157 Extracted Words – The Tease

September 2021



I write short fiction, flash fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress.

No one remembered the last sunny day, the last blue sky day. It could have been two years previous, maybe more, since they had experienced a real blue sky day.

And not just a day with the sun coming up, giving of it’s heat, in fact, that was the problem. The sun’s heat, scorching the earth into a dusty, smoky, often tropical, gray globe. It started with burning tundra and boreal forests across the northern hemisphere. The fires started earlier and ended later, year after year. The skies would grow dark for weeks at a time, and then for months and finally, entire seasons. And then came 2039, the first entire calendar year without a single blue sky day.

And now, ten years later, no one could remember the last sunny day. Crops failed, water was rationed and migraines became more common than the common cold. And still, no one could remember the last sunny day.


199 Extracted Words – The Tease – February 2019

February 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a novel in progress.

As she stepped out, she decided the view was even more impressive once the day turned on its side. It was early evening, and they were at altitude, but the warm mountain air lingered. The smoke from the valley fires had begun to aggravate the sky.

“Sunset should be amazing tonight, with all that smoke in the air. Even looks like some clouds in the southwest, hope it’s not heavy.”

“I guess we could use the rain, in any dose.”

“Sure can get some nasty stuff out here this time of year.”

They continued to tell each other things about the weather that they both already knew, until they were seconded by rumbling in the distance.

“I guess those two are going to be in there a while?” Mann finally addressed what she had been thinking. “What evil lurks in the hearts of men,” he laughed.

“It’s the stuff that lurks in their other parts that concerns me,” Jessie replied.


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


Smoke-Milled Moon

Northeast Washington is ablaze. Fires are currently burning, with little or no containment, near Curlew, Arden and Republic. Another large blaze burns in the state’s southeast corner near Dayton. These wildfires are producing large plumes of smoke, brazing the skies throughout Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

Moon, Venus and smoke.

 The added pollutants produce spectacular sunsets, eerie twilights and unique photographic opportunities. The other night, during a near-full moon, the haze mutated into an alien landscape. Below are some frames from that night, as well as others from recent smoke-filled evenings.


Moon through smoke and maples.

Shy moon.

Cotton candy sunset.

More smoke, more maples.

Western sky.

Smoke-milled moon.

To the East.

Indigo end.