Category Archives: Featured Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abundance

In an attempt to catch up, I am posting my pics for the theme of abundance before the 11th hour next Thursday.  I took them both yesterday (Feb. 26).

The first pic is a limited view of our backyard as seen from a window in our back porch.  You can see the ice and frost have practically obscured the view.

The second pic is a wide-open view of our backyard with the National Heritage site of the “Esterhazy Flour Mill” in the background.  The grooves in the snow are pathways snow-blowered out by my husband, so our three little Shih Tzus can run around the yard on the days when it is not too cold for them.

To give you some perspective, the little bit of dark showing out of the snow to the left of the center path is our fire pit.  Even more amazing is, we had a thaw and mild temperatures last week.  There was almost half as much again of snow on the ground before the thaw.  Now that’s abundance!

Back window of the foyer

Peeking out at the snow.


An abundance of snow.

As for the fantasy aspects of this story, I had the thought of a story about someone who felt limited and trapped in their life.  The pic of the window is symbolic of how they limit their view of the world.  As they struggle with their concepts, one morning they look out the window and see all the paths magically appearing.  The protagonist didn’t feel he could get out at all because of the depth of the snow, but because he started clearing up his concepts, his mind provided paths for him to leave…and return (which was one of his fears).  It would take a lot of work to make it readable, but it’s an interesting theory, especially concerning how our mind can actually create opportunities for us.

How about you?  Do you have any stories in your mind (or in real life) about all this snow?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Refuge

For the first time in my life, I have my own office.  No more trying to write on the kitchen table or in the bedroom.  I have my very own office…yep, it’s my refuge.

Also for the first time in this weekly photo challenge, I have taken the picture currently (snapped yesterday) using my new camera that my kids got me for my birthday last fall.  And I learned how to download it (my husband showed me).  So I’m all set for future challenges.  If nothing else, this photo challenge has prodded me into learning how to use my super-tech camera 😛

Refuge - photo taken by Sandra Bell Kirchman

As for the fantasy aspect of this picture, I see the statue of the Pegasus on the desk and I immediately think of these beautiful graceful creatures.  Why would the absent occupant have such a statue and why is he or she absent anyway?  Perhaps he has a friendly Pegasus and has simply gone for a ride…or perhaps he has been summoned to help a world in distress, where the flying horses are in danger of being extinct (I’ve been reading Rick Cook’s The Wiz Biz and am enjoying it immensely).

How about you?  What kind of ideas do you get from this picture for a fantasy story?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curiosity

This is a picture I took a couple of summers ago.  It’s me taking a picture of my husband taking a picture of our Shih Tzu, Ling Ling.

Ling Ling is looking up at him and saying, “What are you DOING, Daddy?”  If it hadn’t been so hot (somewhere in the 90s), she would have gotten up and investigated.

Mommy taking a picture of Daddy taking a picture of Ling Ling.

"What are you DOING, Daddy?"

The only fantasy story I can think of is perhaps the world is being invaded by shadow people.  People think they are evil and try to destroy them, but the animals know and are okay with them…universally.

Can you think of a fantasy story stimulated by this picture?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

The excellent WordPress people have come up with a new challenge for us:  a photo that reflects the theme of the week.  The last theme mentioned was “boundaries.”  So here is my contribution…a freshly built wheelchair ramp to the deck that connects with our front door.

Boundaries - newly constructed wheelchair ramp. Photo: Sandra Bell Kirchman

I can think of several fantasy applications for this, but the story sticks in my mind about how an arrogant girl sneers at the difficulties of others.  Then because of an insult she passes on to a child, the mother of the child, a witch from another world, throws a curse on her.  The girl finds herself transported to this world where everything is similar to her world except that people in wheelchairs and using canes and crutches are considered second class citizens.

This would have to be a short story, not a novel, and a LOT of character development would have to be done, but it fits the idea of how we impose our own boundaries upon ourselves by accepting others’ evaluations of us.

Does anyone else have an idea for a fantasy story regarding the above picture?  Doing this exercise is a good way to get those old creative juices flowing and one way to overcome writer’s block.