The Giant Prickly Pear Cactus Tree

Cacti grow large here in Arizona.  However, usually they don’t grow beyond a certain level – the size seen up in the featured image, in fact.  I normally don’t see them grow more than four or feet tall at most, usually less.

That was, until I saw this old girl.


There she is, roughly eight to ten feet tall, and so big and old that she’s actually developed bark on her trunk.  Now THAT’S a cactus.  Here’s another view from the same walk.


It’s a little hard to tell scale because of the angle, but she’s big.  Dare I say…


…a Giant?


via Daily Prompt: Giant


More Treats for my Readers!

Tonight, I give you one of the creepiest ways to enjoy a story – by sound.  I found a page with some wonderful, creepy old radio dramas.  Listen to them with the lights out – if you dare.



The Bridge between This World and Another

Bridges have the capacity to delight and also terrify me.

On one hand, from a bridge you have an amazing view of whatever it crosses, and it’s a lot of fun to look down at water.  On the other hand, a bridge also has the capacity to cross heart-stopping chasm, and that can be terrifying for someone like me who doesn’t like heights.

In the painting above, there’s a small bridge leading to a tiny island where the Torii stands.  Since the Torii is the gateway between the normal world and the sacred, the bridge is the path to that possibility.  Then, when you look out into the fog – who knows what odd things you might find out there?

If you’re a writer, bridges make great metaphors.  They are also natural choke points so you can use them to force characters to have to meet something.  They can bring up all kinds of feelings, especially if that bridge happens to be a high railroad trestle with all the world visible between your feet!

Speaking of bridges, portals and gateways, I just finished a short story of about 10,000 words called Gateway Drug.  Check it out on my Books Page!


via Daily Prompt: Bridge

Giveaways, A Sale, And A New Book! — Allison Maruska

Before I dive in, I want to welcome all the new followers to the blog! The increase in followers over the past month especially has been impressive, and I am humbled and grateful that you all like my words enough to follow. So, hi, everyone! *waves* Now, let’s get down to business. The Giveaways There […]

via Giveaways, A Sale, And A New Book! — Allison Maruska

The Transmogrification Begins


A perfectly ordinary housecat as she dreams of being a unicorn.

Slowly the ear begins to center itself on her head, ready to turn into a horn.

Sleeping Neko 900.JPG

What next?  I think she’s going to meditate on being a samurai.

nezumi bushi 1400.JPG

Now she’s dreaming of being a writer – I think she’s going to write her adventures down!

Nezumi Keyboard 2.JPG


via Photo Challenge: Transmogrify