A Finish Unknown

One of Sherlock Holmes’ many observations was this one:
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

The words were, of course, those of a fictional Sherlock Holmes, the super sleuth created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930). Sir Arthur had Holmes give that advice in Chapter 6 of his work entitled “The Sign of Four”, published in 1890.

Improbable as it may seem during the living of it, life itself does glide steadily toward a finish line known to none. We truly are without a clue.


Scan of the VHS cover of “Without A Clue”, Orion Home Video, 1988, ITC Entertainment Group, from the collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

See Also:
My Writing Life Xposed


Love and Horror The Second Time


If you like to be scared silly — and your reading batteries have run low, scurry over to Amazon books and look for Dark Visions

That’s the name of the new, amazing horror anthology from editor and best-selling author Dan Alatorre and over 20 other authors, some repeaters, who have collaborated to produce their second of two books together.


Charge up and get ready for excitement and thrills! Get Dark Visions today! And order the book, as well ! Hahahahahaha— eh-eh-eh!!!


Photo courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com

I contributed a short story called Normal Things to Dark Visions. I also was published in Dan’s first anthology with us titled The Box Under the Bed.


Through Dan’s writing contests at his WordPress blog, many of us have achieved commercial publication and self-publishing success, as we were winners, or placers, in those contests whom Dan invited to help produce his scary, horror anthologies.


All of us aren’t exactly genre-tight horror writers, but the contests, plus Dan’s generosity as an editor and best-selling author himself, helped catapult our work into the limelight. We wrote suspense and horror and macabre for his contests, and collaboration on his anthologies was a boost in recognition for us all.

There will, hopefully, be more contests, and more anthologies as a result. Join us! Read us! Order Dark Visions and/or The Box Under the Bed today at Amazon!

Photos (first two and last) from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg



Notes On A Word of Wisdom — UP

More on Words at Story Prompts Deluxe

From our local church newsletter came some of these thoughts on a Word of Wisdom — “Up”.

Take time out for a laugh, or two, on wordage:
You understand the word “up”: it means toward the sky, or at the top of some list, according to the Dictionary.

But, why:
1)   do we wake UP ?
2)   do we speak UP ?
3)   are officers UP for election ?
4)   do we warm UP ?
5)   do we work UP an appetite ?

And, why:
6)   do we think UP excuses ?
7)   do we dress UP ?
8)   is the Earth soaked UP with rain water ?
9)   do we mess UP ?
10) do we wrap it UP ?

11) do we line UP ?
12) do we brighten UP ?
13) are people stirred UP ?
14) do we lock UP ?
15) do we talk it UP ?

16) do we button UP ?
17) do we clam UP ?
18) are people fixed UP for a date ?
19) do we vote it UP ?
20) do we add it UP ?

The wonder of words is my wonder, also. Is it yours?

I added some other UPs to the newsletter list. Add yours!

It’s all UP to you!

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


National Parks and Refuges Guard American Treasures

white brown mountain during daytime

Photo by Abby Kihano on Pexels.com

Glacier National Park was the safe haven to 800 Grizzly bears in a 2012 count. That  group size doubled within the park confines. On the park’s East side, Grizzlies visit the lower aspen groves and meadows in the Summer.

More about animals at:
Horses and Animals Are Talkin’

American Alligators in the Everglades National Park can grow as large as sixteen feet long. Although they normally don’t bother human beings, it is wise to refrain from trying to fee them, or pet their young, which sport visible yellow bands of color.

Along the Central California coast, once-endangered sea otters live in growing numbers. They thrive on and play among giant kelp in an estuary name Elkhorn Slough.

dewgong on body of water

Photo by Barthy Bonhomme on Pexels.com

Millions of Bison ambled the plains of the Old West: 650 of the animals living in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma represented a species recovery project that recorded their numbers in 2012. The refuge opened in 1907, creating a safe environment for America’s largest wildlife native that was nearly hunted to extinction in the 1800s.

The Grand Canyon is one of the homes of the Condor, rescued from impending extinction many years ago. In 2012, 70 of these birds resided in the Canyon. Nation-wide at that time, just 350 Condors total had been recorded as living in the wild.

Texas’s Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is home to the rare Green Jay, a blue, green, and yellow bird of tropical descent. Avian life is plentiful in this refuge, as a count of 413 different species has been recorded and maintained.


The National Guard in Fort Indiantown Gap keeps watch over the Regal Fritillary Butterfly. These insects can be seen at the Guard’s training facilities in Pennsylvania in their largest single population in the Eastern United States. They shed their cocoons in July and make a bee-line for the plant life on the base that sustains them.

Nature’s wonders are forever preserved in these refuges and in America’s 60 National Parks.

Flower photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Back-to-Back Wins at the County Fair

My County Fair Exhibit

After a most successful year in 2017 competing in the Henry County Fair’s Photography Division, I wondered what I could do for an encore in 2018.

I changed things up and achieved back-to-back wins in Photography’s “Henry County Landmarks”, a class for ages 16 and Over. The required 5×7 up to 8×10 Prints could be presented in Color, Or in Black and White.

Here are my “Landmarks” winners — 2018, First Place, photographed in Color.


Fair entry snap after awards were presented



Original snap before entry at the Fair

and in 2017 (BELOW), First Place and BEST in CLASS, photographed in Black and White:


Fair entry snap after awards were presented


Original snap before entry at the Fair

More about county fairs and more Fair Photography, as well as continuing presentations of my Ribbon Winners and non-winners, may be viewed at my fair blog.

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Prevention Is Still the Cure

My Writing Life Xposed


Many Americans are being demoralized. They’re buying into trashing the free press, the hallmark of a free society.

It’s true a free society harbors violent non-conformists, athletic scandals, war-mongers, those who manipulate others for profit. It’s true troubles will exist in every area of life in a free society.

But a free press keeps the general public duly informed. (Even reporter rats eventually run.)

Americans are accepting insults and defamation of professional athletes who kneel at the playing of the national anthem when the kneelers’ motives are to protest racism in their country, not to protest their country’s existence. 

It’s true a portion of professional athletes don’t represent their sport, or their country, with good deeds returned to their communities. Others, however, do, giving more and more without seeking rewards because they care and can financially do so. 

And a free press keeps the general public duly informed because it is a nation’s watch dog and it is free to report. 

Truths often are difficult to swallow.

It’s up to a free society’s general pubic to use information wisely for the greater good, and not to use it to divide and conquer the populace.


Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Passing the Bat

Story Prompts Deluxe


A neighborhood park baseball field

Heart-warming and mysterious at the same time.

That’s the interesting mix seen each year at the MLB ASG (Major League Baseball All-Star Game) and Home Run Derby events.

Heart-warming are the acts of inclusion and conversation conveyed by the players and coaches to the youngsters in attendance. Mysterious is the number of players and coaches who seem to take little, or no, notice of these kids in uniform who participate in the ceremonies.

The youth are the future. They get to bat after the present All-Stars and coaches retire to their memories, canes, and wheel chairs to be applauded not for the present, but only for yesteryear.

These kids are ball boys/girls, towel holders, drink dispensers, star-struck, eager onlookers during Home Run Derby and All-Star Game nights. They take part in something only a few each year are privileged to experience. One day some of them will be the players and coaches. What will they remember when that time comes?

It’s the way of human nature to pass the bat along.

Hats off to the guys who help pass that bat by expressing genuine shares to these kids who look to them with hero worship and who may, in the future, emulate them in the same way they were greeted on these eventful nights.

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg