Tag Archives: green-walled tower

Fiction T’s are here!

**Reblog or share this post for a chance to win a Fiction T shirt of your choosing! Details below**

Fiction Tees Logo 2

These days, everyone on the Internet wants to gain a following. Now with Fiction T’s, that is easier than ever as people follow behind you trying to read the story on the back of your t-shirt.

Fiction T’s takes the best and quirkiest of the Green-Walled Tower’s short fiction and puts it on a t-shirt, available through Spreadshirt. 8 designs are currently offered, each in both black and white text so that dark and light colored shirts are available.

Promotion 1

Some examples of the stories:

Classic Arguments: Literary classics argue after the library closes. There is a definite winner. A great shirt for avid readers out there.

The Physics of Angels: A mother with a migraine tries to explain how an airplane stays up…creatively. Perfect for parents with young kids.

Three Men Walk into a Bar: It might be a joke, but it’s not what you think. A great one for bloggers.

She Did, He Did: A quirky look at the relationships between men and women. This guy just can’t win.

Emoticons with a Story: The back stories of some of your lesser known emoticons. Comes in two versions.

The Last Few Seconds: A humorous look at the last few seconds before retirement. The perfect gift for anyone in retirement or about to retire.

What a Metaphor is: A soaring, twisting journey through a maze of metaphorical language.


Limited Time Promotion!

Reblog this post and I will enter you in a drawing for one of two Fiction T shirts I am giving away. That goes for shares and tweets on Facebook and Twitter as well (use the hashtag #fictionts). Share it on all three platforms and I’ll enter you 3 times (but that’s the max).
Contest ends on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Share the good news and order a shirt for yourself, while you’re at it.

A Giant Hiding in a Kindergarten

I went to Toronto a few weeks ago for a TESOL convention. The convention center was right next to the CN Tower, which for those who don’t know, is the tallest free-standing structure in the western hemisphere. It stands out, is what I’m trying to say. Plus, Toronto doesn’t have a lot of super-huge skyscrapers. See if you can spot the CN Tower in this picture:

Hint: it's the one over half a kilometer tall

Hint: it’s the one that’s over half a kilometer tall

If you couldn’t find it, you must be listening to the audio version of this blog (available now!)

I find it a wonderful irony that large objects are unmistakeable from far away but can be easily hidden close up. Here’s a picture I took from near my hotel:


Fifty feet in either direction and the tallest building in the western hemisphere is hidden by someone’s house (well, a lot of someones’ houses) but the point is, it isn’t the tower that changes at all, or even the surrounding landscape: it’s the viewing position. For someone like me who thinks in metaphors, this is a very satisfying truth.

I am an English teacher, but I have actually preached in church four times. I was a deacon in my church in Korea and when the pastor is gone, someone has to do it. My style is much more logical progression of ideas and much less fire and brimstone. I must have a sulfur deficiency.

The very first time I preached, it was on this idea of perspective. The question I posed was: “What can come between you and God?” The answer: absolutely anything, because it all depends on our viewing position, not on Him. After all, the sun is the largest object in the solar system but I can block it out with my thumb if I hold it right in front of my eye.

I’d expound more on this, but this is ostensibly a fiction blog and you probably came here for stories, not theology (I could be wrong, of course). That is why I’m starting a new blog for all the rational, brimstone-less essays on religion, faith and philosophy that are rattling around in my head.

Don’t worry, the Green-Walled Tower isn’t going anywhere. This is a year of big things for this little blog and 2015 is draped in ivy, as far as I’m concerned. Still, I do have a lot of good ideas that don’t fit well into this blog format, so that’s why the Tower is getting a baby brother.

I’m still not sure what to call it: the Green-Walled Church? The Green-Walled Monastery? We’ll see. Stayed tuned.


It this place is anything like the Tower, it must be one quirky church.


The Green-Walled Church

I was wandering around Daegu today and came across this church. If the Green-Walled Tower ever had a church attached to it, I’m sure it would look like this. (Plus, if I ever start a theological blog, I’ll have a good image for it. 🙂 )


The Green-Walled Tower is 1 year old!

Well, it’s happened. My little baby is growing up. This blog, The Green-Walled Tower, has turned 1 today. Thank you very much to everyone who has read, liked, commented on it faithfully. I appreciate you all.

one year birthday

For a little history, the name of the blog comes from the title of one of a trio of interlocking stories I wrote a few years ago. In that one, the Green-Walled Tower was the home of a seer who had a special glass that let him peer into other worlds and even, once, go between them. That seemed like a fitting metaphor for writing fiction, so that’s why I chose the name.

My first story on this blog was called Mayor Jim, about an alien that becomes the mayor of a small town. It got 3 likes. Hopefully I’ve improved in my craft a bit after just shy of 250 posts.

My most viewed story so far has been Motivational Drill Sergeant Meets his Wife, which currently has over 500 views; way more than even my Freshly Pressed post. I’m not entirely sure why, although I think people find it through Google.

Thanks again. I’m looking forward to another year of writing and blogging in the Tower.

1 year



I woke in a room that smelled vaguely of peanut butter and wasabi. It was the kind of smell that slapped you awake and made you write home to mom about it. Once I was fully awake (and had written a short note to my mother) I noticed I was in a long, pearly-white corridor. It was shiny and plastic, like something from a 1970’s sci-fi movie.

I stood up and noticed a plaque on the wall that said Ancient Wasteland And Robotic Doughnut Society, or A.W.A.R.D.S. for short. An arrow pointed down the corridor with a friendly reminder written next to it that said “I’m pretty sure this is the way you want to go.” I took the wall’s word for it and started off.

Before too long, I came to a door with a computer screen next to it. On it, were the words:

Most Influential Blogs of 2012. You were nominated for this award by Alastair of Alastair’s Blog. Do you accept? (Y/N?)


Blink. I wasn’t expecting that. Of course I hit yes. To be nominated for anything by Alastair, who posts such amazing photos and cool music was a honor.

The screen changed. There are no rules for this award, it read.

“Is that true?” I said.

Yes, the screen said.

“Can you hear what I say?” I asked.

No, the screen said. I was suspicious. Please enter blogs you have found influential.

That was an interesting challenge. Hmm, I thought and started punching in names.

– Arjun Bagga of http://arjunbagga.wordpress.com/ I love his beautiful pictures and stories and actually I was inspired to write my Fantastic Travelogue after reading one of his posts. I love the way he captures the souls of common people.

– Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – Addicted to Purple http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ I have had a lot of fun and learned a lot participating in the Friday Fictioneers, a group she runs. I love the way she comments on every story that’s posted.

– Sharmishtha Basu: http://sharmishthabasu.wordpress.com/ Sharmishtha has been very influential to my writing, from inspiring stories, to using pictures of mine in her writing. I love her fantastic stories, great artwork, and spirit of activism to help those in need.

– Written Words Never Die: http://ericalagan.net/ Eric has been a very influential blog for me. I love his dark and fantastic stories and his short, but powerful flash fiction.

I stopped for a moment and the door suddenly opened. There were others that I found inspiring, but the screen had turned dark, so I continued down the corridor. I walked for a while and was passed by a robotic doughnut that was playing with a yo-yo.

I came to another door. This one was glowing and next to it was a screen with cherubs on it. The cherubs were playing cards when I got there but when they noticed me, they jumped up and shoved the cards out of sight.


“Welcome!” they said in unison (they said everything in unison, which was a bit disconcerting). “This is the Shine-On Award. You got nominated by Kim, from Unwalled. Do you want to accept?”

“Of course,” I said. “Kim is awesome. I don’t have any other friends in the Bahamas (that I know of) but I could have a million and still not have one as nice as her.” They nodded enthusiastically.

“So what do I do here?”

“You have to nominate 15 people that you think really shine,” they said.

“And what does that mean?” I asked.

They conferred for a moment. “That’s up to you. Also, you have to nominate 7 blogs that tickle your fancy.”

“I just put in some that were influential. Can I skip the ‘tickle your fancy’ part?” I asked.

They conferred for another moment. “Fine, as long as the influential ones also tickled your fancy. Did they?”

“Assuredly,” I said. “Can I nominate Unwalled back?”

“Uh…No. But you can thank her.”

“Very well.” I started to think of some blogs that I thought really shined in one way or another.

“Would you like to add why?” the little cherubs asked. “It’s optional.”

“Will the people see this?”

“Mostly likely, yes.”

Very well. I started typing.

1. Teacher as Transformer: http://ivonprefontaine.com/ A source of inspirational thoughts from a fellow teacher.

2. Miss Four Eyes: http://missfoureyes.wordpress.com/ Really, what’s not to love? Adding a little joy to my daily reading.

3. Mindful Splatter: http://marilyndavies.wordpress.com/ Great stories and pictures of daily life.

4. An Evil Nymph’s Blog: http://evilnymphstuff.wordpress.com/ Wonderful photographs and stories from the island of Mauritius and the mind of an evil nymph.

5. Ironwoodwind: http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/ I love reading his great, compelling stories every week.

6. Rambling and Other Nonsense: http://matronbell.wordpress.com/ She posts beautiful thoughts and great stories. I just finished her novel, Planet Atlantis, and really liked it.

7. Josie Coccinelle: http://josiecoccinelle.wordpress.com/ The only French blog I follow. She has such a sweet heart. I wish I could comment more confidently on her posts, but I’ve forgotten a lot of my French.

8. The Urge to Wander: http://theurgetowander.com/ She goes all the places I wish I could, or remember going. I travel the world through her pictures.

9. ABC of Spirit Talk: http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/ Such great thoughts, especially those that use animals as metaphors.

10. Diary of a Lost Girl: http://completelymistaken.wordpress.com/ I love everything I read from her and am always happy when I see her around.

11. Boomie Bol: http://boomiebol.wordpress.com/ What a great and kind poet. Passion and love exude from her writing.

12. Life in Kawagoe: http://cocomino.wordpress.com/ My window into the world of Japanese culture, sharing the simple side of life.

13. Luddy’s Lens: http://luddyslens.wordpress.com/ A wonderful look at the world through photographs.

14. Elixir: http://bradleyball.wordpress.com/ One of my oldest friends. I love reading his perspectives on life, family, and Christianity.

15. Jodies’ Journies: http://cutenosegrl.wordpress.com/ Inspiration and thought-provoking posts.

I could have kept going, of course (my blogging friends really do shine on) but as soon as I had put in the fifteenth name, the door slid open.

“Bye bye!” the cherubs said in unison and then disappeared.

By this time, I had no idea what to expect next. I came to a staircase and starting climbing up and up. Lightning flashed. Somewhere, off in the distance, the Inspector Gadget theme was playing. I came to a third door. Actually, it was a portcullis. The screen next to it was 3D and when I approached, a booming voice shouted:

“You have been nominated for the Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness!”


“Is that a real thing?” I asked.

“Yes, of course. You were nominated by the Blog of the Imaginator, a very epically awesome person in his own right. Do you want it or not?”

“Of course,” I said. Who wouldn’t want an award for being epically awesome, or awesomely epic?

“There are rules!” the voice boomed. “First, you must tell me ten things about yourself…and write them on pieces of fruit!”

“I don’t see any fruit,” I said.

There was a rattling sound and a wagon-load of fruit rattled down the corridor towards me. “Sorry!” the voice echoed. “Our cook quit today. Now get writing!”

I picked up a banana and wrote: I hate getting up in the morning.

“Be more interesting!” the voice shouted.

I wrote I have watched the entire Simpsons series in order on a rather large apple. The voice didn’t say anything else, so I got down to work.

3. I abhor long sleeves (written on a mango)

4. The longest I’ve been unemployed since I was 12 is five months (written on a bunch of grapes; one word on each)

5. I’ve always lived on either the top or bottom floor of a building (written on a watermelon)

“These are becoming pedestrian!” the booming voice warned.

I picked up a cantaloupe and wrote: I love coffee. The voice huffed a little, but shut up.

7. I am currently listening to Don Francisco on Youtube (written on a jack fruit)

8. My current cell phone was obsolete when I got it in 2008 (written on a mandarin orange)

9. I really want to go camping in Greenland sometime (I tried to write this on a strawberry, messed it up, ate the strawberry, ate a few more, then wrote it on a musk melon.)

10. I hate it when I maek typos (written on a papaya)

“Are you being sarcastic?” the voice demanded, but then noticed that I had ten things and continued. “Next, you must nominate 10 people whom you think are epic. Get cracking!”

I stepped up to the screen and started to write.

1. Monk Monkey: http://monkmonkeysblog.wordpress.com/ A great, funny blog

2. Music and Fiction: http://musicandfiction.wordpress.com/ Music plus fiction equals a great combination

3. Oh God, My Wife is German: http://ohgodmywifeisgerman.com/ Hilarious cross-cultural fun. When people think fun, they think Germans.

4. Chosen Voice: http://chosenvoice.wordpress.com/ Seriously, check out her artwork and stories. Epic is the only word.

5. Tales of a Charm City Chick: http://talesofacharmcitychick.com I’ll read anything I can get from the inimitable La La.

6. waldotomosky: http://waldotomosky.wordpress.com/ Sweeping sagas of brawling Norsemen are just the beginning.

7. Christopher de Voss: http://chrisdevoss.wordpress.com/ Great quirky fun that’s right up my alley. Plus, he’s the guy that made up the name Edward “the Squid” Morrison.

8. The Bumble Files: http://thebumblefiles.wordpress.com/ One of my oldest blogging friends and such a great wealth of quirky stories and great thoughts.

9. Dysfunctional Literacy: http://dysfunctionalliteracy.com/ Where I go to feed my love of great and weird books, as well as the continuing saga that is the Long Story.

10. Moments with Millie: http://momentswithmillie.wordpress.com/ I love reading her inspirational thoughts every day. She has a beautiful, loving heart.

“Next, you have to tell the people that you nominated them!” the voice shouted.

“But won’t they know when they get the notification that I linked their blog?” I asked.

“Are you that lazy?” the voice shouted. “Where is your netiquette? Now go tell them!”

“Are you going to open the door then?” I asked. There was a pause.

“Fine.” The portcullis clattered up and I walked forward. Soon I found myself looking out of my own Green-Walled Tower. The land of A.W.A.R.D.S. makes you feel good but it sure can be strange sometimes.

For those who are interested, here is what the original forms of the awards look like:




The Green-Walled Tower is Coming to Youtube!

Okay, I guess the title said it all.

I’m always looking for new and creative ways to tell interesting stories and now I’m thinking of expanding my storytelling to video form. Not as movies really, but…well, you’ll see. Don’t worry; I will still be posting stories here as always.

This new project of mine might take a little time to get going, but what I’m curious about now is what to call my channel. I have a few ideas for you to vote on, or you can think up a totally awesome new name and tell me in the comments too. If I pick your super cool awesome name, I’ll dedicate a video to you.

The Green-Walled Youtube? It's an idea.

The Green-Walled Youtube? It’s an idea.

The Green-Walled Tower gets a new schedule

I’m curious, fellow bloggers, do you have a schedule for posts you write every week? Do you always post on certain days, or just as the muse strikes you?

When I first started blogging from the Green-Walled Tower, I posted two stories a week, since I didn’t want to overwhelm myself at the beginning. I soon added a third story a week and for most of my time here I have done three posts a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with the Wednesday story being shorter, which is why I called it the Mid-Week Flash. I’ve added other posts along the way and so I have come up with a schedule, just for my own sake and for my readers, if you care at all. So, here it is:

Sunday: Visual Fiction – This is where I post a photograph I’ve taken myself, along with a short prompt or story. Usually something that inspires me.

Monday: Story – A longer (about 1000 words) story or an installment of one of the continuing story lines

Tuesday: Random Post – either nothing or just something like this where I post something that’s not fiction.

Wednesday: Story – either flash fiction or whatever I’m working on that is ready to go out.

Thursday: Story – similar to the one on Monday, something longer or part of a continuing story

Friday: Friday Fictioneers – I’m going to try this, thanks to the encouragement of my friend Amy at The Bumble Files. We’ll see how it goes, but it looks like a good laugh (ie. fun).

Saturday: Nothing! – Hey, everyone needs a day off sometimes. I guess I’m Jewish in this respect, taking the Sabbath off.


Thank you again to all you who read and follow my blog. You’re awesome.

Tao Talk

Taotalk is a forum for the discussion of both the academic and pragmatic aspects of dao and Daoism, with participants expressing themselves on Daoist writings and pragmatics from their unique perspectives. It serves as a community for Daoists, and those interested in Daoism, to gather and talk dao.

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