The Tease – A New Feature

Blogging 101 inspires a new monthly feature on Mjollnir.

One of the assignments outlined in my recent plunge into Blogging 101 was to develop and add a regular feature to my blog. I had considered this in the past, but never put the idea to code. Hearing the concept suggested by “experts” rekindled my thoughts on the matter. Since one of the central themes of EBM is writing, I have decided to create a feature that focuses on that subject.

The 26th of each month I will post an excerpt from one of my pieces. Fiction, non-fiction, published, work in progress, rough draft, polished copy, or any other passage that fits my mood. There will be no rules, other than choosing pieces I hope intrigue, inspire and edify readers, by whatever connection arises.

Why the 26th? Simple. It represents the number of letters in the alphabet, all the letters I need to write every bit of prose I’ll ever churn up.

Because this entire concept reawakened so suddenly, I haven’t had time to select an appropriate opening salvo. Instead, I will offer a guideline I have followed for years. I’m sure I wrote it down somewhere, so technically, it qualifies.

“I want my heroes to have a good heart and bad habits.”

Look for next month’s excerpt on the 26th.

Mow Your Lawn – Puhleeeze!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Home Turf.”

Mow it. Mow it now. You don’t have to edge it, or even trim it, but please, for the love of Briggs and Stratton, mow it. And try watering it too.

Home turf isn’t just my yard. It’s every lawn I can see from my yard, every dandelion I can see from my driveway, every burnt square of brown I pass driving down my street. I understand that people are busy.They have kids, jobs, dreams.

But you purchased a house, for crying out loud. Does that not imply some responsibility toward your neighbors?

We all miss a mow or two. Emergencies, equipment failures, even vacations can get in the way of lawn care. But it’s the same lawns week after week. You know who you are. Turn the porch lights on. Tape a flashlight to that thing and let’s get going.

And get those leaves while you’re at it.

To Whom It May Freshly Concern – Blogging 101

My target for Blogging 101’s day four assignment is the star chamber of Freshly Pressed.

I’ve been blogging for half a decade, never been Freshly Pressed.

I’ve published over one hundred posts, never been Freshly Pressed.

I’ve Nano’d, blogged, commented, Googled, trolled, ranted, pimped, primped and changed my hairstyle and still … never been Freshly Pressed. So, taking the advice of Pablo Picasso, I’m learning the rules so I can break them. At least, that was my plan until I found out, there are no rules.

That’s right, anything goes.

That doesn’t mean there are no deal breakers. Typos, plagiarism, even gratuitous vulgarity might all keep you from being considered, but their absence is no guarantee of success. Breaking the rules when there are none is the ultimate blogger’s koan. The attempt is what truly matters, Pressed or not.

And that’s what this Blogging 101 assignment is all about.

What is this map here for? It’s where the Picasso script was found. (And I had never embedded a map before.)

The University of Washington’s Suzzallo Library – A Cathedral for Books

Scenes from the reading room at the Suzzallo Library on Seattle’s historic campus.

The Suzzallo has been called a “cathedral for books”. There are only a select few places I might wish my ashes to be spread, the Preikestolen in Norway, Slide Rapid on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, the west face of Mt. Reynolds in Glacier National Park.. The Suzzallo Library is one of those places, provided the act could be performed quietly. Shhhhh.

The DNA of Prose

Are there enough words?

The unique form of every human and every living thing we know of is derived from the sequencing of four basic nucleobases: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. Just four. All the diversity on this planet is manufactured by varying patterns of these same four building blocks.

And what does that have to do with writing?


I doubt myself at times. All writers do. Will I run out of ideas? Will I run out of words? And then I think about that double helix, DNA, that has existed in every human and every animal that has ever walked this Earth. No two have ever been exactly alike. Over eons, no two the same. And yet they all formed from a foundation built with these four nucleobases.

My alphabet has twenty-six nucleobases. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. My words are made from six-fold as many differing pieces as the number required to build every living creature on the planet. All I have to do is order them in unique, intriguing, meaningful combinations. It sounds simple. It should be simple, and yet, it is often a challenge.

But when the ugly cloud of writer’s block breaks thunder over my creative landscape, I need only think of the DNA of prose. Those twenty-six blocks that promise endless possibilities. Could I run out of words? Can the universe run out of stars?

Happy writing.

Red Smoke – Wildfire Patina

In the Northwest, wildfire plumes paint the evening sky.

p8010186 Another day, another new fire in the Pacific Northwest. It seems as if each time one wildfire is contained, another is ignited. Over the weekend, three new blazes erupted in Washington alone. Towers of smoke from the Eastern Cascades can be seen from as far away as Seattle. The one silver (or better yet, crimson) lining in these smoke clouds is the spectacular array of hues incubated by their presence. Watching the sun set through forest fires, in this terrain, means you are on the wrong side of the wind. But with pragmatic vigilance and a little luck, worthy shots can be captured. Enjoy. p8010187 p8010168 p8010179 p8010177 p8010183 p8010172

San Francisco – Part Three – All Around the City

The best of the rest of the city by the bay.

In this post, the last of our three-part series on San Francisco, your assignment (besides enjoying a tour of the city without leaving your desktop) is to find:

    1. Sylvester Stallone (or a reasonable facsimile)
    2. A Western Gull
    3. A pyramid

Good luck.