Posted in An author's view, Weekend morning writing activity

Weekend morning writing activity #24

I’ve had a little of an obsession with Blackmore’s Night lately and listened to plenty of their songs on repeat because they’re just so awesome and they give me the right kind of energy. I want to share with you a song in particular for this morning writing activity, and that is Cartouche.

I didn’t know what this meant in the context at first, but my love for this song indulged me to find out.


  1. a drawing or a piece of stone that looks like a scroll with the ends rolled up, often with writing on it and used as a decoration
  2. a decorative frame around a piece of writing

Personally, I think the song refers rather to the first definition (feel free to prove me wrong), so I’ll try to stay faithful to that meaning as I use the word in my flash fiction.

I hope you enjoy!

Hidden treasure! Ember neared the coiled up piece of parchment. She unfolded it gently and noticed the picture drawn neatly on it.

Cartouche, started a strange whisper in her head.

The drawing represented people dancing in a poorly illuminated forest. They seemed full of energy and wore fancy clothes. They seemed all to be women actually, and each of them had a voluminous gown that spun around like a whirlwind, almost trapping the looker into the dance.

For Ember, that was enough to trap her into the picture.

Things became alive, and music started blazing like fire in her eyes. As tired as she might have been moments earlier, she was now full of energy, dancing to the rhythm.

In the fantasy-like world, one of the dancing women took note of her and closed in, singing as if speaking to her while circling like a prey.

“If I share this with you, never speak a word. They would understand if they ever heard. Gemini, Capricorn, rising in the east… dancing through the witchwood, we began to sing.”

Another woman then neared, almost invisible in the dark, but making her appearance like a shining star, now near Ember.

She sang:

“In between dark and light, in the underworld, wrapped around your finger like a string of pearls. Smiling face, empty hand, seven golden rings, dancing through the starlight we began to sing.”

Then they all began singing in unison a hypnotic ahh-ahh, preparing for the final blow.


Ember still heard the whisper in her head, distinct from the women’s voices, sweet like honey. The girl thought them to be witches. And she appeared to have interfered with their party… or maybe ritual!

But the dancing went on, and there was no escape, especially when a third female figure closed in, singing another verse, as if telling a story of old.

“Caramel colored leaves spiral in the air. Diving right into the ground, ’round the winding stair. Stories carved out of wood, jester and the king, dancing through the moonlight, we began to sing.”

Then the same pattern went on with the ahh-ahh and the evermore powerful whisper.


And the music went on, now fading slightly, then fading faster and faster. Even so, it was more and more hyponitising as the witches spiraled around Ember at a greater pace than the beat before.

They all sang:

“Memories, black and white, hide behind the glass, in the mirrors and the smoke, it’s all fading fast. Written word, turn the card winter into spring, dancing through the witchwood, we began to sing.

And the whisper, hummed louder in her head and with a spark of magic from the witches, it returned, and it was final.

This last cartouche echoed in her head for so much longer, until the background music faded fully and the witches disappeared into thin air, leaving Ember alone in the now-starless night. Darkness swallowed her like a beast, then spit her out back before the parchment.

Ember felt stuck in awe for a moment, but when she came to a realisation to what happened and where she was, she dropped the parchment on the floor, leaving it to shatter into witch dust right before her eyes.

She turned away and never looked back.

Posted in An author's view, Writing challenges

#coolprompts ‘Danjyo Kankei’

“Konnichiwa, Zack! Hisashiburi!”

“Who’s that?” Zack turned around in astonishment. He heard his name being called out, but otherwise understood naught of what came along with it.

“Oh, sorry! I forgot I’m not in Japan anymore. My bad.”


“That’s me. How are you, man?”

“Maaaaaan! I thought you’d be gone for good in that other world of yours.”

Leo laughed openly at Zack’s unexpected comment. He hasn’t changed a bit. He still thought Japan was a fictional world he only made up, and that all the japanese words were invented on the spot only to make him sound fancy.

“Old man, you still haven’t checked the internet, have you?”

“What use anyway? It’s all lies to me.”

Zack shrugged, but Leo simply stared. There was only one thing that had changed in Zack after these twenty years. It was not his wisdom, nor his foolishness, indifference or lack of curiosity. It was simply his age, which was now so clear on his western face.

“But my, Leo! You look as young as I remember you. Did time stop while you were away in that magical land?” Leo knew exactly what magical meant to Zack; fictional. Still, he didn’t let it bother him. Foolish or not, they would always be friends like the day they met.

“It’s all thanks to japanese culture. They make it a routine and even a habit to take good care of themselves and especially their skin. You should see the girls! They all look ageless and keep fit when westerners get all wrinkled and refuse to get out of bed.”

Leo paused for a moment, waiting for a reaction, but the only one he received was a grin. Zack didn’t believe a word he said. The age gap between the two, although not that big, really showed in their attitudes. If only he could prove it that he wasn’t making things up…

“Do you still have fear of flights, old man?”

“Me? I’d rather take an underground tunnel through coal mines, thank you!”

“In that case, let me show you some other way.”

Leo reached into his jeans’ pocket and took out his faithful phone. He wasn’t one to take many pictures, but still there had to be something that could prove the japanese world existed.

“Look at this wonder! It was spring when I took this picture. See the blooming cherry trees? They make the whole country joyful and even more beautiful for a couple of days. And look! Aren’t the clothes cool? This was a local festival to honour the ancient times, and all people wore ancient clothes, which are really colourful  and exquisite.”

“Yes, yes, you’ve become a fairytale artist…”

“I’m not that good at photography. The lighting was naturally good, and I tried a lot before getting a clear picture that had no accidental blurs in it.”

“No. I meant you’ve become an artist, having pained all that.”


“Yes! It’s way too clear how fake that is. No such colours exist in the world, and no people with such flat faces with such smooth skin. If I didn’t know you for a creative spirit, I’d say you were abducted by aliens!”

“Aliens! Zack, you can’t be serious, man…” Leo backed away, slightly scared to see his old friend act like that. There was nothing he could show or say to prove the obvious reality to his oh so stubborn friend with that much of a closed mind.

“When have I not been serious?”

“Yeah, ok. Oh, look at the time! I’m glad I stumbled over you. It was a great talk, but I must be somewhere, so I’ll see you around.”

“Ok, sure. Leave me for that fairyland again. I’ll see you in another twenty years.”

The two parted, Zack with an amused attitude, while Leo with a very shocked expression. Under his breath, he mumbled a permanent farewell in japanese.

“Eyen ni sayonara…”

Ray’s #coolprompts writing challenges are always so much fun to do, even when I don’t get ideas on the spot. I find that starting to write them out of pure stubbornness gets my gears going, and letting the flow of creativeness slowly reach me. I can’t tell if it’s obvious when reading, but sparks happen in my mind as I do progress, and that gives me all the fulfillment I could ever ask for.

this challenge in particular was especially cool, because I had to force myself to get a little less fictional than I’m used to. Still, I did my best to break the barrier to get back to a fictional fantasy world, at least through my characters’ eyes if not through my own.

I hope you enjoyed!

Posted in An author's view, Bookish stuff

Now Reading: The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

I picked up this book when I was in England a while ago. The three galleries with pictures I took while there are still on this blog if you want to see them (here, here and here).

Anyway, what I meant to say was that this book came anonymously to me. It was a blind date with a book, something I’ve never seen in Romania, so I was eager to try it out.

I hope this book will rise up to my expectations. I hope, at least, that it will make my brain think of new things and pose problems I’ve never encountered before.

I only started it this week on the metro, but my way to uni is not that long so I could only read a couple of pages at a time (if the metro wasn’t too crowded that is).

I hope I’ll be able to make time to read, whether it’s at home or on the way to someplace. Also, I wish for this book to be a good read as all the reviews on the cover insist on letting me know.

Posted in Miscellaneous

Learning a “new” recipe

My excitement knows no bounds at this moment. You’ll call me silly, but hear me out.

This morning was the first time I tried doing pancakes unsupervised, without anyone’s help. Cooking is still a great challenge for me, but out of need, I get over my fear and try it out, as carefully as I can, and start with what I find more simple.

It’s probably hilarious how I constantly check like 5 times the same step in a basic recipe just to make sure I’m not missing out something, and even then, the planning remains blurry in my mind and I am unsure whether what I’m doing is right or wrong.

Silly, right?

Still, I am really proud of what little I achieved so far.

Now, let me show you the tower of pancakes I made!


See, I didn’t lie when I said tower 🙂

The recipe, in case you are wondering, I found it here. I’m sorry to say, though, that the site is in romanian. Still, I’m sure the same recipe can be found in other sources if you search for american pancakes.

That’s it for now. I just wanted to share my excitement with the world, even if the world doesn’t care about my excitement. I’m just as proud whichever way! 😀

Posted in Miscellaneous

Blender art: chess game #2

My chess set is now complete, and I want to share it with you. This is the second half of my work, so if you haven’t seen the first part, click this link and find out the little story I made up for explaining my progress in a creative way!

Get ready for the final battle, for it is about to come!

Crowned queen, the former princess was scared of what might happen to her with the war going on. She decided she needed a husband to crown king and be on the enemy’s top list of victims… not her.
In the most hopeful of moments, she found herself a tall and proud man to crown king.
The king did plenty for their nation by training the cavalry, making small boys grow up into knights…
… but he also built up strong fortifications to guard them well from imminent attacks. The rook was bound to play a crucial role in the upcoming battle.
Battle scene 5 (final)
And before they knew it, the battle did come. On the already bloody field, the dark enemy forces seemed to get ever darker and ever more numerous.
Battle scene 5 (final) blurry
They stared at each other in the silence before the storm…
Battle scene 5 (final) night version
Until dark fell again on the battlefield, and the enemy forced blended into the night like assassins. The battle was as good as lost, but hope never left the soldiers.

They went on battling for days and nights, and it is said that even today, the kings wrestle their old ages out on a bottle of wine. Casualties were not few, but the war is now formally over, and new relations between nations grew roots that are now developing prosperously.

Posted in An author's view, Weekend morning writing activity

Weekend morning writing activity #23

It’s Saturday morning, which is (obviously) the beginning of the weekend. This means it’s time for some weekend morning writing activity!

This week’s song is an “oldie but goldie” (in my opinion): Get Out Alive, Three Days Grace.

I felt like I haven’t listened to TDG in too long, so they deserve a little attention from my part 🙂


The world was once a prosperous place, they all say. But there’s always a “but”. It happens in all post-apocalyptic books and movies, encouraging people to take it as fiction, an impossibility, and indulging them to be careless when they should be most careful.

This is how the pandemic spread out.

Nobody gave it a name, since the ones to have experienced it never lived enough to tell the tale of how it affected them. Fragile corpses could be found everywhere, this unknown disease spreading quickly and striking even the most healthy of people. Before too long, even the corpses turned to ash, leaving ruins of large cities in a field of ash.

The only ones to stand a chance to survival were those who lived in isolation, far from any contact with other human beings. Loners, nature lovers and hippies, they were the ones lucky enough to see the light of day without catching the disease. Luckily, some of them didn’t even know about it, and it would be for the best if they never did.

But whether they were aware or not, tragic scenes happened all over the world again and again, like a broken record, screeching in the dark when you are most lonely and feel like some dead thing is watching you, hunting you.

Spreading as quickly as the pandemic was only the following phrase: If you want to get out alive, run for your life.

Not many could, not all succeeded, and some had already lost all hope, so they found running futile.

On the verge of crumbling, the victims often told their loved ones, or tried to anyway, how quickly life was drained out of them. Only they knew the feeling, the coldness and the incapability of recovery. Their last words were always the same, as if possessed to all speak the same words: No time for goodbye. If you want to get out alive, run for your life.

Then life was extinguished like the flame on a petty candle forgotten alone in the wind.

Few were those to follow the advice and hold on to dear life by leaving, running for their life. Most remained to sob, condemning themselves by remaining. Others at least contemplated the decision, although that also brought their doom, for the pandemic struck them before the thought could even be finished properly. If I stay, it won’t be long ’till I’m burning on the inside. If I go, I can only hope that I make it to the other side.

As the disease finally struck them too, four words echoed in their heads louder and louder, making them scream with empty lungs until no words could come out anymore, and they coughed up their own blood, choking on it.

Burning on the inside…

Burning on the inside…

Burning on the inside…

Posted in Miscellaneous

Blender art: chess game

I haven’t stopped working in Blender, worry not. The Udemy course is still as fascinating as it was in the beginning.

This project, however, is much more complex and much more time consuming, so I’ll let you see how much I’ve done so far. As the title suggests, I’m creating a chess board and the pieces that go on it.

Prepare for a whole load of pictures!

Pawn 1
I started with a pawn. Looks good, doesn’t it?
Pawn 2
Then I went on messing up with it a little…
Pawn 3 (final, LP)
Until I found out it must be low-poly :/
Chess board
Moving on… to the chess board, the exciting battle grounds!
Soon enough, the bishop came into play with his crooked spectacular hat.
Battle scene 2
And they all met on the battlefield.
Battle scene 3
Then the dark came and they were ready to call it quits… for now…
Battle scene 4
They were surprised to already find it bloodied after their departure!
Princess (crownless queen)
In the meanwhile, the princess was growing up, learning all about the etiquette within the royal grounds and her role in the upcoming battle.
Before she knew it, she was crowned queen.