Photo Challenge — Anonymous Faces in the Crowd

788C099C-8856-483F-87A1-54A10A14EF00This was an interesting Photo Challenge. We are asked to “create an image that represents being ‘a face in the crowd.’” We are instructed to explore silhouettes, shadows, orientation, and other ways to mask our subjects. “Without facial expression, can you tell how someone is feeling?” the prompt asks. “Without color, does your impression of that person change?”

I don’t know if the photo at the top of this post is cheating or not. It has a face — quite a few, in fact — and there’s a crowd of people. Check, check. I used post-processing to turn the original color photo to black and white. So it’s without color. Check.

But I didn’t use silhouettes, shadows, or orientation to mask my subjects. I used Prisma, a post-processing photo app on my iPhone that “transforms photographs into works of art.” And in that way, I “masked” the faces of my subjects.

As to how the people in the photo are felling, well, they’re all at an anti-Trump rally, so no amount of masking can hide the anger and frustration that everyone there was feeling.

Mud Bath

23916F55-C591-442B-BBB7-3426B9D603E5After many attempts, Sarah finally persuaded George to try a mud bath. “Mud,” she told him, “has been said to alleviate the symptoms of skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.”

“I don’t have any of those skin conditions,” George argued.

“But a warm mud bath can also ease assorted aches and pains in the joints, such as those from arthritis,” Sarah added.

“I don’t have arthritis, either,” George countered.

“I know,” said Sarah, “but soaking in a mud bath can be so relaxing. And sensual,” she added with a wink and a smile.

Knowing that it was useless to continue to resist her entreaties, George acquiesced and they took a drive to the local hot springs that offered warm mud baths.

After soaking for about half an hour, George sat up and said, “I’m done.”

“Didn’t you enjoy it?” Sarah asked.

“Yeah, it’s great,” George said somewhat sarcastically, “But you know I’m a bit of a clean-freak and I’m not crazy about having my man-parts encrusted in mud.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “encrusted.”

#100 Word Wednesday — Lost and Found

5D76C7DD-6D1D-4B86-AFE2-D20414FF105EPat’s bike had been stolen two days earlier. He posted a picture of it on Craigslist, asking if anyone had seen it. An anonymous responder got back to Pat, pinpointing the location of the stolen bike. The responder also advised Pat to bring a hacksaw.

Pat went to the location and there it was, locked to iron bars with a u-bolt, next to a graffiti-covered wall in an alley.

Pat began hacking through the u-bolt so that he could take his stolen bike back. Too bad for him that a cop came around while he was sawing off the bolt.

(100 words)

Written for today’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt from Bikurgurl. Photo credit: Linda Xu.

One-Liner Wednesday — Searching for a Plot


“My life has a superb cast, but I can’t figure out the plot.”

Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant
British author and syndicated cartoonist

As a wannabe novelist, I can relate to this quotation. In my handful of attempts at writing the “Great American Novel,” I seem to be able to conjure up a whole cast of interesting, unique, provocative, and compelling characters. But then I get all turned around and mostly lost trying to figure out what to do with them. I get bogged down while attempting to develop the plot arc and end up abandoning my characters without reaching a destination.

Well, they say one’s journey is more important than one’s destination. So I’m going to go with that as my excuse for not being able to give my cast a decent plot in which to strut their stuff.

Written for this week’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

The Readers Have Spoken!

Voter turnout for the Fandango gravatar election was amazing, with slightly more than one percent of my loyal followers casting votes.

And now that all of the votes have been tallied, there is a clear winner. Yes, 83.3% of you voted for me to keep my existing gravatar. Coming in a close second, with 16.7% of the vote, was, “Frankly, Fandango, I don’t give a damn.”

And so, having received an overwhelming vote of confidence, I’m going to stay the course. My gravatar will continue to be Fandango! Hip hip hurray!