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.

The Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is progressing nicely. Not blazingly, but steadily. Strangely, I’m getting a lot of visitors to the blog. It doesn’t seem to translate into additional votes, comments, or even ‘likes’ . . . which leads me to believe these new visitors just took a wrong turn on their way to somewhere else. 

. . . I hadn’t noticed the increase (I rarely check my stats), but for a few months now, I’ve been averaging better than 70 visitors per day. Again, they come, they see, most leave no trace, but I’m glad they’re stopping by, even if they don’t interact.   

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 making our way back to November of 2018. We knew we were leaving the Big Island at the end of the year, so we made it a point (when not packing and shipping our few belongings) to visit the places we liked.

 

mural by Margaret Stanton, "The Cane Cutters" - 1998

That’s an actual painting, not something I whipped up on my computer. It’s a mural by Margaret Stanton, “The Cane Cutters” — 1998. It’s in the town of Honokaʻa, in the Hamakua district on the northern portion of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

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 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 voting for the Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories has been brisk. We currently have more total votes for this round than we’ve had for any previous round. I mean, nearly twice as some rounds.

It’s nice to imagine we’re building a following. You know, as in readers who will continue reading our stories for each subsequent round. Eh, one can dream.

You too can join the throng of “N” Stories voters. If you’ve not already done so, you can read the stories and cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

So, scary animals . . .

The plan was to use photos of everyday animals and — utilizing Topaz Restyle and Impression and Studio — make them the stuff of nightmares . . .

The action for the Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories voting has been hot and heavy these last few days. A good thing to see and likely due to Sunday’s noon deadline, when the poll will close.Just a friendly reminder that — if you want to participate — you have until then to vote.

And, no, not by mail because The Orange Blob is continuing his efforts to turn the once-mighty USA into a Banana Republic, this time by deprecating the Post Office. As a nation, we’ve come a long way down from our lofty ideals.

For example, we once thought a functioning and reliable Post Office was crucial to our country’s future . . . now, not so much, at least if you listen to certain people. Like I said, every day, there is less and less to calm the nerves and soothe the soul (I mean, if I had a soul, which I don’t). 

I still somewhat trust the security of the poll, so if readers have yet to do so, they can still — but not for long — read the stories and cast a vote for their favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

So, Western Landscapes and sights . . .

Sometimes I’m an idiot. (Hmm . . . Only Sometimes?!) I really like that processing but I forgot to save the finished product as a preset, and I don’t remember the exact steps for that “look”.

The Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories voting will close at noon on Sunday, August 16th. I mean, it sure sounds like you have a lot of time left to read for about 30 minutes, then ponder about which story merits your vote, and then vote . . . BUT! . . . we live in a time where our sense of time is distorted by extraordinary events. If you haven’t acted, and if you don’t act now, it’ll be Monday before you know it.

I mean, it’s Monday now . . . I mean next Monday.

Of course, you have no obligation to do anything . . . but it sure would be swell — if you’ve not already done so — if you would read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

So, vultures . . . specifically, Black Vultures<<link (as opposed to Turkey Vultures<<link)  . . .

I plan a post specific to these vultures and the photo ops they gave me, but I thought I would preview a few of the photos.

The above is in B&W, but here’s the color version . . . except there isn’t much color.

The Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories voting has entered the doldrums period. Yup, during every round, there’s a point where voting stalls and the poll languishes in solitude with nary a click to keep it company.

You have no obligation to do anything . . . but it sure would be swell — if you’ve not already done so — if you would read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Here are a few photos more photos from Hawaiʻi . . .

That’s another photo from The Big Island. Specifically, a view of the water from Aliʻi Drive. Even more specifically, taken while we sat in the car during one of the many backups one has to contend with when traveling Aliʻi Drive. That’s where all the shops are, the tourists are, and the main road for accessing the shore in Kailua Kona.

If you’re going to be stuck in traffic, there could be much worse places.

Unlike real lobbyists, I got nothing to bribe . . . er . . . offer in exchange for visitors reading the Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories.

As such, you have no obligation to do anything . . . but it sure would be swell — if you’ve not already done so — if you would read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Oh, here are a few “all over the place” photos before you go reading the stories . . .

It looks like Florida to me . . .

The Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories are sitting there, looking pretty and waiting for readers (and voters). You could be a reader (if you’ve not already read the stories) and you could be a voter (if you’ve not already voted). And, guess what? Unlike the US elections, you don’t have to choose the lesser of two evils . . . you have three evils to choose from!

You have no obligation to do anything . . . but it sure would be swell — if you’ve not already done so — if you would read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Oh, here are a few photos before you go reading the stories . . .

That’s another photo from The Big Island. Specifically, an ocean-side memorial to a surfer.

The Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories are active and the stories are fiercely battling for supremacy . . . sort-of.

You have no obligation to do anything . . . but it sure would be swell — if you’ve not already done so — if you would read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Oh, here are a few photos before you go reading the stories . . .

That’s an offering to Pele<<link in front of a steam vent on the rim of the caldera at the Hawaiʻian Volcano National Park. The photo was taken after most of the activity had subsided . . . so, obviously, the offering worked.

Perry and Gary have sent me their “N” stories . . . and I’m close to getting an idea for a story. Yes, I’m late again. If I get hit by a flash of inspiration and a case of fast-finger-typing, there’s a small chance I might be able to put something up later . . . 

. . .but — realistically — I’m more likely to have something by tomorrow. Still, I want to post something . . .

Remember that guy? He appeared in THIS<<link post.

Man, it’s a tight race! . . . except for first place and last place.

If you’ve not already done so, you can read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge M-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Here are a few photos reworked and presented as a thank you for your participation . . .

That’s the canyon at Yellowstone.

Only a few more days to make a difference in some unknown writer’s egos . . . not that they need any help in that regard.

If you’ve not already done so, you can read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge M-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Here are a few photos reworked and presented as a thank you for your participation . . .

That’s access to a beach on Martha’s Vineyard.