Magical, Seashell Cave!

I went hunting dragons on a beach late at night.

To scare off the kelpies, I rattled a bucket of shells.

Shell Cave

I saw the ghost of Oyster Rock, but sadly, no dragons.

Ghost of Oyster Rock

Then I discovered a cave I had never seen before.

Broken Spiral

Inside the cave I found a natural bridge.

A Natural Bridge

Moss hung from the bottom of the bridge.

Moss Under Bridge

The walls of the cave were pearly, blue coral,

Blue Walls

and smooth, white crystal.

Crystal Walls

I went through a door that looked like ogre teeth,

Sea Monk's Teeth

and found the stone house of a dwarf.

Dwarven Mannor House

There were two gem stones – one red one blue – that looked like eyes.

Was the dwarf watching me?

Hidden Jewels

I kept going and found what looked like a piece of egg-shell tangled in moss.

Shell Caught in Moss

I looked more carefully and found many more.

Egg Shells

Something was hiding in the moss – a baby dragon?

Hidden Dragon

It was then that I noticed the wall was scaly.

Dragon's Nest

The mother dragon was sitting on her nest.

Dragon Skin

She was huge.

One of her leathery wings shifted slightly . . .

Dragon's Belly

I ran from the cave as quietly as could be.

Then I picked up the cave and took it home with me.

Ancient Conch

The mouth of the cave.

Cave Entrance

Oyster Rock.

Oyster Rock

I was really exploring seashells with a digital camera that photographs tiny things.

My bucket of sea shells #1 was just a bunch of tiny shells inside a bigger shell.

Shell Bucket

What you have seen are formations within a sea shell.

All except the first three pictures were taken inside the ancient, broken conch.

If you liked this magical adventure, next time, I will explore something else!

 

These photos are mine – NO – I did not steal them from you.

 

 

 

Bohemians At Large:”Free Art For The People!”

Art for the people!

When was the last time you stumbled onto an art exhibit and were allowed to steal something?

Never?

Doesn’t that just get you goat?

Well here are some people who want to send you on an impromptu Easter egg hunt!

Our first installation takes us back to October, 1869.

The place was a small village in New York state.

Art for the people 5

Workers digging a well discovered a marvelous wonder; a 10-foot tall stone man laying buried beneath the fields of an otherwise unremarkable town.

Art for the people 4

Thank you very much!

Some said the man was a true giant; turned to stone in the biblical past.

Others said it was a statue; perhaps of some ancient, North American god.

The truth would only make people more determined to catch a glimpse of the Cardiff Giant.

For the statue was only completed a year before its discovery by a man who sought to prove that people were gullible.

The giant now rests in The Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, New York, but if you wish to hunt for your own Cardiff Giant, legend has it they can be found on the opposite coast in Pasadena, California.

Since September 29, 2011 an artist going by the name of Cardiff1869 has been making tiny replicas of the giant, and leaving them scattered about the town of Pasadena.

Nestled on little beds of leaves or hanging by bits of string, these eerie little nudes seek to beguile passers-by.

Art for the people 6

This is the basic idea. I had to Photoshop this because I don’t live in Pasadena.

Should you be loath to part with your discovery – feel free to take it home!

For this is the Cardiff1869 free art project!

Though most of us can’t travel to California, we can experience the thrill of discovering one of these little giants by viewing their past hiding places at

http://cardiff1869.com/

I discovered this ingenious art project while reading about the pranksters and con-men at

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/

If your one of those people who doesn’t like it when the truth gets in the way of a good story, or if you just in for some historical high jinks this site makes for some mighty interesting reads.

Want in on this whole installation art thing?

A blogger called The Meeping Koala has developed a yarn-related shenanigan that may succeed where other urban knitters have failed.

Art for the people 3

“Hi, I’m a tiny bunny!”

Some know her as person raising awareness of the plight of singles by dropping fuzzy hearts in comic book and video game stores – as well as other haunts of the romantically challenged.

Others know her as the founder of Operation Bunny Drop, aka – The Bunny Drop Project.

Her goal is to unleash an army of tiny yarn bunnies upon unsuspecting citizens, but she can’t do it alone!

The Koala insists that all willing and able knitters make tiny bunnies bearing this sign -

Art for the people! 2

and leave them in places where they will be discovered by – hopefully appreciative – strangers.

Instructions for knitting a tiny bunny can be found on her site

http://themeepingkoala.wordpress.com/ visit and help hasten the coming of the Yarn apocalypse!

Many thanks to Meeping Koala for the use of the pictures -

and to Wikipedia for duty-free stock photos -

and to Cardiff1869 for sharing his little giants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy My e-book!

It is the dead that haunt places but places that haunt yhe dead.

It is not the dead that haunt places but places that haunt the dead.

Having swapped his mortality for slavery,

Sam the undead butler

 was forced to serve one human master after another

but his past will come back to haunt him

when it’s discovered

that his foggy memories

hold the key

to a priceless treasure.

Buy it here -

 http://mindwingsaudio.com/enthralled-pawn-of-the-necromancers-by-rebecca-a-stelly/

Attention fans of “Model Employee”!

An e-publisher called Mind Wings Audio (MiWiShorts.com) has excepted and published a 12,000-word fantasy based on my brief flash fiction, “A Model Employee.” The story’s name was changed to Enthralled.

The book is now available as a one-hour audio book on an mp3 CD or mp3 download /or as an e-book on several types of E-book readers. (Such as the Nook or Kindle.)

I suggest that any author seeking to promote their work check out the Mind Wings Audio Site. Their specialty is one-hour audio books. They are currently seeking submissions of 10 to 11,000 words.

Mind Wings Audio is actively seeking Authors!

Click the link if your interested in my e-book or thinking of submitting to Mind Wings yourself!

I would appriciate hearing from anyone who is able to read it!

Burlap Cat part 4

Burlap Cat 4

This story references the earlier episodes.

It may be read with the other installments or by itself.

See “Burlap Cat” under the “categories” widget.

 

 Joanne could do nothing but stare at the pile of brightly wrapped packages. This year, Santa (or a far more sinister force) had brought her something most unwelcome.

That something was an ancient toy cat made of burlap. It had a large head and a small body, a missing ear and a missing button eye.

Joanne kicked the thing under a table when her parents came down the stairs. She was not one to leave her problems lying around for others to see.

Joanne then had a fuzzy moment with her family, opening presents and pretending not to be scared out of her wits.

It was not until her parents had returned to their room, to get ready for the big Christmas party later on, that Joanne was able to collect herself.

She dragged the burlap cat out from under the lamp table and whispered. “What do you want from me?”

Joanne neither expected or wanted the thing to speak, but she hoped for a sign – a clue, as to how she might banish it for good.

It all started a week ago when her friend David had shown her a website that sold supposedly haunted items. Joanne had only looked at the burlap cat, then three days later it arrived at her door, in an open, unmarked box.

David laughed at Joanne and swore it had been a mistake. He named the cat Marvin and suggested they contact the site that was selling it.

The owners of the site claimed they never had anything like the burlap cat for sale, but they offered to buy the thing for fifty dollars.

Before Joanne could ship it off, the burlap cat somehow managed to leave her house.

The cat reappeared in the arms of David’s two-year old cousin Randy as he was getting his picture taken with Santa at the mall. Joanne and David had been the only ones watching him. Randy ran off with the cat when they asked to see it, disappearing into the crowd.

Joanne and David had cornered the boy in a deserted section of the mall. Randy was safe, and willing to give up the cat, which he had also named – Marvin. If David had been playing a Joke he would have admitted it then – instead he took the cat and shipped it himself.

Joanne had been given two days of restless worry.

It was almost a relief to see the burlap cat again. At least now Joanne could know for certain where it was.

The door bell rang – We Wish You A Merry Christmas – and then David let himself in. He was white even before he saw the cat. Joanne feared to ask what was wrong.

Instead of speaking, David handed Joanne a sheet of printer paper. It was an e-mail from the owners of the site, the very people to whom they had sold the cat, the people who would have still had the cat if the world was a place that made sense.

Joanne read the printout. It was very brief and to the point.

“You may keep the item and the fifty dollars paid for it. Do not contact us again.”

Without saying a word, David grabbed the Burlap cat and headed for the door.

Joanne caught his sleeve. “David, no! That thing could be dangerous!”

“I know” He said. “My father has a gun safe. There are no guns in it now so he has left it open. Not even I know the combination. I figure it’s as good a place as any to keep something dangerous.”

Joanne still didn’t let go of his sleeve.

“What are we going to about this? It can’t go on forever.”

David sighed. “I suppose we can start doing some research. A lot of my Face Book friends are ghost and big foot people so I posted a picture of the cat. I figure if anyone knows anything they’ll tell us.”

Joanne smiled. “Ok, but it’s your funeral.”

David smiled back. Then left the house. He had people of his own who expected to see him in good spirits.

Joanne tried to think about what kinds of cookies and pies her aunts would bring. They thought she was too skinny. Joanne took it as a complement, and as an excuse to live a little.

Joanne retreated to the bathroom to fix herself up. To Joanne fancy dress meant blue jeans without holes and T-shirts without wrinkles. Toss in a hat and some cheep plastic jewelry and she would be ready to meet a queen.

“There is my hippie princess!” said Joanne’s Grandfather later that day as he handed her a twenty-dollar bill. “Merry Christmas!” Joanne made her way past her relatives to the kitchen where she started to pile all manner of delicacies on to a paper plate.

A Toy train whistled around the living room, beside enough doll houses to make up a small city. All the younger children had brought their newest treasures, and Joanne recalled how her dragons once rained fire down upon toy land.

A familiar name distracted Joanne from her slice of chocolate pudding parfait. It sounded like “Marvin”.

There seemed to be a fight among her youngest relatives. She hovered behind the couch and listened in.

“He wants to ride the train!” Whined a smaller girl who was clearly feeling left out.

A bossy older boy took the train away from the girl and set it carefully back on the track.

“If your teddy wants to ride, he can wait at the station.”

The little girl whined. “Trains don’t go to the station. They go to the mall!”

An elderly man intervened. “Easy there.” He said to the children. “I told her that the mall used to be a train station a long time ago, I guess she got confused.”

The mall used to be a train station.

Joanne recalled what little randy had been doing when she and David had caught up with him.

“I found a train!” Randy had said as he peeled paint off of a wall to expose an old poster.

Maybe the cat had been trying to tell them something, something about the mall.

Joanne had a bad feeling.

The toy train sped toward Joanne.

Balanced atop the engine was – the Burlap cat.

Joanne knew it would somehow escape David. She didn’t know how the cat was able to travel from place to place. Neither of them had ever seen it move.

The train struck Joanne’s foot and fell over. Joanne picked up the cat. “Marvin likes you.” said the girl who had wanted the cat to ride the train. The girl was the daughter of an older cousin. Joanne wasn’t good with names. Joanne said “Where did you find this?” The girl replied “Under the couch. Is he yours?” Joanne nodded. “Yes he’s mine. Thank you for finding him.”

The girl went back to her own doll.

Joanne was once again disturbed by the fact everyone called the thing Marvin.

Joanne retreated to her room immediately and called David. She almost collapsed when he answered the phone. She gasped “Are you alright?” David answered “Why wouldn’t I be alright?” There was a pause, then he shouted “Don’t tell me the cat came back!”

Joanne didn’t need to answer. David went on. “Look Jo, you have to keep an eye on it at all times. I’ll try to come over as soon as I can.”

Joanne interrupted before he could hang up. “There is something about that old poster Randy found at

the mall. I think we should have another look at it.”

David tried to keep his voice under control. Joanne wondered if David’s parents were nearby. “We can go to the mall tomorrow.” He said. David then whispered. “Stay strong”

Joanne ended the call and pocketed her phone. David never used words like “Stay strong” they seemed far too cheesy. David was too strung out to act cool. This made Joanne afraid too.

Joanne gripped the cat-like she was holding off a Lynx. She looked it in the black, button eye that was dripping dried glue.

“Marvin” she said to the cat. “I will go to the mall and look at this poster. If that is what you want, please behave yourself.”

Joanne woke the next day to find the cat had vanished. The surge of relief almost made her forget that she had made a promise.

“Are you sure it didn’t just fall behind the bed?” said David as Joanne arrived at the mall with her two other friends Shelly and Eric.

Jo would have to choose her words carefully to avoid arousing the suspicions of her friends.

“I looked everywhere for that thing! It isn’t at my house anymore!”

Shelly inquired, “What isn’t at your house?”

“Just some toy.” said David. “I think Randy lost his elf.”

“Good riddance” said Eric. “He probably hit his sister with it one too many times.”

Shelly wanted to shop for shoes and Eric always followed Shelly, so it was all too easy to ditch them.

Joanne never thought she would miss Eric’s lost puppy routine or Shelly’s tendency to shoot down all of her jokes but now they seemed so normal and safe compared to what she and David had stumbled into.

The both of them agreed that they probably had not seen the last of the burlap cat, and that people would think they were crazy if they asked anyone else for help. Given the situation, it was probably in their best interest to learn as much as they could.

The building that contained the mall was huge. Most of it was still empty. The empty parts were roped off, forcing people to crowd into shops in pursuit of post-holiday bargains.

The mall was new but the building was not. As Joanne recalled the place had been saved from the wrecking ball by some historical society or another. More stores were added all the time. Still places remained behind walls and plywood partitions, places not completely given over to the modern world.

It was in one of these places they had lost Randy, only to find him again at the end of a dark, dilapidated hall. Randy was safe but what would become of them if they pushed their luck?

Joanne reminded herself that the only thing to fear was mall security as they slipped unnoticed behind the same partition they had slipped behind in pursuit of Randy.

They were now in the part of the mall that was yet to be opened, the part that was still half-way between old and new. Paint flecks covered the floor like leaves in a forest. Statues and benches were wrapped in plastic and the air seemed even colder than the air outside.

“Do you remember where it was?” said David to Joanne. “Not really” she admitted.

When chasing Randy, it had all been a blur.

They retraced their steps past loose tiles and stacked plywood, past empty alcoves that might someday contain stores.

Something caught their attention from far off.

“Hey cool!” said David. “Their painting a picture on the wall!”

In the gray light of the high windows a detailed landscape came into focus. A railway bridge spanned a ravine, and old-fashioned train engine huffed and puffed across it.

“Wait a minute.” said Joanne. “Look at the edges!”

The edges of the painting were covered up by peeling paint and crumbling plaster. David gasped. “This isn’t new, it’s old! Someone painted over it a long time ago. They must have only just discovered it!”

It suddenly dawned on Joanne.

“David!, Randy Discovered this!”

David nodded. “Randy or the cat, look!”

The train in the painting had seemed like part of an old poster when Randy peeled the paint off of it, but there had been more than just a poster hiding behind all that paint and plaster.

The workers fixing up this part of the building had found Randy’s train. The train was part of a much larger painting that covered the whole wall.

Part of wall was covered in an ancient chalkboard.

Numbers were painted on this chalkboard, numbers and the names of cities.

Some of the cities were places Joanne had never heard of.

“This must be a train bulletin board.” said David. “People would look at it to see when the trains arrived.”

He went on. “The train board looks like it is glued to the wall. Whoever used this building after it was a train station couldn’t get it off so they just painted over it.”

“Maybe they were trying to protect the painting by covering it up.” Whispered Joanne.

“Could be.” said David. He started to take pictures of the old train bulletin with his phone.

He stood on a bench to get a better view.

In their excitement they almost missed the sound of footsteps coming toward them.

“Sssssshh, you hear that.” said Joanne as she dragged David off the bench and into an empty store. The two hid behind crates as a pair of uniformed figures walked slowly past.

“Just what is your problem, Ben.” said one the guards to the other.

Ben hugged his chest. “I suppose you haven’t heard. They found this wall scraped clear last night. No one knows who did it. I swear it’s like the old place is trying to break out of it’s shell. Abby quit, she says she heard scratching noises on her watch. They gave her that job at the old courthouse. The courthouse has some bad vibes, but better bad vibes then something real like this.”

The other guard chuckled. “So your going to join Abby? I hear there is another opening.” “I might” said Ben. “I might.” “Good” said the other guard. “I can use the extra hours.”

The guards retreated down the hall.

David and Joanne sneaked back to the public section of the mall when the guards were out-of-the-way.

David studied the screen of his phone as they sat silently amid the noise of the food court.

There was something about the ancient train bulletin, something they were meant to see.

 

 

 

Origami Pokian.

cropped-ruke-header.png

Origami is the art of folding paper into shapes resembling people or animals. The crane is the most famous origami figure and it is rumored to have wish-granting power.

Paper Cranes Wiki

To grant your wish, you must fold a thousand cranes in less than a year! If  you are curious about learning how to fold a crane – there is no shortage of wonderful websites that give instruction.

Here I posted something of my own invention, The Paper Pokian.

I have written and am in the process of publishing a picture book for children. The main character is an imaginary sea creature called a Pokian.  This Pokian’s name is Ruke. I have come up with some Ruke – related arts and crafts to promote the book, (To The World Above)  One of these is a folded paper figure that looks like the book’s main character. I came up with it by experimenting with a crane base. 

Here are the instructions for how to fold a Pokian. You will need paper and scissors - (There are some origami purists that forbid scissors – I am not one of them ;) )

Some may think this project is a little complex for children, but I have only recently discovered the joys of paper-folding and regret that no one introduced me to it earlier.

I am an origami novice myself so I wanted to make this project as easy as possible.

Many adults as well as children have trouble with this particular model, especially when making the mane of hair, so I wouldn’t recommend it for those who are very young or those people who are easily frustrated or discouraged.  

Waste paper is a great source of practice material. It is important not to take your project too seriously and just have fun.

I wanted to post something that would pose a challenge to those children and adults who wanted a challenge.

The paper pokian may take several tries. I will include a photo of what a finished model may look like, just to clarify things.   

Paper Pokian A

Paper Pokian B

paper pokian a

paper pokian b

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia – (Thousand Paper Cranes) Paper Pokian photo is my own.

Wierd and Wonderful Shark Eggs.

I am working on a series of articles to promote the children’s picture book I am currently in the process of publishing. Rather then simply stop posting, I will post anything I come up with that my be of interest to my followers.

This is an activity where you try to guess which of these fish hatch out of which of these eggs. The answers are on the bottom.

Shark Sheet  

Weird and Wonderful Chimaera Fish

Hydrolagus 22

Chimaeras are related to sharks, but they are small and mostly harmless.

This does not mean they are boring.

Chimaeras were named after a mythical creature because that is just what they look like.

They are often called ghost sharks because they are eerie.

Eerie is a word I like to use when I can not figure out if something is beautiful or scary.

What do you think of them?

Hydrolagus 1

The spotted ratfish

The spotted ratfish lives in the north eastern pacific ocean. They are often encountered by divers in Puget Sound. Puget Sound is in the U.S. state of Washington.

The spotted ratfish prefers to live in deep water further south, but further north it is willing to live in bays and near beaches, at least during the spring and fall months.

Rat fish can be 97 centimeters long, or 38 inches. Most of this is tail. They are not much bigger then a rat. Males are much smaller.

The large front fins of the rat fish make it look like an air plane. It moves like an air plane too, doing barrel rolls and other tricks.

Rat fish eat crunchy things like star fish and clams, but they also like worms. They chew them with very unusual teeth.

When attacked, the Rat fish may use the poisonous stinger on its dorsal fin, but it usually prefers to keep at a safe distance rather then fight.

They are nocturnal and few can forget their huge cat-like eyes.

Hydrolagus 5

Gulf Chimaera

This little guy is from the north to central Atlantic ocean. He seems to like his water deep, dark, and as far from land as possible. Gulf Chimeras have been found off the coast of Mexico and the United States. They are probably named after the Gulf of Mexico.

Hydrolagus 4 copy

The Narrownose Chimaera

The Narrownose Chimaera lives in many parts of the world, just as long as the water isn’t to hot or too cold. Like many Chimaera fish it likes deep, dark water. So it is rarely seen.

Hydrolagus 3

Eastern Pacific Black Ghost Shark

This Chimaera looks more like a shark then the others, but still has a ratfish tail. By looking at him you can understand why Chimaeras are grouped with sharks.

Hydrolagus 22

Australian ghost shark

Australian ghost sharks live off the southern coast of Australia and New Zealand in 200 to 500 meters of water (667 to 1,667 feet), but they lay their eggs in shallow water during the spring and summer. When coming ashore they must watch for humans, who like to eat them. Adult males can grow to be 65 centimeters long. (About 30 inches) They are also called elephant sharks. It is thought that they use their strange noses to plow up food from the bottom.

Hydrolagus 6

Like many sharks, Chimaera fish store their eggs in cases called mermaid purses.

Many humans think the cases are just bits of plastic, but they often contain baby fish.

How many different purses do you think there are?