Category Archives: Uncategorized

#ALP: Bird

#ALP: Bird

What’s your favorite bird: humming? owl? robin? parakeet? Big Bird?

  • Use this prompt any way you wish—for a poem, memoir, painting, short story, photograph, no limits. Enjoy!
  • If you’d like to share a blog post (G-rated, please, and sensitive to the feelings of others—anything slightly objectionable will be deleted), create a pingback or leave a link in the comments below.
  • Be sure to visit at least two other participants to see how they interpreted the prompt.
  • Tag your entry #ALP (for ARHtistic License Prompt) to help others find your work on social media.

My Husband’s African Cichlids



When I first met my husband in 1972, he invited me to come see his fish.


Since then he’s had many, many set-ups: freshwater, saltwater, small, large, goldfish, guppies, oscars, catfish, angelfish, anemones, clownfish…


His current pride and joy is a 180-gallon tank in our family room, filled with fish whose natural habitat is Lake Tanganyika or Lake Malawi in Africa. They are characterized by brilliant colors, especially yellows and blues.


It’s tricky taking pictures of an aquarium. You get lots of reflections. I promise you there is no table lamp in the tank. It’s really on an end table across the room.

tropical fish; African cichlids

I don’t remember how many cichlids Greg started out with. Now there are at least 50–it’s hard to count them because they’re constantly moving.


The fish are all different sizes. The largest ones are the originals he bought maybe ten years ago. Since then they’ve multiplied continuously.


The dark fish below spends all his time excavating. He picks up gravel in his mouth and spits it out in another part of the tank. He’s responsible for all the hills and valleys in the landscaping.

African cichlids; tropical fish

Greg loves to sit and watch the fish. He says it’s like watching a soap opera. There are a few bullies who pick on the others, and the courting couples swim around each other in graceful circles. Some mind their own business, and others curiously explore. They all love to be fed and nearly jump out of the tank in their enthusiasm for frozen brine shrimp or flake food.


Greg designed the tank with lots of hidey holes. If there are sudden movements in the family room, the fish disappear. They also enter their caves when Greg turns off the tank lights at night.African cichlids; tropical fish
African cichlids are mouth brooders. The females hold their fertilized eggs (and the hatched, developing babies) in their mouths for three to five weeks to protect them from predators. After they’re released, most get eaten, but some hide in the caves until they’re too big to be vulnerable. Greg always gets excited when he sees a new little one.

Do you raise fish? What types do you like? Share in the comments below.







Two Tourists in Waikiki


I’m responding to my own prompt today.

Oahu June 20 2012 001

The view from our hotel room balcony.

We never go anywhere
Comfortable at home
With our familiar bed
And our reliable routine
But for a few years
Dreamed of visiting Hawaii

Finally off to the tourist mecca we go
A hotel across from the beach
ABC on every corner
Rainbow after every shower
Early morning plant waterers and sidewalk sweepers
Late night celebrators and walk-takers
Visible from our balcony

Take-out breakfast on the beach
Fresh pineapple and spam at McDonalds
Chocolate macadamia clusters
Purchased and consumed by the boxful
Souvenir shirts (t-shirt for me,
Hawaiian print for him) worn with pride

Studying history at Pearl Harbor
Rental car circumnavigating the island
Catamaran voyage to see the dolphins
Swimming with feet protected by aqua shoes
Favorite memories of a lifetime

Oahu June 25 2012 087

I made my husband pose next to this painted rock outside the Waikiki Aquarium.

Guest Post: Babbling Brook “Plein Air” Sketchbook Sunday by Lindsay Weirich


Many thanks to Lindsay Weirich for this wonderful article and video. You can see more of Weirich’s work on her website, The Frugal Crafter Blog.

Babbling Brook by Lindsay Weirich

Hi friends! Today we are going to travel to the local Audubon trails and do some painting on location!


My husband and I filmed on location and I hope you enjoy it.

Click here to see the video and read the rest of this article.

Guest Post: What Good Music Can Teach Us About Writing by Andrea Lundgren


A big ARHtistic License thank you to Andrea Lundgren for this multidisciplinary guest article, which was first published on A Writer’s Path.

Husky 214px-Stradivarius_violin_front

I was thinking about this the other day while on hold. I was waiting for a break in the music that signaled that someone was going to rescue me from the unending monotony, so when the music would change from stringed instruments music to a pause, I’d get excited…only to have the music start another movement.

And it got me thinking about plotting. I realized there are three things we can learn from good music (and from bad music, in a let’s-avoid-doing-what-they-did sort of way).

  • Beware repetition…in wording, pacing, and plot. Some readers will be sensitive to words, to where reusing something like “twisted,” “inspected,” “challenged,” “taunted,” or other unique verbs, adjectives, or nouns will stand out. Others will notice plotting more, to where moments where the main character thinks about the past, or contemplates their dreams, or practices their battle skills will ring in their ears. But all readers will be aware of repetition on some level, and as a writer, you need to also pay attention to it. If your plot repeats the same notes, in words or action,  you run the risk of monotony.

Of course, repetition can be a good thing. You can repeat elements in the story, just as a piece of music repeats a motif. You can weave certain themes throughout scenes, or even repeat actions, to where a character demonstrates how much he or she has changed by going for the same walk, facing the same challenge, or recalling the same memory with new information or a changed perspective.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

From the Creator’s Heart #148

From the Creator’s Heart #148

Do not say, “I’ll do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay that man back for what he did.” (Proverbs 24:29 NIV)

In the Meme Time: R is for Readiness