If you are new to the SDS Challenge, a little background.

Three writers will each write one story a month going down the list of deadly sins. The stories can be anywhere from 666 words to 6,666 words in length, although those numbers are not set in stone. If ambitious, the writers will provide accompanying graphics. These stories will not be anonymous because some writers may want to use the same characters for each story and write a series — or book — encompassing all seven sins. Finally, interpretation of the titular sin is up to the writer. Meaning, each ‘sin’ can take multiple forms.

Disclaimer: The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories will likely 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.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins submissions for the Sin of Gluttony, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

Yesterday I posted a sunrise photo that looked like the sky was on fire. That photo was from 2011. I got out of my subdivision on my way to work when I noticed the sky. I pulled over and snapped twenty or so photos.

Yes, I modified that photo, but not much. This next gallery shows the photos as they came out of the camera (no postprocessing) . . .

It doesn’t take much to change them into fiery scenes . . . a bit of DxO PureRaw, some Luminar AI, and a heap of Topaz Impression 2.

Only three days left, and no more reminders. That’s right, cari lettori (not to be confused with Carrie Fisher, Tony Carey, or — FSM forbit — Jim Carrey). Mind you, if you are one of the few, the proud, the ones who voted . . . well, perhaps you would like to visit this blog post: Inserting photos and links into WordPress Blog Posts<<link.

OK, granted, WordPress screwed with the interface, but, if you are using the Classic Editor Block, most of that stuff still works. It completely different if you use the Block Editor. I mean, the ideas are the same, but the interface has significantly changed and moved around. But, again, that link tells you stuff you can do within the Classic Block. Good luck.

If you want to know more about the SDS challenge, THIS Post <<link explains it.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins stories submitted for the Sin of Lust, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).
But, come Wednesday at noon, Central Time, the voting closes.

Only four days left. That’s right, mes chers lecteurs (I’m hoping that’s French for ‘my dear readers‘ and not ‘I like broccoli‘). Mind you, if you are one of the few, the proud, the ones who voted . . . well, perhaps you would like to visit this blog post: The Big Dump — 2012 Hummingbirds<<link.

If you want to know more about the SDS challenge, THIS Post <<link explains it.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins stories submitted for the Sin of Lust, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

Due to the low vote count — and because we’re nearing the end of the voting block, I figure I would step up the reminders. Yes, only six days left. Mind you, if you are one of the few, the proud, the ones who voted . . . well, perhaps you would like to read my take on the movie Watchmen<<link.

If you want to know more about the SDS challenge, THIS Post <<link explains it.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins stories submitted for the Sin of Lust, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

I’m not even going to ask . . . if you want to read and vote, instructions are below on how to do so. Me? Just like so many times in my life, I’m Just Vegging<<link.

If you want to know more about the SDS challenge, THIS Post <<link explains it.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins stories submitted for the Sin of Lust, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

Only twelve votes, so far. I’m not seeing these reminders do much in the way of funneling readers to the SDS stories. I guess all that reverse psychology stuff I had read about isn’t worth squat. Heck, I might have more luck doing a post about ducks and geese — Ducks and Geese<<link.

There’s nothing to it but grit one’s teeth and call up one’s grit, and then grin and bare it … wait; I don’t want to bare it! …what? Oh. Grin and bear it. Got it.

If you want to know more about the SDS challenge, THIS Post <<link explains it.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins stories submitted for the Sin of Lust, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

For them not interested in reading, you can see photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Them who might have noticed me not doing much online these past four days probably knew I was traveling. Them who didn’t notice me not doing much online these past four days probably don’t read my blog.

Well, I was traveling, and when I travel, I travel with my photography equipment (plus the phone camera).

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.

In four days, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round will end. I post the reminders because there have been late-round voting surges which seem tied to the deadline approaching . . . probably people who enjoy the thrill of working to a deadline.

. . . although this isn’t really work, or shouldn’t be . . . .

If you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today I decided to process a few more Nikon D100 photos, but transitioning from flowers to other stuff.

Those look like Black-eyed Susan flowers but they’re actually a wildflower that looks similar. Or, maybe they are Black-eyed Susan from seeds that had been blown into a natural setting. We’ll never know.

With five days to go, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round heated up into a frenzy of votes and drastic moves in the standings of individual stories. It’s good to see the activity pick up a bit as we approach the end of the voting block. Perhaps we’ll top the record set last week (but still far from the once-hoped-for 100 votes mark).

If you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today I decided to process a few more photos of flowers captured with the D100.

Stella D'Oro daylily painting

That’s a Stella D’Oro daylily. Artified, of course.

With six days to go, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is progressing nicely. I suppose I should start thinking about my next story.

Meanwhile, if you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today I decided to process a few photos of flowers captured with the D100.

Dogwood tree flowers turned into a framed painting.

That’s a peach tree blossom, I think. Artified, of course.

Usually, Alphabet Stories voting rounds seem to pass quickly and I find myself scrambling for a story. But, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is only halfway done and it already seems like it’s been running for a long while. Heck, I still have eight days before I need to write something.

My advice to readers is . . . don’t be like me. Get your reading in early and lock in your vote, preferably well ahead of time.

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today we’re looking at two panoramas from our 2006 Utah Tour (LINK). The panoramas are from photos I shared on that post (although I didn’t present any panoramas there).

Arches National Park

That’s a panorama composed of four photos taken in portrait mode and stitched in Photoshop.