Friday, January 31, 2014

Ways to make a flower

1. Plant a seed. After some care and time, the plant will produce flowers.
2. Draw one. Be it a simple doodle or an elaborate sketch, flowers can be a wonderful subject.
3. Sculpting. Want more dimension? Then why not make a flower from clay?
4. Origami. Paper flowers can be a neat craft to make with friends.
5. Frosting. Why not top a cupcake with a frosting rose?
6. Wood. Carving can be relaxing, and a wooden flower can make a nice present.
7. Crocheting. A crocheted flower could make a nice accent to a headband.
8. Knitting. A bouquet of knitted flowers could make for an elegant centerpiece.
9. Tatting. Tatted flowers can be used as a corsage.
10. Metalworking. A metal flower is really cool, and won't wilt after a few days.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lights upon the lake

The stars shone down upon the lake, their chilling light mingling with the harsh silence that hung like fog along the shore. The beach was lined with large stones, all dark in coloration. Upon one of the stones was a splash of color that stood out in the starlight.
Cheerful yellow scales softly scratched the stone as the dragon shifted, lifting his head to stare across the lake. The dragon's blue eyes narrowed as he caught the flickering of flames on the other side of the lake.
Releasing a low growl, the dragon's tail curled as he slowly thought.
The night of cold, and man was not a creature of the night. It would take them some time to reach his side of the lake, if that was their intention. He could easily evade them.
Or he could drive them away.
Releasing a yawn, the dragon lowered his head. No, fighting the men would be too tiring. He was not some young fledgling, eager to gather a hoard and impress a female.
Watching the progress of the torches, the dragon shifted his wings slightly.
They were on the lake now.
In boats, man would reach his side far more quickly.
His growl grew louder as the dragon released a puff of smoke. They were going to make themselves into an irritant.
Perhaps if he were younger, he would welcome the interruption of man.
But not tonight.
Slowly, the dragon rose and shook out his wings. The night had been so pleasant before their arrival, but now he would have to leave his lake.
Looking up, the dragon wondered if any of his brood were near. Perhaps he would send one of his more ambitious fledglings to test themselves on these men, if he found one.
The dragon crouched down, then sprang into the air. Wings beating against the cold night air, he slowly rose higher and higher.
Glancing down at the flickering lights upon the lake, the dragon gave a huff before flying west toward the mountains.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dishes that use eggs

1. An omelette.
2. Brownies.
3. Egg custard.
4. Egg drop soup.
5. A souffle.
6. In fried rice.
7. Deviled eggs.
8. In a breakfast quiche.
9. As an egg in a basket.
10. In egg salad.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The ruins of Almak

“Why is it so easy to get lost in the woods?” Nephire grumbled as she followed her comrades through the brush.
“Come now, it's not that bad.” Jax commented from behind her. “This is only the fifth time today!” His laughter did not help Nephire's mood. They had been searching this forest for the ruins of Almak for a week now, and their supplies were running low.
But did their pigheaded leader listen to Nephire about this? No! Grafe didn't understand how temperamental magical objects could be. If the crystal cauldron refused to make its stew, Nephire would be blamed.
“Halt.” Grafe called from the head of the group, one hand raised as he surveyed the area. “Nephire, the rose.”
Shoulders hunched, Nephire moved forward. Reaching a hand into her satchel as she passed the Salt brothers, she glanced down at it.
“Almak's rose, if you would be so kind.”
Again? Haven't you used it enough? The satchel grumbled in Nephire mind. But the pickling stem of the rose appeared in her hand just as Nephire reached Grafe.
He was a tall, bulky man, with all the intelligence of a minotaur. The thick, shaggy brown hair covering his head was unkempt, while a rough beard lined his jaw. As Nephire lifted the hand holding the rose, she couldn't help but wonder why she agreed to join his band three months ago.
“If you could just try for him again.” She whispered to the rose, gently stroking one of its odd green petals.
That oaf?The last time I called for the garden, he bent my stem! The rose seemed to shiver in her hand. Nephire held back a sigh as she ran a finger down the rose's stem.
“I know, but this is very important. Don't you want to see your bush again?”
The rose was silent for a moment. Alright, give me to the oaf. But if he injures me again, I'll prick his hand!
Nephire held out the rose. “About time.” Grafe snatched the rose from her hand and turned away without another word. Gritting her teeth, Nephire crossed her arms. That was it. The next place the went to restock supplies, she was going to quit. Sure, breaking contract so early would mean that she would not only have to return the band's magical items, but also half of her all earnings while having been in Grafe's employ. She hadn't earned very much yet, so that wasn't much of a problem.
And as a magician, she would easily be able to find another job.
One with a better boss.
There was a soft rumble, and Grafe gave a bellow. “Get ready boys! We've found it!”
The trees ahead of Nephire seems to tremble as a dark green hedge seemed to spring from the ground. Roses covered the hedge, their green petals far lighter in color the hedge's leaves.
Grafe dropped rose and pulled out his ax. “Charge!”
As her leader and the three Salt brothers thundered through the entryway and into the garden of Almak, Nephire bent down and picked up the forgotten rose. Its stem had been crushed, the green petals drooping as though they were about to fall.
“I'm sorry.” Nephire whispered to the rose, the sound of her companions boisterous rampage ringing harshly in her ears.
“Grafe is incredibly foolish, isn't he?” Jax commented from behind. Nephire stood and turned to look at him.
“When isn't he?” Nephire asked slowly. Jax was the only other smart member Grafe's band, and Nephire had often wondered why he stayed. From what she had seen, Jax had the potential to lead his own band of adventurers.
Brushing a hand through his light hair, Jax motioned to the crushed rose. “Almak's ruins require an object to summon them onto a plane we can interact with. I wouldn't want to enter them without having the summoning device with me.” Pausing for a moment, his hazel eyes narrowed as he smiled. “May I see the rose?”
I couldn't hold back my frown as I glanced at the rose. I could see what he wanted to do. But did they deserve that?
Give me to the lad. The rose ordered, Its petals closing slightly as its thorns tickled my hand. Biting my lip, I looked away as I gave him the rose.
As the ground began to rumble again, I tried to ignore the nausea in my gut.
I was just the magician.

And now Jax was my leader.

Friday, January 17, 2014

What you can do with a handkerchief

1. Whether it be a pair of boots or your hands, a handkerchief can be used to clean something.
2. If you are lost in the woods, a brightly colored handkerchief can be tied to a tree branch as a way of catching someone's attention.
3. A handkerchief could be used as a makeshift bandage.
4. Small items can be carried in a handkerchief in order to avoid losing or breaking them.
5. Multiple handkerchiefs can be tied together and used as a belt.
6. It can be entertaining to make an edging for a handkerchief.
7. A handkerchief can be used as a blindfold.
8. Long hair can be tied back using a handkerchief.
9. Different colors of handkerchiefs can be used during a game to identify which team a person belongs to.
10. Why not use one to blow your nose?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Constant music

The music flowed through all. From first to last breath, it was the one constant.
No one knew where it came from.
No matter where you went, the music was there. High in the mountains or deep below the waves, the music never changed.
Throughout the world, people went about their lives to its unending melody.
Until the the day it stopped.

I had been on the beach, laughing as Norbert and Henry splashed through the surf. The music rang through my mind, its high trill mingling with my laughter. Not a single cloud marred the warm summer sky. Turning away from my friends, I had reached into the cooler for a soda.
The music's trill wavered as a low drumming began. I listen to the drumming as I popped open my soda. It roused my interest as I wondered how long it had been a part of the music. The drumming echoed strangely, twisting the normal trill. My friends stopped playing and looked at each other, while further down the beach a baby began to cry. The music was now a  mournful cry. The all-consuming drumming grew louder and louder, until it was all I could hear.
My soda fell as I lifted my hands to my ears.
The music had changed, and I had no idea why. I couldn't even think. The drumming was everywhere.
Then, just as I felt the beginnings of madness creep into my mind, it stopped.
The music stopped.
With a shuddering breath, I waited for it to begin again.
I waited.
And waited.
But as the minutes dragged by, all I heard was the ocean waves and the baby's cries.
Squeezing my eyes shut, I strained to hear the music. Just a note. That's all I needed. Something. Anything!
But this silence.
Thickness filled my throat as the silence stretched on.
It was gone.

The music never returned. Throughout the world, people searched for a place where they could hear it again. Others claimed to still hear it, and to be able to share it with others. They made instruments and played them, some even attempted to sing what they could remember of the music.
But that wonderful, constant comfort was gone. None could replicate it, and the imitations only made my longing for its melody grow.
At the same time, my heart aches for those children born after the music disappeared. They are drawn to imitations, unconsciously seeking for the sound they'll never hear.
And even now as an old woman, there are moments when I wake from sleep and listen for it.
Hoping that I'll hear the music again.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Possible ways to fly

1. Telekinesis. If your powers and concentration were strong enough, you could use telekinesis to lift yourself off of the ground. With practice and a costume that could support your full weight, you could be soaring through the sky in new time.
2. On an airplane. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
3. Gravity manipulation. By altering the gravity surrounding you, flying would transform into a constant skydiving event.
4. Wings. The classic method of flight, it doesn't matter whether what type they are. Wings never go out of style.
5. A jetpack. Rocketing through the sky can be quite a thrill. Just make sure not to run out of fuel.
6. A magic carpet. Travel in comfort and style high above the ground. But watch out for loose threads.
7. A dragon. Being a dragonrider is one of the coolest ways to fly.
8. Flying shoes. Just put them on your feet and get a running start.
9. A hot air balloon. Gently float through the air and enjoy the scenery.
10. By controlling the air around you. If you could control air, then flying would be a breeze.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Project Potentia

The sky was a pale blue, the sun's brilliant white unobscured by even the slight breath of cloud. Below, square buildings crouched in neat rows like a child's toy town. Splashes of color crept along the stark black strips of road, the sun's rays glinting off the shiny metallic vehicles.
Then there were the people. The tiny, wandering people, scrambling from one place to another with little heed to those around them.
From his vantage point high in the air, Frank could hardly stand to look at them. They seemed so insignificant, so weak.
Yet only this morning, he had been one of them. Tottering about aimlessly, his only focus had been getting through the day.
Turning his gaze away from the ground, Frank looked at the sky and stretched out his arms. He wasn't like those specks. Not anymore.
He had power.
Only he could soar through the sky like a bird. Only he had been chosen.
Frank let out a laugh as he rose higher. Let them crawl through the dirt, he didn't care. The ground held no allurement to him. Let them have their constraints, their puny roads and dismal homes.
He would never touch the ground again.
Frank gave another laugh, then another. The laughter kept coming, heat filling him as tears streaked from his eyes.
The sky belonged to him.
"Mr. Johnson, we've seen enough."
The voice cut through Frank's mind as the sky began to crumble. Heart pounding in his ears, Frank couldn't believe it.
Everything was disappearing.
Already the town below had transformed into a pit of darkness. The sky was no longer a pale blue, but was shrinking as the darkness consumed everything.
"No," Frank whispered, his hands shaking. "Don't take this away from me!" He bellowed, before the darkness consumed him as well.

Head throbbing, Frank's eyes flickered open. He was lying on a narrow bed, encased by a strange blue mirage. As he blinked, the blue glow flickered and disappeared.
"I apologize, but you will not be continuing in the project, Mr. Johnson." Frank turned his head, recognizing the voice that had filled his mind. A woman stood a few feet away from the bed, her dark hair contained neatly in a bun. "It may take a moment for your suppressed memories to return, but it was necessary that you enter the simulation without any knowledge of the project."
Slowly setting up, Frank stared at the woman. He knew her. His forehead wrinkled as he tried to recall how he knew her.
"You're... Agent Stacy." He said slowly. The woman nodded. "Very good, Mr. Johnson."
Taking a breath, Frank's eyes widened as he realized what she had said. "I'm out? But I controlled the power of flight perfectly!"
Agent Stacy gave a nod. "You did. But the data we collected from your mind during the simulation showed you do not have the proper characteristics we desire." Turning away from Frank, agent Stacy walked over to the door. As she twisted the knob, she glanced over her shoulder.
"Don't fret, Mr. Johnson. You won't remember anything regrading the Potentia project."
Before Frank could say another word, the blue glow returned. His vision blurred, and he slumped into unconsciousness.

Friday, January 3, 2014

My favorite mythical creatures

1. Dragons. These beasts are amazing, and have fascinated me for years. I enjoy most renditions of dragons, though I do have a preference for European dragons. I really like seeing dragons in many different roles, various levels of intelligence, a vast amount of colorations, and a wide range of temperaments.
2. Griffins. Now, I'm a fan of lions, with The Lion King being one of my all time favorite movies. What does this have to do with griffins? Well, griffins are half lion, half eagle, and completely awesome. There is so much you could do with a griffin, without even getting into their antagonistic feud with horses and the impossible offspring of these enemies: the hippogriff!
3. Phoenixes. A bird who upon reaching the time of its death bursts into flame and rises from its own ashes as a chick? That is pretty cool. A phoenix would be an excellent companion for many generations.
4. Shapeshifters. Shapeshifting would be a fascinating ability, be it shifting from one form to a second one or being able to alternate between dozens of different forms. So shapeshifters have always been a creature I've enjoyed, regardless of what they can transform into.
5. Wyverns. Now a lot of folks just toss these critters in with dragons, but I like wyverns. Two legged, winged reptiles with a barbed tail and a venomous bite. I really think the wyvern is an excellent beast that shouldn't have to remain in the dragon's shadow.
6. Winged horses. Also known as pegasi, the winged horse is exactly what you think: a horse with wings. Horses are cool on their own, so when you add a pair of wings so that they can fly? That makes them 20% cooler.
7. Chimeras. A lion with the second head of a goat and a snake for a tail? And it can breath fire? The traditional chimera is a cool creature. The term chimera can also be used to describe a creature that is a mishmash of other creatures, but why change something that is already a good combination?
8. Hippogriffs. Half griffin, half horse. How could a hippogriff not be awesome? A hippogriff could be a loyal mount or a dangerous foe. Not to mention that it could have the temperament of either parent, or a combination of the two. What's not to love?
9. Elementals. Be they creatures controlling the elements or manifestations of the elements themselves, elementals are neat. I prefer the classical elements of fire, water, earth, and wind, but am open to other types of elemental.
10. The al'mi'raj. A cute little yellow rabbit with a single black spiraling horn? This thing is a predator who can take down creatures far larger then itself. Oh, and did I mention that it is territorial and has a huge appetite? This is one rabbit you shouldn't try to pet.

Note: This list is not in any type of order. Nor is this a complete list of my favorite creatures.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What the year would bring

The crowd's celebratory din waged long after the thunderous boom of the fireworks faded. The crowd had anxiously awaited the new year, for a new beginning.
And now that it was here, their cheers could not be silenced.
New hopes, new experiences, new moments. Their eyes peered eagerly for what was yet to be. They chattered about resolutions, scheduled events, and all that the new year would hold.
Little heed was paid to the year only a few moments past. It was dead, already forgotten as they clamored for the new.
At the moment, all that they had experienced in the previous year was insignificant. Dull in comparison to the vibrant celebration surrounding them.
Yet there was so much to remember, if they would only take the time. Lessons learned, terrors overcome, friends made, sorrows felt. The old year had offered a great bounty to all.
Had they eaten their fill?
Or had their sight always been on the upcoming day? On those moments that had not yet arrived?
As the celebratory din fades into memory, will they still be looking for the next new thing?
Or will they take advantage of this year's banquet to the fullest whilst never forgetting the best of what has come before?
The choice is their's. But for now, the celebration continues.
The crowd's thoughts are filled with what could be.
And with what the year would bring.