April 2015

Inspiration Tuesday: The Smoking Hedgehog by shende-bende

So I have a writer-friend who thoroughly enjoys Lewis Carroll’s Alice tales. This smoking hedgehog, not to be confused with a hookah smoking caterpillar, looks like it could be right at home in that universe. Well, not there precisely, but somewhere in my imagination that is not very far from there.


Drawing a puff of the delectable seven-leaf Wonderland blend, Germaine clamped down lightly on her lucite pipe stem and smacked her lips around it. First drag in. Nodding appreciatively at the subtle larkspur undertones, she almost smiled at the tendrils of rainbow smoke braiding themselves.

Shortly after leaving Wonderland, she cultivated a sense of time. Never–in the decades since–had she missed the land more.


There were colors. Powerfully radiant colors that could almost reach out and poke you in the eye and, if you weren’t careful about it, would. …not that anything unwelcomed could ever get through her spectacles. There, Germaine’s glasses kept her from becoming lost in the aching beauty of everything.


Here in the silent Blandlands, color proved to be the most elusive of creatures. The wide prairies of crabgrass that ran out into the featureless horizon beneath the equally drab sky? Cold shades of light gray. The rare paperback maple trees peelings had the most range with their somber medium gradient deepening to charcoal in the pockets of shadow.

Germaine had search far and long to find a spot to place her home.

Eventually, when all of the color faded, the house just stopped walking and settled down among a patch of trees. She–for her part–took out her stool and simply sat to wait for the house to raise back up.

She puffed again. Had it really been decades?

The tendrils of rainbow smoke, in typical Wonderland fashion, curled and bent to form a cursive answer. Yes.

Thinking back on the fast-talking traveling salesman in his disheveled hundred dollar suit–the one who foisted this amazingly fine tobacco on her–Germaine caught a kiss of color. Where the smoke had ran across her snout, the pink and lavender of the fur there had returned.

© Ezekiel James Boston

©2013-2015 shende-bende
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Inspiration Tuesday: Pirates Age Card by Clinton Felker

I recently wrote a short story about an islander taken as a slave to a city on the edge of a large continent. While the tale did well as a stand-alone, I’ve wanted to do more with the character. Just to be clear, I don’t mean as a sequel to the resolved storyline.

You know, just another adventure in the same lifetime.

Since the character wouldn’t leave me alone, I figured it will happen sooner or later and this piece by Clinton Felker has provided just enough of a hint about the possible story that I’m starting to feel a little excited. Not enough to write quite yet, but enough excitement for the concept to start gaining weight. Something about a cursed ship or a ghost ship…

Not enough just yet. Plus, I’ll have to research nautical terms and actual boats to learn what kind of “ship” it was in its former life.

©2014 cgfelker
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