What can I say about seventy-eight stories written by three guys in fourteen-and-a-half months? Well, let me speak about what it’s like to commit to writing two short stories a month for thirteen months . . . besides how easily it turns into fourteen months and change.

Most stories came in at around three thousand words, and some people — people who have not tried writing — might look at that and say something like “Three thousand words in two weeks? No problemo!

Let me tell you that despite our talent as writers, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Ideas are easy, but the devil is in the execution. What seems like a brilliant jewel in the perfect environment of one’s mind can suddenly take the form of cheap colored plastic once transferred as words onto digital paper.

Ideas are mainly visual, and the ability to transfer ideas from one’s mind to another person’s mind via words is why good writers make a living at it.

To be clear, we’re doing this for free and none of us make a living from writing. That said, I’ll go out on a limb and say that we can rightly be proud of much of what we wrote. Throughout the challenge, we’ve gotten enough compliments about our efforts so that I feel justified in saying it’s not just our vanity and egos speaking.

I asked Perry and Gary to pen their thoughts about this effort, so here are their thoughta about the challenge.

The polls for the”Z” Stories are now closed . . . and the Alphabet Challenge has ended. Hard to believe it began last January 22nd . . . 443 days from the start date to the end date. Or 1 year, 2 months, 18 days. Or 14 months, 17 days.

Want more numbers? . . . 10,632 hours, or 637,920 minutes, or 38,275,200 seconds (assuming whole days). Rounding down, it was 63 weeks, which means we averaged a story roughly every 2.5 weeks. I’m talking stories that ran anywhere from 2,000 to as much as 6,000 words (I think one was 8,000 words).

I know, I know . . . you want to know the results of the voting. You can check them HERE<<link, but since few people click on links, here are the results.

Here’s a photo before I continue . . .

It’s Devils Tower treated to Topaz Impression 2.0 and framed using Topaz Studio 1.0. (If you want to see a post about it, click this LINK).

Readers are doing a decent job of trying to make the “Z” stories voting block the one with the most votes ever. It’s also nice getting feedback letting us know this is one of the best batches of stories yet. I mean, we always try doing our best, but it’s nice to read we’re ending the Alphabet Challenge on a high.

And you, yes, YOU, can help smash all previous voting records! Helping doesn’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also going the extra mile and urging friends and family to read and vote (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). This being the last group of stories, it’s not like they have to commit to much, especially since there’s only one day left.

That said, only read and vote if you have the time and inclination. Life can throw loops at people and if something keeps you from these stories, that’s perfectly fine.

But if you’ve been a reader of our offerings and someone who votes — even if only occasionally — know that you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) tomorrow Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

Since I don’t want to keep you long, just a few photo offerings . . . 

Some sights from our 2015 travels to Yellowstone NP.

The “Z” stories voting block is progressing at a decent clip . . . but it could do much better. Unfortunately, this is the last chance for the voting to smash previous records. That’s right . . . it’s now or never.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

Just know that if you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than five days left.

For many people I know, today is kind of special. Whatever celebration you might be having — even if it’s just to enjoy being alive — I hope it is a grand day.

. . . I should probably express that more often since it’s my desire for readers and non-readers alike regardless of which day it is.

But, seeing as today is a holiday for some, I thought I would do a quick reminder post, and what better way to do “quick” than take previous photos and artsify them? That’s right; there is no better way. 

All of the photos are treated with Topaz Restyle, Topaz Impression, and framed using Topaz Studio.

The “Z” stories voting undergoes bursts of activity and — since this is the last of the stories — I figure I would do a bit more reminding and prodding. You know, to maybe have this last block smash the previous voting records.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

Just know that if you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than five days left.

Yellowstone NP is (so far) our favorite National Park. I mean, there may be parks out there we’ve not seen and that would supplant Yellowstone’s lofty position, but they have a lot to live up to. 

I mean, Yellowstone has the views, the animals, the mountains, and valleys . . . and then there are the geothermal features.

The “Z” stories voting is moving along at a reasonable pace. As a reminder, this is the last block of the Alphabet Challenge. If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to get involved, well, this is a good one.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than a week left.

So, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 was a camera I purchased in December of 2009 for the sole purpose of shooting movies. And for the 12x optical zoom. At the time, neither my phone nor my DSLR were capable of shooting decent video. Of course, the little camera was capable of shooting decent photos.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! I didn’t know Canada Geese liked hanging around in trees.

The above is an example of how and when I used the camera. Always on trips, of course, and I’ve shared videos captured with the little camera, but I seldom shared photos from it. In this particular case, I was golfing . . . and I saw two geese take flight — obviously in fear for their lives due to my erratic golf prowess — and I was flabbergasted to see them land on a nearby tree.

The “Z” stories voting block is live and running . . . and still not getting much love (votes). At this point, I don’t know why . . . perhaps our readers don’t want it to see it end and are avoiding reading the stories, hoping that will forestall the end.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

So, stuff . . . let me begin with WordPress making another change, this time to the Admin menu(s). You can read about it here (LINK). If it’s confusing, basically, they are making it difficult to find and use the Classic Editor again . . . still. Save your version of the link below to create new posts using the classic editor and to still be able to edit posts using the Classic Editor as described in THIS POST<<link. The menu mentioned in Step 5 of that post is now difficult (if not impossible) to get to via the menu options, but the direct link still works:

https://{blogname}.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit.php

So, for instance, I would replace “{blogname}” with “disperser”. In that menu, you’ll still be able to create posts using the Classic Editor, and edit posts created with the Classic Editor without having to convert them to the Block Editor. 

Note that WP will tell you the Classic Editor has been deprecated (they actually mean defecated on). They don’t tell you you can still use it, but you can.

OK, so what else?

It’s been a while since one of these. Such a long while that I almost forgot about them, so I can only imagine what a surprise this will be for the few readers of this blog.

What prompted me to author this post? Well, I got annoyed. I read a post on another blog (from which I’ve since unsubscribed) and stupidly commented. Do you know how annoying it is having someone imply you’re a bigoted white Christian? You don’t? Well, let me tell you . . . it’s annoying.

Anyway, I had a choice . . . I could fume and plot the demise of the Human Race . . . but I then worried about all the pets that can’t work a can-opener. So, I decided to relax by processing a few photos and composing this post. I’m not sure I made the right choice, but here we are.

As mentioned before, all the WitW photos are collected in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  Each new post will identify the previous post’s photo. The poll at the end of this post is mostly to amuse and entertain (me), but I name the location of these photos along with a red herring or two. It’s fine if you look up the answer, and I won’t care much which name you vote for because, hey, you might want to amuse yourself as well. It’s open to multiple voting for people who like more than one answer. Let me know if multiple voting doesn’t work.

The location of the photos in the previous post<<link showcased U.S. Botanic Gardens<<link. For them interested in looking at it on Google Earth, here’s a screenshot of Google Earth’s street view. It’s close to the approximate location from where I snapped the 2003 photo, but know that the landscaping has changed (the coordinates are in the lower right corner of the screenshots — click for a larger version).

The “Z” stories voting block is live and running . . . and not getting much love (votes). Likely, it’s because so much time had passed between the end of the “Y” stories and this round, the last of the Alphabet Challenge.

That’s right . . . as a reminder to them for whom it may not have registered, this is the last round of the challenge — hard to believe three writers wrote 26 short stories each and posted them all here, for all to read. For them who procrastinate, this really is the last chance they will have to participate in voting for their favorite.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

So, Note 20 Ultra . . . .

Once again, these are presented without any editing on my part . . . no post-processing of any kind . . . and today I want to address macro photography with the Note 20 Ultra.

This is the 26th (and last) round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I wrote one story for each letter of the alphabet, this being the last, or “Z” story.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on the total votes received.

The story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of this round, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the third of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “Z” as submitted by its author.

This is the 26th (and last) round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I wrote one story for each letter of the alphabet, this being the last, or “Z” story.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on the total votes received.

The story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of this round, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the third of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “Z” as submitted by its author.

This is the 26th (and last) round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I wrote one story for each letter of the alphabet, this being the last, or “Z” story.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on the total votes received.

The story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of this round, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the third of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “Z” as submitted by its author.