The voting for The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories round will close tomorrow at noon (Central Time). The writers were pleased to see an increase in the number of votes cast. For a while, we thought we’d been forgotten, what with the elections, hurricanes, fires, riots, protests, and empty promises by politicians who know very little about the needs of their citizens.

But, no . . . voters came through and turn this into a respectable voting round. Thank you..   

. . . even so, for old times sake, if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

So, yesterday I posted two quick “Topaz-fied” photos . . . and here are the originals (plus more) . . .

You can understand why I chose to amplify structure and color . . . in their natural state, these are pretty bland. Still interesting, but bland.

Two days left in The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories round and — what do you know? — the voting round is showing some signs of life. Perhaps all my begging is not going to waste.   

. . . so, just a few more times, if you’one of them and have not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

This will be another (super)quick post because I’m busy . . . so here are two photos reworked in Topaz Studio . . .

Perhaps some will know what those are. If so . . . I didn’t process them enough.

I’ll share unprocessed photos in the next few days.

Three days left in The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories round and it’s official . . . this will go down as a low participation round. With three days left, I don’t see a slew of voters coming in from a cruise or something and casting 20+ votes. Heck, they’re probably in quarantine from the cruise.  

. . . but, just in case, if you’one of them and have not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

This will be another quick post because I’m busy . . . so, here are the reworked photos of thistle flowers; reworked in Topaz Studio . . .

You can actually buy thistle . . . and I’ll probably do that.

Four days left in The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories round and it’s looking to be a low participation round. It happens, and we hope for better in the future, and I’m almost past even asking . . .  

. . . but, just in case, if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

This will be a quick post because I’m busy . . . so, here are a few photos of thistle flowers . . .

I should try to grow some . . . I hear they are low maintenance and I know bees and other insects like them.

I bug, but there’s no love for The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories. Voting has stopped in its tracks and it ain’t budging. 

The writers are at a loss to explain the sudden dearth of voters. Worse yet, it appears the stories are getting some eyes on them . . . OK, I exaggerate a bit . . . no one has looked at them for the past few days, but before that, we were getting a minimum of four views per day on each story . . . and few of those people voted. Probably a statement about our writing talents.  

As useless as it might be, I’ll mention it again . . . if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

On the last post, I mentioned the game “find the bug” . . . as it happens, I have a great candidate for the game . . .

Do you see the bug?

I hate bugging people, but The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories voting still lags the voting for the last round . . . not by a little, either.

But, I get it . . . two conventions, hurricanes, fires . . . four concurrent disasters are maybe too much to handle and still have time to read. It takes someone with a lot of grit and fortitude to make time to read the stories.  

If you are one such reader, and if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

Let me begin the main body of the post with a type of bug I don’t see as much as I did last year . . .

It could be there are just as many around as last year and I’m not out there as much because of the oppressive heat and humidity.

The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories round is almost at the halfway mark with only eight more days left before voting closes. For whatever reason, it’s still progressing at a glacial pace . . . uh . . . actually, glaciers are probably melting faster than votes are accumulating.

Also, for once, I’ve already started on my “P” story offering. Meaning, I hope to be done well ahead of the publishing deadline. I say “hope” because starting is not the same as writing. It could be the thing sits there for the next seven days, gets scrapped, and then, with a few hours to go, I write a completely different “P” story.   

Anyway, enough about me . . . if you’ve not already done so, consider reading the stories and then voting for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

A few days ago I posted the “dragon wing” photo and I had a few decent — but incorrect — guesses as to what it might be. Today, I give you a bit more to go on . . . in the form of a thorny lyre . . .

OK, it’s not exactly a lyre unless lyres only have one string, failed flowers a soundbox, an insect wing resting on what might be the bridge, misshapen arms, and no crossbar . . .

. . . but, go with me here; lyre is what came to mind when I snapped this photo.

The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories voting got a couple more votes but still trails badly compared to the stories from the last round. I’m going to try a bit of reverse psychology and not ask anyone to vote.  

If you are one such reader — and if you’ve not already done so — I won’t tell you to read the stories and certainly won’t suggest you then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

See if you can figure out what this is . . .

I assume everyone will recognize the familiar scene from the waterfront. not the movie, but an actual waterfront.

The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories voting has stopped. I don’t mean it’s ended . . . I mean that no one is voting.

After the record voting turnout we had for the last round, this is a lesson in two things:

1) Don’t ever express optimism about the future because The Universe takes note and reacts accordingly. I made the mistake in speculating we were getting a following and we’re now getting punished for it. 

2) “O” Stories don’t have anywhere near the appeal of “The Story of O”.

One can only hope it’s a temporary setback or this will be the lowest votes round in the history of this challenge.

But, I mean, one round has to be the lowest vote round, so there’s no reason for this not to be it; might as well get it out of the way early. Still, it begs the question: where did all the voters go? I hope they have not succumbed to the physical and mental stress of what we’re going through. Meaning, I hope they are but slumbering or busy enjoying life, in which case, more power to them.  

Still, if you’ve not already done so — consider reading the stories and then voting for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

OK, I mentioned that recently I had a mini photography session. The acorns were one subject, and the other was what I can only assume is the remains of a dragon’s wing . . .

OK, it’s not . . . but it could be if we lived in one of the realities where dragons are as commonplace as fleas. More power to you if you can recognize the plant this came from, but until I do a post about it, a dragon wing it is.

The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories voting has hit a bit of a Big-Time lull . . . but, if willing readers are up to it, we can get it going once again with just a moderate a hefty push shove. 

If you are one such reader, and if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

So, acorns<<link . . . harbingers of mighty Oaks<<link . . .

I shot some photos in my make-shift studio, and that’s one of the series of photos of acorns I collected during a few of our walks.

The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories voting has hit a bit of a lull . . . but, if willing readers are up to it, we can get it going once again with just a moderate push. 

If you are one such reader, and if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Let’s begin our photo journey with a car . . .

It’s an interesting look . . . almost looks like snow and a blizard, don’t it?

The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories are off and running, each hoping to capture the heart — and votes — of readers.

If you are one such reader, and if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Here are a few photos for you . . . remember yesterday’s frog? Well, it underwent a transformation courtesy of Topaz Studio 2 . . .

Not sure if it’s an improvement on the original . . . but who doesn’t like frogs with blood-red feet?

The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories went live yesterday and the writers hope readers are hopping to the site, eager to jump into the stories.

If you are one such reader, and if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Here are a few photos for you . . .

last night, rather late, I went outside for a moment, and I noticed this frog in the middle of the glass of our screen door . . .