Archive for April, 2016

PF: Beach Landscape


St Lucia, November 2009. Taken while doing a boat tour around the island.

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SPT: Cylinder in Space

I like the idea of BFOs/BDOs, depending on what parlance you might want to use [Big Dumb Object… you might be able to guess the “F” version…]. The allocation of resources, the idea that a society would labor so long to develop and construct something (never mind the leaps in technology that could happen WHILE said thing is being built)…what happens when said object is discovered?

Consider the above: What is it? A ginormous hollowed out rock floating through space – or maybe a manufactured cylindrical structure – where the above image is of their…dock? Are all of those structures ships moored to the inside of the cylinder, or actual fixed structures? The arriving ship… is it part of the fleet/related to the moored vessels, or a new arrival? Friend, or foe? What is the purpose of the BDO – a generational ship? A space station? A colony?

Consider, again, the ships (or just a ship, if you want to keep it simple) – do they dock? Pass through (depending on the BDOs design)? Assuming a docking pattern, does everyone stay aboard until secured, or does a small unit [assault team] deploy while in transit?

What’s inside the BDO? “People” [assume ‘sentient race’ if not necessarily humanoid], or is it abandoned? If abandoned, is it empty or a literal ghost town [could it be UF if it’s in a space station? Hmmm…]?

What does it suggest to you? Now, what backstory could build to this moment, and who is the person that gets stuck doing the grunt work of whatever’s planned?

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Upside Down & Inside Out on MVM

OK GO is one of those groups that I discovered based on the trending of the novelty of an early music video. This is one of their more recent efforts and, pun intended, they take their choreography to a higher level.

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PF: USAFA Falcon, June 2010


There’s a trail that leads from the Visitor’s Center to the Chapel. Along the way, this statue is off to one side.

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2016… Lighten Up…

Or, someone needs to tell DEATH to “take five” (with the understanding that it’s a break, not to take five more people)…

It has been reported that Prince has died. While my affinity for his music is primarily limited to his work from the 80s, the man could play.

I think it’s time to get a little crazy… Let’s get nuts…

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SPT: 2nd Ed PHB 21 April 2016

If you played AD&D in the late 80s and through much of the 90s, you probably started at the above image at the start and end of every session… It was the cover of the PHB, after all, by Jeff Easley.

But, let’s try to look past the memories and the association, and focus on the image.

Who is the central figure? Who is the one trailing? Are they allies, or opponents? Consider who is the POV [the one being threatened by the sword]… what is that relationship to the other two? [Why the threatening? Why the horse chase? Who is trying to get away – the POV, or the man/men on horseback?]

While the above image is (obviously) easily used for a fantasy, consider how it could be made to fit into a SF mold.

What happened to set up this moment, and what happens as the rider(s) thunder past?

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SPT: The Gaming Art Update

Growing up, I was a gamer. I use the past tense simply because I currently have neither the available time nor the flexibility of schedule to consider resuming activities. The last time I actively played anything more than a few round of Magic: The Gathering was before the turn of the century (ouch!)… However, with three boys, I imagine there will be opportunities to re-enter the arena… To that end, among some of the images I will be sprinkling in among the weekly Story Prompts will be some classic images from my gaming days. Quite often, the best ones evoked a story all their own.

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Poison on MVM

Not that Poison, but Alice Cooper’s.

While he has a career spanning back to the 1960s (an, yes, it seems he’s still making new music), there are (currently) only a handful of tracks that I can name… This one is his stand-out single the 80’s.

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PF: Shell on a Beach


In honor of the high stress of tax day (here in the US), here’s a calming shell on a beach (Hilton Head, February, 2011).

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SPT: The Face-off

Conflict makes for story… Here we have the woman with the pistol, and the man (?) on the left, with a sword. Note their posture. She’s cocky, not afraid of him. His could easily be underscored with, “Seriously?” They obviously know each other in some way – which is what makes a story stronger. It naturally raises the narrative stakes when it’s revealed that the hero and the villain had some long-ago connection (see the 1989 Tim Burton Batman, for example, where it’s posited that the Joker is the one that killed Bruce Wayne’s parents, which sets up the inevitable final showdown).

Which brings up back to the above image: How do they know each other? What is their relationship like? Is this the moment when they divide, following their own paths, or a moment when they are forced back together? Perhaps they don’t know each other (initially), and this is their meet-cute – and they then have to work together… To what end? What are their skills, and what would they need to tackle?

Now develop that…

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