Tag Archives: flash fiction

Micro-Fiction: Countdown to Three O’Clock

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six……Why do seconds take so long when you are waiting?  She said she would be here at three o’clock.  Just a few seconds more.

My dream, my angel.  

Well, yes actually; both.  An angel that appears in my dreams.  Her last visit was only a few hours ago in my waking-dream time and she said she would return when I was fully awake – now! at three this afternoon.

Warm air drifts past my neck and the hairs rise on my arms.  I am sweating and my eyes start peering around, popping out of the sockets.  Nothing except the feeling and expectation of more.

I feel a touch where no one except me has touched before. I see no one.  Nothing. But I feel the presence.   

Close my eyes, focus internally, back to dreamtime.

The touch becomes firmer, almost a grasp, and I am responding.  I smile and squint through tight lids.  

A golden aura, crimson and silver wings from the clean uncluttered shoulder line. Blond hair falling around the neck.  Blue eyes looking directly into mine. The lips, oh those lips. I lean forward to meet them and the draft of air increases to a breeze.  I am drifting before it with no power of my own, losing all. Feeling the lips. A sigh behind draws my attention and I glance back seeing my own image.

 The breeze increases.  I am gone.


Words © Ron Dickerson

Image from domdeen at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net (we will use it again later, for some haiku by Jo!)


Creative Fiction Duet: Moondreams



Ron’s ~

When the dreams reach to the highest and your eyes see no more
When your hands reach for something which you know is beyond
When your body just needs more touch with no satisfaction found
When your soul aches for something yet can find no solace

I will be there, waiting

© Ron Dickerson


Joanna’s ~

Reaching for you across
the expanse of darkness
feels like the first steps in
a new dance; a step toward,
the briefest touch; a glance,
before drawing away.

I sense you there. Do you sleep?
Are your mind and spirit searching
along shadowed paths?
Do my dreams belong in yours?
Or are your dreams held,
so gently, so sweetly,
within mine?

Are you illusion? Or are we together
in silent, softened reality?

I am here, waiting.

© Joanna Gawn


Image used with permission from njaj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Lazuli Portals’ Short Story Ebooks Now Available In Paperback

Now for our second post of the week (you can read the first one here).

Our short story collections are now available in paperback!

2015-04-29 15.14.48

Over the last few months, Ron and I have been working to bring you The House of the Stormwind and other short stories and Crystal, Fire and Water in print “duo-book” format. We know that we have some readers who prefer “physical books” – after all, who can resist the sight, smell, and touch of stories bound in paper and ink? 🙂

We’ll be selling these duo-books at our book signings and other author appearances (starting this Saturday!) Don’t they look great?!

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These two books have been available as ebooks for a while now (Kindle, Nook, PDF, etc.) however we felt it was time that we offered all four of our books in paperback, to as many readers as possible. It made sense to combine both short story books into one volume – you might be surprised by how Ron decided to achieve that ….!

  • The duo-book is about 150 pages in length and will be priced at £4.50.
  • It is only available through us (i.e. not through Amazon or bookstores).
  • We are able to send by post to UK readers, the postage & packing charge for this being £1.50.
  • For Overseas readers: a duo-book posted to the USA will be charged at £9.50. For other countries, we can provide a price on application.

If you’d like to order any of the duo-books, please get in touch by email or through the contact form on our blog or website, and we’ll send you a Paypal invoice. (You don’t need to have a Paypal account; credit cards can be processed through the Paypal system.)

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It’s always an exciting moment when an author (or in our case, two authors!) sees their hard work in print; it somehow makes it more real, with a sense of permanence. So we’re a bit excited to finally see our short stories in paperback. 😀

Joanna & Ron | The Lazuli Portals

Two Flash Fiction Tales for #FridayFictioneers: ‘Sari’s Search for Answers’ and ‘Ronku: LIBRARY’

Joanna’s story ~ Sari’s Search for Answers

I finally found her in the library. Her pulse was irregular, as delicate as a snowflake.
This area had been evacuated weeks before; why had she come here?
A paramedic in HazMat gear forced a tube into her mouth while I held her chilled hand.
“Please live, Sari,” I prayed. “I need you.”
I stroked her waxen cheek. She seemed so fragile.
A sigh shuddered from her cracked lips.
“Sari?” I whispered.
“Had dream,” she croaked. “Cure for plague, one of these old books.”
My fingers stilled. “Which one?”
She didn’t breathe again.
I’d never told her I loved her.

 [100 words]

 I think the inspiration for this piece came from watching the television series, The Last Ship!


 Ron’s ‘ronku’ ~ LIBRARY
Ron has created a new word! (Something he does often, actually!)
Ronku: An acrostic poem not much longer than a haiku 😉
(You can see the tongue in cheek, right?! :P)

Late morning lie over

Imbibing past

Bike too dangerous

Remembering nothing

After usual problem

Resolved to stop

Yet I really know!

[21 words]


Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge to writers to craft a 100-word story using a photo prompt. To read more of the stories written this week, click the little blue froggy below. (Apologies if it isn’t working; out of our control!)

If you enjoy writing and would like to take part in Friday Fictioneers, please visit Rochelle’s blog for the “how to” guide. Rochelle does a wonderful job of managing the whole Fictioneers thing, and all are welcome.

If you’d like to read any of our earlier stories, they can be found here and on our old blog.

You’re welcome to connect with us on Twitter: we are @LazuliPortals.

As this is likely to be the last time we’ll partake in Friday Fictioneers this year, we’d like to wish all our Fictioneer friends a very “happy holidays”. 🙂
We hope to see you again in the New Year! 🙂

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

‘John and Elsa’ ~ A Duet of Flash Fiction Tales for #FridayFictioneers

FF 24 Oct

 [Image ©  The Reclining Gentleman]

Joanna’s story ~ ‘John and Elsa’

They’d been happy on their island. John had fished. Elsa had sat beside him, absorbing their togetherness, drawing it around her like a cloak of contentment.

Now, John fishes from the dock. But Elsa knows he catches nothing. He often forgets to bait his hook. He sits alone, staring ahead, lost in memory.

Elsa’s ethereal form drifts around his hunched figure. “I’m not in the past, John, I’m right here,” she whispers. “Remember me, love, but let me be with you. Don’t imprison yourself in our past.”

A breeze ruffles the waves. John shivers. They’d been happy on their island.

[100 words]


And now a surprising counterpoint from Ron! 😉

Ron’s story ~ ‘John and Elsa 2’

His head went down below the grey waters again.

She sat patiently on her island throne as she had done for many seasons, waiting, warming as she watched him.

Head up again, he smiles, chewing, and makes his way back to her. She looks at him in wonder.

Standing on the island shore he stretches up and flaps his huge white wings and exclaims, “Your turn to feed, my turn to sit on the eggs.  How many more will fly this year do you think?”

“At least two of the four eggs should fledge, a good season,” she replied.

[ 99 words]


Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge to writers to craft a 100-word story using a photo prompt. To read more of the stories written this week, click the little blue froggy below.

If you enjoy writing and would like to take part in Friday Fictioneers, please visit Rochelle’s blog for the “how to” guide. Rochelle does a wonderful job of managing the whole Fictioneers thing, and all are welcome.

If you’d like to read any of our earlier stories, they can be found here and on our old blog.

You’re welcome to connect with us on Twitter: we are @LazuliPortals.

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals


‘A Gift of Crystal’ and ‘Empty Vessels’: Two Flash Fiction Tales for #FridayFictioneers

Friday Fictioneers challenges writers to come up with a 100-word story based on a photo prompt.

Thanks to Marie Gail Stratford for the photo this week.

Our contributions are below.

Image (C) Marie Gail Stratford


Joanna’s story ~ ‘A Gift of Crystal’

“It’s almost complete,” Terris grinned. “Hey, why no smile?”
I bit my lip. “Not enough citrine.”
Terris frowned. “Oh yes … and without the perfect blend of crystals…”
“… the grid won’t work. We need the right combination of carnelian and citrine.”
“So what now?”
After a pause, I unclipped my citrine necklace, offering it to my husband.
“Your healing band? You’re sure?”
I nodded. My fear would return. An agoraphobic in deep space: what an irony.
But firing the grid would give another year of life to our crew.
What was my pain, compared with the loss of so many?

[100 words]

As someone who regularly works with the subtle energy frequencies of crystals, this image immediately reminded me of crystal grids. “Firing the grid” is also a phrase sometimes used in healing terminology. I couldn’t resist weaving those words into a sci-fi tale. 🙂


Ron’s Poem ~ ‘Empty Vessels’

Rays reflect emptiness
Coloured shells that contained
Each drained, each discarded
Stacked, useless, waiting
Store once full, now barren
Uncorked, exhausted, abandoned
All used – not replenished
Move on, find new, consume again
Until all is gone, just colour remains
A blue blob empty of life
Held in dark void – waiting

[52 words]


The tales written by other writers who’ve taken part this week can be found by clicking the blue frog below.

If you enjoy writing and would like to take part in Friday Fictioneers, please visit Rochelle’s blog for the “how to” guide. Rochelle does a superb job at managing the whole Fictioneers thing. 🙂 All are welcome.

If you’d like to read any of our earlier stories, they can be found here and on our old blog.

You’re welcome to connect with us on Twitter: we are @LazuliPortals.

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals


“My Writing Process Q and A” Tour

dragon book pic for blog sept 2014We are taking part in the My Writing Process ‘tour’, having been tagged by herbalist, writer and blogger, Madison Woods.

Four questions are posed, which we’ve answered below.

1) What am I working on?

Joanna ~

The months leading up to the launch of our second novel, Mosaic of Light, were very intense and extremely tiring, and a crisis with my house roof didn’t help! 😉 So out of necessity, I’ve slowed down a bit to recharge my energy (and creativity).

However I’ve managed to craft some new 1000-word short stories (Rose Gold and Forget Me Not) for September’s Writers’ Circle meetings, and I also have a stock of unfinished short stories that I work on as time and energy allow. Some poems have emerged, too!

For the blog, we continue to write 100-word flash fiction pieces when we take part in the Friday Fictioneers meme, and I’ll be working on some more bitesize tales and other pieces (The Cordello Quest A-Z series, for one) over the coming weeks.

 Ron ~

Have just got the confidence to move on from short stories and poems to attempt a full book.  Unlike Jo’s style of writing it seems I do plan!  The characters and location came from a visit and storyline developed from there. Now to fill in the huge ‘gaps’ with words that mean something!  Oh, then as part of the story I mention a fictitious novel and author, so I suppose that means I will have to write that one as well!!!


2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Joanna ~

Our novels are usually categorised as metaphysical / visionary fiction, which is a relatively small and specialised genre. I’d like to think my unique experiences of sensing energy and working with Reiki and crystal frequencies, together with my passion for words, mathematics, music, spirituality and nature, combine into stories which no-one else could write. My shorter stories may deviate into the suspense, thriller, paranormal, and/or romance genres, but I hope my own style would still shine through. 😉

Ron ~

Being an off-worlder in human form, my experiences here are very tainted by my other lives elsewhere, and this gives me a unique insight allowing me to express stories in a different light.  OR I am just a bit weird and try to see things from the normal perspective.

Joanna ~

You never told me you were an alien, Ron! That does explain your love of sci-fi, though! And perhaps a few other things …. 😛 *runs and hides*


3) Why do I write what I do?

Ron ~

Well so far I have written mostly about subjects on which there is little fact – so my views cannot be questioned … well factually anyway! However, in recent months I have been reading more about Celtic and old world legends, for which there are accepted ‘truths’, so this means research.  Generally I do like to question the accepted and try and find an alternative view. Hey, does that make me controversial? I really do hope so!

Joanna ~

Much of my writing is highly visual, often incorporating imagery of light, healing, natural magic, and/or energy transformation. If something I see, sense, or visualise feels inspirational, magical, or awe-inspiring, then I will do my best to reflect that in my writing.

In much the same way that a photographer or artist would endeavour to capture the vivid shades of a sunset, or the particular quality of light slanting into a quiet forest glade, I feel the same need to try to create the ‘essences’ of those experiences in word form. Sometimes poetry is the best medium for that, but my instinct is to tell a story, to work with characters and dialogue, and for “things to happen”. I write “what I feel I need to write otherwise I’ll simply burst”!


4) How does my writing process work?

Ron ~

Notepads abound with ideas.  I am still not finding enough time to write ‘properly’, still responding to external needs and timetables rather than sitting and creating the novel which is started.  I think I may be an ideas man who finds something to write about and gets it down on paper quickly. That’s to say a short story or quick poem man at heart. BUT I have desires for more.  Can I change the habits of a lifetime to expand my ideas fully rather than the summarisation that comes naturally?

For me to write stories, my plot needs to be evolved with people inhabiting it; for poetry it tends to flow from an idea. Then fill in or edit to (hopefully) make it work better as a complete piece.  The trouble is my English’s poor, sprelling non-existent and I like making up new words!  Thanks to Jo who is there to sort out my to/too, Mary’s/Marys etc etc…..

Joanna ~

We make a great team, Ron, despite our different approaches to the writing process itself! And, as with your last two sentences, you do remind me to lighten up and be silly sometimes! 😉

As for your made-up words, yes, they do flummox me at times … then I remember your capacity for humour and wordplay and ‘get with the program’ (as Lady Aida would say!)

I often write with external deadlines, such as for competitions, Writers’ Circle, or for our weekly blog. But I don’t write on a schedule – I learned the hard way that my ongoing health issues really don’t allow for that. So between ‘deadlines’, I write when I can and when I feel I have words or emotions pleading for escape. A lot depends on how much physical and mental energy I have! Brain fog and physical exhaustion are not really conducive to being creative. 😉

As I write with with very little planning (see our YouTube interview here for more on that), I sometimes use a prompt (e.g. photograph, word, story title, song title) for the short stories and for the bitesize tales we share on the blog. Then I just let the words out and go from there.

Obviously if I’m working on something which takes more than one session (such as a novel or a longer short story) then the process is a bit different. I’ll usually re-read the work of the previous session, and perhaps lightly edit or rework that before I move forward. That gets me back into “character” and I’m ready to explore what happens next!

I write the words as they come, but at periodic intervals I’ll review my earlier work to check that it all ‘fits’. At that point I may also create chapter summaries so that I don’t lose track of where I am, who’s who, or what’s happened or still needs to resolve. I love the surprises of working without a plan, but there can be a lot of tidying up afterward before the novel is ‘right’!

Throughout this process, I’ll work any edits Ron suggests, too. Then, once the first draft is down, and the story is ‘free’, I’ll go back and work through my own editing techniques, as well as reviewing and integrating any further comments Ron has left for me. 🙂 Cloud document storage is essential for us! 😉


This has been a fun Q&A for us to take part in, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it too!

We’re tagging Eleni Papanou, Shani Struthers, and Karen Whitelaw. Hope you can take part, ladies!

If any other readers / visitors would like to use this format on their blog, please go ahead! We’d appreciate being tagged in the post, if you don’t mind. 🙂

Joanna & Ron


.Image © jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net