"Unexpected.
There's really no better way to put it."

A young woman's lonely walk is transformed into a most beautiful dance the day she meets her dancer husband.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"Not unlike the rush one experiences when leaping from a rocky cliff into the crystal pool below, the fear that steals one’s breath away is really the first step toward the realization of something incredibly wonderful, and the breath that is taken away is truly breath worth letting go."

Dancer tells the tale of a woman whose life takes a series of unexpected turns. Having become comfortable with her solitary routine and afraid of that which lies beyond her control, one would think the unexpected moment that saw her world collide with that of a dancer would have sent her hightailing in the other direction. However, something inside of her welcomes the unexpected newcomer into her life; and from that day forward, hers is a most unexpected dance.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"Unexpected is not always a pleasant experience. In time, the odds are bound to catch up."

Unexpected. This is the word that started it all. Like most of the short pieces I compose, Dancer was born out of a sudden burst of inspiration. Being as I am rather a stickler to routine, someone who likes to plan ahead and tell the flow how to go, the idea of the unexpected is fascinating to me; and one day, amid my schedule’s allotment for a brief bout of lounging, that word, unexpected, leapt into my mind and sent me on a journey exploring every aspect of this element of life. Eventually, my pondering led to a fixation with the reality of loss; and it was in that place that Dancer was pieced together.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"Time slows as he glides through the dim space, and I can see on his face a look of assuaging forfeit, of peaceful release."

The artwork for Dancer is simple enough to explain: a pair of dancers set one atop the other. My choice to eliminate faces and hands was intentionally done to keep the figures close to the viewer; I felt adding these specific features would create distance by adding identity. As for the colors, the black background is intended to represent the unknown whence the unexpected emerges, and the use of black and white is meant to capture the finality the unexpected can bring. Finally, regarding the photography, it was my intention to capture these three elements of the story: The dance, the heart, and the final stage.


© 2018 by C. K. Conners


"He sat there alone until,
so unexpectedly,
she came to him."

Through the veil of a summer rain emerges a picture of romance to quench an unbearable longing.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"Along the sidewalk to the crescent, stone steps, situated beside the creek and beneath the shelter, he walked a despondent pace."

And The Rain Continued To Pour is the story of a young man, who, overcome with the sorrow of an unrequited love, takes a walk through the rain, only to be met by the one his heart desires, and with her experience the joy and rapture of being found in one another.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"The world fell silent around them, leaving only the gentle pattering of the rain against their enraptured faces to play in their ears beside the reverberant beating of their hearts."

It was a very real experience, that which had inspired this tale. I left my home one summer afternoon in an effort to clear my head, and eventually came upon an area of green, wherein sat several crescent, stone steps and a small gazebo. As I gazed at the arrangement, the sky opened up; and through the downpour, there in the rain itself, I watched as my mind played for me the scene that would become And The Rain Continued To Pour. To any passersby, I must have looked rather odd, standing there in a trance (jaw probably dangling freely) for who knows how long; but I could not look away. And that night, as I lay in bed, I took out the ol’ MP3 player, and typed the entire story before falling fast asleep.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"What had forever been a dormant flower began to blossom, as the pair sat atop the crescent, stone steps, sharing in the immeasurable and simple joy of being found within the other’s embrace."

Without a doubt, the artwork for ATRCTP is my favorite. I had been concerned that the rain effect inside the characters and my color choices were not going to work; but I was pleasantly surprised that it all came together exactly as I had hoped. As for the photography, while I did not get the rainy day I had been promised by the forecasters the day I went out to shoot, what you see here is the exact place in which I observed the scene amid that downpour years ago. If my free time and a rainy day happen to align in the future, perhaps I'll return to this spot and grab some photography that better represents the story's scene.


© 2018 by C. K. Conners


"Thou needst not fear
the sting of death."

For one old man, the time is overdue and must now be made to come.

Photography © 2018 by DMB

"What weight fell on my heart that day is still far more than I can say..."

An unknown man wheels his elderly patient into a darkened room, where the elderly man demands he be placed not in the bed, but rather in a lonely chair, and there be left to die. Composed completely in verse, this is a tale of one who has come to feel like a stranger among the living.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"Up winding stars, down dreary hall..."

This piece is not intended to be a criticism of modern medicine, or the tools many take with them on a daily basis to sustain and prologue his or her own life. In fact, I marvel and am truly grateful that we live in such a time as this, wherein we are afforded more time than our predecessors. I sat down to write this piece simply because I had been so moved by a story a very important person in my life told me. The details of that story were simple; and using those I magnified the image offered to me by that story. In so doing I sought to capture the torment of a life becoming a mere existence, the longing to leave this world behind, and the fear of what doing so might actually mean.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"'To die, my boy,' said he to me. 'There in my chair, just leave me be...'"

The chair featured in the image is a real chair that I discovered and felt would be the perfect representative for this story. I drew it in what I would call a “fading gold” (for poetic reasons), and set it against a black backdrop, representing the darkened room. I wanted the photography to show things that were once new but, though they still existed as whole objects, had been worn with age. The photo of the stairs is the winding staircase in my parents' lovely old house, and the chair is one of their antiques. Because it looks nothing like the one I drew, I decided to take the shot from an artsy angle, allowing the viewer only to identify it as a chair and not as an imposter (although, even at that angle, it's still rather obvious it's not the same chair).


© 2018 by C. K. Conners


"People often ask,
'When did you know?'"

A love story, the likes of which you've never heard.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"My fiancé and I met two years ago at a local community baseball game...He was the only man there, including my escort, who, when it was discovered that seating was limited, had the decency to offer me his chair when no one else would."

A young woman relates the story about how she fell in love with her fiancé. Complete with mohawks and spiders, this is one love story the likes of which you've surely never heard.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"What I discovered over the course of the next few months was a man who, though true to his powerful façade, had a beautifully gentle spirit."

It was indeed a surprise when I learned that not only was a very important person in my life dating someone (unheard of for him), but also that he was getting married to said someone! The day they announced their engagement was the first day I met her, the young lady who would soon tell me the tale that would become How I Fell In Love. She and I sat down over lunch that day and I asked her, “When did it happen?” I should, perhaps, have asked “How did it happen?” or “Who's the imposter attached to you, and what have you done with the real guy?” For this man, whom I had known since his birth, who now sat glued to her hip wearing a giddy smile, had ever been set on not getting hitched. So, if this spunky little lady was able to tame the heart of the stubborn beast, and with him too fall madly in love, I just had to know at what point in their courtship the "falling" had happened. What she told me that day tickled me thoroughly and convinced me that this pair was (and is) heaven’s own match. Adding a little narrative fluffery, I later that night composed HIFIL.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"Was it love? Well, no, not yet. It was actually a foreign sense of security. I felt, to put it simply, safe."

HIFIL’s artwork was a bit of a pain to put together, but it ranks among my favorites. Unique in the fact that this piece was the only one drawn entirely in Adobe Illustrator, I had thought it would have had the fewest hiccups, as all the rest were drawn in Mac Pages. But with all the bizarre movement issues and a layering scheme that, I’ll admit, is a bit of a convoluted mess, it’s safe to say that I have spent nearly as much time getting this one right as I have with all the others. The colors were chosen to match the photo of the rose pictured here, and the spider, once you read, is self-explanatory. As for photography, I chose to capture a representation of the first meeting, the essence of the bond, and what it was that I felt had been the most pivotal aspect to our storyteller's falling in love.


© 2018 by C. K. Conners


"She was indeed lovely,
my precious lady."

One learns, as we all will, that, in the blink of an eye, everything can change.

Photography © 2018 by DMB

"She was mine; a perfect fit. And yet, though I knew she was there, I rarely ever saw her."

Feet frozen in the wintry ground, a sweet lady is remembered; and from the lips of those who would once again be faithful is lifted a song, the words of which mean more now than ever.

Photography © 2018 by DMB

"I am not the protagonist; I am the chorus. And how silent have I been. How silent have we all been."

Lady was written backward. I dreamed the final scene and immediately wrote it down upon waking. From there, the rest of the story, all the way to and ending on the very first line, fell into place. While my dreams often contain bizarre imagery and themes that I ponder for days, hoping to work out some sort of understanding as to their origins, many times my dreams mold into an image a particular message or emotion pressing on my heart that I have had a difficult time translating from heart to text. Lady, I believe, is one of those cases.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"In the blink of an eye she was gone. In the blink of an eye all that I had ever known had disappeared. And there was no one but me to blame."

It was a bit of a challenge deciding what sort of images I could use to capture the essence of the story. The photo of the flag was the obvious one; I took that photo on the morning of Independence Day 2018. The rays through the clouds seemed a good reminder of Lady’s foundation, and I felt the sun breaking through the branches covered with winter was a good representation of the climax. As for the artwork, I chose the green and blue gradient because I felt those colors were the best compliment to the colors used for the figure. And the more I ponder it, the more I find those colors all the more perfect.


© 2018 by C. K. Conners


"When the snow falls,
all the world stops to listen."

Sometimes, things really are just that simple.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"Never have I stood among the heavenly, silken diamonds and heard anything but the powerful silence, the all-consuming peace that comes from the spell of tranquility and the hushed lullaby of a descending wonderland."

A gentle snow descends over a quiet neighborhood, calling forth a young man to share in the splendor and experience his life and his world in a way he had never before done.

Photography © 2018 by DMB

"I am of the limited variety of humans inhabiting this earth who find snowdrifts and nasal icicles more appealing than sand dunes and suntans."

Snowfall will never cease to amaze me in the sense that nearly ALL of my advanced readers picked this one as their favorite. Honestly, I thought Snowfall was going to be the one people found pleasant but forgettable, as (though it had not been casually penned) I truly had unearthed it from a pile of old stories to pad the runtime from six stories to seven. The reaction from readers has been a most pleasant surprise. What you’ll find in Snowfall is a very real experience had late one night (or early morning) when, as I was slinking to bed, I noticed a gentle falling of snow illumed by a streetlamp. I love snow, and seeing it descend so silently and peacefully that night compelled me to rush into the frigid scene and take in all that has been forever captured within the pages of Snowfall.

Photography © 2018 by DMB

"As I admired the beauty of the scene that lay before me, I was reminded that my life, my world, could still be a blank canvas. My story had not yet been written in full."

While the streetlamp mentioned in the story was not in life the one pictured or drawn, the lamp in the photograph is the one after which the artwork version was modeled. The drawing is meant to capture how a nighttime snowfall in a quiet, small town is visible only by the light of the burning lantern, and project a sort of tranquility. Blue is my favorite color, and I love the way this shade mixes with the rest of the colors on the art board.


© 2018 by C. K. Conners


"This kind of thing is not
supposed to happen...
not to me."

How long will the domino structure stand?

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"Either he’s the best thing that has ever walked into my office, or he’s out of his mind about a mile and a half."

A disinterested boss drags his knuckles once again to the hiring chair to add some new interns to his staff. Among them is one particularly ambitious candidate, who, like all the rest, knows all the right things to say and looks the part; yet there’s something different about him, something subtly unsettling and strangely uplifting, all at the same time. But who has time to find out what that something is? Not this boss. Not for a while. Just give ‘em the ol’ once-over and usher ‘em in—what could go wrong?

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"The ground feels as if it’s either made of air, or situated somewhere ten feet down. I feel like I’ve just been fired, actually. And the strangest part...I think I’m all right with it."

The first draft of The Candidate had been completed in 2016, and at that time I was just about done with The Ramblings of a Small-Town What’s-His-Name. I wanted so badly to get The Candidate into the public eye then, but by that time I had run out of money and could no longer follow through with my publishing plans. But this proved to be a blessing, allowing me to dive deeper into the story and reassess the message I was hoping to relate. In that time, I determined that The Candidate was yet incomplete and its message too vague and watered down. I, therefore, set aside a week of hair-pulling, during which the final product, with which I am most satisfied, was completed. And the timing, I feel, could not have been better.

Photography © 2018 by C. K. Conners

"'Your company was the slapstick comedy before the feature presentation, the clown act before the play, the jester in a hall of kings.'"

Dominoes are a big part of this story, a fixation of the storyteller; and because my photo-shooting session had produced some rather satisfying domino images, I said “What the heck!” and went with all-domino photography. Regarding the artwork, it is simply the faceless (and hands-less) version of the antagonist. The black/grey radial gradient is meant to give the sense of a dimming light, or of an interrogation lamp. It’s up to you to decide who is being interrogated.


© 2018 by C. K. Conners


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