A few short stories about light in one’s life.

To an ancient person, light is a life-sustaining gift from a distant bright god. To a modern person, light is electromagnetic radiation that can be detected by the eye’s retina. To an artist, light might be some of both . . . and much more.

When I write, I’m never certain what precise thing light represents. In many stories it seems to symbolize a life-sustaining hope, or a radiation of the spirit detected by the heart. It might signal a burning love, living with eyes wide open, or intangible rays from beyond that define life’s shape. A glimpse of ultimate truth. A bright gift that is magical, momentary, precious.

I don’t know. What is light to you?

Following are seven short works of fiction where light is an integral part of the story:

Light at the Edges

The Firefly

One Lone Candle

One Strange, Shimmering Dream

How to Paint Angels

A Dance in the Lightning

Walking on Light

Cool collection of zines at the Central Library!

More Beer Less Work #4
More Beer Less Work #4

Have you created a zine? Do you like to read them?

Head up to the 8th floor of the San Diego Central Library and you’ll find a collection of hundreds of handmade, self-published zines!

Some of the zines are very simple–just folded copy paper and staples. Others are so slick you might mistake them for a popular comic book or retail magazine. All are super creative. Every page communicates the author’s unique voice and vision.

If you’ve created a cool zine, you can submit your finished masterpiece to the library. They’ll consider adding it to their collection.

I looked through the bins and found all sorts of amusing, brain-bending, eye-catching covers. You can’t check zines out of the library, but you can check out these few photos!

San Diego Central Library's zine collection is on the 8th floor. Browse hundreds of handcrafted, self-published, small circulation titles.
San Diego Central Library’s zine collection is on the 8th floor. Browse hundreds of handcrafted, self-published, small circulation titles.
Said While Talking, by Marinaomi
Said While Talking, by Marinaomi
Alas This Rebel Heart, by Cathy Hannah
Alas This Rebel Heart, by Cathy Hannah
Razorcake
Razorcake
Cheer the Eff Up
Cheer the Eff Up
Cleopatra in Spaaaace!
Cleopatra in Spaaaace!
Detention. Sigh...
Detention. Sigh…
epoch oblivion
epoch oblivion
Magagagagazine
Magagagagazine
Step Down Your Throat Comics
Step Down Your Throat Comics
Gag Me With A . . .
Gag Me With A . . .
Perpetually Twelve, Number 8. The Monster Issue.
Perpetually Twelve, Number 8. The Monster Issue.

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!

I haven’t authored any zines, but I have written a few online short stories. If you like to read, you might enjoy my website Short Stories by Richard.

Wisdom on the Love Wall in Balboa Park.

Love little moments.
Messages of love.

A heart-shaped Love Wall stands on the patio of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. It has been there for several months.

Dangling from the wall are many short messages. Powerful words have been written on pieces of colored paper by many human hands. Some messages are old and faded. Others are bright and new. There’s plenty of space on the Love Wall for more wisdom.

A heart-shaped Love Wall stands on the patio of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.
A heart-shaped Love Wall stands on the patio of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.
Many messages dangle from the Love Wall. Love each other.
Many messages dangle from the Love Wall.
Amo mi familia. Love is accepting you.
Amo mi familia. Love is accepting you.
Smile.
Smile.
Love heals all.
Love heals all.
Love one another. Kindness ripples.
Love one another. Kindness ripples.
Family is everything.
Family is everything.
Love is . . . knowing it's right.
Love is . . . knowing it’s right.
Many messages of love from many different hands, young and old.
Many messages of love from many different hands, young and old.
I love you. Friendship.
I love you. Friendship.

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!

Surprising contrasts on a quiet walk.

Sunday afternoon I took the trolley to East County to enjoy a quiet walk near Gillespie Field. I knew that along Marshall Avenue there’d be no traffic.

As I walked down the long, empty sidewalk I turned my eyes toward sleepy hangars across the street, burgeoning spring flowers at my feet and a large construction site abandoned for the day. All I heard was the whisper of the breeze, birds flitting here or there and small planes rising into the sky.

The time and place was perfect for a stretch of thinking. I’m struggling with a short story that is particularly difficult. It’s a story about the complexity of people and the small actions that help to define a life. I keep changing the words.

As I walked along in a state of abstraction I slowly became aware of surprising shapes and contrasts in the world all around me. Exactly like the complexity we find in ourselves.

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!

Photos of Shakespeare celebration in Balboa Park!

Today I headed into Balboa Park to enjoy a special event celebrating Shakespeare’s 455th birthday!

Many activities were centered in sunny Copley Plaza, the hub of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. There was an outdoor performance of Shakespeare in Exile by Grossmont College Theatre Arts students. There was instrumental musical entertainment, a sonnet writing contest, and even an Elizabethan ruff-making station. Inside the lobby of The Old Globe, costumes from some of their past Shakespearean productions were on display.

A bit after noon high school students from all around San Diego gathered on the steps of the Timken Museum of Art. After a welcome speech, a fantastic parade featuring many Elizabethan costumes began along El Prado. Several students were presented with achievement awards at the foot of the Lily Pond as their classmates shouted approval, then the youth fanned out to perform scenes from Shakespeare and other famous plays on several stages along El Prado.

Here are photos that provide a flavor of this truly awesome annual event!

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 story about the pages of one’s life.

I’ve completed another short story. The Star Maker is about the torn pages of one’s life. Folded together. Made into something perfect.

From our own complex stories we create our own stars.

Read the small, surprising story by clicking here.

Learning one’s letters in Old Town San Diego.

In the one room Mason Street School in Old Town San Diego, younger and older children sat together before the teacher and learned their letters.
In the one room Mason Street School in Old Town San Diego, younger and older children sat together before the teacher and learned their letters.

A cool theme developed during my walk through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park yesterday. First I wandered into the 1868 San Diego Union Building and observed ladies in 19th century dress practicing calligraphy. A short time later, as my eyes scanned the walls of the one room 1865 Mason Street Schoolhouse, I noticed a sheet on the wall titled First Lessons in Penmanship.

Turns out it was a great day to relearn the alphabet!

A super nice gentleman in the old print shop provided all sorts of tidbits of information concerning printing, publishing and life in early San Diego. I learned the original Washington hand press that was used by the San Diego Union newspaper is now in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. And that setting up the tiny type for a single page of the newspaper took a keen-eyed person about 12 hours!

I posted photos of the old print shop and editor’s office four years ago. I also wrote a little about the San Diego Union’s history. You can revisit that blog post by clicking here.

You can see much more inside the old Mason Street School building and learn more about San Diego’s first school teacher, Mary Chase Walker, by clicking here!

Additional information that I learned yesterday is in my photo captions!

A sheet on the schoolhouse wall contains First Lessons in Penmanship. THE ALPHABET.
A sheet on the schoolhouse wall contains First Lessons in Penmanship. THE ALPHABET.
I'm given a small tour of the print shop inside the historic San Diego Union Building.
I’m given a small tour of the print shop inside the historic San Diego Union Building.
Like wet laundry, hundreds of newspaper sheets would be strung up all around the print shop so that the freshly impressed ink would dry!
Like wet laundry, hundreds of newspaper sheets would be strung up all around the print shop so that the freshly impressed ink would dry!
A demonstration of assembled type and the finished impression.
A demonstration of assembled type and a finished impression.
Part of a large plate in the Washington hand press. Today school students often visit the historic print shop to learn about publishing long before the digital age.
Part of a large plate in the massive Washington hand press. Today school students often visit the historic print shop to learn about publishing long before the digital age.
Those students can rearrange these letters to spell words like SUPER.
Those students can rearrange these letters to spell words like SUPER.
To proof newspaper sheets as type was assembled, this huge heavy roll would be used to make a quick impression.
To proof newspaper sheets as type was assembled, this huge heavy roll would be used to make a quick impression.
In the entrance of the San Diego Union Building, ladies sat at a desk practicing their penmanship.
In the entrance of the San Diego Union Building, ladies sat at a desk practicing their penmanship.
A sample of elegant Copperplate Calligraphy.
A sample of elegant Copperplate Calligraphy.
This beautifully penned text is from Lewis Carroll's humorous Lobster Quadrille in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
This beautifully penned text is from Lewis Carroll’s humorous Lobster Quadrille in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Showing how to write fancy letters with a quill and inkwell!
Showing how to write fancy letters with an old-fashioned pen and inkwell.

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 to read?

You can find small, thought-provoking works of fiction at my website Short Stories by Richard.