project 365 mobile | mono | square | week 17

 

On Sunday, 14 June 2015, I launched my Project 365.

You can see all the images as they are posted to the mobile | mono | square album on my flickr account.

My plan, let’s see if I can stick to this, is to post a weekly update here each Sunday.

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happy place

“As a lifetime proposition, happiness is a discipline, no doubt; but for moments at a time, it’s a piece of luck. A piece of luck and a clue: a hint, not just of what might be, but of what already exists, in the heart of a man’s heart…”
― John Burnside, A Lie About My Father: A Memoir

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happy places exist in spaces we can’t always place

sometimes we don’t have enough, space

and then, there

it is

that, place

(for wordpress weekly photo challenge – happy place)

dark | side | thursday | twentyone

Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge?  Are you open to sharing your dark side?   Then read on.

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Do you have a dark side?

Or, think you may have one. Or indeed worry that you might have one. Or, for that matter, worry that you don’t and would like one? If so,  join me here each week for dark | side | thursday.

Over a period of 52 weeks, I am writing a story. A dark story that will unfold as the weeks pass. Each Thursday, at 13:00 UTC, I will post a new chapter. Each chapter will be exactly 500 words long, and will be accompanied by a photograph. You can catch up on the story so far by clicking here on dark | side | thursday

Share your dark side?

I invite you to join me either by writing your own dark story, week by week, or, if that is too much, by dropping by, now and then, perhaps when the mood suits you or, perhaps, when it doesn’t, and by sharing a photograph, poem or a suitably dark piece of prose. To cross over to dark | side | thursday create your post, tag it dark side thursday and link to it by clicking on the dark | side | thursday badge below, where you can also find all the contributions so far. Or you can simply share your link in the comments section of my weekly post. And, should the mood take you, you can add the badge to your post.

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dark | side | thursday | twentyone

The voice filled his mind, throbbing, pulsating, the words torturing his soul, as his eyes burned.

The voice continued, pleading and crying out.

‘Only you can stop the pain. Don’t leave me out in the cold. Don’t leave me out to die’⁠1

The creature at his feet circled as he stood transfixed, head splitting, tears running unheeded from the corners of his reddened eyes. He felt the creature brush against him, a shiver running down his spine as it gazed up at him, sparkling blue eyes unblinking, its tail curling around his ankle as its purring mixed with the noise in his head.

Then the noise stopped. Abruptly. The faceless stone figure stood still, staring into his tear-streaked face inside the bubble. The voice had gone now, all he could hear was air hissing inside his helmet. And his breathing, which was thready. Like the erratic beating of his heart. The pain in his arm returning, searing up toward his shoulder, taking his breath away.

He moved painfully toward the stone figure, reached out his hand and with his fingers traced the cold stone face. As he did so he felt a vibration within the stone. A vibration that seemed to stem from the very heart of the stone figure, from its cold and silent heart.

The stone began to shake and tremble. And again he heard a voice in his head.

This time a voice he knew, and one that he had believed he would never hear again.

“Don’t let him, don’t let him take it, not now, it’s so close. Please…hear me…”

Words he had heard before. Her words. The words of a dead woman. A dead woman he had loved. A dead woman he had hurt. A woman whose body he had held in his arms until he had dropped her out of exhaustion at his feet. A woman whose shade had appeared to stand before him, her hand enclosed in that of the man in black. Her eyes cold and lacking in feeling as they gazed at him, as he had sat broken and in despair on the cold hard floor of that terrible chamber.

Her voice faded away again.

His pulse was racing, his breathing erratic. As he looked at the face of the stone figure it seemed to swirl in front of him, the blank face changing, features seeming to rise from the cold stone.

It was her face.

Without thinking he tore the bubble away from his face. Stepped toward the stone figure. Her eyes seemed to be emerging from the cold stone, her eyes and the soft gentle curve of her moist lips. His eyes closed, he felt those warm lips gently touch his, pull away quickly, then touch again harder. He moved his arms around the stone figure, feeling her soft warm body as it pressed against his. Their lips touching again, he pulled her tight against him.

And then, the chamber filled with the harsh clanging of bells.

1 Lyrics from Dead Inside, by Muse


The portal to dark | side | thursday opened on the twenty first day of may in the year twenty hundred and fifteen and will remain open for fifty two weeks.

twentyone | fiftytwo

boundaries

‘It takes so little, so infinitely little, for someone to find himself on the other side of the border, where everything – love, convictions, faith, history – no longer has meaning. The whole mystery of human life resides on the fact that it is spent in the immediate proximity of, and even in direct contact with, that border, that it is separated from it not by kilometers but by barely a millimetre’

― Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

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(for wordpress weekly photo challenge – boundaries)

(and for lucile’s photo 101 rehab)

*shot with nikon d700 and nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens at ISO200, 1/125s and f/3.2 edited in lightroom cc and analog efex pro 2, blurred boundaries*

(cheating) shadow play

“There is strong shadow where there is much light”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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after
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before

This post is a piece of *failed* homework.

The intention, to recreate the brilliance of this week’s Imagecraft Bootcamp – Shadow Recovery hosted by Mitch and Lucille.

My first challenge was to find a photo worth recovering – then I found this one, a memorable sunset over the rooftops of Amsterdam, taken on a very happy Photo 101 “meeting” earlier this year.  There was alcohol involved hence the very poor quality of the original shot.

The second challenge was to edit the original shot in Lightroom CC following Mitch’s detailed instructions.

Of course, I am hopeless at following instructions, and, in common with many men, rarely ask for directions.

So, I gave up, and cheated by pushing the darkened image through HDR Efex Pro 2.

Not happy with the result particularly but at least my effort is better than the old *the dog ate my homework*.

Will try harder next time.

I promise.

(shot with nikon d700 and nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens at ISO200, 1/250s at f/8.0, edited in Lightroom CC and HDR Efex Pro 2)

poetry 101 rehab: flora

Do you miss the Writing 201 Poetry course by the Daily Post? If so, then join this blogging challenge and let the poetry flow!


How does it work?

Feel free to answer the prompt, twist it or ignore it; write a poem of your own or share a poem by another author. Write about your inspiration, your creative process or other poetry related thoughts, but this is in no way obligatory. Nothing is obligatory in this challenge. The idea is to get together, talk poetry and have fun!


How can you take part?

Anyone can take part, anytime you want. Publish your poetry post and add a link to it by clicking on the Poetry 101 Rehab badge below or share your link in a comment. Use the tag Poetry 101 Rehab, so we can find each other in the Reader.

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I will act as your host, and I’ll be here for you to reply to your comments, read your poetry, like and comment. While this post is the starting point for the challenge, do visit fellow poets in the link-up and chat to them on their blogs!


This week’s prompt is FLORA.

Surprised by Flora

They had come to walk

Found hope


My starter for ten, entitled FLORA was inspired by an unexpected find. What will your take on the keyword FLORA be? Blog about it in a poetry post and share your link in the comments section of this post and by clicking on the Poetry 101 Badge above.


(images shot with nikon d700 and nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens and submitted to Lucile’s photo 101 rehab, just to show I also have a “light” side 🙂 )

Mara Eastern created Poetry 101 Rehab.

project 365 mobile | mono | square | week 16

 

On Sunday, 14 June 2015, I launched my Project 365.

You can see all the images as they are posted to the mobile | mono | square album on my flickr account.

My plan, let’s see if I can stick to this, is to post a weekly update here each Sunday.

Desktopmms-Edit

dark | side | thursday | twenty

Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge?  Are you open to sharing your dark side?   Then read on.

atownend_2015_05_16_7246-edit-Edit


Do you have a dark side?

Or, think you may have one. Or indeed worry that you might have one. Or, for that matter, worry that you don’t and would like one? If so,  join me here each week for dark | side | thursday.

Over a period of 52 weeks, I am writing a story. A dark story that will unfold as the weeks pass. Each Thursday, at 13:00 UTC, I will post a new chapter. Each chapter will be exactly 500 words long, and will be accompanied by a photograph. You can catch up on the story so far by clicking here on dark | side | thursday

Share your dark side?

I invite you to join me either by writing your own dark story, week by week, or, if that is too much, by dropping by, now and then, perhaps when the mood suits you or, perhaps, when it doesn’t, and by sharing a photograph, poem or a suitably dark piece of prose. To cross over to dark | side | thursday create your post, tag it dark side thursday and link to it by clicking on the dark | side | thursday badge below, where you can also find all the contributions so far. Or you can simply share your link in the comments section of my weekly post. And, should the mood take you, you can add the badge to your post.

AJT_6650-Edit


dark | side | thursday | twenty

As the helmet tightened around his head he felt light-headed for a moment. He could hear a low hissing sound as air circulated inside the transparent bubble that encased him. And yet, still he sensed a whisper of warm spring air, although somewhere deeper a chill permeated his body. He shivered.

The ground beneath his feet was unforgiving, hard grey stone cobbles lined the large square. He slowly turned his head, taking in his new surroundings.  The square sloped gently downhill, at its centre a large building with a tall tower, at the base of the tower, an ornate clock stood marking the passage of time, strange figures marching to its unearthly beat. Impassive faces, contorted figures, bodies bent out of shape.

Surrounding the square stood rows of ornate buildings, their facades brightly coloured, yellow, pink, orange. Empty windows gazing across an equally empty space.

And, that is when he realised.

He was alone.

The large square was empty. The sun was high in the sky. And yet, the terraces, the tables, the bars and cafes that were scattered around and across the square were empty. Quiet. Lifeless.

There was no sound, only the hissing susurration of the air inside his helmet.

At his feet, the creature. It looked up at him, large sparkling blue eyes. Left eye slightly closed, blinking as if if something had irritated it. The creature snaked around his ankles and then darted away across the square.

It ran towards the pillar that rose from the lower part of the square. A dark structure, rising up to the blue sky, at its base stone carved bodies twisted in pain struggled to be free from some terror, a pit of despair.

He followed.

And still, there was silence. Not a movement. Not a sound.

The creature had stopped at the base of the pillar, an iron door, sealed tight, blocked its path.

Sliding his hand in his pocket he once more found the key, the same key he had last used when he opened the casket, the casket that had contained her lifeless body.

Once more he felt the key slide deep into the oiled slot in the door, felt it vibrate as it turned, felt the mechanism groan as it responded, and opened.

He reached out and pushed the door inwards, the creature shot through the crack as it widened, a dark mewling sound spilling from its throat, its tail still, tense.

The air inside his bubble turned colder, the hissing intensified. Ahead of him a stone staircase ascended, the steps worn and marked with the years. The walls dark, dripping.

He stepped on to the first step, and began to ascend.

The staircase spiralled around the inside of the pillar. There were no windows.

Exhausted, he reached the summit.

A circular chamber, and there, once more stood the stone faceless figure.

As he gazed at the impassive face, the creature at his feet.

He heard the figure’s voice. Inside his mind.

You’re dead inside


The portal to dark | side | thursday opened on the twenty first day of may in the year twenty hundred and fifteen and will remain open for fifty two weeks.

twenty | fiftytwo