Creating a work of art presents the artist with a dilemma. How does one know the artwork is finished?
Suppose you’re a painter. You add brushstroke after brushstroke to your canvas, continually changing it. You alter a line here, blend a color there, add touches of light or dark, then stand back every so often for another critical examination. Which brushstroke makes your painting exactly right?
There is almost infinite potential in a canvas, brush and paint. But a painter must decide when to stop.
Does the artist finally stop because their creation “feels” right?
Does the artist finally surrender? Does creativity meet a wall? Can the artist proceed no farther?
Human imagination is limitless.
Yes, your painting at this stage is beautiful. But why do you decide to now place it in a frame and say it’s done?
I just finished writing a short story about this artistic dilemma. And about other mysterious things. It’s titled The Wheel.
The main character in this small story is a potter.
Will I ever make changes to this work of fiction? Who knows?
Read it by clicking here.
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.
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!
I finally finished writing another short story.
This one was very difficult, and I’m still not sure it’s exactly right.
We live in a dark moment of history, when many people are suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic. And pain is an essential part of this story.
But the story, titled The Pier, contains happiness, too. It’s ultimately about human gratitude and humility.
You can read it here.
If you’re bored sitting at home while the pandemic rages, and you like to read, you might enjoy checking out dozens of thought-provoking short stories here.
As always, thank you for coming along on my small adventures.
Please indulge me one more time as I share another short story that I’ve written. I published it a moment ago.
If you like the heartwarming stories of O. Henry, there’s a decent chance you’ll like this one. It’s titled A Key to Treasure.
Yes, there’s a surprise ending.
Read it here.
Sorry for the interruption! Fear not! The walks around San Diego will continue! More cool photographs are sure to come!
Forgive me for mentioning my writing website Short Stories by Richard again.
Today I sat for several minutes at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park gazing out at the Karesansui, or Dry Stone Garden. I must’ve entered a meditative state of mind, because as I viewed the ruggedly beautiful stones and perfectly raked gravel a vision came to me.
In the past I learned the significance of the elements in a Japanese rock garden, so this tiny three sentence story, or poem, which I titled Across the Stone Garden, might not be entirely original or surprising.
But I think it’s a bit magical, and you might like it anyway.
To read it, click here.
Have you ever visited a museum and viewed an historical object that seems timeless? An artifact that might still belong in the hands of the living?
I’ve written a short story based on my own strange experiences. It has a surprise ending. It’s titled The Recovered Artifact.
To read it, click here!
I would like to express gratitude to those teachers who’ve introduced my story One Thousand Likes to students recently using Google Classroom. I observe my website stats and am stunned. I never imagined such a small story would be read by so many. It’s a writer’s wildest dream come true!
Now it’s time to start brainstorming again!
There are many more places to walk in San Diego and many more photographs to take. Unexpected new adventures await! Thanks for coming along!
Wishing all my readers a Happy New Year!
My writing website Short Stories by Richard keeps expanding.
This weekend I’ve published two unusual short stories.
Both tiny works of fiction concern the difficulty of caging wild, undefinable things. Things like divine beauty and absolute truth.
Aviary Observations is about art, capturing beauty and our human limitations.
Soul to Soul is about putting into words deeper truths that cannot be adequately expressed.
Both quirky stories contain humor! We’re human after all.
You can click the above links if you’re curious.
I wrote another small story yesterday.
The words came to me in Balboa Park while I listened to my friend Mitchell playing didgeridoo. People walking down El Prado would pause before the strange, resonant instrument. A brave few would dance.
As people came and went, I wondered what effect their movement might have on the planet. Both Mitchell and I are curious about strange, cosmic things.
The title of my short story is Spinning the Earth.
If you like to use your imagination, click here!