More short stories about light and darkness.

My writing blog Short Stories by Richard continues to grow. It now features 17 short works of fiction.

Many of the stories concern magic–or elements in life that seem to be magic. Most of the pieces contain both light and darkness.

I already posted a summary of my first six short stories here.

These are the next eleven–click the links to read:

One Strange, Shimmering Dream follows one man’s fantastic pursuit.

A Small Fountain in Green Park is about love and cherished moments in our brief life.

Irresistible Gravity is about futility and self-questioning.

A Dance in the Lightning takes a dangerous peek at ultimate reality.

Waterfall Tears interprets a moment of grieving.

An Old Man on a Bus demonstrates undying human defiance.

Dew on the Grass is about keen perception.

How to Paint Angels tells a story of despair, then sudden miraculous inspiration.

Final Real Magic is about youth and the uncertain nature of magic.

The Piano Player Sat Down produces a bit of strange, musical magic.

The Child and the Koi is a short fable about opposing primal powers.

Thank you for following my blog! Today I’m going to a Mariachi Festival in San Diego’s South Bay. Photos should be coming later!

Have a fine Sunday and keep on smiling!

Richard

Print Culture exhibit at San Diego Central Library.

A special exhibit at the public library in downtown San Diego showcases modern graphic design from the mid-twentieth century.
A special exhibit at the public library in downtown San Diego showcases modern graphic design from the mid-twentieth century.

A fascinating exhibition at the San Diego Central Library will be running through May 7, 2017. You can find it on the 9th floor in the library’s Art Gallery. The exhibition, titled Print Culture: Midcentury Modern Graphic Design in San Diego, concerns artistic expression and the evolution of printing technology during the mid-20th century. Emphasis is placed on San Diego-based independent artists and local businesses, particularly defense contractors.

Artists, graphic designers, printers and those who enjoy learning about San Diego’s history and culture really should pay a visit to the gallery. Here are some photos which provide a taste of what you’ll see.

Print Culture: Midcentury Modern Graphic Design in San Diego is an exhibition now showing through May 7, 2017. The work of local designers, illustrators and artists is on display.
Print Culture: Midcentury Modern Graphic Design in San Diego is an exhibition now showing through May 7, 2017. The work of local designers, illustrators and artists is on display.
Many images created locally for various purposes are shown in the gallery. A uniquely bold style of graphic design emerged in the 1950s and evolved over the ensuing decades.
Many images created locally for various purposes are shown in the gallery. A uniquely bold style of graphic design emerged in the 1950’s and evolved over the ensuing decades.
I was interested to see an image of Donal Hord's sculpture Aztec. A few days ago I posted photographs that I took of the iconic work of art.
I was interested to see an image of Donal Hord’s sculpture Aztec. A few days ago I posted several photographs that I took of this iconic work of art.
More examples of graphic design from this sometimes overlooked period. Many artists produced their own printed material.
More examples of graphic design from this sometimes overlooked period. Many creative artists produced their own printed material.
The defense industry in San Diego created many posters, drawings, charts, presentations and signs in the mid-20th century. Printing machines evolved which facilitated their production.
The defense industry in San Diego produced many posters, drawings, charts, presentations and signs in the mid-20th century. Printing machines evolved which facilitated their production.
More interesting examples of printed artwork and ephemera.
More interesting examples of printed artwork and ephemera.
Small-scale press operations created many types of colorful printed material, including greeting cards.
Small-scale press operations created many types of colorful printed material, including greeting cards.
A display case in the Central Library's gallery contains more unique examples of printed art.
A display case in the Central Library’s gallery contains more unique examples of printed art from the mid-twentieth century.
The special exhibition contains many graphic pieces that one can study and admire.
This special exhibition contains many pieces that one can study and admire.
Colorful posters, invitations and cards were popular in the mid-1900s.
Colorful posters, invitations and cards were popular in the mid-1900’s.
Graphics designed specifically for art galleries are also on display.
Graphics designed specifically for fine art galleries are also on display.
Some graphics produced by San Diego-based companies for the military.
Some graphics produced by San Diego-based companies for the military.
The U.S. Navy's large presence in San Diego required the production of many pamphlets, charts and other printed documents.
The U.S. Navy’s large presence in San Diego required the production of many pamphlets, charts and other printed documents.
One display explains how physical art was first conceptualized and created before appearing on a magazine cover.
One display explains how physical art was first conceptualized and created before finally being printed on a magazine cover.
A fascinating look at another era's artistic expression through graphic design. Our culture has been greatly influenced by the evolution of printing technology.
A fascinating look at another era’s artistic expression through graphic design. It’s apparent that our culture has been greatly influenced by the evolution of printing technology.

Writing is a struggle.  After revising my latest short story over and over again, I believe that I finally have it right. This story is so short you’ll be able to read it in less than one minute! It’s called The Piano Player Sat Down.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Writing on a rainy day.

smiley-face-widened

It’s raining today. And I’m off from work. So I’ve been sitting at my computer wrestling with words.

I believe I’ve now finished another short story.  At least, it seems complete.  This story concerns youth, magic, innocence, dreams, the passage of years and what might happen in life. If you’d like to read it, click the following link: Final Real Magic is the title of the story.

A short story about painting angels.

Here we go again! I wrote another short story! What does it have to do with Cool San Diego Sights? Nothing. Silly me!

This very short work of fiction is about life. And painting angels. It has a happy ending! Click this link to read it on my writing blog Short Stories by Richard!

Thank you! I promise my next blog post will actually be about San Diego!

And by the way–I just posted four beautiful photos of barren trees in a heavenly sky on my other blog, A Small World Full of Beauty.  In case you’re curious, I took those photos this morning in Mission Valley.

Enough blogging for today!

Richard

Chinese museum: Typing a language with no alphabet.

Outdoor display window near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum asks: How do you type a language with no alphabet?
Outdoor display window near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum asks: How do you type a language with no alphabet?

I was walking through San Diego’s small Chinatown yesterday morning when I spied something really interesting. In a window near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum a special exhibit is being promoted. The exhibit is titled Radical Machines – Chinese in the Information Age.

How do you type a language with no alphabet? Good question!

I’ll probably check this exhibit out in the next couple months. It runs through April 16, 2017.

A special exhibit titled Radical Machines - Chinese in the Information Age is now running at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
A special exhibit titled Radical Machines – Chinese in the Information Age can be seen at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Gazing past stone lions at the entrance of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Gazing past stone lions at the entrance of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
A manual typewriter whose keys type Western Civilization's adopted Latin alphabet seems to magically produce sheets of paper containing Chinese characters.
A manual typewriter whose keys type Western Civilization’s adopted Latin alphabet seems to magically produce sheets of paper containing Chinese characters.

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!

A tale of human struggle against the elements.

A broken chain at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
A broken chain at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

These photos taken at the Maritime Museum of San Diego tell a story. It’s that never-ending tale of human struggle against the elements.

Rope and chain. Ancient inventions.
Rope and chain. Ancient inventions.
A tale of human struggle against the elements.
A tale of human struggle against the elements.
Waiting for an outstretched hand, a critical moment.
Waiting for an outstretched hand, a critical moment.
An anchor above calm water.
An anchor above calm water.
Instruments of control in a stormy world. Rope, chain and anchor.
Instruments of control in a stormy world. Rope, chain and anchor.
Life clings to chains. Rust devours chains.
Life clings to chains. Rust devours chains.
A strained connection.
A strained connection.
Necessary chains. Rusty chains large and small.
Necessary chains. Rusty chains large and small.
Human endeavor.
Human endeavor.
Ropes cast aside, perhaps hurriedly.
Ropes cast aside, perhaps hurriedly.
Ordered ropes, to harness gusts above.
Ordered ropes, to harness gusts above.
New strength.
New strength.
Bent steel, neat coils, in a tangle of dark shadows.
Bent steel, neat coils, in a tangle of untouchable dark shadows.
Worm, Parcel and Serve! A never-ending story of human ambition battling water, sun, salt and wind.
Worm, Parcel and Serve! A never-ending story of human ambition, battling water, sun, salt and wind.
Tarring at the museum.
Tarring at the museum.
New bonds, prepared.
New bonds, prepared.
A strange sculpture, or a potent symbol.
A strange sculpture, or a potent symbol.
A wrestle.
A wrestle.

This is a story of struggle with many pages. The unconquerable antagonist in every chapter is Time.

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.

12 Favorite Places in San Diego to Read and Write.

The spacious Reading Room at downtown San Diego's Central Library.
The spacious Reading Room at downtown San Diego’s Central Library.

Do you love to read or write? I have a number of favorite locations in San Diego where I can pick up a book or pen while enjoying a pleasant view and relative peace. I find these places to be comfortable, inspiring and expansive for the mind. But, of course, my list is completely subjective. One can find countless benches, tables, parks and beaches in sunny San Diego.

Some readers and writers might like to place themselves in a coffee shop, or at the center of a bustling scene. Others might like to be surrounded by natural or man-made beauty. Others simply want solitude. Personally, I prefer the latter two–with a bustling scene in the quiet distance, perhaps.

Here are my 12 favorite spots, in no particular order:

San Diego Central Library’s amazing Reading Room. (See the above photo.)

Downtown San Diego’s large new Central Library is just a wonderful place all around. But perhaps its best feature is a gigantic eighth floor Reading Room, crowned by the building’s fantastic lattice dome. Comfortable sofas and easy chairs allow patrons to gaze through enormous windows out toward San Diego’s South Bay. And the Reading Room is so nice and quiet.

Benches can be found overlooking moored boats in San Diego Bay's Crescent Area.
Benches can be found overlooking moored boats in San Diego Bay’s Crescent Area.

Any bench near the water in San Diego Bay’s Crescent Area.

If you don’t mind the occasional company of homeless people, San Diego Bay’s Crescent Area is a fine place to stretch one’s legs and mind. It’s a not-very-touristy stretch between the Grape Street Pier and the Coast Guard Station, with a number of comfortable wooden benches facing picturesque boats moored in the bay. Bicyclists and joggers pass by frequently and gulls and pigeons swing by for an occasional visit. The wide view, stretching across the bay to Point Loma, always puts me in a thoughtful mood.

Picnic benches at Embarcadero Marina Park North offer views of sparkling San Diego Bay.
Picnic tables at Embarcadero Marina Park North offer views of sparkling San Diego Bay.

Picnic tables near the water at Embarcadero Marina Park North.

When writing, I like mental peace. I find this state of mind can be most easily reached inside a happy, carefree atmosphere. So I often seek out an available picnic table near the water at Embarcadero Marina Park North. The blue bay sparkles, boats sail past serenely, families laugh on the grass, colorful kites glide overhead. Sometimes I just sit and do nothing.

Several tables are usually open on the deck of the Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Several tables are usually open on the deck of the Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

The Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Would you like to sit at a table overlooking a tranquil koi pond and waterfall? I would! That’s why I have become a member of the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. I wrote two short stories recently while sitting at one table. They are titled An Old Man on a Bus and Waterfall Tears.

You'll likely find solitude in the beautiful Administrative Courtyard in Balboa Park.
You’ll likely find solitude in the beautiful Administrative Courtyard in Balboa Park.

The little-known Administrative Courtyard in Balboa Park.

I discovered this perfect, heaven-like park a couple of years ago. It’s called the Balboa Park Administrative Building Courtyard and it’s located in the park’s Inspiration Point area, behind the Balboa Park Administration Building. Almost nobody goes there. You might have the entire beautiful place all to yourself. A perfect sunny place to really concentrate.

Shelter Island offers shade, grass, trees, and wide views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.
Shelter Island offers shade, grass, trees, and wide views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.

A bench, a picnic table or the grass on Shelter Island.

I love Shelter Island–especially the southwest end. Few tourists, great views, grassy lawns, a wonderful pier. When I walk along the park-like paths I feel as though I’m on vacation. Many benches and picnic tables along the length of Shelter Island make ideal places to read or write. Or just bring a blanket and lie down on the grass. It’s so pleasant you might fall asleep!

The area around La Jolla Cove is so beautiful, you might just sit in one spot and take in the scenery.
The area around La Jolla Cove is so magnificent, you might do nothing but sit in one spot for a long while, taking in the scenery.

A spot near the ocean at Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla.

When you’re visiting one of the most beautiful locations in the world, of course you’ll feel inspired. After finding a spot to read or write for a bit, get up and walk along the cliffs. Breathe in the fresh sea air. Watch birds, seals and the endlessly crashing waves. You’ll feel so alive.

Many picnic tables are often unused at Silver Strand State Beach. An ideal spot to quietly read or write.
Many picnic tables are often unused at Silver Strand State Beach. An ideal spot to quietly read or write.

An isolated picnic table at Silver Strand State Beach.

Silver Strand State Beach can be lonely, especially off-season and on the San Diego Bay side. There are usually dozens and dozens of picnic tables that are empty. Walk or pedal down the Silver Strand bike path, perhaps, and rest for awhile at a table. Then take out a book or your laptop or notepad. If you’d like to get up and stretch your legs, walk under the highway to the Pacific Ocean side, take your shoes off, walk on the beach and watch kitesurfers.

Sit atop the OB Pier high above the swelling blue ocean and you're certain to feel inspired and alive.
Sit near the end of the OB Pier high above the swelling blue ocean and you’re certain to feel inspired and alive.

Any bench above the water on the Ocean Beach Pier.

Sit on a bench out on the long Ocean Beach Pier and you’ll feel that you’re far from land–in a magical place between airy blue heaven and the rolling, living blue water below. When you glance up from your book or laptop, you’ll see fishermen sharing the rail with patient pelicans, and surfers bobbing below waiting for their perfect wave. But bring a jacket. The ocean wind can be chilly, even in summer.

Many benches await thinkers, dreamers, readers and writers at Spanish Landing in San Diego.
Many benches await thinkers, dreamers, readers and writers at Spanish Landing in San Diego.

A spot beside San Diego Bay at Spanish Landing.

This is another fine place to sit by the water. Spanish Landing is an uncrowded retreat from city life with a view of the marinas behind Harbor Island. You might hear aircraft taking off from nearby Lindbergh Field, but I seldom notice. There are many benches along the grassy park to choose from. Here you can also read interesting historical markers. With a little imagination, you might visualize Spanish explorers landing here many centuries ago.

One of the many beautiful, peaceful spots that can be found throughout Liberty Station.
One of the many beautiful, peaceful spots that can be found throughout Liberty Station.

Any bench at Liberty Station, particularly by the boat channel.

Liberty Station has many walking paths and benches where anyone can sit down to think or simply relax. My favorite spots overlook the boat channel. Light twinkles from the water, the breeze is pleasant, and paddleboarders and kayakers occasionally coast on by. There’s no hurry to do anything. If I write or read just a few words, I’m happy.

There are a couple of hidden benches not far from here in Balboa Park! Perfect for writers who like to observe people!
There are a couple of hidden benches not far from here in Balboa Park! Perfect for writers who like to observe people!

A hidden bench beside the Timken Museum of Art.

Against the north wall of the Timken Museum in Balboa Park, tucked behind a few trees, you’ll discover a couple of hard concrete benches. During a hot summer day they are so nice and cool! One can peer between foliage at the grassy area near the Botanical Building and reflecting pool, where people play, picnic and walk dogs. It’s like your own secret space in green heaven. But bring a seat cushion if you sit there for long!

Where are your favorite places to read or write? Leave a comment!

All of these photos are from my blog Cool San Diego Sights. As you can see, there’s quite a lot that you can investigate! To see thousands of images from around San Diego, simply click around my website!

I just finished writing another short story. It’s very emotional. It’s called An Old Man on a Bus. Click the link if you’d like to read it!