A short story about a paintbrush and magic.

Anyone could participate in painting a small square in this large mural!

It has been months since I promoted my blog Short Stories by Richard, but I just now published a new short story titled Father’s Paintbrush, and I think some readers might enjoy it.

Like several other stories I’ve written, it has a surprising O. Henry-like ending!

If you’re interested, you can read this small work of fiction about life, learning and magic by clicking here.

I have more photographs taken yesterday at Presidio Park coming up, so stay tuned!

Where will I walk today? I haven’t decided!

Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro.

One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.
One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.

If you notice two colorful benches in San Ysidro Park, go take a closer look. On both you’ll discover a Trail to Literacy.

The benches are decorated with tiles painted by children. You’ll see small works of art that celebrate books and stories that young people love.

This wonderful community project promotes reading. After looking at the tiles, I think I want to visit a library and check out some children’s books. What better way to activate imagination? And relearn wisdom.

The benches stand not far from renowned artist Victor Ochoa’s beautiful Tree of Life, which I photographed while walking around the park last weekend. See those photos here.

Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.
Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.

The Paperboy.
The Paperboy.

Dogzilla.
Dogzilla.

Froggy Gets Dressed.
Froggy Gets Dressed.

The Cat in the Hat.
The Cat in the Hat.

The Gingerbread Man.
The Gingerbread Man.

Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.
Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.

Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.
Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.

A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.
A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.

Mulan.
Mulan.

Corduroy.
Corduroy.

La Hermana de Froggy.
La Hermana de Froggy.

Mouse Mess.
Mouse Mess.

Viva Piñata!
Viva Piñata!

Just Imagine with Barney.
Just Imagine with Barney.

El Arbol Generoso.
El Arbol Generoso.

More colorful, imaginative tiles painted by youth.
More colorful tiles painted by creative youth.

Reading activates imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.
Reading sparks imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Amazing public art in Vista’s Civic Center Park!

I was pleased to discover some truly amazing public art inside Vista’s Civic Center Park last weekend. The small but beautiful park is situated adjacent to the Civic Center complex, and was very quiet on an early Sunday afternoon.

In addition to a fantastically strange and wonderful sculpture titled Wind Beams, I found four very fine bronze sculptures of children reading and at play!

I’ve tried to determine who created the bronze sculptures of children, but I can find nothing on the internet, and I could find no artist’s name on any plaque. If anyone knows the artist, leave a comment! The sculptures depict a small girl reading a book, a child riding a bike with arms outspread, kids and their friendly dog crossing a curved bridge or log, and two small children riding a large tortoise. The plaque that I photographed, which is mounted near the reading girl, explains these four bronze sculptures were dedicated in October 2012 as a tribute to retired Vista City Manager Rita L. Geldert.

The extremely cool Wind Beams sculpture was created by artist Robert Rochin. The year given is 2010. It’s an unbelievable thing made of four 10 feet long I-beams that move about in the slightest breeze. All I can say is these heavy steel beams must be well lubricated and perfectly balanced! Watching the beams move silently about like immense metal arms whirling in the sky is really strange, even surreal!

Wind Beams, by artist Robert Rochin, 2010.
Wind Beams, by artist Robert Rochin, 2010.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Public art around the city inspires reading!

Public art that inspires reading can be found all across San Diego!

In the past I’ve photographed murals, sculptures, and even some beautiful glass panels that encourage reading. Often great books and authors are celebrated. Wisdom, knowledge, compassion and other timeless human values are shown to arise from reading. And, of course, there’s the simple enjoyment. Almost everyone loves to learn something interesting, or a good story!

After seeing artwork that promotes reading outside the Vista Library on Sunday, and posting photographs here, it occurred to me that I should link to more of this inspiring art!

What has my camera recorded so far?

Click the following links to see past photos!

Books fly in a children’s reading mural!

Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat sculpture at UCSD.

Wise words inspire readers at the San Diego Library.

Sculpture of Mark Twain reading book on bench.

New mural painted on Union-Tribune building.

Art and wisdom outside National City library.

La Jolla Library and the Voyage of Discovery.

Wizard of Oz glass panels at Coronado Library.

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Art outside Vista Library celebrates learning!

Colorful artwork that encourages reading greets visitors to the Vista Library.
Colorful artwork that encourages reading greets visitors to the Vista Library.

Many fantastic works of art outside the Vista Library celebrate learning!

An imaginative sculpture and colorful murals greet the eyes of those who draw near this branch of the San Diego County Library. The art inspires us to read books, pursue knowledge, and fulfill our dreams!

I walked past the library yesterday and was absolutely amazed by what I discovered!

I took photos…

Front entrance to the public library in Vista, California.
Front entrance to the public library in Vista, California.

Sculpture at library's parking lot entrance. Climbing into Adventure, by Rick Randall and Jaydon Sterling-Randall, 2012.
Sculpture at Vista Branch Library’s parking lot entrance. Climbing into Adventure, by Rick Randall and Jaydon Sterling-Randall, 2012.

Up in the sky are many colorful wonders toward with the children together climb.
Up in the sky are many fantastic wonders toward with the children ascend.

A fantastic mural near front door of the library. Kids activate their imagination and ambitions with a book.
A fantastic mural near front door of the library. Kids activate their imagination and ambitions with a book.

The mural on the other side of the entrance, with a window to the library bookstore. Students pursue scientific knowledge.
The mural on the other side of the entrance, with a window to the Friends of the Library bookstore. Students pursue scientific knowledge.

Even a painted mouse in the mural is reading a tiny book.
Even a tiny painted mouse in the mural is reading a book.

Bike rack spells READ.
Cool bike rack spells READ.

Abstract mosaic near roof seems to depict bodies in our solar system.
Abstract mosaic near the library’s roof seems to depict bodies in our solar system.

A second mosaic glass mural. All three are titled Interconnected. Created by Cherrie LaPorte.
A second mosaic glass mural. All three are titled Interconnected. Created by Cherrie LaPorte.

The third mosaic glass mural. Abstract design shows how every element in the universe is interconnected.
The third mosaic glass mural. Abstract design shows how every element in the universe is interconnected.

Learning is celebrated with amazing artwork at the Vista Library.
Learning is celebrated with truly amazing artwork at the Vista Library!

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 photos for you to enjoy!

Actors read literary works online for TwainFest!

The spirit of Twain lives in this wonderful annual festival.

Do you love reading literature from the 19th century?

I do!

I love Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson, Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville . . . there are too many great Victorian authors from this period to mention!

If you love to read these authors, too, there’s an online event in progress that you’ll probably like!

During this special event you can listen to selections from 19th century literature read aloud by San Diego actors!

It’s part of Write Out Loud’s virtual TwainFest, and you can subscribe by clicking here to get daily links to new YouTube readings in your email!

What was the event like before the coronavirus pandemic? To see photos from TwainFest last year in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, click here!

Mark Twain uses his cane to point out his classic novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Many 19th century authors and fictional characters were seen walking about during TwainFest.
Mark Twain uses his cane to point out his classic novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

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 stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Free Comic-Con Souvenir Book features Ray Bradbury!

With less than a week to go, Comic-Con International logos have appeared all over the San Diego Convention Center!

One of my favorite authors of all time–perhaps my favorite–is featured in this year’s Comic-Con Souvenir Book!

Ray Bradbury!

The 260-page epic 2020 Comic-Con Souvenir Book pays special tribute to 100 Years of Ray Bradbury. The book, which is jam-packed with articles, plus original artwork by many popular artists, is available for free download at the Comic-Con@Home web page by clicking here!

The free Souvenir Book is in PDF form and has many clickable links, which lead to all sort of cool offers and websites that will interest fans.

I love that the Souvenir Book’s cover and Introduction is: Ray Bradbury, Riding a Dinosaur, on Mars. I suppose that after Ray jumped off his dinosaur, he entered a rocket ship and headed to Earth, and walked right into your home, mind and heart.

Ray Bradbury combined fantasy, science fiction and reality in a way that was so brilliantly poetic and wildly imaginative and thought-provoking that I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. His uninhibited prose breaks through the walls in our mind and exposes regions of truth and wonder we might not otherwise explore.

When I lived in Denver, I attended a speech he made about his writing and his amazing life. That might have been the most inspirational (and fun) talk I’ve ever heard. He was brilliant, enthusiastic, but really just a nice, ordinary guy like you and me. And like you and me he was a big fan. A fan of creativity and pretty much everything in life. He loved both pop culture and fine art, and everything in between.

He wrote popular short stories in the days of pulp fiction magazines. He wrote stories and novels that are now considered literature. He wrote the screenplay for Hollywood classic Moby Dick. His celebrated stories have been turned into numerous television shows and movies. He has been a major influence for generations of writers and dreamers.  He was engaged in too many projects to mention, such as the creation of Disney’s Epcot Center. Even the idea of becoming safely lost in a city, put forth in his essay “The Aesthetics of Lostness,” was used in designing San Diego’s very own Horton Plaza Mall.

Did you know Elton John’s classic song Rocket Man was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Rocket Man” in his book The Illustrated Man? (By the way, the story is simply amazing. It’s one of my favorites.)

Ray Bradbury loved and attended comic book conventions, and frequently spoke at San Diego Comic-Con. From the 1970 convention at the U.S. Grant Hotel, to the 2010 event at the San Diego Convention Center, he was a guest at Comic-Con over the course of four decades!

He was a tireless lover of life whose imagination soared into the farthest reaches of the universe and even beyond. His mind never stood still.

If you’re a writer, read his Zen in the Art of Writing to instantly wipe out writer’s block and unleash your full potential. And read all of his short stories again and again. He was a master. Some say he was the greatest writer of the 20th century.

I do a little writing of fiction myself. If you want to read a short story that I’m sure was unconsciously influenced by Ray Bradbury, you might enjoy clicking One Strange, Shimmering Dream.

Ray Bradbury, in my opinion, provided a perfect example of how to lead a full life. He loved people. He loved living. He never stopped dreaming and creating. He loved everything.

Now download the free 2020 Comic-Con Souvenir Book by clicking here and get busy filling your eyeballs with wonderfulness!

Read a book and take flight!

I love this fun street art on Aero Drive. You can find it right next to the Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch Library parking lot. Painted on an electrical box is what will happen when you read a book. Your imagination will take flight!

If the library is closed and books are unavailable, your mind can take flight in a different way. Simply turn north and watch as small airplanes take off and land at nearby Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (which is more commonly known as Montgomery Field.)

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 photos for you to enjoy!

A short story about how we are made of stars.

I finished writing another short story. This once has the simple title Twinkle.

Once upon a time I studied physics in college. Back then I learned that the elements composing you and I and the entire world were forged in the furnaces of stars. (Mostly, that is.)

A month or so ago I was out on one of my walks, moving through a poorer neighborhood, when I saw flowering weeds in the bare dirt of a front yard. And the seed for a philosophical story entered my mind.

The short story that finally grew and matured you can read here.

A very short story with a surprise ending.

Do you like to read stories with surprise endings?

I finished writing another very short story. This one features a turn of events at the end that is completely unexpected. The story is titled Poem to Myself.

Like most of my fiction this piece is a bit philosophical, and it contains both darkness and light.

How is that possible when the main character is a self-centered creep?

There’s a poem in it somewhere? Will the light triumph?

Read it here to see what happens!