Cee’s B&W Challenge – Structures

Cee’s B&W Challenge – Structures


This week’s Black and White Challenge is Structures. The definition of a structure is ‘mode of building, construction, or organization; arrangement of parts, elements, or constituents.’ This is one of my favorite subjects, as most structures are stationary, allowing more time to get the photo you want.

The first photo is the Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  Lighthouses are fascinating structures with a colorful history. This tower was built in 1874

© Susan Spaulding

This photo is of the spiral staircase that takes you to the tower.

Lighthouse Spiral Staircase
© Susan Spaulding

Galveston, Texas has some beautiful old churches, which are massive. Here I focus on one part of the church.

Church Garett
© Susan Spaulding

Windmills in Kansas used to power a water well. These simplistic structures are still used in many places in the Midwest.

© Susan Spaulding

This last one was taken as we drove through a tunnel in downtown Dallas, Texas

© Susan Spaulding
Close Encountern (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Close Encountern (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Mike Vor for providing this week’s challenging photo.

Photo Credit: Mike Vor


“Oliver, stop!’

Geri’s command was to no avail. Her 6-month old Chocolate Lab had disappeared around the curve in the path. This was their first outing since Geri moved to Alaska in search of adventure. A co-worker recommended the nature trail, claiming it was safe. “Just keep your eyes open,” her friend told her. “You never know what you might run into.”

As Geri rounded the curve, she saw Oliver standing in the middle of the path, tail wagging. Relieved, Geri jogged toward her dog, then frozen in terror. Oliver was nose-to- nose with a small black bear cub that, to her dog, resembled a lab puppy. An instant later, the mother bear emerged from nowhere, barely 20 feet away. Bile filled Geri’s throat as she tried to remember what to do if the bear charged.

Seconds later, the sound of a loud air horn startled the mother, causing her to retreat into the woods, her cub close behind. Geri turned to find the park ranger.

“Black bears hate noise. You might want to invest in a whistle.”

This was not the last piece of good advice Geri would receive while living in Alaska.

word count 195

A Mother’s Love (Friday Fictioneers)

A Mother’s Love (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson
Friday Fictioneer’s is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Dale Rogerson for this week’s prompt.

Maggie, did I ever tell you about the time my son…”

Danny tuned his mother out. Another awkward childhood story meant to embarrass him in front of his date.

And her name was Margaret, not Maggie.

Outside the snow accumulated. He could blame the weather for cutting the evening short.

Noticing the sudden silence, Danny realized his mother was gone.

“She said something about bathtub baby pictures.” Margaret smiled in response to his horrified  look.

Across the table, his sister laughed.

 “You’d best hope she forgot where she put your circumcision ring.”

Danny sighed, wishing he was anywhere but here.


This story was inspired by my son and the mother I hope I will never be.



Cee’s B&W PhotoChallenge – Patterns

Cee’s B&W PhotoChallenge – Patterns


The theme for this Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week is Patterns.


Last August, I attended my first hot air balloon festival. I didn’t expect much since it was a small event but I have to admit, it was incredible. Especially after dusk when the inflated balloons were light up. Below is one of the balloons as it was being inflated.

balloon (1 of 1)

Below is the entrance to a beautiful church in Galveston, Texas

Church Entrance (1 of 1)

Bar deck on the Rio Grande River, Texas

deck (1 of 1)


Thank you for stopping by.




Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and J.S. Brand for this week’s prompt.


¿Cuántas habitaciones?

Marion strained to remember her high school Spanish.

“No comprendo. English, please.”

The young clerk’s leer sent chills up Marion’s spine.

“How many rooms?” His English was not good.

“Just one, just one night.” The boat captain’s recommendation for accommodations left Marion cold. She would see what else Guatemala had to offer tomorrow.

“900 pesos. $50 American”.

Marion turned her back. Inside her bag was $40,000.00 American cash. Dirty money.

“I put you next to the office, in case you need something.” The clerk leered again.

This was not the private island Marion had in mind.

Hitchcock fans may recognize this as a take on the classic movie Psycho. Marion Crane’s alternate universe takes her to Guatemala ( where the Hotel Henry Berrisford can be found.) No Norman Bates, but maybe someone just as evil. Or maybe its just her overactive imagination from guilt. I’ll let you decide. 

Till Death Do Us Part (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Till Death Do Us Part (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Photo Credit: Dawn Miller

Their marriage was a toxic cocktail they both drank, from habit rather than from choice. Maggie, exhausted from the argument with her husband Cord the night before, clung to a hot cup of coffee as if it were a talisman. Their fight had been over nothing significant but like constant water across the face of a rock, it further eroded their love and trust.

Cord came from a dysfunctional family and through self-preservation held the belief that life was a zero-sum game. In any argument, there were winners and losers and he made sure he was never on the losing side. At least not in his own mind. Maggie’s own past conditioned her to placate her husband by accepting responsibility for every charge leveled at her. She yielded to him as victor.

Rising from the steam of her coffee came the realization that this argument was not new; it started in the early days of their marriage, in constant replay, like a vinyl 45 stuck on the same old song.

Time to clean up and move on, Maggie thought.

She could see the path ahead, although she knew not where it would take her.

Word Count = 194

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Dawn Miller  for providing this week’s challenging photo.