Writing 101 Assignment Six

Writing is where the heart is.

I don’t really have a favorite writing place. I write in many places, my desk, my bed, my car, libraries, coffee shops. Although I write in different spaces, what is consistent in those settings is my gear. I must have my laptop, pen with notepad, I-pod, flip dictionary and Wi-Fi. Everything else I need is in my heart.

Along with the setting and tools, a writer needs ideas, which also happens to be part of this assignment. Please feel free to leave ideas for subjects to write on in the comments section below. Thank you.


Sometimes a rock is just a rock.

Writing 101’s assignment number 5 conjures Hemingway.

“The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The sharks are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

Papa famously reacted to explanations about symbolism in his writing as evidence of someone who did not understand  his writing.

In the end, only the writer knows what their symbolism truly represents. But what others guess it to represent is also part of the effect of any written piece, intended or not. I often introduce weather in my stories. It’s generally not symbolic, but I could understand if someone inferred such intent because weather often effects the mood of a scene. It’s not a huge leap from mood to meaning. At the least, they intertwine in context and change each other. If a thread sewn into the pattern of a blossom is pulled from a quilt, is it still a flower, or just a thread without guidance?

Only Hemingway knew if his sharks represented anything more than sharks, and he took that secret to the grave, but “The Old Man and the Sea” wouldn’t have been a classic without them.


Assignment three of Writing 101 is a prompt exercise. My choice, abundance.

It’s November, the prompt is abundance. Naturally, my thoughts go straight to cornucopias and rotund relatives napping on couches, turkey gravy dribbling from the corners of their grateful mouths, everything we already know about Thanksgiving. But this is supposed to be a prompt, not an exercise in groupthink. If I wanted to conform, I could just watch “Dancing with the Stars” or wear skinny jeans and grow a really ugly beard. Cool can be cruel.

So, instead, I study the word with greater urgency, hoping to spot a seam that reveals a trapdoor. And then it emerges. Dancing pastries.


My prompt has evolved from tired holiday introspection to a celebration of yeast choreography. A King’s Hawaiian Roll jubilee with arching crescents, leaping Lefse and, of course, dancing buns. A worthwhile prompt that will lead me down a literary buffet line I have yet to visit. A proper prompt. And for that I’m truly thankful.

Magic Java House – More Fun With My SP-810UZ

My Olympus SP-810UZ offers a few tricks of the light.







The magic mode on my Olympus camera offers some unique distortions to typical exposures. Utilizing this function, I transformed an Alaskan coffee-house into a fun house. The picture above was shot in the watercolor sub mode. The selections below are labeled by function as well.



Soft focus.


Pop art.


Fish eye.