Grainy. Nothing really comes to mind when I envision this word. It’s a rather vague and boring word, to be honest. What exactly is it in reference to? Some cake batter with an odd texture? A television screen with poor picture quality? A blurry or out-of-focus photo?

A similar word that I much prefer is hazy. Hazy evokes all the best and brightest things about a humid, late summer day. People are busy doing important things: shopping for school supplies, taking last minute vacations, finishing promising internships. Or, maybe they are just drumming up the courage to admit to their summer crush how much they care about them.

Hazy is the type of day that you sit back and remember, many years later, as you sit on your porch staring out at the first snowfall. That hazy summer might not have yielded everything you hoped for, but at least you got to feel alive for a few moments.

Maybe your family argued for two hours straight, on the way to the beach. Maybe you didn’t enjoy that summer internship as much as you were expecting to. Maybe your summer crush has been ignoring you because she’s already entangled in her own romantic subterfuge.

Regardless of how that day really turned out, memory has a way of glossing over the bad things, and putting an emphasis on the good ones.

Even after a two hour argument in the car, the view from the beach pier was still incredible. That exhausting internship provided you with invaluable experience for the rest of your career. And you still remember both the deepness of your crush’s brown eyes, and the way the ferris wheel lights flickered on her face as she said that she was already seeing someone.

Daily Post: Grainy



“Hold on, let me try it again,” Paige said. She jiggled the huge bronze padlock on the wooden door. It still didn’t budge. “I thought this magic of yours was supposed to work!” she shouted.

“I need complete silence in order to achieve an appropriate level of concentration,” the magician muttered from the adjacent shadows.” Previously I was distracted by an errant breeze. Allow me to try again.” The magician readjusted his shabby purple coat, which was studded with embroidered silver stars. The rest of him was equally threadbare.

“Seriously, what century did you dig this guy up from?” Alistair whispered to Paige. For the past thirty minutes, Alistair had been standing beside Paige, decked head-to-toe in shiny armor, waiting to strike his sword at whatever monstrosities lurked beyond the door. The sun beat down heavily on the subterranean trench in which they were standing. “I just hope that the treasure in there will be worth the trouble.”

“Believe me, it will be,” Paige whispered back. “It will be enough to lift the ransom on our lady the Queen, which will return order to the realm, and likewise restore the honor of your knight’s guild.”

“Ahem, ahaw, ahoo–”

Paige and Alistair stared with unbridled fascination as the magician first contorted himself in all manner of strange positions, then proceeded to hold his breath until his face turned blue.

“Surely there must have been some other eligible wizard in the realm?” Alistair mused.

“Yes, but not on such short notice,” Paige insisted. Alistair slumped in his armor, sweat dripping down his face.

At that moment, the magician’s eyes flashed open, shining an unearthly yellow in hue. “AHA!” he shouted at the door, flinging his right hand in a throwing motion.


The padlock fell off, and the door swung open. Paige and Alistair froze. Mountains of emeralds, gold, rubies, and other precious stones fell at their feet. An endless pile of gold and jewels extended far back into the tunnel. The magician scurried over and began filling his hat and pockets with as much treasure as he could carry.

Sunlight only illuminated the tunnel for a few feet, at which point everything was draped in shadows. Alistair grabbed his sword, imagining that he’d heard a low rumble. Paige reached out a hand to reassure him.

“I think we’re safe. Here there be no dragons,” she said mockingly.

A gust of air and a flash of light was all the warning that they had. Just moments before Alistair pushed both of them to the ground, he caught a glimpse of two orange, glowing eyes. Waves of flames licked over Paige and Alistair as they clung to the Earth. Fortunately they’d remembered to put on their anti-fire talismans this morning.

The magician was not quite so lucky. He himself survived the physical onslaught, but the same could not be said for his clothing and hair. Everything on his upper half was completely singed off in an instant.

“Not again,” he said wearily, huddling against the tunnel as he clutched a handful of singed jewels.

The dragon roared, an earth-shattering bellow that made Alistair’s armor vibrate. Pound pound pound went its feet as it slithered through the tunnel and out into the trench, ignoring the three trespassers. The dragon breathed in a large gust of air, flapped its wings, and hurtled off into the sky’s blue expanse.

And just like that, Alistair and Paige had simultaneously saved and imperiled the kingdom.


Time is of the Essence

I would say that my most prized possession is time.

The most valuable thing in the world is this present moment, this opportunity to experience something new. Pay careful attention to this moment, whether it’s full of joy, sorrow, frustration, hope, or indifference. There is something precious in each passing second of time. Make the most of each opportunity, and don’t take people or things for granted.

Even if your life isn’t currently where you want it to be, it is still possible to find something beautiful in each moment. Whether it’s the mottled pattern on a fall leaf, a stranger holding the door for you, or an unexpected moment of praise from your supervisor, all of these things can serve as refreshment or inspiration, helping you to pass through hard times into a better phase of your life.

So, don’t waste time. Appreciate each little good thing, and get out there and live the life that you were meant to.

Daily Prompt: Pride and Joy

Time is of the Essence

Eternity in A Single Moment

Of all possible magic powers, I would like the ability to stop time. Sometimes you’re having the most wonderful moment or a really awesome day, and it would be nice to slow things down just a bit, to enjoy it all the more.

I would also like the ability to rewind time. Sometimes when you make a mistake, it would be nice to be able to go back in time and correct a few errors here and there.

This very magical power was explored in a recent graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Seconds is the story of Katie, a restaurateur who stumbles upon a magical being who provides her with the ability to do-over key moments of her life.


As the graphic novel progresses, we learn that there is a dark side to having such a magical power. The more things that Katie tries to correct, the more she ends up losing control of her life. Her magical abilities spiral out of control, causing random changes in other unexpected areas of her life.

I suppose the moral of the story is that you can’t have it all. If you could go back in time and change your life, you might end up losing some of the most valuable things that you have in your life right now. So, maybe it’s a lesson in contentment, and in the perils of wish fulfillment.

But, back to magical powers. I think I’d like to go back to 1995 and correct a few errors on that one test I took that one time.

Daily Prompt: “Do you Believe in Magic?.”


Curioser and Curioser

Somewhere far from here, tucked away in a sleepy New England seaport town, there is a wooden colonial home that has been fashioned into a modern restaurant. Attached to the outside wall–as if placed there by a careless giant–is a large metal kettle.

At first glance you might think, “What in the world is this doing here?” But after a few more glances and a cursory examination, it all starts to make sense. Of course there’s a giant kettle attached to the side of an aging wooden building. Of course.

Kettle on Side of HouseKettle on Side of House (2)

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary

Curioser and Curioser

Ready, Set, Done: Post-Apocalyptic Dream Edition

It is 8 am, and I am half awake. Outside, I can hear the distant hum of construction machines whirring awake, as they begin their daily work schedule. I imagine that the construction workers must be freezing as they mill about in the dawn light. It is certainly not an enviable task, to be part of a construction team this early in the morning.

Let’s see, what did I dream about last night? I must say, I had a rather unusual dream. In it, me and a fellow astronaut crash landed on a planet, which was actually Earth fifty years in the future. I had the misfortune of being captured by some government officials, who forced me to assimilate into the global totalitarian regime that had taken over much of the planet. I was made to watch indoctrination videos that gradually brainwashed me and caused me to lose any memory of my former life.

Where was my astronaut partner during all this time? No doubt hiding, in an attempt to save his own skin.

Meanwhile, I was being watched by a handler 24/7. The handler took me back to my hometown, which had somehow evolved into a bustling metropolis. The place had been completely built up. Only a few shreds of the town I remembered—an old grocery store and a few groves of trees—remained.

Eventually the handler revealed to me that the Earth was on the brink of complete chaos. In a matter of 3-5 years, many crucial resources (water, oil, food) would be severely depleted. In the meantime, he was stockpiling a decent arsenal of food and supplies in his basement.

So, yeah, that was my dream last night. Crazy weird, right? I think it’s a result of all the speculative sci-fi movies I’ve watched recently (Interstellar, Oblivion, etc.) I also saw the trailer for Mad Max last night, which doubtless filled my head with all sorts of random oddities.

Ready, Set, Done: Post-Apocalyptic Dream Edition