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.

A happy story about youth and gratitude.

I believe I finally got it right. My latest short story. For a while it seemed wrong, incomplete.

Returning the Ball is a happy story about youth, optimism and gratitude.

This quick read is likely to make you smile. Perhaps even wipe a tear. Click the above link to read it.

Need something to read this Labor Day? I’ve gradually built a collection of short stories (and a poem) at my blog Short Stories by Richard. These small works of fiction are ideal for a beach read. Or half an hour by the pool.

Enjoy your day and thank you for supporting Cool San Diego Sights! I plan to head up to Balboa Park! What will I discover today? I don’t know!

Richard

Writing on a rainy day.

smiley-face-widened

It’s raining today. And I’m off from work. So I’ve been sitting at my computer wrestling with words.

I believe I’ve now finished another short story.  At least, it seems complete.  This story concerns youth, magic, innocence, dreams, the passage of years and what might happen in life. If you’d like to read it, click the following link: Final Real Magic is the title of the story.

Chinese museum: Typing a language with no alphabet.

Outdoor display window near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum asks: How do you type a language with no alphabet?
Outdoor display window near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum asks: How do you type a language with no alphabet?

I was walking through San Diego’s small Chinatown yesterday morning when I spied something really interesting. In a window near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum a special exhibit is being promoted. The exhibit is titled Radical Machines – Chinese in the Information Age.

How do you type a language with no alphabet? Good question!

I’ll probably check this exhibit out in the next couple months. It runs through April 16, 2017.

A special exhibit titled Radical Machines - Chinese in the Information Age is now running at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
A special exhibit titled Radical Machines – Chinese in the Information Age can be seen at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Gazing past stone lions at the entrance of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Gazing past stone lions at the entrance of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
A manual typewriter whose keys type Western Civilization's adopted Latin alphabet seems to magically produce sheets of paper containing Chinese characters.
A manual typewriter whose keys type Western Civilization’s adopted Latin alphabet seems to magically produce sheets of paper containing Chinese characters.

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!

12 Favorite Places in San Diego to Read and Write.

The spacious Reading Room at downtown San Diego's Central Library.
The spacious Reading Room at downtown San Diego’s Central Library.

Do you love to read or write? I have a number of favorite locations in San Diego where I can pick up a book or pen while enjoying a pleasant view and relative peace. I find these places to be comfortable, inspiring and expansive for the mind. But, of course, my list is completely subjective. One can find countless benches, tables, parks and beaches in sunny San Diego.

Some readers and writers might like to place themselves in a coffee shop, or at the center of a bustling scene. Others might like to be surrounded by natural or man-made beauty. Others simply want solitude. Personally, I prefer the latter two–with a bustling scene in the quiet distance, perhaps.

Here are my 12 favorite spots, in no particular order:

San Diego Central Library’s amazing Reading Room. (See the above photo.)

Downtown San Diego’s large new Central Library is just a wonderful place all around. But perhaps its best feature is a gigantic eighth floor Reading Room, crowned by the building’s fantastic lattice dome. Comfortable sofas and easy chairs allow patrons to gaze through enormous windows out toward San Diego’s South Bay. And the Reading Room is so nice and quiet.

Benches can be found overlooking moored boats in San Diego Bay's Crescent Area.
Benches can be found overlooking moored boats in San Diego Bay’s Crescent Area.

Any bench near the water in San Diego Bay’s Crescent Area.

If you don’t mind the occasional company of homeless people, San Diego Bay’s Crescent Area is a fine place to stretch one’s legs and mind. It’s a not-very-touristy stretch between the Grape Street Pier and the Coast Guard Station, with a number of comfortable wooden benches facing picturesque boats moored in the bay. Bicyclists and joggers pass by frequently and gulls and pigeons swing by for an occasional visit. The wide view, stretching across the bay to Point Loma, always puts me in a thoughtful mood.

Picnic benches at Embarcadero Marina Park North offer views of sparkling San Diego Bay.
Picnic tables at Embarcadero Marina Park North offer views of sparkling San Diego Bay.

Picnic tables near the water at Embarcadero Marina Park North.

When writing, I like mental peace. I find this state of mind can be most easily reached inside a happy, carefree atmosphere. So I often seek out an available picnic table near the water at Embarcadero Marina Park North. The blue bay sparkles, boats sail past serenely, families laugh on the grass, colorful kites glide overhead. Sometimes I just sit and do nothing.

Several tables are usually open on the deck of the Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Several tables are usually open on the deck of the Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

The Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Would you like to sit at a table overlooking a tranquil koi pond and waterfall? I would! That’s why I have become a member of the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. I wrote two short stories recently while sitting at one table. They are titled An Old Man on a Bus and Waterfall Tears.

You'll likely find solitude in the beautiful Administrative Courtyard in Balboa Park.
You’ll likely find solitude in the beautiful Administrative Courtyard in Balboa Park.

The little-known Administrative Courtyard in Balboa Park.

I discovered this perfect, heaven-like park a couple of years ago. It’s called the Balboa Park Administrative Building Courtyard and it’s located in the park’s Inspiration Point area, behind the Balboa Park Administration Building. Almost nobody goes there. You might have the entire beautiful place all to yourself. A perfect sunny place to really concentrate.

Shelter Island offers shade, grass, trees, and wide views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.
Shelter Island offers shade, grass, trees, and wide views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.

A bench, a picnic table or the grass on Shelter Island.

I love Shelter Island–especially the southwest end. Few tourists, great views, grassy lawns, a wonderful pier. When I walk along the park-like paths I feel as though I’m on vacation. Many benches and picnic tables along the length of Shelter Island make ideal places to read or write. Or just bring a blanket and lie down on the grass. It’s so pleasant you might fall asleep!

The area around La Jolla Cove is so beautiful, you might just sit in one spot and take in the scenery.
The area around La Jolla Cove is so magnificent, you might do nothing but sit in one spot for a long while, taking in the scenery.

A spot near the ocean at Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla.

When you’re visiting one of the most beautiful locations in the world, of course you’ll feel inspired. After finding a spot to read or write for a bit, get up and walk along the cliffs. Breathe in the fresh sea air. Watch birds, seals and the endlessly crashing waves. You’ll feel so alive.

Many picnic tables are often unused at Silver Strand State Beach. An ideal spot to quietly read or write.
Many picnic tables are often unused at Silver Strand State Beach. An ideal spot to quietly read or write.

An isolated picnic table at Silver Strand State Beach.

Silver Strand State Beach can be lonely, especially off-season and on the San Diego Bay side. There are usually dozens and dozens of picnic tables that are empty. Walk or pedal down the Silver Strand bike path, perhaps, and rest for awhile at a table. Then take out a book or your laptop or notepad. If you’d like to get up and stretch your legs, walk under the highway to the Pacific Ocean side, take your shoes off, walk on the beach and watch kitesurfers.

Sit atop the OB Pier high above the swelling blue ocean and you're certain to feel inspired and alive.
Sit near the end of the OB Pier high above the swelling blue ocean and you’re certain to feel inspired and alive.

Any bench above the water on the Ocean Beach Pier.

Sit on a bench out on the long Ocean Beach Pier and you’ll feel that you’re far from land–in a magical place between airy blue heaven and the rolling, living blue water below. When you glance up from your book or laptop, you’ll see fishermen sharing the rail with patient pelicans, and surfers bobbing below waiting for their perfect wave. But bring a jacket. The ocean wind can be chilly, even in summer.

Many benches await thinkers, dreamers, readers and writers at Spanish Landing in San Diego.
Many benches await thinkers, dreamers, readers and writers at Spanish Landing in San Diego.

A spot beside San Diego Bay at Spanish Landing.

This is another fine place to sit by the water. Spanish Landing is an uncrowded retreat from city life with a view of the marinas behind Harbor Island. You might hear aircraft taking off from nearby Lindbergh Field, but I seldom notice. There are many benches along the grassy park to choose from. Here you can also read interesting historical markers. With a little imagination, you might visualize Spanish explorers landing here many centuries ago.

One of the many beautiful, peaceful spots that can be found throughout Liberty Station.
One of the many beautiful, peaceful spots that can be found throughout Liberty Station.

Any bench at Liberty Station, particularly by the boat channel.

Liberty Station has many walking paths and benches where anyone can sit down to think or simply relax. My favorite spots overlook the boat channel. Light twinkles from the water, the breeze is pleasant, and paddleboarders and kayakers occasionally coast on by. There’s no hurry to do anything. If I write or read just a few words, I’m happy.

There are a couple of hidden benches not far from here in Balboa Park! Perfect for writers who like to observe people!
There are a couple of hidden benches not far from here in Balboa Park! Perfect for writers who like to observe people!

A hidden bench beside the Timken Museum of Art.

Against the north wall of the Timken Museum in Balboa Park, tucked behind a few trees, you’ll discover a couple of hard concrete benches. During a hot summer day they are so nice and cool! One can peer between foliage at the grassy area near the Botanical Building and reflecting pool, where people play, picnic and walk dogs. It’s like your own secret space in green heaven. But bring a seat cushion if you sit there for long!

Where are your favorite places to read or write? Leave a comment!

All of these photos are from my blog Cool San Diego Sights. As you can see, there’s quite a lot that you can investigate! To see thousands of images from around San Diego, simply click around my website!

I just finished writing another short story. It’s very emotional. It’s called An Old Man on a Bus. Click the link if you’d like to read it!

Make a “lending library” box for your community!

A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody's front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!
A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody’s front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!

Here’s a cool idea that almost anyone can bring to life!

Once in a while, as I walk about, I notice cabinet-like wooden boxes on neighborhood streets that are filled with books. They’re usually placed near a sidewalk–a spot that anybody passing by can easily reach. These community “lending library” boxes are filled with used books, magazines and other reading material that neighbors can freely borrow and return when they please. Anybody can add to the small library. Now that’s very cool!

Here are photos of three boxes I’ve come across. Their designs appear to be rather simple. They can be built however one likes, as long as the inside shelves are visible and waterproof. And they can be painted creatively!

Does your neighborhood have a “lending library” book box? Looks like a fun, inspirational project! It enriches the life of your community and promotes literacy!

A lending library book box built like a cabinet along the Fifth Avenue sidewalk on Bankers Hill. The contents are always changing. Today the shelves were almost empty!
A lending library book box built like a two-door cabinet along a sidewalk in San Diego. The contents are always changing. Today the shelves were almost empty!
This fancy book box has a sliding glass door and sloped roof. You can find this tiny library at the east end of the Quince Street Trestle pedestrian bridge in Bankers Hill.
This fancy book box has a sliding glass door and sloped roof. You can find this tiny library at the east end of the Quince Street Trestle pedestrian bridge in Bankers Hill!

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!

To read a few short works of fiction that I’ve written, visit my special writing blog Short Stories by Richard!

Wise words inspire readers at the San Diego Library.

We read to know we are not alone. Wise words inscribed in the San Diego Central Library's large, friendly Reading Room.
We read to know we are not alone. Wise words inscribed in the San Diego Central Library’s large, friendly Reading Room.

Many wise words are digested by hungry minds at the San Diego Public Library. At the Central Library in downtown San Diego, wise sayings and phrases are inscribed upon the building itself. One must simply open eyes to find inspiration.

The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a passport, and a library card.
The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a passport, and a library card.
If there's a book you really want to read but hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
If there’s a book you really want to read but hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. A San Diego Trolley passes some wisdom written on the east side of the downtown public library.
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. A San Diego Trolley heads down tracks past some wisdom written on the east side of the downtown public library.
Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges . . . I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library . . .
Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges . . . I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library . . .
It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.
I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.
I go into my library and all history unrolls before me.
Words inscribed on steps leading to the San Diego Central Library. A portion of Maya Angelou's On the Pulse of Morning, a poem read during the 1993 Presidential Inauguration.
Words inscribed on steps leading to the San Diego Central Library. A portion of Maya Angelou’s On the Pulse of Morning, a poem read during the 1993 Presidential Inauguration.

Women, children, men, take it into the palms of your hands, mold it into the shape of your most private need. Sculpt it into the image of your most public self. Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances for new beginning.

A trolley heads down Park Boulevard past a series of wise sayings and phrases concerning books, libraries and the written word.
A trolley heads down Park Boulevard past a series of wise sayings and phrases concerning books, libraries and the written word.

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!

To read a few short stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.