Hand Sanitizer, A Child’s Sled, Succubus, Semaphore Flags…Say What?!

So what do all those things have in common? A story of course! This week I’m participating in The Iron Writer ChallengeThere are four of us in taking part in Challenge 22. I had 4 days, these 4 prompts and 500 words to make it happen. It’s been a fun experience already. 

Semaphore Flags

Go check it out! If you enjoy my story, The Event, please VOTE. And if you really like it, pass it along to some of your friends. Here’s a sneak peak:

The Event

The wind echoed in the darkness and ricocheted off the surrounding jagged peaks. It was the sixth month of the sixth year. The time had come. Ashal waited. 

 

In the days leading up to the Event those at The Refuge lived on as normal, though it was never far from their minds… 

 

CLICK HERE to read the rest of The Event. (The fourth story listed)

I’d also love to hear your thoughts so if you have anything to say drop me a comment here…or there…you know where to fine me. =)

Voting is open for the next few days. Thanks Everyone!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Color

Colour. Color. No matter where you live or how you spell it, colour is what gives our surroundings oomph, sparkle, and delight.

I’m so glad I can see colour. I’m so thankful there is color in this world for us to see.

In February I was fortunate to be able to visit Malta for a Creative’s Retreat. We spent time together creating and sharing our art. It was really great to have artist’s from different mediums together. It enhanced and challenged my thinking and perspective.

Malta is an island in the Mediterranean Sea south west of Italy. It’s an independent country and part of the EU. It feels like no where else I’ve been in the Europe. With multiple European and North African influences, the palette of Malta reflects all these cultures with beautiful mixes of boldness and subtlety. Sandstone, the most common stone, and used in many buildings, is a beautiful BLOND, TAN colour. It’s very different from the damp GREY stone so commonly seen in Ireland. There are also bright bursts of color in doorways, windows, walls and a miscellany of other things.  The Sea was so BLUE and the fields were already blooming GREEN.When we arrived these colours struck me. It felt bright (and warm!). It’s the sunniest place in the European Union and you could feel it. A welcome change from the freezing temps we’d been experiencing in Ireland

We soaked up the sun and the change of scenery.

Each day we had contrasting word themes to inspire us as we went around and experienced the islands (Malta and Gozo). There was writing, photography, painting and inspiration. There are more things to share about this experience than I will be able to here. But here’s a few more:

Eventually the week ended and we flew home to Ireland. I found it striking how several of us, at different moments, individually commented as we looked out the window at our own very, GREY, yet very, GREEN country, and said “What would we do without the green?!” and “At least we have all this green.”

Sometimes it only takes a few days to make you appreciate something you forget to see.

Beautiful Home

Beautiful Home

I Had A Brother

I had a brother.
His name was Roger.
He was born on April 2, 1980.
I was 2 1/2 years old when he was born.
I don’t remember life without him around as a child.
He was my annoying little brother. We fought and endured sibling rivalry like many do.
I know we played too, although I would have never admitted it when we were young.        He liked to push my buttons like little brothers do.

For a significant portion of my teen years my brother was not around.                          Addiction introduced itself to Roger. They got involved, really involved.                        Things changed.                                                                                                                      It was hard.                                                                                                                              A couple of times it was scary.                                                                                               It was definitely messy.                                                                                                            I was 16 at the height of things. My baby sister was 6.                                                           It was hard – for everybody.

Eventually Roger found a sub-culture he seemed to fit in. For a few years he would visit from time to time when he passed through town.
He met my first son as a newborn and held him so gently and carefully, being aware he wasn’t the cleanest. It meant a lot to me that he came to meet my son and hold him.

Being himself, he would tell us wild stories of the adventures he had. They were never dull. At the same time you could see there were many more stories that went untold simply because they were painful and we became, whether real or perceived, too distanced to relate or even make the attempt.
For a majority of the time since they met, addiction stayed involved.                                  He tried hard, over and over but it’s grip was strong.

Eventually, his addictions caught up with him.

An overdose…revived at the scene…vegetative…1,177 miles from his birthplace…surname given…family contacted…days…decisions…waiting…

I had a brother.
His name was Roger.
He died on April 2, 2004.
I was 26 1/2 years old when he died.                                                                                        I will remember life without him now and wonder what may have been.                                He was my annoying little brother. He liked to push my buttons like little brothers do.

I miss him. Especially today.

Stacey & Roger

Love – Weekly Photo Challenge

Oh man…Love…

I’ve been spending every day since Friday trying to come up with something that isn’t the typical depiction of love. It’s really hard to do that! So far I’ve got….

Nothing.

I’m not happy about that.

I am happy I have so many things and people that I do love in my life. So back to the Weekly Photo Challenge. What to do…what to do…

Here are a few things I love:

I love imagination.

Hello!

Hello!

I love a challenge.

WestSouthWest Trip May '12 601-001

I love rocks!

Burren, Co. Clare

Burren, Co. Clare

I love paths not taken,

and the ones that are.

I love accidental beauty.

Inis Mor Aran Islands

Inis Mor Aran Islands

I love touching history.

and of course I love my guys.

Early 2012 212

Serviettes, Craic, Trolleys and Sessions

photo credit: Sheryl McElwee

It’s not something I’ve written about in too much detail up to now, but I had the pleasure of being interviewed recently over at MOVE Guides on what it’s like to move abroad and live cross culturally. (Thanks Stephanie!) Here’s your chance to learn a little more about me and my experiences moving abroad and living cross culturally. Go on, I know you want to find out more…;-)  Here it is: An American Moves to Dublin

Bonus points if you can tell me what the four title words mean! (No Googling allowed! ;-) )

The Landfill Harmonic

Usually when someone asks me, “Hey, did you see that video online…” my answer is, No. The Landfill Harmonic trailer is a different story. Literally.

You don’t have to visit here long to know we’re ALL about beautiful things. Even more so when they have come from unexpected places. This is the epitome of all these things. It’s One Beautiful Thing‘s heart in music and so much more.

See for yourself. It’s three minutes that still have my heartstrings an hour later. I suspect it will for a long time.

The Karate Worm: His Worst Nightmare and His Best Dream – The Drafts

Today is my youngest’s 8th birthday. In honour of him and since Monday is The Drafts, I’m posting a story he recently wrote himself:

The Karate Worm: His Worst Nightmare and His Best Dream

Once upon a time there lived a worm. He was no ordinary worm. He was a karate worm.

A germ was walking and a cockroach ate him.

(I know you think the karate worm should be first, but he’s the third one.)

The cockroach was walking and a karate worm ate him.

The karate worm was walking and a bird ate him.

The bird was walking and a cat ate him.

The cat was walking and a dog ate him.

The dog was walking and a wolf ate him.

The wolf was walking and a tiger ate him.

The tiger was walking and a lion ate him.

The lion was walking and a giraffe ate him.

The giraffe was walking and an elephant ate him.

The elephant was walking and a whale ate him.

The whale was walking and ran into a worm.

The worm killed everybody except the karate worm, because he missed his best friend.

Every worm in the world came to the welcome back party.

THE END

By E. Covell

Weekly Photo Challenge – Renewal

Going places like this…

Poulnabrone Dolmen, The Burren, Ireland

With people like this…

Beara Pennisula, Co. Cork, Ireland

On days like this…

Pulleen Loop, Co. Cork, Ireland

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

When I saw the challenge this week I got excited. I love pretty much anything to do with foreign.

The more I’ve been thinking about it the more I’ve realised that this is what strikes me as foreign right now:

Foreign Heat

Deep blue, cloudless skies. Warm enough to jump into a pool and not be cold, heat.

My summer ended on July 8. This was the day we got back from a heat sizzling trip to the States. It was not heat sizzling here. It was not sunny here. It was not summer, but it was July.

Today was the first time I saw the sun all week. I sat in it for a while. Yesterday it was so grey I had to have my lights on in the house all day. Until December 21 darkness will keep coming.

So today I will think about the sun and heat of this day. And this day…

Photo

Photo

When We Were Warm.

What If…

What if freedom meant our enemies also had freedom?

What if the freedom of your thoughts and beliefs meant those you oppose got their voice?

What if we protected others freedom’s to protect our own?

What would the world, the place around you, look like?  What kind of world would our children experience? How would it be?

This came up at a talk I attended this week. It’s very challenging stuff. I mean, It’s very challenging stuff!! It’s been on my mind since then. It’s something we all ought to think about.

It’s beautiful to think about someone being a champion of freedom, even if that means someone else’s  freedom on a position that you don’t prefer. I find myself marvelling at the thought. It’s beauty incarnate. Inclusive selflessness. It reminds me of this…

Egyptian Christians formed a human chain to protect Muslims while they prayed.

They didn’t suddenly believe in each others ideologies, faith, or practices. They believed in a fundamental humanness, and worth.

Humanity and Love won out that day. Differences stepped aside. Beauty spoke out loud.

People listened. People noticed.

I find myself wondering if this may be the most powerful way to be heard.

The issues are complex. They are scary. They come with a price.

But things like this always are. So, I ask, what if…