Photo Contest

Recently in the Facebook Group, we asked people to come up with a 100 word story for the pictures below. The original idea was to put up the best stories that were submitted for each picture but for the second picture I liked each story so much I just decided to include them all. If you have a 100 word story for one of the pictures below please share it in the comments:

All three pictures were provided by Murdo Morrison, author of Roses Of Winter and The Taste Of Dust. You can find out more about Murdo by visiting his website:


About this picture Murdo writes: “With Halloween coming up I thought you might like to see this image. A couple of years back my son created this stack of carved pumpkins. I processed the image to make it more Halloweeny.”

Little Johnny loved everything about Halloween. The only other thing he loved as much was rooting for the Indians when he watched old western movies, dreaming of living in a teepee and smoking a peace pipe with the chief.

When Halloween came around, Johnny looked at all the carved pumpkins on his neighbor’s doorsteps and decided there was something he just had to do. He waited until late, after trick or treating, when everyone had gone to bed, then sneaked out of his room. He closed the front door quietly as he went outside into the peaceful darkness of spent Halloween night.

He collected the best of the carved pumpkins that hadn’t been destroyed by careless footsteps and stacked them to make his very own totem pole. Johnny danced around his pumpkin totem pole like he had seen Indians do on television until he became tired. Then he crept back inside and slipped back into bed, unknowing of the magic he had performed.

The spirit of the pumpkin gods awakened…

Jaq D Hawkins


About this picture Murdo writes: “I captured an image of a rather eerie looking sky this weekend. It has a certain Halloween feel to it. I’m sending you a couple of versions. If you want to use it for any of your projects you are certainly welcome to do so. Also, I can process this in different ways to achieve a range of effects.”

In a dark clearing, wearing purple robes before a flickering fire, they summoned him, obscenely ignorant of the greatness they invited. He spread throughout the word, vast and diffuse. Even the humans who called saw only the natural world, and did not know to cower. Clouds formed the vertebrae of his spine. Bare trees stretched and creaked in imitation of his tendons. His powers came as acts of god, though he hadn’t been called such in eons.
They could not comprehend all he encompassed and know his nature; a pity, because he knew theirs.

H.E. Roulo

I called them dusts because we didn’t know exactly what they were or where they had come from. That’s the name I chose to give to the powdery gray substance that filled the air whenever there was anything more than a stiff breeze. The dusts brought with them death, death to everything, the no-wings included. They had died in droves however, from a sickness that seemed to target them specifically, while many of us had survived initially. The coming of the dusts had killed other things too, my kind included, but we didn’t die as quickly.

Chantal Boudreau

The spirit floated on the solar wind, directing its energy towards the inhabited planet. It touched the atmosphere, creating ripples in the cloud cover that diffused the light of the shining Moon, the spirit’s origin.

The night found many humans sleeping, yet others moved among the darkened streets, either grateful or thwarted by the illumination of the Moon’s full face. The spirit listened to the thoughts of these night dwellers and despaired for the message of love it had brought, reading in the hearts of men intentions to gain by the misfortune of others of their kind.

Then one couple, radiating with thoughts of love commanded the spirit’s attention and hope was regained.

It is for you, the spirit whispered through the wind, that I will bring magic to your species. Thus did the spirit endow the loving couple with power, blessing the inhabited planet with the first magicians.

Jaq D. Hawkins


About this picture Murdo writes: “I thought you might like this image. It is actually the daytime sky reflected off a dark portion of a lake but it reminds me of outer space and galaxies. If you have a use for it go ahead. ”

Clayton stretched and stood up, walking over to his window. He glanced at the courtyard below, illuminated by the moon’s silvery light. The blond Renegade leaned up against the windowsill and stared up at the moon, aglow in the night. This was the particular image that was the trigger. There was often a trigger. It had set off his precognitive abilities. There was something about that full moon that had let him know he had to be ready. Things were going to start happening very soon.

“Soon,” he whispered, breathing in deeply.

Chantal Boudreau


Roses Of Winter by Murdo Morrison

Tom Brokaw called the people that lived through the Great Depression and then went on to fight in World War 2 The Greatest Generation. In his 1998 book called The Greatest Generation he recounted stories of how soldiers and families in America were effected by the war. Life in the 30’s and 40’s wasn’t easy and some families were torn apart by the financial struggles of the Great Depression in the 30’s and young men having to go off to war in the 40’s.

Overtime, I’ve read quite a few accounts of American families during the war years, so I was happy to find a fictional novel that centered around two families in Scotland during World War 2. The book is called Roses of Winter by Murdo Morrison. Roses Of Winter was originally a podiobook and was released in print in July 2011. The two families in the story are working class families who are greatly effected by the war.

The first family is the Burns who live in Maryhill. In September of 1939, Mary and Charlie sat in their home reading the paper and wondering when the Germans would attack Scotland. The Burns have three kids, Alastair, Elspeth and their teenage daughter Ellen. In the evening, they go to church where the Reverend announces that the country is now at war.  The congregation is in shock. They had hoped the Great War that ended in 1917 would be the last, but things didn’t work out that way.

Things get worse for the Burns. Ellen is not getting along with her mother Mary while Charlie who is in the Merchant Navy has to sail away on a ship called The Jasper to deliver petroleum to the British army in France. The ship gets bombed by the Germans en route, causing the crew to abandon ship and head for land where things aren’t any better. Back in Maryhill, Mary has to leave her family to attend the funeral of her mother in Glasgow. On her return she finds Ellen is dating a man who is headed off to fight in the war.

The second family is the McIntyers. Bessie and Murdo have two sons, Donald and Alec, who are off fighting in the war. The couple lives in Scotstoun where Bessie dreams of a better life. Bessie has no friends and her life was turned upside down when she was a teenager when her family lost all their money in the Great Depression.  Bessie has had to work hard ever since and her life gets worse when one of her sons is killed in the war. One of her neighbors: Ella reaches out to her, giving Bessie the opportunity to talk about her sad life.

Ella has a daughter that lives near by Clydesbank. One night in March of 1941, Scotland’s worse fears come true when Clydesbank is bombed by German forces. Fearing for her daughter, Ella leaves the safety of her apartment and takes the tramcar to find her daughter. As she gets to town there are explosions and people screaming all around. There is no safe place to turn but she can’t leave the war-torn town until she finds her daughter.

Roses Of Winter has vivid descriptions of naval battles along with cities getting bombed into rubble, but its more then just a war story. What really makes Roses Of Winter a great novel is how the characters in the story react to the chaos around them. The characters change during the course of the story and you feel for them. When I read a book, I like to bookmark parts that I really enjoy. I bookmarked 20 different scenes in Roses Of Winter that I felt were examples of great writing.

For example, I liked when Mary is at her mother’s funeral and while grieving makes the realization that someday her kids will have to attend her funeral and feel the same way she feels. I also liked when the ship Charlie is on is under attack and as he sees the bombs dropping, he imagines being on a picnic with his wife. Other things I liked in this book was how Bessie and Ellen changed throughout the story. There is also a good scene where Andy finds the people he works with are more then they seem and there is a good commentary on how its the working class that really pays the price in a time of crisis.

Murdo Morrison put a lot of work into the research of Roses Of Winter and should be commended for it.  He read several accounts of people in Scotland who lived through that period; also the ships in the story we’re based on real ships from the era. The tenaments that many of the characters lived in were based on the place where the author’s mother grew up and was very similar to where the author used to live in.

Roses of Winter is kind of like a journey through World War 2, where you will find a little bit of everything. The book has a couple of love stories, there is loss, suspense, a suicide and some good battle scenes. At its core, the story is about how families and friends pull together to survive in the face of disaster. Roses Of Winter is a great human drama and an excellent read.