Three dystopian short stories.

Perhaps you’ve noticed I love to write fiction. I love to combine words. Words are tools that can dig toward truth.

I’ve recently written three short stories that are absolutely dystopian. Not that I’m a pessimist. I prefer to smile and generally try to find and highlight good things in life. But I also strive to be intellectually honest. I recognize that the human world contains both light and darkness. And some of my stories can be quite dark.

These three dystopian stories are: Life Made Easier, A Ship Without Ghosts, and What the Giant Saw. Click the links if you’d like to read them.

It’s funny–the latter and most recent story was written yesterday as I sat beside the small river in Balboa Park’s beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden. Looking down at the living water, I felt strangely like a giant. Perhaps my stream of thought emerged from that feeling.

All of my modest works of fiction can be found at my website Short Stories by Richard.

A short, mysterious story about a dog’s tail.

Like a mysterious living battery, your dog stores up love. Its tail is powered by love.

A healing love that flows from hand, to hand.

If you’d like to read a bit of fiction I wrote over the weekend about this magical phenomenon, a very short story that I’ve simply titled A Dog’s Tail, then follow the link! If you enjoy reading Cool San Diego Sights, you might like it!

Along with a variety of other philosophical stories, A Dog’s Tail resides on my special writing blog, Short Stories by Richard.

World’s top sand sculptors create fantastic art!

Amazing works of art are being created by the world's top sand sculptors at the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego!
Amazing works of art are being created by the world’s top sand sculptors at the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego!

This morning I headed to the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge. Here are photographs of ten amazing pieces of art that were being worked on by some of the world’s top sand sculptors. These amazing artists have won numerous sand sculpting championships. It’s easy to see why!

The theme this year is Now and Then. The sculptures all had something to say about the passage of time. I saw youth and old age. I saw glimpses of eternity. I saw essential human beauty: profound, elegant, alive. Carved in mere sand.

If you want to be awestruck, go see these sculptures before time (and a broom) sweeps them away. They’re down on the Broadway Pier inside the Port Pavilion through Labor Day.

Susanne Ruseler, sand artist from the Netherlands, works on a fine sculpture that juxtaposes youth and old age.
Susanne Ruseler, top sand artist from the Netherlands, works on a fine sculpture that juxtaposes youth and old age.
Bringing a profound vision to life using compacted sand and a few simple tools.
Bringing a profound vision to life using compacted sand and a few simple tools.
A careful touch to bring out inner feeling.
A careful touch to bring out inner feeling.
World Master sand sculptor Ilya Filimontsev from Moscow, Russia creates a exquisite work of art. He won the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in 2016.
Master sand sculptor Ilya Filimontsev from Moscow, Russia creates an exquisite work of art. He won the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in 2016.
World Master sand sculptor Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri is creating a large, fantastic face.
Master sand sculptor Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri is creating an expressive, fantastic face.
Thoughtful eyes gaze at each other.
Thoughtful eyes gaze at each other.
Abram Waterman is a Sand Master from Prince Edward Island, Canada. His sculpture is amazing, too.
Abram Waterman is a Sand Master from Prince Edward Island, Canada. His sculpture is amazing, too.
Looks like circuits in silicon that have come to life.
Looks like circuits in silicon that have come to life.
Sue McGrew of Tacoma, Washington works on some monumental sand art that represents the continuum of time.
Sue McGrew of Tacoma, Washington works on some monumental sand art that represents the continuum of time.
Sue's sketchbook provides some insight into her piece. The dividing line between past, present and future is an illusion.
Sue’s sketchbook provides some insight into her piece. The dividing line between past, present and future is an illusion.
Numbers representing time whirl in the mind.
Numerals representing time whirl in the mind.
Sand Master Thomas Koet, from Melbourne, Florida, creates amazing artwork that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
Sand Master Thomas Koet, from Melbourne, Florida, creates amazing artwork that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
Another fantastic work of art at the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Another fantastic work of art at the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Rusty Croft from Carmel, California is carving an amazing horse's head made of sand.
Rusty Croft from Carmel, California is carving a fantastic horse’s head made of sand.
The horse's interior appears to be made of mechanical parts!
The sand horse’s interior appears to be made of mechanical parts!
Sand Master Fergus Mulvany from Dublin, Ireland is creating a cool sculpture that is abstract and layered.
Sand Master Fergus Mulvany from Dublin, Ireland is creating a cool sculpture that is abstract and layered.
Stepping back with shovel to have a good look.
Stepping back with shovel to have a good look. Fluid links seem to represent the flowing nature of time.
Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California is creating some great sand art representing campers gazing from a mountaintop into the distance.
Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California is creating some great sand art. It shows campers gazing from a mountaintop into the far distance. Looks to me like she’s just getting started.
Melineige Beauregard from Montreal, Canada shows what time does to even the most mighty.
Melineige Beauregard from Montreal, Canada demonstrates what time does to even the most mighty.
The most beautiful, amazing sand art on the planet right now can be found in San Diego--through Labor Day!
The most beautiful, amazing sand art on the planet right now can be found in San Diego–through Labor Day!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Three cool sand sculptures at the Broadway Pier!

People at the foot of Broadway Pier pause to watch three sand sculptures being created for the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge this Labor Day weekend.
People at the foot of Broadway Pier pause to watch three sand sculptures being created for the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge this Labor Day weekend.

Three cool sand sculptures are being created this very moment at the foot of the Broadway Pier. They will welcome visitors to the 2017 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge this Labor Day weekend! Master sand artists from around the world will participate, as well as many talented local sand sculptors.

The three sand sculptures I photographed this morning promote the upcoming LEGO Ninjago movie, the San Diego public transit system, and welcome visitors to the annual competition, which is sponsored by the Port of San Diego. The large central sculpture will include images of the USS Midway and the Star of India!

Check it out!

These local sand artists belong to the I.B. Posse. They're working on a sculpture for MTS that will include San Diego's skyline.
These local sand artists belong to the I.B. Posse. They’re working on a sculpture for MTS that will include San Diego’s skyline.
I see some buildings taking form.
I see some buildings taking form.
You can see the three sand sculptures in this photo and a bit of the Broadway Pier.
You can see the three sand sculptures in this photo and a bit of the Broadway Pier.
The big sand sculpture in the middle by the Port of San Diego will feature images of the USS Midway and tall ship Star of India, which I see taking form in this photo.
The big sand sculpture in the middle by the Port of San Diego will feature images of the USS Midway and tall ship Star of India, which I see taking form in this photo.
Master sand artists are at work in San Diego, getting ready for a big international sand sculpture competition!
Master sand artists are at work in San Diego, getting ready for the upcoming international sand sculpture competition!
Melineige Beauregard, a champion sand sculptor from Quebec, is working on this super cool LEGO Ninjago piece!
Melineige Beauregard, a champion sand sculptor from Quebec, is working on this super cool LEGO Ninjago piece!
Several cool works of sand art are being created this very moment on San Diego's Embarcadero!
Several cool works of sand art are being created at this very moment on San Diego’s Embarcadero!

UPDATE!

I got photos late Monday of the three sand sculptures. The finishing touches were being carefully applied!

The Port of San Diego is presenting Labor Day on the Bay! I love the central sculpture, complete with the USS Midway!
The Port of San Diego is presenting Labor Day on the Bay! I love the central sculpture, complete with the USS Midway!
All that's left is to carve in several sponsors beneath the Star of India!
All that’s left is to carve in several sponsors beneath the Star of India!
Melineige Beauregard finished the Ninjago sculpture. Now she's putting the finishing touches on the MTS sculpture!
Melineige Beauregard finished the Ninjago sculpture. Now she’s putting the finishing touches on the MTS sculpture!
And here's the super cool LEGO Ninjago Movie sand sculpture--all done!
And here’s the super cool LEGO Ninjago Movie sand sculpture–all done!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Fun new murals at Sheldon’s Service Station!

A frog in a red teacup floats on a tea river.
A frog in a red teacup floats on a tea river.

Yesterday I spotted some fun new murals in the process of being painted at Sheldon’s Service Station, a popular La Mesa breakfast and lunch spot. Many years ago this coffee shop’s building was a La Mesa gas station.

A friendly guy at Sheldon’s Service Station said an artist named Kara has been working on the two murals for a couple of weeks. Take a look!

One of two fun new murals being painted on outdoor walls at Sheldon's Service Station in La Mesa.
One of two fun new murals being painted on outdoor walls at Sheldon’s Service Station in La Mesa.
Funny animals in the imaginative mural include Droopy and tea-drinking pelicans!
Funny animals in the imaginative mural include Droopy and tea-drinking pelicans!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Cool photos from Steampunk Day at the Library!

A guy with a super cool steampunk outfit spread his mechanical wings for a photo as I entered the library!
A guy with a super cool steampunk outfit spread his mechanical wings for a photo as I entered the library!

Check out these cool photos from Steampunk Day at the Library!

I headed over to San Diego’s Central Library early this afternoon not really knowing what to expect. And what I experienced absolutely blew me away!

San Diego Steampunk, Gaslight Steampunk Expo, and the Friends of the Central Library put on an event that still has me smiling as I write this! You wouldn’t believe all the awesome steampunk costumes and gizmos and props and gadgets and inventions and artwork that filled a good chunk of the library’s first floor. I saw original stuff inspired by Lewis Carroll, H. G. Wells, Jules Verne… Some of my favorite authors! There were also a couple lectures and something called Tea Dueling, which I missed. Perhaps next year…

The participants, most of whom are makers, were all super friendly and eager to tell me about what they had created. I pocketed lots of business cards and flyers, and have tried to provide photo captions that accurately describe what I came across.

So what did I see? Take a look!

Steampunk Day at the San Diego Central Library promotes S.T.E.A.M. learning. Readers, students and imaginative people can explore history, science and technology!
Steampunk Day at the San Diego Central Library promotes S.T.E.A.M. learning. Readers, students and imaginative people can explore concepts in science and technology! And enjoy excellent literature and learn some history, too!
Dozens of local steampunk enthusiasts had gathered in the library to have fun and provide creative inspiration for young and old alike.
Dozens of local steampunk enthusiasts had gathered in the library to have fun and provide creative inspiration for young and old alike.
A super nice lady had a table full of steampunk crafts she had made. Like others participating in the event, she is a member of San Diego Steampunk.
A super nice lady had a table full of steampunk crafts she had made. Like others participating in the event, she is a member of San Diego Steampunk.
Library visitors during Steampunk Day could pose with Victorian costume accessories and props for a cool photo.
Library visitors during Steampunk Day could pose with Victorian costume accessories and props for a cool photo.
One of the first things I saw was an awesome model of Jules Verne's Nautilus from the classic Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!
One of the first things I saw was an awesome model of Jules Verne’s Nautilus from the classic Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!
Richard Ferrell aka Colonel Malcolm Weatherby was holding a ray gun at the ready. Like many other steampunk enthusiasts, he makes his own props.
Richard Ferrell aka Colonel Malcolm Weatherby was holding a ray gun at the ready. Like many other steampunk enthusiasts, he makes his own props.
This ray gun from Steampunk Arsenal is made of glass bottles and imagination.
This ray gun from Steampunk Arsenal is a fusion of glass bottles and imagination.
It's The Mad Hatter! And her mobile table is set for tea! Or perhaps A Moveable Feast. (Okay, I'm sorry--it's the library.)
It’s The Mad Hatter! And her mobile table is set for tea! Or perhaps A Moveable Feast! (Okay, I’m sorry–it’s the library.)
I didn't get the names of these folks, but they had some of the most inventive stuff. The blue liquid on the right is composed of captured moonbeams.
I didn’t get the names of these folks, but they had some of the most inventive stuff. The blue liquid on the right is composed of distilled moonbeams.
That gadget up at the top of this photo propels a courageous adventurer through time.
That gadget up at the top of this photo propels a courageous adventurer through time.
I believe this guy said he's Gandalf the Brass. His staff emits different colored light, depending on the magic. Should he defeat a Balrog, he might become Gandalf the Gold.
I believe this guy said he’s Gandalf the Brass. His staff emits different colored light, depending on the magic. Should he defeat a Balrog, he might become Gandalf the Gold.
Steampunk writer Madeleine Holly-Rosing had a table displaying some of her books. If you like reading steampunk fiction, you should probably check it out.
Steampunk writer Madeleine Holly-Rosing had a table displaying some of her books. If you like reading steampunk fiction, you should probably check it out!
Madeleine Holly-Rosing is author of comic book series Boston Metaphysical Society. Kind of like a steampunk The X-Files I was told. Sounds cool!
Madeleine Holly-Rosing is author of comic book series Boston Metaphysical Society. Kind of like a steampunk The X-Files I was told. Sounds cool!
Maleficent greeted me at the Steampunk Public table. I learned she's not really evil, just a bit misunderstood.
Maleficent greeted me at the Steampunk Public table. I learned she’s not really evil, just a bit misunderstood.
And look at all the cool contraptions created by Steampunk Public! Sheer fun and human creativity!
And look at all the cool contraptions created by Steampunk Public! Sheer fun and human creativity!
In a glass library display case I discovered steampunk collage art by Ramona Szczerba. She calls these curious vintage fictions.
In a glass library display case I discovered steampunk collage art by Ramona Szczerba. She calls these curious vintage fictions.
Imaginative costumes exhibited during Steampunk Day by the San Diego Costume Guild. They create costumes from many eras.
Imaginative uniforms exhibited during Steampunk Day by the San Diego Costume Guild. They create costumes representing many different eras.
Goggles and top hats everywhere!
Goggles and top hats everywhere!
A British explorer or officer or character from an alternate reality--not sure which! But he was super nice!
A British explorer or officer or eccentric character from a weird alternate reality–I’m not sure which! But he was super nice!
Taking an image using patented Spectral Photography.
Taking an image using patented Spectral Photography.
Kids in the Children's Library were busy making Mad Hatter hats!
Kids in the Children’s Library were busy making Mad Hatter hats!
A super spooky steampunk vampire was looking me over, perhaps getting a bit thirsty. Fangs for nothing!
A scary steampunk vampire looked me over when I stepped outside. Perhaps she was getting a bit thirsty. “Fangs for nothing!”
More awesome steampunk cosplay near the Central Library's auditorium.
More awesome steampunk cosplay near the Central Library’s auditorium.
This guy on the time machine materialized from the future right as I took a photo. I don't know whether he saw any Eloi or Morlocks.
This guy on the time machine materialized from the future right as I took a photo. I don’t know whether he saw any Eloi or Morlocks.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Seeds in your mind: More short works of fiction.

Can you believe it? My writing blog Short Stories by Richard now contains 23 short stories and a poem!

My works of fiction (and poem) operate like small seeds in your fertile mind. Plant one or two–and see what might grow.

Are you curious? Simply click the following links to read my most recent stories:

A Short Bloom offers the wisdom of one gardener.

Writing Infinity is a poem about capturing perfect truth.

Walking on Light is a strange, magical story about an uplifting kind of light.

Beth’s Window contains flowers that will always regrow.

A Bottle of Polish is a tragic story about one person’s secret shine.

How to Catch a Crab is about mystery, danger and a boy’s desire.

Elvis and the Time Machine proves that anyone can time travel.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Richard