SPC: Wailing Woman Uncovered at Beach


Let’s get right to the photo challenge for today.

Story Photo Challenge

Take a look at this picture and write a breaking news headline for it.

Remember, news headlines should be short and grab attention.

In this case, however, you don’t have to take the headline or the picture too seriously.

Look at the picture and write whatever comes to mind for YOU. The idea is to have fun:~)

Not into the challenge today?

That’s okay. Just answer this question:

What’s your favorite beach and why?

Free Writing

A Windy Day at the Beach

It’s a lashing wind today. My neighbor’s flag beats itself against the wood; it sounds like the pattering of a hard rain.

Down on the beach, umbrellas remained furled and bound. They stand like colorful sentries, looking out over the waves. Hunched-over people walk against the wind; white -gray gulls fly effortlessly with it.

Smaller sea oats are bending in praise to the sand. Others dance frantically, their heavy oats swinging like golden dreadlocks whipping in the wind.

The wooden bridge to the beach is almost covered by sand so white; it could be snow if not for the hot sun. As I walk down it, my footsteps on the path begin to disappear behind me, like invisible ink. They’ll be gone before I get to the steps.

I kick off my sandals, hopping from foot to foot, as the heated sand burns the tender skin of my bare feet. Tiny arrows of rough sand sting my legs. The wind will take no prisoners today. It will bury them. Perhaps never to be found.

My nose twitches at the combined smell of salt and rotting seaweed. Full of bits of bleached wood, ripped green plastic and other human waste, the seaweed stretches down the beach in a jagged line.

The remains of a crab catch my eye. He lies in pieces only a foot from a hole that could have been his escape.

At the shore’s edge, I step into the dark wet sand. The warm gulf water kisses my feet and rushes away, like a shy lover. Nearby, a sandpiper is nodding and teetering in the sand, foraging for food.

The waves crash then recede; creating a constant refrain in my ears. Wearing white foamy caps, they careen towards the shore. Swimmers leap, like fish, as the waves run them over in a reckless rush of heavy water.

Shadows pass overhead, drawing my eyes upwards as a flock of pelicans fly above me. The sunlight contrasts creamy bellies and brown feathers against the cornflower blue sky.

*     *     *     *     *

This is some free writing from my journal. I wrote it on our last trip to the beach. It’s been slightly cleaned up, hopefully making it a bit easier to read:~)

I’ve been working on learning to write using my senses. This is a challenge for me! I find visual description relatively easy. Sound, taste and texture are okay, but I really struggle with the description of smells! Think about it. How does a blade of grass smell?

I once plucked a blade and sniffed it, but no words would come. The closest I ever came to describing the smell was tangy:~) Let me know how you would describe the smell of a blade of grass.

Blog Update

New Schedule

I am adjusting my blog schedule.

Starting this Friday, March 18, 2011, my new schedule of posting will be Tuesdays and Fridays.

On Tuesdays, I will be continuing my Story Photo series. This means next week, the Story Photo post will be on Tuesday, March 22. I will unveil on the details about the picture of the girl with the birds. Is she feeding them or giving them the needle, as some who left comments wondered? I will also have links to those who did the Special Challenge.

Writing Challenges

On Fridays, I will be doing some creative writing posts and some of my usual “Thinking Thursdays” posts, except they obviously will not be called “Thinking Thursday.” I haven’t come up with a good, safe “F” word to accompany the Friday series yet. I welcome any ideas you might have.

Moving my schedule allows me to take advantage of some of the wonderful online writing challenges. They are making me stretch my writing skills, especially The Red Dress Club, for which most posts are limited to no more than 600 words.

Those of you who know me might laugh at this challenge; I’m not known to be short on words. It’s usually DIFFICULT for me to write anything in less than 900 words, but that’s the challenge:~) Can I do it or not?

The Complaint Department

I hope you will adjust to this new schedule. If not, send your complaints to the Complaint Department.

Be warned, however, that this page is under permanent construction as the employees keep going on strike.

I brought in a consultant to assist with these employee complaints. He has some very interesting tactics which he shares in this video. Keep your tongue in your cheek as you watch it:~)

Hopefully, I will see you tomorrow.

Happy day to all:~)

The blogging community: A supportive family

In order to improve my blog, I’ve been learning more about the blogging community.  At first, this was a planned activity recommended by my blog guru, Kathy Henderson-Hurd.   She said, “Go out and make friends,” meaning start reading other people’s blogs and leave comments on the ones you like.

So, I started.  I began by visiting sites she recommended.  It wasn’t long before I was going deeper and deeper into the blog community.  Each post I liked led me to another I liked.  Then I would follow the bread crumbs and find yet another I liked!  And I’m still finding more.

Before long, I realized I wasn’t just finding interesting blogs; I was discovering a community I didn’t realize existed.

I found a community of bloggers who weren’t just marketing themselves and out to get what they can, but instead were really trying to help other bloggers.  These are people who have successful and very busy blogs, yet they find time to show caring and support for those of us who are learning the “trade,” so to speak.

It’s made me realize that it’s not just a community of bloggers; it’s a supportive family as well.

I’ve come across some great examples of this blogging family and each one has given me a gift.  The posts I found on their sites were funny, touching, educational, and most of all, encouraging!  Here are just a few of my favorites:

The first sites that really spoke to me were Adam Kayce’s Monk at Work and Cath Lawson’s Tips for Success in Business and Life.  While I don’t have a particular favorite post from either, I recommend both as they write with lots of humor mixed in with pearls of wisdom gained by their experiences as bloggers.

Barbara Swafford’s Blogging without a Blog features very helpful and motivating articles for bloggers. While, I love many of her posts, one of my favorites is New Blogger Begins to Feel Like An Abandoned Dog.  It’s a very creative and hopeful post for bloggers.  I also loved the story of “Lucky.”

Eric Hamm’s Motivate Thyself has a “must read” article for any new blogger called, 10 Tips to Help New Bloggers Beat the Odds and Push Past Their Rookie Status.  I know it’s a LONG title, but I guarantee the contents make it worthwhile for any rookie blogger to read.

Another very informative and supportive blog is Nate Whitehill.com.  Nate’s article, The Five Reasons Most Blogs Don’t Last, is very good.  Don’t be put off by the title; it’s not a depressing article.  Instead, it is an insightful reminder that blogging takes commitment and work.

These are people I’ll probably never meet, but their words gave me a virtual hug at a time when I really needed one.

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet even more people from this family of bloggers.  Lucky for me, and all the other students of blogging, it’s a very EXTENDED family.

p.s.  Thank you Kathy for giving me the push to start this journey!!