Dear Wen: Utterly Unacceptable…

Dear Wen…

It occurs to me that the term ‘Hollow Hills’ may not be a landscape but rather a mind-scape description…

‘…The landscape of Cavan is dotted with drumlin hills but there are also many lakes and the drumlins form wooded islands creating areas of half water, half land… marshy, boggy terrain which is not easy to cross.

Perhaps because of this, Cavan has more secrets than most counties and some interesting places.

One of these is the ancient University of Tuaim Drecuin.Ilkwknd 109

Its name is thought to survive in the parish of Tomregan which includes the town of Ballyconnell within its boundaries.

In the grounds of the Church of Ireland church there is a stone called ‘the Tomregan stone,’ which is said to depict St Bricin, founder of the university, performing an operation.

Continue reading at France and Vincent

Posted in albion, Ancestors, Ancient sites, Art, Books, Don and Wen, france and vincent | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thursday photo prompt: Shade #writephoto


Use the image below as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 1st May  and link back to this post with a pingback to be included in the round-up.  There is no word limit and no style requirements, except to keep it fairly family friendly.

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a leafy, green glade, at the centre of which is an old, moss-covered stone trough, that looks like an empty sarcophagus.

Please note that I am away for the Silent Eye’s ‘Lord of the Deep’ workshop over the weekend. Signal is not great where we will be staying, and time is limited, so reblogs, acknowledgements and answers to comments will be erratic until I get home.

All posts will be featured in the round-up on Thursday May 2nd at 10am GMT, linking back to the original posts of contributors. Throughout the week I will feature as many of the responses here on the Daily Echo as space allows and (more or less) in the order in which they come in.

You can find all last week’s entries in the weekly round-up. Please visit and read the stories and poems and explore the sites of their writers. I will feature as many contributions as I can on the blog during the week.

Please link your post to this by creating a pingback. If you are unsure of how to create a pingback, Hugh has an excellent tutorial here.

Pingbacks need to be manually approved, so either check back to make sure that the pingback has appeared or simply copy and paste your link into the comments section of this post.

Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish or you can replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work. Don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.

The invitation is still open to all writephoto regulars to come and introduce themselves on the blog as my  guest!

Click here for details

Have fun!

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Photo prompt round-up: Beyond #writephoto


What may lie beyond

Veiled beyond this ‘vale of tears’

Tears will not reveal

Joy and peace lead gently on

Stepping lightly into Light


The photo for this week’s prompt was taken on Stanton Moor at Imbolc, when we visited the Nine Ladies stone circle. Close by is the Cork Stone, the Andle Stone and, a few minutes farther on, the enigmatic Doll Tor.

The whole area is part of an ancient landscape, comprisng settlements, burial fields and ritual sites that would have served the prehistoric community. It is a place full of magic… whether you see it in the long, human story, the beauty of the landscape or the touch of the sacred in their beliefs. For myself, I do not see them as separate.


My thanks, as always, to all those who took part. All the posts inspired by this image are listed below, so please click on the links to read them and leave a comment for the author. Thank you too, to everyone who reblogged the prompt, round up and the individual resposes.

A new prompt will be published later today. I will reblog as many contributions as space and time allows, as they come in… and all of them will be featured in the round-up on Thursday.

Pingbacks do not always come through… and I can miss things too, so if you have written a post for this challenge and it does not appear in the round-up, please leave a link to your post in the comments and I will add it to the list.

A Reminder and an invitation

As there are usually too many contributions to reblog all of them every week, and so that we can get to know their writers, I would like to invite all writephoto regulars to come and introduce themselves on the blog as my guest! ‘Regulars’ does not mean you have to take part every week… Click here for details

Come and join in!


Please leave your comments for the contributors on their blogs.

Leena at Soul Connection

Adele at Notes to Women

Luccia Gray at Re-reading Jane Eyre

Janette Bendle at What She Wrote

Jen Goldie at Starlight and Moon Beams

Lady Nimue at Prats Corner

Tien Skye at From the Window Seat

Michele Jones at Out of the Shadows

Violet at Thru Violet’s Lentz

Diana Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror

Ennle Madresan at Abandoned Amenities

Hélène Vaillant at Willow Poetry

Kyt Wright

Roberta Eaton at Roberta Writes

Dorinda Duclos at Night Owl Poetry

Anita from Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

Daisybala at freshdaisiesdotme

Deborah at A Wise Woman’s Journey

Padre’s Ramblings

Frank J. Tassone

Kerfe Roig at methodtwomadness

Rupali S Banerjee at Reflections of Life

Geoff Le Pard at Tangental

M. Brazfield at Words Less Spoken

Dr. Lim Keng Hua at wonkywizard

Teresa Smeigh at Tessa can do it

The Dark Netizen

Fandango at This, That and the Other

Di at pensitivity101

Neha at Forgotten Meadows

Rebecca Cutler at Beckie’s Mental Mess

Paula Light at Light Motifs II

Ann Harrison-Barnes at Ann Writes Inspiration

Trent P. McDonald at Trent’s World

Michael at Morpeth Road

Bladud Fleas at The Moon is Rising

Iain Kelly

Lady Lee Manila

Anjali Sharma at Positive Side Of The Coin

Jane Dougherty Writes

Ritu Bhathal at But I Smile Anyway

Sadje at Keep it Alive

Reena Saxena

Willow Willers at willowdot21

And one from me

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Beyond #writephoto


To roads
Leading home,
Turning my face
To new beginnings,
Past and present meeting,
Ancestral stories teaching
Age-old wisdom unveiling truth
Illuminating what lies beyond.
The human story turns in space and time.
The world moves on, a constant state of flux,
Proud of ourselves, we call it progess.
Caught by the glitter of fool’s gold,
Seduced by acquisition,
As fashions come and go,
Losing sight of Self.
The soul remains


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Gate to the Land of Youth II… Stuart France


… Within the walls of the white-washed house Fin, and his Merry-Men, found an old man lying bent on the edge of the hearth with a sheep tied to the wall alongside.

They sat at table and the old man raised his head and acknowledged them.

‘Little enough chance of sating our thirst and hunger in this hovel,’ thought Dermot.

Just then the old man called loudly for food and drink, and up from the floor below came a strapping young lass who wasted no time in setting the table with a feast fit for kings.

But no sooner had Fin and his Merry-Men put fork to food than the sheep which was tied to the wall broke its hempen rope and rushed toward the table sending the food and drink to the floor.

“By the Gods!” cried Conan, “look at the mess you have made of our supper, and we so badly in need of it.”

“Get up and tie the sheep, Conan,” said Fin.

So, Conan got up and, grabbing the sheep by the scruff of the neck, attempted to drag it back towards the wall.

Try as he might he was unable to do so.

“What’s this,” laughed Dermot along with all the other men, “Conan, the great warrior, defeated by a sheep.”

Contnue reading at Stuart France

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Lost #midnighthaiku


Lost in reflection

Seeking an identity

A long way from Home


Posted in Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

What they didn’t teach you in astronomy ~ Daisybala #writephoto

Dappled light

interplay of light and tree’s shadow.

It is that thing about the sun

which they didn’t teach you in astronomy!

Continue reading at freshdaisiesdotme

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Whatever Lies Beyond ~ Padre’s Ramblings #writephoto

The old sage had told them that their destiny lay to the north.  For the last three days they had followed this advise and Swelyn and Daid were now coming to the edge of a great wood.

“Daid, the sun set an hour ago, shouldn’t we make camp?”

“I don’t know.  Something tells me that we need to keep on.  At least for a little longer,” Diad said.

Continue reading at Padre’s Ramblings

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One Million Years B-Lulu ~ Rob Goldstein and Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene are my guests #shortstory

I asked Rob Goldstein to be my guest on the Daily Echo…  and got rather more than I expected! …

A Short Story by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Illustrated by Rob Goldstein

Author’s Note

Rob Goldstein asked that we work on another adventure for our unflappable flapper Lulu.  Yes, Hullaba Lulu!  Who’s that?  To paraphrase the song, Lulu’s got the reddest red hair, she gets blue and goes cuckoo, she’s the kind of smarty who breaks up every party…  You get the idea.

Anyhow (and don’t ask me why), my imagination went straight to the old movie featuring Raquel Welch, “One Million Years B.C.”  I thought of Lulu as “Loana the Fair One.”  Of course, there would also be “Tumac the Strong” and “Nupondi the Wild One,” whom no pterodactyl can resist.

When I told Rob what I had in mind, he gave me “three things” to use in the story:  Stone Axe, Capacitors, and Velociraptor.  

I wondered if (the song again) “Lulu has the reddest hair, auburn here and henna there. How can we boys keep our heads?  Bulls go wild when they see red.”  Well then, what effect would Lulu have on a cave man?  Read on to find out.

One Million Years B-Lulu

Soft clicking noises took on a familiar rhythm.  I looked over at the blue-gold angel-bot as he worked at a control station of Valentino’s amazing train.  The bot started humming to match the beat of his clicks and whirrs.  The sound reminded me of a music box.

Most of the train’s angel-bots were gold.  This clockwork creature was the only blue hued one.  Of all the bots, he was the savviest to the workings of the mysterious train.  I had named him Moon, after the song “Cuban Moon,” because of the subtle Spanish accent of his deep voice.  That’s the tune he hummed.

I loved to dance, so I did a few steps of the Brazilian Samba to his humming.  One turn caused me to bump into a table.  Exotic, futuristic looking instruments wobbled dangerously.  Fortunately, nothing fell ― that time.  I admit that I’m known for my clumsiness.  They didn’t sing “Don’t Bring Lulu” when they talked about me for nothin’.

“Lulu, how many times have I told you ― don’t touch anything,” Valentino complained as he walked into the control room.

I stopped dancing.  Moon gave me a sheepish look, as if he felt partly responsible.  Valentino raised one eyebrow suspiciously at the angel-bot’s reaction.

“Don’t mind him, Moon.  He’s just grumpy because those pointy-toed dog kennels hurt his feet,” I told my clockwork friend.  “Go ahead and hum.”

The enigmatic Valentino looked from me to the bot in surprise.

“You’ve taught him to hum?  I wasn’t aware that they could,” Valentino commented.

An odd device I hadn’t noticed sat on one of the train’s control tables.  It resembled an hourglass, but rather than sand, it contained a gooey glowing substance.  Fascinated, I extended one finger toward the slowly moving molten goo.

“Lulu, don’t touch anything,” Gramps spoke by rote as he strode into the room.

“Especially not the time delineator!” Valentino added.

Startled, I jerked my finger back so hard that the feather in my headband wobbled and the fringe of my short skirt swayed.  I wasn’t expecting my grandfather.

“Ah!  Sir.  Good.  I have finished the adjustments to your pocket watch,” Moon called to Gramps from across the room.

The angel-bot extended his mechanical arm to twice its usual length to hand me the pocket watch, since I was closest to my grandfather.  I was in a playful mood, so I decided to toss it to Gramps, rather than walk around the control tables and across the room to hand the timepiece to him.

I drew back my arm to make the toss.  The watch went into the air, rotating as it flew.  When my arm came back down, I knocked over the goo-filled hourglass thingy Valentino called the time delineator.

The glass cracked.  In midair, a drop of glowing goo splashed against the engraved pocket-watch my grandfather cherished.  It had been a gift from my late grandmother.

Abruptly I felt like a heavy weight sat on my head.  My feet tingled like they were asleep.  My stomach was up where my throat was supposed to be.  Plus, I felt like I had sneezed ― but in reverse.

The pocket-watch slowed until time really did stand still.  The glow of the goo grew until it became spherical, surrounding the pocket-watch.  Abruptly, both disappeared in a sphere of sparks.

When I opened my eyes after the inverse sneeze, everything around me looked like a Salvador Dali painting.  Then the world went black.


I’m not sure how much time passed, but as consciousness returned to my aching head, I realized that I was face down on the ground.  And I do mean ground.  It wasn’t the floor of the control room against my face.

Warm breath snuffled against my face, sniffing.  My nose wrinkled.  The sniffer had bad breath.  I cracked open one peeper for a discrete look, and found a human eye locked on mine.  He grunted and sniffed some more.  When his nose headed where it had no business going, I scrambled backward.

“Hey!  Watch it!” I exclaimed.  “I’m not some easy biscuit.  Mind your manners.”

The train sat all catawampus nearby.  Amid the enormous leaves of strange plants, it looked as out of place as a wallflower at a speakeasy.

I sprawled on rocky terrain with scraggly bushes and gnarled trees.  Behind me was the mouth of a cave.  Leaning curiously over me was the smelly, fur clad man who woke me with his sniffing.

I remembered the goo-filled hourglass falling.  I gulped.  Hard.

A rapid rhythm of clicks and whirrs emanated from Moon, the angel-bot.  Valentino’s head was down.  He murmured in low worried tones as the angel-bot clicked.

Gramps stooped to pick up his sunglasses.  He blew the dust off them and tucked the spectacles into the breast pocket inside his jacket.  Reflexively he reached to the watch pocket of his vest.  He patted the empty pocket.

His pocket-watch was gone.

“Bushwa!” he muttered, though he looked heartbroken.

I gasped as fire singed my eyebrows.  The caveman waved a flaming stick, jabbing it toward my bobbed hair.

“Yes, her hair is the color of fire,” Valentino spoke in placating tones that one might use with a frightened animal.

The smelly sniffer appeared to take Valentino’s word for it that the fiery hue was normal for my hair, however unusual it must have been to him.

“Lulu!” Gramps hissed in a cautionary way, and I knew he thought the caveman was dangerous.

Laying my hand against my chest, I spoke slowly.

“I’m Lulu.  Who are you?” I pointed to him as I asked.

“Loana.  Fair one,” his gravelly voice pronounced and reached toward my bubs.

“Hey!  Watch yourself.  I’m a nice girl,” I cautioned him as I jumped backward.

Valentino snorted and I shot him a glare.

“No,” I continued from three feet away.  “Lulu.  I’m Lu-lu.”

He nodded and clapped his hand against his chest.

“Tumac.  Tumac strong!  Tumac be Lulu’s daddy,” he added with a leer.

“Where did you learn that language,” Valentino raised an eyebrow and asked suspiciously.

“Nupondi,” Tumac replied.  “Nupondi look like you,” he added with a sweeping motion that indicated Valentino head to toe.

“Someone dressed like me?” Valentino asked, though Tumac clearly didn’t understand the words.

Gramps had a worried expression on his face.

“Nupondi come back when he smells grub.”

Tumac motioned toward a firepit where a large carcass of something roasted on a spit.  I didn’t know what it was, but the aroma made my stomach growl.  The cave man chortled at the sound.  He gave me a companionable shove toward the fire and I stumbled.  Tumac really was strong, that was no boast.

Soon I held the biggest crispy drumstick I had ever seen.  Juice ran down my arm as I hungrily sunk my teeth into it.

“Where does she get her appetite?” Valentino asked my grandfather in a tone that combined revulsion and stunned admiration.

My grand father shrugged.  He had been more interested in poking around in the bushes, looking for his pocket-watch than eating.  However, when Tumac acted offended that he wouldn’t eat, Gramps finally sat down at the fire.

“It really isn’t bad,” Gramps commented and pointedly made a yummy sound to gratify Tumac.  “I wonder what it is.”

“V’locy.  Mama v’locy,” Tumac mumbled around a mouthful.  “Find eggs too.  Big breakfast at sunup.”

Near the entrance of a cave I spotted the clutch of eggs.  Each one was about the size of a pigskin football.  I couldn’t imagine what kind of chicken could lay eggs so big.

“V’locy?” Valentino repeated and his face blanched.  “Velociraptor?” he exclaimed.  “Lulu, leave those eggs alone.  Even a hatchling could be deadly.”

“Oh, don’t give me that phonus balonus!” I told him and inspected the eggs.

The bushes rustled.  Tumac sniffed the air.  Gramps quickly grabbed the burning stick the caveman had waved around earlier.  He held it defensively.

The caveman didn’t seem concerned.  He grunted and muttered “Nupondi.”

Gramps jabbed the flaming stick toward the bushes.

“Horsefeathers!  Have a care or you’ll set the whole place on fire!” an unexpectedly familiar voice protested.

“Tom?” I exclaimed as he nonchalantly tucked something into his pocket.  “Tom Driberg!  You were on the lamb from those hooligans.  So, this is where you wound up?”

Tom had betrayed us all, particularly my pal Rose.  We weren’t the only ones he quatched.  It turned out he had been a spy for both the Americans and the Russians.

That small motion of his hand to his pocket didn’t escape my notice.  Gramps squinted.  He had seen it too.  Tom was being a little too smooth, even for Tom.  He gave a guilty glance at Gramps.  Tom looked like a man who knew he had been caught.

“Well, Lulu.  Aren’t you just the cat’s particulars,” Tom said, stepping toward me.

Suddenly, Tom grabbed me and a surprisingly sharp stone axe was pressed against my throat.

“Give me that pocket-watch, Driberg,” Gramps demanded.  “It’s meaningless to you.”

“Quite the contrary old man,” Tom replied with a smirk.  “There aren’t any capacitors here.  Your beloved watch isn’t special just because it came from your wife, you know.  It can be modified to work as a time delineator, and I can finally go home!”

Tom’s sentence ended with an oof!  Tumac snuck up behind him and grabbed both of us, lifting us off the ground.  I heard Tom make a strangled noise and he dropped the axe.  With a hefty toss, Tumac sent Tom and me tumbling.

I saw the pocket-watch fall.  In the same instant I heard a shrill cry from above.

“Your sheba has found you,” Tumac chortled at Tom.

Huge wings darkened the sky.  Dust and ashes from the firepit clouded the air as gusts buffeted us.  Gramps put on his sunglasses as if they were goggles.

Blinking, I gaped speechlessly.  A pterodactyl settled to the ground.

Sunlight glinted off the pocket-watch.  The dinosaur’s eyes darted to the watch.

“Sheba like shiny,” Tumac muttered to Tom.  “Maybe she take it, not you.”

“What?” I couldn’t help asking, even in that circumstance.

“The damn dyno.  I was there when she hatched.  She imprinted on me.  Thinks I’m her chick or something,” Tom said as he cowered behind Valentino.

“You realize it’s not a bird, don’t you?” Valentino told him, as if that mattered at such a time.

Abruptly, Gramps darted and grabbed his watch.  The pterodactyl screeched.  Her sharp beak jutted dangerously toward him.

The sun flashed off his spectacles.  The dinosaur tilted her head as Gramps spoke.

“There, there now.  You don’t want this.  It’s not good to eat,” my grandfather cajoled.

The pterodactyl took another huge step toward him.  Surprised, I realized she saw her reflection in his sunglasses.  I whispered the fact to Gramps.  He slowly removed the shades and held them toward her.

“Careful,” Valentino cautioned.  “She could take your entire arm if she grabs the spectacles.”

Then a fierce look glinted in Valentino’s eyes.  I had always thought he had a ruthless streak, hidden under all that smoldering brooding.

Valentino reached behind himself, where Tom cowered.  He grabbed the spy’s arm and shoved him into the open.

“This is what you really want, isn’t it,” Valentino called to the pterodactyl.

The dinosaur made a pained noise, followed by a series of croaks that sounded like a mother chastising her offspring.  Tom ran as fast as he could.

With a blast of air that knocked me to the ground, the pterodactyl took flight.  In a moment she had Tom in her clutches.  She flew with him toward a rocky outcropping.

Tumac laughed so hard that he rolled on the ground.

I stood gobsmacked.

“She take Nupondi to nest.  She love Nupondi,” Tumac explained between chortles.  Nupondi not go hungry.  His sheba vomit breakfast for him.  Haha!  All over his head.”


In no time Moon had modified the pocket-watch to work as a time delineator for Valentino’s train.  Through a hand-held telescope, I saw Tom gingerly climbing down from the pterodactyl’s nest.  He was drenched in something, presumably regurgitated dinner, but seemed unharmed.  We bade a fond farewell to Tumac, our host.

When I walked past Tumac, he laughed, because he saw that I was hiding something behind my back.  I winked and hoped he knew to keep quiet.

The big Orthophonic Victrola in the train’s control room blared out “Toot, Toot, Tootsie! Good-bye, and I knew we would be leaving in a moment.

“Are you alright, Lulu?” Gramps asked me.  “You look like something isn’t sitting well on your stomach.”

“Maybe some under-cooked dinosaur,” I replied weakly and mustered up a belch.

Delicately I put one hand to my lips, while the other was firmly behind my back.

“If not for that decidedly unladylike burp, I would go back and count all those velociraptor eggs,” Valentino told me with narrowed eyes as he climbed aboard the train.

“Well, I never…” I protested even though he hit the nail on the head.

Then I felt the egg move.  I twitched at the surprise, and nearly dropped it.  Valentino turned back at my abrupt movement.  I put my free hand to my stomach and groaned dramatically.  Clara Bow couldn’t have given a better performance.

A shining gold angel-bot leaned from the train.  It was Dynamite.

“All aboard!” Dynamite called.

I made sure Gramps and Valentino were both all the way inside the train before I let Dynamite help me aboard.  By then, the egg was practically dancing the Charleston.

The train’s Orthophonic Victrola always seemed to know more than it should be able to understand.  Not to mention that it had a mean disposition.  As the dinosaur egg lurched, the device started playing “Don’t Bring Lulu.”


The end.

Robert Goldstein is a graphic artist, writer, and mental health advocate.

He lives in San Francisco
with his partner of thirty years. He is currently working to publish his first book of poetry.

Find and Follow Rob

Art by Rob Goldstein blog         Flickr Stream      Twitter

autumn ellow-2 09-07-2016Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a “southerner” by birth, was enchanted by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states of the USA and the desert southwest. Teagan writes many types of fantasy, from what she likes to call “quest type” fantasy, to urban fantasy, to fantasies with a dash of mystery. She also writes 1920s mystery stories. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

Find and follow Teagan

Teagan’s Books blog     Barnes & Noble     Amazon: USA   UK    CA    AUS

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2019 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

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Abecedarian Advise ~ Frank J. Tassone #writephoto

Autumnal clouds

bare entertwining branches

corral the sun

distant Danann laughter

echoing in the wind

Continue reading at Frank J. Tassone

Posted in photo prompt, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments