friday Fictioneers: Stone Cold Memories

Rochelle has challenged us to write ±100 words based on the photograph below.

Photo Prompt © Claire Fuller

Photo Prompt © Claire Fuller

Stone Cold Memories

Genre: Narrative Fiction
Word Count: 100

The tall statue stands in the center of the park. Made of stone, with patches of moss and mold covering the folds of granite armor, the ancient king exists as a symbol of days long gone. A life that ended hundreds of years ago, but still an inspiration for us today.

My generation does not need such lavish displays to honor the dead. For us, a list of names on cold black granite will suffice. 58,178 names carried in our hearts—forever.

March 3, 1969—July 3, 1969. Four months into a 13 month tour.

Gone but not forgotten, Dom.



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