A story about Christmas, wisdom and old age.

I’ve published a new Christmas story. It’s about our busy lives and the passage of time.

It’s titled A Wise Man.

Please forgive me if I make changes to this tiny work of fiction as I reread it in the days, weeks and months to come. A writer’s thoughts and feelings can evolve over time.

To read the story, click here.

Discovering new beauty around every corner.

Extraordinary beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.
Extraordinary beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

I believe the world is fundamentally beautiful. Beauty permeates everything. From atoms to galaxies–and everything in between.

Beauty awaits open eyes wherever we happen to walk. Perhaps you’ve noticed this is an important theme of Cool San Diego Sights.

Yesterday I finished writing a short story that is very dark. It concerns ugliness that arises from human vanity. So now I find myself in a difficult situation.

I’d rather not have a depressing story welcome readers to my website Short Stories by Richard. I want to outshine the darkness with light.

A bright, magical story is now taking form under my pen. But finding the right words to approximate eternal truths can be a puzzle. I’m stuck for the moment, wrestling.

All living things require watering. I know that with fresh eyes and a little patience the story will grow and mature.

Until these two new short stories appear, you might enjoy reading my published works of fiction here.

Wind-sculpted rare Torrey pines at Cabrillo National Monument.
Endangered, wind-sculpted Torrey pines at Cabrillo National Monument.
Radiant beauty along a Little Italy sidewalk.
Radiant beauty along a Little Italy sidewalk.
A beautiful fountain in a small Bankers Hill garden. A sculpted boy with watering can.
A beautiful fountain by a sidewalk in Bankers Hill. A sculpted boy with watering can.
Painted sunflowers grow upon a transformer box in Coronado.
Painted sunflowers grow upon a transformer box in Coronado.
Natural beauty discovered in busy downtown San Diego.
Natural beauty discovered in busy downtown San Diego.
More beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden, a welcoming retreat from life's often stressful complications.
More beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden, a welcoming retreat from life’s often stressful walk. I think I might go there today with my small notebook and pen.
Moving forward down life's path through wild natural beauty atop Mount Laguna.
Moving forward down life’s path, through wild natural beauty atop Mount Laguna.

US National Beat Poet Laureate in Balboa Park!

Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.

Tomorrow you have a chance to hear US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, Chris Vannoy, read live poetry in Balboa Park! He’ll be performing with local poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. (Poetic Expeditionary Nation of Semanticists) in the Zoro Garden beginning at 2 pm.

Today during my extensive walk through Balboa Park, I happened to stumble upon this summer’s weekend Garden Theatre Festival. As I entered the stony, amphitheater-like Zoro Garden, live poetry readings were underway. Everyone in the audience was invited up to the microphone to read poetry!

And wouldn’t you know it, I was fortunate to enjoy several readings by Chris Vannoy, who will soon be named the United States Beat Poet Laureate by the National Beat Poetry Foundation!

I’d heard Chris perform with The Mightier P. E. N. S. a couple years ago, and blogged about that event here.

His hard-hitting beat poetry is vivid and resonant. His words are like the many butterflies that flit through the garden–bright sparks in the sunlight–burning red hot for just a moment–each a revelation–a brief glimpse of something elemental. Delicate words, transient words, an incantation of power spoken briefly into the wind.

Congratulations to a local poet whose voice is now magnified! And whose smile appears to be indomitable!

The Garden Theatre Festival continues through Sunday August 19, 2018. Live performances are enjoyed free to the public in Balboa Park's Zoro Garden.
The Garden Theatre Festival continues through Sunday August 19, 2018. Live performances are enjoyed free to the public in Balboa Park’s Zoro Garden.
Chris Vannoy of the local poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. expresses thought and emotion with vigorous words as the audience listens and reacts.
Chris Vannoy of the San Diego poetry group The Mightier P.E.N.S. expresses complex thought and emotion with vigorous words as the audience listens and reacts.
Two in the audience listen to powerfully spoken truth.
Two in the audience listen to a poet’s powerfully spoken truth.
Someone in the audience signs up to read a poem. Anybody could participate during the event.
Someone in the audience signs up to read a poem. Anybody could participate during the event.
Chris Vannoy, who will be named US National Beat Poet Laureate in September, finishes and earns enthusiastic applause.
Chris Vannoy, who will be named US National Beat Poet Laureate in September, finishes his reading and earns enthusiastic applause.

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 skeleton in plain sight.

Sometimes I lie awake in the middle of the night, thoughts tumbling through the darkness. Sometimes an uninvited notion enters my skull.

You, too, might share this uncomfortable realization.

I recently published a short story. It’s titled Skeleton Forgiveness.

You can read my very short work of fiction by clicking here.

That moment you see inexplicable magic.

There are moments when this world seems suddenly, inexplicably transformed.

New light.

New perception.

New understanding.

A short story came to me yesterday while I sat in Balboa Park across from a splashing fountain. My eyes were resting on the broad scene.

So many people, engaged in every sort of activity. So much humanity. And at the center of it all, that everlasting fountain.

Shimmering and shining like magic.

I took out my pen and wrote down a few inspired words.

They might form a short story, or they might form a poem–I’ll let you decide. Read it here.

A short story about regret and redemption.

I wrote another short story. This one is titled The Firefly.

It’s about regret and redemption.

And hopelessness and release.

And hurt and freedom.

If you’d like to read this small work of fiction, click here.

A street art poem about coming home.

A bit of wisdom by poet Sunny Rey painted on a utility box in City Heights. True Love is a returning...A homecoming...Love awakes the child in you...
A bit of wisdom by poet Sunny Rey painted on a utility box in City Heights. True Love is a returning…A homecoming…Love awakes the child in you…And walks you through your final door…

I read touching words this morning during a short walk down University Avenue in City Heights. A poem was painted on one side of a utility box; images of a father and son’s love decorated other sides.

The beautiful street art and its poem were about growing older, and wiser, and coming home.

Street art in City Heights on University Avenue shows a father and son holding hands, walking down the sidewalk.
Street art in City Heights on University Avenue shows a father and son holding hands, walking down the sidewalk.

I’ve finished writing another short story. A Steep Hill is about an old man who undertakes very difficult journeys near his home. If you like, you can read it here.