Saturday, December 13, 2014


this is a test of the emergency blogging system…this is only a test…

Ahem…is this thing on?

The Tempest and the Teapot is moving...we're going to WordPress.  Come find more wanderings left of reality HERE.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Scorched Earth

One thing I can say about cameras - I'm rarely without one.  Another thing I can say about cameras...I'm always pointing them at the strangest things.  This little shot tonight started its digital life as the remains of a cheese soup boil-over burned to a crisp onto the stove-top. heard that right - I took a picture of a common household complaint - the burned on mess of a pot of food that escaped the cooking vessel only to sizzle to its doom on the hot surface below.

Stove cleaned after the photo shoot was done...priorities, dontchaknow...

Photoshop is a wonderful tool - it turned me into a right-handed artist...which is saying something, seeing though I'm rather unapologetically left handed in most everything else.  Put a plain, ordinary pencil in my right hand, and I'm about as gifted as bozo, the wonder bra...but a mouse?  Hello, imagery!

I learned to use a mouse (the computer kind, not the squeaky kind) with my right hand.


Because that's where the right-handers in my family put the darn thing.  It never occurred to me to move it to the dominant hand.  By the time I got all growed up and started working with computers for a living, instead of out on a shop floor moving product from point 'A' to point 'B', using the mouse with my right hand was well-ingrained, and a bit of a bonus - I could take notes with my left hand while manipulating the mouse with my right.  So...when I started working in 'shop - the right hand FINALLY got to be the artistic one.

I think it's happy that way, and the left hasn't gotten jealous, so I'm good with it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Flash! Friday Semi-Finalists

Didgeridoo. CC2.0 photo by Francois de Halleux.

Got the news on Sunday that my post on Flash! Friday's Anniversary contest actually impressed the judges enough to earn a spot in their semi-final round.  HOLY CRAP!!!!

Now, in a frenzy of esoteric verbiage, compressed into the demands of time and schedule, I have crafted my next submission - based on the photo prompt above.

Curious, this is...for the first time in the history of this blog the leading photo is NOT my own work...

I breathe welcome to the photo, and offer up - my next Flash Fiction story...

239 words

Curious, this is. 

Reality is tubular, cylindrical, a lone passageway knifing sharply down through infinity, terminating in brilliant illumination.  Nooks and crannies; pockmarks, protuberances and extrusions ruffle the world in an unstructured, random riot of texture.  This crinkly chaos is populated by myself and my brethren.  

They breathe welcome to me even as I do the same.

A moment ago, there was nothing - formless, shapeless, non-being oblivion.  I was  -we were-  simply not.  This wrinkled thoroughfare was empty and still.  
But now?   
 I Am.                                           We Are.  
 The first taste of awareness, existence, self.  It is sweet. Potent. Electric.  We tremble with its resonance. 

The world breathes welcome to us even as we do the same.  

It's exhalation whispers amongst the landscape, caressing the nodules and pleats -and us- in its journey downward.  Exciting, the breath is, full of movement, direction, and intent. Wrapped in breath's embrace, some brethren go swirling down, down, down toward the dazzling terminus.

Curious, this is.  

There is only expectation, possibility, the assumption of completion from those who pirouette their way to infinity.  We know without knowing how that this voyage is inevitable, absolute and final, but greater than us, the various parts.   

It is...the future.  As formless and timeless as ourselves, yet gravid with potential and the promise of:


We wait, poised and ready, for the next breath...
To emerge...reborn... 

A saucy little tune from the bell of the wooden flute.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Flash! Friday's Flash-versary

Headed over to Flash! Friday again -it's a celebration of draconic proportions as they celebrate the turning of their own personal clock.  'Tis an anniversary!

Go...look...and post a story of your own if you're in to flash fiction - there's still time to contribute, and PLENTY to read.  Below is my submission:

150 words

Orange against black.  Subtle licks of cerulean, scarlet, saffron and emerald flare into being to vanish in an instant later without a trace.  Elongated fingers of incandescence stretch into the void to momentarily paint their essence onto the obsidian night sky.

It is alive with movement - sliding, shifting, waving, weaving - its hypnotic, primal dance both beautiful and terrible as it crafts a timeless, mesmerizing, elemental ballet of destruction.

The voice of combustion, a low, throaty growling howl of clean air transformed to sweltering luminescence, whispering secret desires into the ears of those who worship it.

They listen, comprehending the flare's song in that most primitive portion of the brain.  They stare, glassy-eyed and slack-jawed, into the complex twisting leap and swirl of the living flame.  They are powerless to resist the compelling demands of spark, ember, pyre.

Some men live to watch the world burn.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Micro Bookends - Flash Fiction

Another Flash Fiction challenge accepted - and another website to follow!

Micro Bookends

These guys like things short. Really short:  90 - 110 words.  You start and end the piece with the words provided, and incorporate the photo prompt in there.

This week the challenge is:   

Sacred {insert story here} Sound.  
There is a quirky panorama of an airplane hangar for the photo prompt.

I have to admit - I spent some time bouncing ideas around in my head first focusing on the words.  It wasn't until I stopped worrying about the beginning and ending words and started focusing on the type of photo - the panoramic style where the vertical lines 'curve' around the middle of the photo - that I had the thought.

"How do other species 'see' the human world?"
After that - it almost wrote itself...


Bird Calling
105 words

"Sacred is the flight of the bird, to take wing upon sky and soar amongst cloud.  Observe, oversee, monitor the heavy ones.  Gaia watches through you."

When the sun rises, so does the ancient one, singing the morning call to send us on our tasks.  The aerie fills with the cacophony of wing and song as my brethren take to the sky.

Today, I shall perch near the predator upright's wing enclave, where they house their funny hollow avians, to sing and observe until Gaia has her fill.

"Birdsong," one pipes up, throwing a chunk of bread my way, "I never tire of the sound."

Monday, November 24, 2014


The ceiling work is boomar'ang-ular'

Hey...look at that.  I can make my own words!

When English simply does not have the correct one...

We do love to come up with our own words for new things.  A decade ago, nobody knew what a selfie was - and yet now it's in the dictionary.  This year's 'word of the year'  (you can't make stuff this bizarre up!)  is Vape.

I vape, so I know how important that word has become to me - and the millions of others who have found these neat little gizmos.  But, yea...with all the freaking out being done about it, the word of the year is a distinction I'd rather not have had, as it will undoubtedly throw more fuel on the fire.

But no politics here!!!  I pwomiced!

Yet another blog I've become familiar with is the Daily Post. 

On their menu is a wonderful buffet of ideas fit for the Queen Muse - they have a weekly challenge, a daily prompt, and a weekly photo challenge.  They also allow the community to submit their inspirations and daily prompts of their own.

Most of these challenges allow the bloggers to ping-back to the Daily Post, instead of leaving a comment on their site, which should, through the magic of 'sharing,' bring views to the individual blogs.

Inspiration, AND a space to show off the blog?  Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabulous!

A little too excited?  Sorry...

Although I'm enjoying my recent obsession with Flash Fiction - I do kind of hunger to sink my teeth into a good visual again...and this week's Photo Challenge at the Daily was a thick, juicy steak with plenty of room for various toppings and/or side dishes.

                  Not to put too fine a point on it, though this week, we
                  challenge you to show us what “angular” means to you.

A single words packs such an inspirational punch...and, as it happens, I do have some rather angular shots...including this one - captured at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee just this last weekend.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Inhospitable Wonderland

A while ago, I found a simple post by a wonderful lady on Google+ - she took a shot of the front grill of her pot bellied stove with a warm and inviting fire burning merrily inside...jotted down a brief post about how it was time for more wood on the fire, and coffee to act as balance against the cold snowflakes.

The image was a beautifully done contrast between the dark iron of the stove's door and the bright orange back-light of the fire - and through the slits in the door you could see the fire's dancing forms.  The image evokes thoughts and feelings of warmth, solitude, and simplicity.  I appreciate a lot of photography, but to be honest, very few things draw me as powerfully as these overly-darkened shots with bright highlights, as it's my favorite photographic style.

I've got terabytes of dark shots in my own portfolio.

I caught this shot on one of my last walks downtown of the year - obviously around Halloween.  A week or so later, and we got the cold thing.  Hibernation time!

Although - I do brave the cold thing every once in a while,when the need is there.  I had a project buzzing in my head last winter for a glass etch/ photographic fusion, so I ran out, in the dark, in the cold (and was COLD that night - sub-zero temps with blustery winds) to catch some Christmas decorations.

Here's a shot of that finished project - the glass in the frame was etched to suggest the snow on the tree - and the lights were heavily saturated to bring them through the frost.

Well, I caught the shot of the cast-iron stove grill out of the corner of my eye (figuratively speaking) and before the coffee had kicked in (that's literal!), and saw something completely different than what she'd shot.   So...of to 'shop I went in a bring the idea to life...

The big picture at the top of this post is what I saw in my head.

A good mental image is a terrible thing to waste...

And - to honor the other little bit of creativity that's currently sparking in my head - I'm going to pair this up with a bit of flash fiction:

Habitat for Humanity   
157 words


I lift my left hand in a classic, 
albeit extremely rude, 
very human, salute, 
giving the outside world, steel walls, 
and endless platitudes I'm fed on a daily basis 
the full fury of my middle finger.

Life itself is the most precious gift we are given...

We prided ourselves on being masters of our environment. 
Masters of space.  Masters of time.  Tamers of the universe.

For as long as there is breath in my body...

Yet our arrogance didn't grant us a single second 
of additional grandstanding
when the visitor's weapons melted our sky.

My duty to mankind is to document its downfall...

I'm tired of solitude. Sick of stale air. 
Angered with the never-ending firestorm that rages 
outside this tiny bubble of compatible environment 
I'm enclosed in.

And for this...I am a lucky one...

I was one of the few they retained as museum pieces. 

human goldfish in a bowl...