Inspiration found in small scenes of beauty.

Whenever I forget to look closely at the world, I miss the hidden beauty. And the unexpected inspiration.

These photographs were all taken today at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

This special garden’s breathtaking beauty has inspired a couple of very short stories. I wrote The Child and the Koi and Waterfall Tears while sitting quietly by the stream that bubbles through the canyon.

I hope these photos–these small scenes of beauty–inspire you, too.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Do you enjoy beautiful things? Visit my other photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

A new look for Short Stories by Richard.

As you can see from the above snip, my blog Short Stories by Richard has a brand new look!

I’ve polished many of the stories (and now two poems) to such an extent that I feel comfortable launching a new domain and website.

Are you curious?

Many of these short stories might seem a bit different. Some are happy, some are sad . . . most are a shifting mixture. I try to arrive at essential truths in surprising and creative ways. Human life is illuminated using sudden revelations. All of these works of fiction are very quick reads.

The poem I just published, A Brief Note, sounds dire as you read it. But read to the final two lines.

Anyway, I truly appreciate all of you who follow my adventures in photography–and creative writing! Life is a continuing adventure . . .

Richard

A day full of dreaming by the water.

Dreaming together by the sparkling water.
Dreaming together by the sparkling water.

A slow, lazy day. One last November day of unseasonably warm weather. Like many, I had the day off from work.

A quiet stroll along San Diego Bay.

A day for dreaming by the water.

Reflected light is all we see. A dream of light flows from the hand of painter Paul Strahm.
Sitting in sunshine above the water. A dream of light flows from the hand of the always friendly painter Paul Strahm.
The undefinable essence of dreams.
The undefinable essence of dreams.
A vision beyond the reach of a pier.
A vision beyond the reach of a pier.
Light on water invites meditation.
A firm foundation and quiet moment. Light on water invites meditation.
More quiet time by the water.
Time vanishes near the water.
Ripples in a strange reality.
Ripples in a strange reality.
Moving together past a burst of beauty.
Moving together in the walk of life, past a burst of beauty.
Almost like a dream within a dream.
Almost like a dream within a dream.
Enjoying this magic, wonderful life together.
Enjoying this magic, wonderful life together.
Reading words by the tranquil water. Sensing deeper truths.
Reading words by tranquil water. Perhaps sensing deeper truths.
Another day of dreaming by the water.
Another day of dreaming by the shining water.

Today two ideas for short stories came to me like a dream. As I sat on a bench by beautiful San Diego Bay, I penned a few passing words.

I believe the titles will be The Failed Heart and A Dangerous Noise. When these stories feel finished–if that feeling ever comes–I’ll publish them on my writing blog Short Stories by Richard.

Cool San Diego Sights in many languages!

I’ve made a couple of cool changes to my website! Now it’s easy to enjoy Cool San Diego Sights (plus my other blog Beautiful Balboa Park) in dozens of languages!

If you’re viewing this page on a computer screen or large tablet, you will see a Google Translate button near the top of the sidebar, on the left side of your screen. Select your preferred language and everything on the website will be instantly translated!

If you’re using a smaller device, like a smartphone, click those three parallel lines up at the top of this page and the sidebar will open up. Google Translate should be the first thing you see.

What else is new?

I’ve added buttons to my sidebar which make it easy to follow Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr! I only update my Pinterest and Tumblr pages every few months, but if you’re on those social media platforms, you might want to check it out!

As always, please feel free to share anything you happen to find on any of my blogs. It’s all for fun!

By the way, I just finished writing a new short story for my Short Stories by Richard blog. It’s called The Silver of Ice. It’s based a bit on my own personal experience, when I lived on the high plains many years ago.

I’m going to Balboa Park in a few minutes to check out something that should be really cool. I’ll post photos when I get home!

Have a great Sunday!

Richard

Three short stories about creativity and freedom.

I’ve recently written three short stories that touch upon human creativity and freedom. And the unending struggle . . . and the infinite mystery . . . and slow, bitter anguish . . . and sudden inspiration . . . and that joy a creator experiences when they’ve assembled a thing that seems powerful and true. In other words, that wonderful but turbulent journey undertaken by every passionate artist.

These three new works of fiction can be found on my writing blog Short Stories by Richard. How it has grown! Please enjoy the following links:

A Secret Junkyard is an odd, funny story that concerns black despair and creative rebirth.

A Long, Deep Drink suggests that satisfaction can be found by turning to gaze in a different direction.

The Pistachio Rocket is about launching upward, ignoring rules.

I hope you enjoy reading these! You might be surprised!

Write down your secret, share it anonymously!

PostSecret is coming to the Museum of Man in Balboa Park on April 14, 2018.
PostSecret is coming to the Museum of Man in Balboa Park on April 14, 2018.

How cool is this?

I was walking through the Fall Back Festival in the Gaslamp before it opened this morning and stumbled upon an amazing community art project!

The project is called PostSecret, and it was begun in 2004 by an inspired gentleman named Frank Warren. People write down one of their emotional secrets anonymously on a postcard and mail it in. The postcards are then displayed as public art! The project has already received over a million submissions!

The folks I met at the Fall Back Festival were representing the Museum of Man in Balboa Park. I learned the traveling PostSecret exhibition is coming to San Diego and will open at the museum on April 14, 2018! Residents of San Diego are encouraged to share their secrets!

How? Simply mail a creative postcard containing one of your written secrets–it can be anything, as long as it is true–to the Museum of Man address you see in one of my photos! You can make your postcard into a work of art, or just write down a few brief words.

I’m mailing my postcard tomorrow.

You also have secrets to share, don’t you?

These friendly folks would like you to mail in one of your secrets anonymously!
These friendly folks would like you to mail in one of your secrets anonymously!
PostSecret is a project that was begun in 2004 by Frank Warren. Over a million secrets have been shared.
PostSecret is a project that was begun in 2004 by Frank Warren. Over a million secrets have been shared.
That address on the right is where you need to mail your postcard! Mail as many secrets as you'd like!
That address on the right is where you need to mail your postcard! Mail as many secrets as you’d like!
Perhaps by mailing your secret, you'll help us humans better understand our inner selves. Or gain a personal sense of relief. Or merely have a good laugh!
Perhaps by mailing your secret, you’ll help us humans better understand our inner selves. Or gain a personal sense of relief. Or simply enjoy a healthy laugh!

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!

Tijuana Zine Fest at Museum of Contemporary Art.

My art is the way I reestablish the bonds that tie me to the universe.
My art is the way I reestablish the bonds that tie me to the universe.

This morning I saw a bunch of cool zines dangling in the windows of downtown’s Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. I was peering at the many imaginative covers and unexpected titles when I noticed this window display concerns the annual Tijuana Zine Fest, a regional festival that celebrates independent publishing and art.

I always love to bathe in individual, uninhibited creativity. Many of the zines appear to be subversive; others are humorous, or philosophical, or inspiring.

Best of luck to all the authors!

Keep on pushing to new horizons!

Keep on writing!

Tijuana Zine Fest is an annual festival that celebrates self-publishing and independent art in the culturally fertile Tijuana-San Diego border region.
Tijuana Zine Fest is an annual festival that celebrates self-publishing and independent art in the culturally fertile Tijuana-San Diego border region.
A bunch of creative zines hang inside the windows of the downtown Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, in their gallery at America Plaza.
A bunch of creative zines hang inside the windows of the downtown Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, in their gallery at America Plaza.
Why are you dumping me? Snap out of it.
Why are you dumping me? Snap out of it.
Tarantella Zine.
Tarantella Zine.
Pabdia - Cine Enmascarado.
Pabdia – Cine Enmascarado.
Tijuana. Deep Affection. Xicanita. Self Care - Self Love.
Tijuana. Deep Affection. Xicanita. Self Care – Self Love.
Fetish Witch. Beast County.
Fetish Witch. Beast County.
One Punk's Guide to African Politics. Accomplices Not Allies.
One Punk’s Guide to African Politics. Accomplices Not Allies.
Transitory Existence.
Transitory Existence.
Abandon everything again. Pobre Bebé. La Playa. A Manifesto for Discomfortable Writing.
Abandon everything again. Pobre Bebé. La Playa. A Manifesto for Discomfortable Writing.

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