Still ~ Trent P. McDonald #writephoto

Edward walked into the garden. He sniffed the air and frowned.

It was a normal early spring day. The grass had completed that shift from dead brown to lively green and the first buds were on the point of bursting into leaf.

But still…

The war was finally over. The soldiers had stood down, and she had made a peace offering. He had accepted.

But still…

Not a ripple troubled the water of the mill pond. The gentle sound of grazing sheep was almost enough to lull him into a nap.

Continue reading at Trent’s World

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Guest author: Darlene Foster ~ A Sleepless Night in Aledo

Spain is a fascinating country with many Fiestas, one for every week it seems. These colourful festivals are based on age-old traditions and legends. Some are quite unique. La Noche en Vela, the Sleepless Night, is held every August in the medieval village of Aledo, tucked high in the mountains. I decide I must check this one out.

A bus takes us through dense pine forests and climbs up the winding roads of the Sierra Espuña, in the province of Murcia, to a fortified hilltop town offering gorgeous vistas overlooking the valley. I am immediately transported to another time and place.

We wait in anticipation at the gates of the old town as only so many are allowed in at one time. Once inside the ancient walls, we wander up to the imposing castle tower and the cathedral of Santa Maria la Real in the town square. A pigeon rests on a sculpture above the cathedral door and watches as the usually quiet town fills with curious visitors. We watch a flamenco dancer and listen to a duo sing a soulful Spanish melody.

Also known as Candle Night, the streets of Aledo´s old town are lit by over four thousand candles. As the sun sets, the village takes on a supernatural glow. The citizens, many who have lived there for generations, proudly show off their candlelight displays. We are entertained with music, dancing and poetry readings. It is a magical evening.

The night wears on. Candles flicker on the castle walls, demons dance along the narrow streets and children sing. Spirits of the past, inhabitants from prehistoric times, as well as Romans, Moors, and Christian knights mingle with those of us in present times. I am mesmerized and don´t want the night to end.

The town has a rich history due to its strategic location and its role played in battles for supremacy between the Moors and Christian knights. The legend supposedly behind this festival is of a Princess who lived in the tower and fell in love with a soldier. Every night she waits for him to return from battle. He lights a candle upon his return to let her know he is alive. She stays up all night waiting to see the candle flame.

Whether this is true or not doesn’t matter. The ambience creates a feeling of being part of history, as I wander the intimate narrow streets that so many have trod before. I am so glad I came.

All the photographs in this post are courtesy of Darlene Foster.


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_mg_0158-edit-smAbout the author

Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She also believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of children’s adventure books who divides her time between the west coast of Canada and Orihuela Costa, in Spain.


Click the titles or images to go to Amazon

Alongside her best friend Leah, Amanda is in Holland to see the all the sights: tulips, canals, Anne Frank House, windmills, and even a wooden shoe factory. She is also keen to find out what happened to her great uncle, who never returned from World War II. What she doesn’t expect is to find and fall in love with an abandoned puppy named Joey. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald. Follow intrepid traveler Amanda around Holland as she encounters danger and intrigue while trying to solve another mystery in a foreign country.

Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.


51s5-ybaql-_uy250_Amanda in Spain

Amanda Jane Ross is certainly becoming a world traveller; she’s now in sunny Spain on vacation with her friend Leah. While there, she encounters a mysterious young girl who looks eerily like the girl in a famous painting she saw in a Madrid museum. Even weirder, the girl keeps showing up wherever Amanda finds herself – Madrid, the remote mountains of rural Spain, the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, a lively fiesta and the busy streets of Barcelona. Amanda wants to help this sweet, young girl and her beloved pony escape the clutches of a mean horse-dealer. Come with Amanda on her next adventure as she attempts to unravel the mystery behind the Girl in the Painting while she treks across Spain – always one step ahead of danger!


Amanda in Alberta

51qqrgchsxl-_uy250_Amanda is delighted to show Leah around Alberta during her visit from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, go on a cattle drive, visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, spend time with the dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and explore the crazy Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn’t think it’s important until everyone seems to want it – including a very ornery cowboy. Is this stone worth ruining Leah’s holiday and placing them both in danger? Spend time with Amanda as she explores her own country while attempting to decipher the mysterious writing on the stone and keep it from those determined to take it from her.


51v70ddl03l-_uy250_Amanda on the Danube

Twelve year old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her. Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy.  Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout though, wondering just who she can trust.


Amanda in Arabia5150g0flfrl-_uy250_

Amanda Ross is an average twelve year old Canadian girl. So what is she doing thousands of kilometres from home in the United Arab Emirates? It’s her own fault really, she wished for adventure and travel when she blew out those candles on her last birthday cake. Little did she know that a whole different world awaited her on the other side of the globe, one full of intrigue, mystery and folklore. A world with a beautiful princess, a dangerous desert and wonderful friends. Join Amanda on her first adventure as she discovers the secrets behind The Perfume Flask.


Amanda in England51wdzbucljl-_uy250_

Amanda Ross is visiting England and taking in all the sights. She gets lost in the maze at Hampton Court, does some shopping at Harrods, meets the ravens in the Tower of London, explores Windsor Castle, and rides the London Eye. When she discovers a vintage book is missing from a collection, she is determined to find out who stole it. Amanda befriends a pair of tough teenagers from the streets of London, an elderly bookshop owner, and a big, friendly, clever, Maine Coon cat named Rupert. Follow Amanda through cobblestone streets, medieval castles, and underground tunnels in her quest to find the missing novel!


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Imagine this ~ Christine Bialczak #writephoto

Imagine your mind is a calm pond
still waters, beautiful reflections
needing no one but itself
to sustain the life it holds.

Imagine your life is a calm pond
still waters, full of life
holding each creature in safety
providing everything it needs to survive.

Continue reading at Stine Writing

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Stars and Stones…

*

No rock – no base,

But just an all-consuming-Hell,

Or – empty space.

*

Continue reading at France & Vincent

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Still ~ Anita Dawes #writephoto

Dark gnarled branches of the old almond tree

Weighed down by time

Reaching towards the still cool pond

Those who pass here will tell you

It has the same feel as Dozemary pool

Continue reading at Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

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Wings of love

hill of vision 013The red kites are teasing me again, circling low over the garden… until I grab the camera, disappearing in their typical fashion as soon as the lens is pointed skywards. They were at it all morning, yet all I managed was a blurry pic and a handful of distant dots in the sky as usual.

I love those birds and cherish an ambition to get a really good photograph of the great birds in flight, one of these days. I can get a clear picture when they have landed, but in flight it always seems that I click the shutter when they are head down, or in odd positions where it is difficult to see their majesty, or a blurred one eye to eye. The birds seem to smile at my naivety.

It reminds me of the incident with the feathers. When we first began following the kites all over Buckinghamshire, it seemed that everywhere we went there were feathers of every conceivable colour. I kept picking them up. Stuart shook his head every time I took anything out of my bag, as clouds of the things fell out, the interior of the car began to look as if someone had been pillow fighting and I had feathers of every variety… except kite.

hill of vision 030Then, on one exceptionally hot day, we climbed our first real hill and walked miles in the heat. It was right at the beginning of the adventures that led to the writing of The Initiate and we barely knew what we were getting into at that point. It was, looking back, the first real physical effort we had put into our quest too. We walked up through ancient earthworks, seeking the path with dowsing rods and really getting a feel for the landscape. I remember Stuart talking about the sacrifice of energy required to climb the hills as part of the ‘contract’ with the heart of the land…. and then a red kite flew out of the sun.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

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Still ~ Kim Blades #writephoto

Gnarled fingers,

mottled green

reach out –

desperate to cup water

Continue reading at Kim Blades

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Flame #midnighthaiku

Beyond wind and rain

Summer breathes on her ashes

Spring ignites the flame

*

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Afghan adventures #23 a bit about party politics – Afghan style ~ Mary Smith

Reblogged from Mary Smith’s Place:

By now I had spent nearly two months in Jaghoray and it was almost the end of August. It was almost time to move on, if I was to reach the other clinics before winter. Jon, the project co-ordinator returned to Qolijou and I went to discuss travel plans. The idea was for me to spend some time in each, helping with any admin tasks, stock taking and generally being there to sort any other problems. Jon would return to Pakistan to collect the money and essential supplies the clinics needed before winter closed the road. We would meet at the clinic in Lal-sar-Jangal and return to Pakistan together.

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My room in the clinic

Continue reading at Mary Smith’s Place

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Still ~ Di #writephoto

It was a tranquil day, one of the most perfect that Summer.
Apart from the occasional bleat of the sheep as they grazed, it was quiet and serene.
It was Cook who heard the first rumblings.
She looked out of the window expecting to see thunderclouds and a threatening sky, but all was as it should be so she went back to her pies.
The Master was in the library and felt the first shudder.

Continue reading at pensitivity101

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