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The Sleeper Wakes

30 Nov

100 words to greet the dawn for old time’s sake and my friends at Friday Fictioneers based on a photo below by Jan Wayne Fields.


(Copyright Jan Wayne Fields)

I rise at dawn and stand by the temple bell to give thanks and greet the morning. Gold paints the forest ridges that rise to the mist shrouded summit of Totokoroa. Calls of bell birds ring across the valley. A breeze ruffles the fabric of the tent. I strike the bell softly. It’s deep, resonant note sounds, and joins the music of the day’s beginning.

I make tea and return to bed. The smoky fragrance of Lapsang Souchong causes a figure sleeping there to stir. I whisper in her ear.

“The sun is on the mountain.”

And she smiles.



Flying Switch

8 Jul

100 words out of the blue for my fellow travelers in Friday Fictioneers. Nice to see you all again. Don’t comment, as I’m moving fast and may not be able to answer. Just enjoy the ride. I’ll settle soon. Love to you all, D.


flying switch

(C0pyright Stephen Baum)

See that light up ahead? Early on in life and for years thereafter I’d have said it was an oncoming train. You get a feel for what your mistakes look like rushing toward you through the gloom.

Once I passed the half century mark I figured out that though I was on the tracks, I was also in charge of the trains. I learned to change their schedules or shunt them onto sidings and in time became a good stationmaster.

Now I know the light is my future.

It’s bright.

It’s the beginning of anything I want.

And it’s about time.





A Four Monkey Day

1 Nov

three monkey day copy

Bonnie Carini never reads my blog.

She goes a mile a minute and has a lot on her plate so of course, I forgive her. We met in the late eighties when she was a diver for Atlantis Submarines and I was a green Co-Pilot. She moved on and we kept in touch through the intervening years. In June of 2003 I met her by chance at the Keahole Kona airport departure lounge. I was seeing off a friend and she was headed to New York for a week before going to the Faroe Islands with a small crew to film a documentary about life there. As they called her flight, she said I should come along as a camera operator, gaffer, interviewer and jack of all trades. They called her flight again, we hugged, I said I’d think about it….and off she went.

A week later I called her room at the Palace Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, from my room at the same hotel and told her I’d see her at the airport the next morning for our connecting flight to Vagar Airport in the Faroes. She was only slightly surprised.

We spent three weeks that summer shooting footage and meeting people and finding our way around some of the most beautiful group of islands on the face of the planet. At breakfast one morning, sitting on the lanai of our rental house in Leynar and close to the end of our trip, we decided that we needed to tell a larger story about the islands and the people that grace them.

Next summer we returned for six weeks and began writing Pilot Whale Fog, a story of a musically gifted boy befriended by a pilot whale in a country where the whales are most often referred to as ‘dinner’. We returned to Hawaii and tried to market our nascent screenplay but truth be told, it needed a lot more work. The seed was there, but it needed water and care. In 2010 through 2012 we spent many days meeting in Kona at the Royal Kona Resort to rewrite, reshape and reboot the screenplay. During those long days, if we found lightning in a bottle and the work went well, we would ask the waitress at the oceanside bar for one of their little plastic monkeys they used to decorate Mai Tai’s. I’ve got a drawer full of them now and the result is a finished product that is a hundred times better than the original. Since then Bonnie has done what she does best and pushed the work, getting it out into the wider world and in front of as many people in the business as is humanly possible.

This October we received word that the screenplay for Pilot Whale Fog had been made an Official Selection at the 2014 International Family Film Festival to be held in early November in Los Angeles. This is thanks to a lot of perseverance on her part and I want to thank her for it on the pages of this blog. That way if she ever does read it, she’ll know that it means a lot to me to have been on the journey with her. I know it’s not the Oscars…yet, but it’s pretty cool. (You can’t get there if you don’t try and if you don’t ask, the answer’s always ‘no’.)

So, thank you, Bonnie. Today’s at least a four monkey day.




Official Selection

Sea Creatures

22 Dec

For Friday Fictioneers, helmed by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, from a photograph by the talented stained glass artist, Jean Hays.

I’ve returned from the Land of the Long White Cloud to tiny, yet still beautiful, vog shrouded Big Island, and offer those readers kind enough to check in after my prolonged absence, a true story instead of my usual flash fiction. Genre would be autobiography, I suppose. Matters not. The moment remains etched in my heart forever.

Please don’t feel pressed to comment. This departure from the norm is a gift for you as I try to slip back quietly into the groove. Mahalo, D.

Sea Creatures

She appeared like a waking dream in the bow swell as we made our way toward the dive site. Her every move seemed effortless, whether swerving minutely in response to pressure changes or rising in a seamless moment to breathe and then return to that perfect place at the heart of the wave.

Spread-eagled over the gunwale I held my hand an inch above the water, palm down. Each time she breached, her smooth, glistening back surged slick and wet beneath my fingers and I tasted life in the warm spray of her exhalation.

Fellow travelers, I remember her still.



23 Oct

100 words for Friday Fictioneers, an orchestra composed of guest writers from various symphonies around the world who each week use a photo for inspiration in a flash fiction composition. This weeks prompt was provided by the lady on the podium, baton at the ready, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who has recently completed her first year in the conductor’s position. (Congratulations, Maestro.)


Out of loss and loneliness, ecstatic transportation and catharsis. The heart yearns and fingers fly across the keys. Nightsong.





He played though there was no one to listen.

Con dolore, because she was gone.

With abandon because that is what he felt during their short time together.

Con amore, because he loved her still.

He played so hard that he’d gone through three keyboards since her heart began a duet with another.

His best music, played to the night, unheard by her.

He played Edward the Mad Shirt Grinder because he could get lost in Nicky Hopkins’ wondrous melody as he imagined her dancing free under the stars.

He loved her still.

He played because he was so alone.



marooned piano

Edward the Mad Shirt Grinder

(not recommended for those that won’t like it)

The Queen of Mountains

29 Jun

Here’s another 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo below from Indira. You may find all the stories from a world-wide and wise crew of authors here. Check them out, you’ll never know where the bus or the bus driver will take you.


Darjeeling Express.


We met aboard the bus on the Melli-Nayabazar road. She, from Gangtok, traveling to visit her father in the hospital and I, a fool, seeking a weekend escape from a loveless relationship in Kalimpong.

She grasped my hand as we negotiated hairpin turns high above the Teesta River gorge. I mumbled assurances, lost in the warmth of her touch. When the verdant hills and tea gardens of Darjeeling came into view, her graceful fingers slipped gently from mine.


Beneath the remote splendor of Kachenjunga, I pace the Tiger Hill trail and let my imagination take wing.

Oh, how it soars.


The Queen of Mountains


Liftoff Leitmotif

20 Oct

100 words for Madison Woods‘ Friday Fictioneers, which is how I’m always going to think of it, despite the fact that Madison is passing the torch of leadership and the task of herding all the FF cats to my good friend, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Madison, you’ve helped me by providing an incentive to work on my craft and I appreciate it more than you will ever know. I have learned much and, to use a golf analogy, have added many new shots to my bag. In addition, I have met a slew of good writers and made lots of new friends, both gifts to be treasured and never to be taken for granted. I look forward, as always, to reading your stories in the future. They are imaginative and rich, peopled with interesting characters through whose thoughts and words I hear your unique voice. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To the rest of the FF gang, we have been led by the best and if we owe her anything besides out heartfelt thanks, it is to be good stewards to her vision and enthusiastic supporters of Rochelle as she takes the driver’s seat on, as she so eloquently put it in her offering to us this week, Friday’s Bus.

Not sorry for being long winded this time. Had to be said. And having been, here’s my story, Liftoff Leitmotif, inspired by the photo prompt from Ron Pruitt. (Thanks, Ron.)

His name hadn’t helped, he reflected, but he’d always felt like an alien in this podunk town. He couldn’t wait to go. Was this how astronauts felt before departure?

Growing early large he’d dismayed everyone by eschewing sports for music. Cruel jokes fueled his passion and an eventual scholarship to Julliard mystified all save his teachers.

“’Luck at cooking school, Lenny,” someone shouted. Holding his acceptance letter close to his heart, he took a seat, fastened an imaginary safety harness and put on a pair of headphones.

The engine roared and, lifted by the sublime power of Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite, The Planets, Leonard Grishkin took off for another world.