Melanie gives us some brain-crunchy Q’s this week…
1. Must we have evidence to know the truth?
I do, but lots of other people just go with “faith.” If I don’t have tangible evidence of X, or a collection of behaviors/events (including emotional states) to make X obvious, the truth of X remains an open question. I may still take action though. Sometimes you have to.
2. How much control does a person have over their life?
None. Isn’t that freeing? I just read about this in Mark Manson’s book too. Control is an illusion, but you are responsible for all your choices, including your emotional reactions.
3. What is gravity and how does it work?
It’s the irresistible attraction of a pen to a kitty, who must knock it off the table to see if it will fall to the center of the earth.
4. Can a person be happy if they have never experienced sadness? How about vice versa?
No. You need opposing states to compare, which is why I quit dating.
Please feel free to share a song, a poem, a quote or an image or photo to show what you were grateful for during this past week. (Optional as always).
This seems appropriate for these times… so grateful for friends who hook me up with interesting music!
I’m doing this challenge in groups of 6 so that I end up with 5 posts at the end of June for my 30 day book challenge instead of 30. This is my fourth set of books.
19. As I said, I don’t care for audiobooks, but if a man with a sexy British accent wants to read something to me, I won’t put up a fuss. I watched a multipart show about meerkats of all the silly things because the narrator had such a delicious British voice.
20. I love unreliably narrated books! So much fun. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is a good example of a book with an unreliable narrator. Merrikat pulls you into her world and you think you know what’s going on… or do you? I do have a preference for books about sisters…
21. Orange County Noir, edited by Gary Phillips, is an anthology of short stories that are set in Orange County, California. Many are very dark, giving us a peek at the desperate lives people live behind the facade of glittering McMansions and shiny new cars. I see it has a whole bunch of bad reviews because people want Orange County stories to be upbeat, I guess. Well, they aren’t. WE SUFFER HERE.
22. I had to find a brand new book to read for the LGBTQ love story, as there were none on my list. It’s definitely not a genre I seek out, though I’ve read bits of pr0n here and there, as you do. Naturally, I chose the L, since it’s bad enough having one man in a love story, but two of ’em? Gah. Anyway, I picked Endless Love by Lauren Trevino. This book was just okay. It could have used an editor/proofreader ~ there were lots of typos and elided words. We all make mistakes and it’s hard to catch our own when we’ve gone over the same pages a hundred times and made changes. Beyond that, the heroines were rather bland with cookie-cutter motivations. Just like the cliched male/female romance novel, every character was incredibly beautiful, there was a friend who betrayed them, one walked in on the other at exactly the “wrong” moment (twice), the sex was always amazing, yada. Some chapters were too disjointed and short. There were POV breaks. Etc. But the story still pulled me along well enough to the end with some tension anyway. I was planning to give the book 2 stars but gave it 3. Why? Because at the end, the lovers discussed the 2016 election and actually went out in the street to protest. Generally, romance novels don’t take any political stance, and for that act of bravery, I awarded another star.
23. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” This is the last line of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. It’s probably due for a reread.
24. Wow, I don’t have any true collaborations in my Goodreads list. This means a book written by 2 or more authors, not a collection of stories by 2 or more writers. Different things. I must have read some, but I don’t recall any. To rectify this, I’m going to buy one of the books by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. She’s a romance writer and he’s a suspense writer ~ they wrote a few books together (I actually attended one of their workshops in San Diego several years ago). I’ve wanted to read one, so this is my opportunity. I don’t have time to read it before this goes live though. Sorry about that.
See you on the 30th with my final set of June books!
Get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about Monday and how it slip-slid away from me. All day I was thinking about making a post ~ there were some truly great prompt words that went together nicely (depression, zilch, connect, human, etc.). But I needed to do other things first, mainly work, but also laundry, and I’m determined to start carving out time for exercise (I did). I also cooked a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, then had to clean up the dishes. Naturally, I made time for chatting with my family because that’s important too. Upshot is that I didn’t open up a new post until 11PM. By that time, the prompts had faded into new ones and I lost my motivation to create fiction.
Speaking of, I’ve been working a lot on Ghosted again. I’m very pleased with the progress right now. It’s always been tricky for me to get the crime just right… complex enough to be interesting, but not so ridiculous that no one can follow what’s going on. It is mainly a family drama after all. And a love story, of course. Where would we be without love stories? I’m not sure my pacing is so great, but I really need it to stay how it is. I’ll edit it at least once more though.
I do have a smile for Trent this week and I’ll write that up tomorrow. Maybe I’ll do the SYW for Melanie too. It didn’t really grab me tonight. Sadje has an interesting picture to prompt us… maybe I can do something with that. And I look forward to the FPQ on Wednesday, as always.
I have loads of books ready to read on my Kindle, but I think I’m gonna try to get a few extra ZZZ’s tonight. Catch you tomorrow!
Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the #TMP tag, link back to me (or not), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen. I have feelings!
This week I’m all peeved about body-shaming, though this certainly is not a new peeve whatsoever. I was body-shamed as a fat little kid with glasses (was told I looked like Ben Franklin on picture day)… and I was body-shamed as a skinny teenager. I’ve been body shamed by men I’ve dated… too this, too that, not enough, blah blah. I would never dream of saying anything to them about their inadequacies. Because I know how utterly awful it feels to be humiliated in this way, I don’t do it to others. Mock people’s behaviors? Sure, not a problem. People choose their actions and those are fair game. But for the most part, you don’t choose how you look and physical mockery is a completely unfair and terrible thing to do. Not to mention the fact that no one is perfect. Who among us is so flawless that they should be shaming others for physical imperfections?
Some people though, who are otherwise kind and decent, seem to feel that if a person is a horrible monster who has body-shamed others and is an all-round creepazoid, then that makes it okay to body-shame them, even to the point of mocking possible disabilities and illnesses.
First, I give big thanks to both Rory and Sadje for thinking of me for this award! 😍❤️😘 I really appreciate it. Next, like many here, I do not follow the rules of these award posts. I’m not posting the rules and I’m not tagging peeps or writing new questions. If you want to grab these (some or all, feel free). I consider all my readers worthy of an award for spending time on my posts. Finally, I’m not linking back to the site where this award originated because that’s just giving someone blog views when they haven’t done anything. Also, I don’t see this image anywhere on their site, so idk where it came from.
1. Did you live an adventurous young adult life as in between your later teens to you early thirties and if you did what was your life style like …
2. …… if you didn’t what was your lifestyle like?
I was boring, like now. I’ve never been particularly adventurous. My lifestyle was about working, finishing college, getting married, starting a family. Back then, I watched a lot more TV.
3. What was the riskiest date you ever went on and why?
Probably driving up to Hollywood from Irvine in freaking rush hour to meet this gross man who liked my writing and was allegedly in “the biz” and said he would help me. When he realized I wasn’t attracted to him, he became angry.
4. How big a child are you still?
Not much, though I can be silly with kids and they like me. I’m a serious person though and not very spontaneous.
5. What will you simply not do for money OR is that question easier to answer favourably reflective upon the sum of actual money offered?
You may have noticed, if you pay attention to such things, that my “follower count” just dropped by 1200 or so. No worries! That is not a real number. Those were my tweeters, and I delinked Twitter. Last night I realized that my blog posts get practically no engagement there, so it’s pointless to keep sending my posts over every time one goes live. They just sit there like a smelly old salami no one wants on their sandwich.
My use of Twitter is almost exclusively for poetry prompts and a tiny bit of politics. I like to see what’s trending there so I know the major news of the day right away. It also gives me hot takes on celebs, and I confess that I still like to know what some of them are up to. There are miscellaneous accounts I follow, such as the earthquake bot, which I find useful.
But Twitter and Blogville never integrated in any meaningful way for me, unlike say the way Facebook used to. I may send posts over to FB again, but not all of them. We’ll see. The problem with FB is that people will discuss the post there, not here, so later when I check comments on a post, I won’t see the full convo here on my blog. Annoy!
I blocked someone on Twitter last night for hijacking a post from here (which is what prompted the review of my posts there). People are so rude and thoughtless… and tempers are short now. There is no reason to put up with obnoxious behavior online, none. I see people unfriending others on FB all the time for being jerks, and I get it. If you disagree and can’t be decent about it, go sulk in private or start your own post on the topic. Don’t take over mine!
So far so good regarding my return to FB. I haven’t even been that careful, but I don’t go on and on either. I don’t need to have the last word on other people’s threads. I say what I want to say and get out. I think it’s rude to get into arguments on posts that aren’t your own. I don’t like it when others take over one of my threads for their own ego fest either. Go yell in front of a mirror!
Do you believe there is such a thing as ESP? Or is what some suggest to be ESP merely that there are people who are highly intuitive and are very good at reading people’s very subtle signals?
I do believe in ESP, as strictly defined, which is “extra” sensory perception. That is, I believe there are some folks who are very skilled at processing and synthesizing sensory perceptions in order to make accurate predictions. Other folks just float through life not noticing things, or lacking the ability to do anything with their data. I think the skill can be taught up to a point, but some people have it naturally.
Let me also add that signals aren’t all that subtle once you know what to look for. You can learn what people do when they lie, for example. You can study how faces, voices, and body language change as people experience various emotions.
Some of us are more attuned to “reading a room” than others. It’s become trendy now to call us empaths. Everyone is an empath! This word grates on my nerves, grrrr. I call this a survival skill and people who don’t have it are likely the lucky ones who didn’t grow up in a stressful environment or experience abuse. When you do, you become skilled at discerning the shifts in voice, expression, and body language of those around you so you can better prepare for the coming storm or try to deflect it somehow. It’s not magic… it’s self-protection.
But do I believe that there is some spiritual woo woo thing that gives a select few the ability to “read minds” or bend spoons or predict plane crashes? Um no. Sure, I’ve “known” a few things in advance… haven’t we all? But what about all the times we did not know? That’s called confirmation bias, folks. Mostly, we don’t know.
1. I miss going to work in my office every day. I’m one of those rare souls who dislikes working from home. I don’t like to slob around in grungy clothes, graze at the fridge all day, and procrastinate until I end up doing my work late at night. So annoying! Not to mention all the noise from gardeners, cats, etc. I like to work at work.
2. I miss playing Ticket to Ride, my favorite board game. Other games are doable over Zoom (not that I like Zoom that much, different issue), but you really need to play TTR in person. I could go on indefinitely with remote games… except for the loss of TTR.
3. I miss being able to grab a coffee in a Starbucks (or wherever) and sit for a few minutes while zoning out with my phone… or even having lunch somewhere by myself at a little table and reading on my phone or gazing out the window. I guess we can start doing this again, but I’m not inclined to expose myself to germs for no reason. It just seems foolish.
4. I miss being able to fly up to Northern California to see my daughter and her hubby, and I don’t feel comfortable flying yet or going through an airport. Maybe I’ll drive up at some point, though that’s no fun at all. Seven hours on the road each way, gah.
5. I miss being able to hang out with my younger daughter in Los Angeles and her family, go to the park, or grab lunch, whatever. I can see them now, but it’s still pretty limited.
I was thinking about switching to the new SYW pic Melanie has up for this week’s post, but I love this old one too much to give it up. Let’s get to the questions, shall we? 😀
1. How comfortable are you speaking in front of large groups of people?
I’m not comfortable with large groups of people period. (This predates the virus.) Sometimes I don’t even want to be in small groups either! But I can speak if I have to. I did a couple rounds of open mic stand-up comedy in front of 50 folks or so to prove I could. I also gave a speech at my daughter’s wedding in front of around 75 people. But I’d rather not do those types of things ever again.😝
2. What would be the best thing you could reasonably expect to find in a cave?
My common sense after peering in to tell me to turn right around and get the hell out of there. 🦇
3. What did you think was going to be amazing but turned out to be horrible?
My last romance (2016). 💔
4. What’s the silliest thing you’ve observed someone get upset about?
I observed the entire internet collectively freak out over an unsatisfactory ending to a TV show we’d all been watching for some time. People were very angry because the wrong character killed the bad guy and the beautiful queen destroyed a city and on and on. Folks are still complaining about it over a year later.🙄
Please feel free to share something that gave you an uplifted spirit during this past week. (Optional)
Well… I already shared how thrilled I was to see my family last Tuesday (yikes, was that a week ago already?)… just talking to them over FaceTime since then, I guess. I’m very grateful for that technology especially now with my little granddaughter so we can see each other. 😍 It’s great when my eldest can join in too.
No clue where this image is from, but it’s not mine.
Nice that the block editor keeps the alt text of previous images unlike the classic editor. I’m always forgetting to add it and Ashley says we should. If we copypasta an entire post, of course, the alt text is kept, but (1) I haven’t found the copy button yet on Blocky, and (2) sometimes that’s annoying anyway because you have to delete so much. Ideally, my saved pieces will have All The Things.
This is my first post today (Friday, June 5)… though I realize for some of you it’s already Saturday and you’re onto the Stream of Con thingie. I’ll do that next if I don’t collapse here at the table as I do sometimes. Fan. Fan fan fan. Lots of ways to go there. Again, I failed to do the flashback… maybe that won’t be a regular feechur here any longer, idk. I’m pretty bored with it, plus I like to write new things. I did do a brief search yesterday, but only one year came up and I didn’t like anything. Remember that, even though this blog is a decade old, there were times I didn’t post much and other times I went through and hosed vast amounts of jabber off the sidewalk. That was because (1) I like getting rid of old, negative vibes, and (2) I kept restarting the dating stupidity and thought men might go back and read it and get the (correct) idea that I’m a big crab. I should have been searching for a lobster, or someone relatively crunchy.
I’ve been posting more from my laptop instead of my phone. That’s because my hand hurts. Idk if it’s arthritis or what. It seems like it probably is. In any case, normal typing on a keyboard is much more comfortable for my hand than poking at the phone buttons. That’s why, if anyone wondered, I’ve been using fewer emoticons… sometimes I save a post and then open it on my phone and “decorate” it before publishing, but not always. I told my doctor about my hand on our tele-visit and asked if it was okay to use ICYHOT. He said sure but it didn’t do anything except excite my nerves to distract me from the pain for a bit. Ever since then, the ICYHOT has lost its appeal, lol. Which is great because I have a multipack of the stuff from Amazon that I ordered to get a great bargain. [insert eyeroll]
I had trouble sleeping this week. All the chaos in the streets/media just got to me (again). Worry for myself, my work, my family, their work, health, safety, finances, all of it, circles and ripples and spirals of worry. I haven’t been able to fall asleep for real until way after midnight (sometimes I have a crash nap for a few minutes here & there)… sometimes not until 2AM. And I don’t sleep that much later to make up for it… I am usually awake by 6:30 at the latest, though I will try to doze off and on for another hour, if I can. I get up tired, which I hate, and muddle through the day, sometimes finding energy in the afternoon, depending on the day. It’s just an exhausting cycle. I’m hoping to get it under control this weekend with some good self-care.
Needless to say, I’ve had to focus what little mental sharpness I’ve had on work and there was nothing left for my writing projects. That’s just how it is and I refuse to beat myself up over it. I didn’t go outside and exercise, even though things are opening up, because of the protests and random weird stuff going on. I absolutely do not want to get involved in anything. That’s just how I am, and if anyone has a problem with it, please go rant on your own blog about the joys of activism. I’m in chronic pain and can’t fix the world, sorry. Marching/yelling/being in a glob of people would certainly give me migraines and back pain for days. I was glad to see that the protests in Orange County, California stayed peaceful and purposeful however. That didn’t interest the major news media, since they only want to show violence to get more shares and clicks.
Facebook is a drag. I was happy to return during the pandemic to reconnect with peeps… it was wonderful to be so warmly welcomed back. I totally dug that. It was easy enough to steer clear of most of the ranting politics and instead chat with peeps about their pets and recipes and what-all, but then along came this latest round of screaming. Peeps are diligently reposting links and memes and lecturing everyone else on the exact way to say things and do things and yada yada boo. I do feel proud that I received a “bless your heart” from a Texas conservative. I must be doing something right, eh? Mostly though I tiptoe around now because I don’t need someone to messily explode at me for not wording my feels in the prescribed manner. I hesitate to post anything myself in fear of starting a massive war of words in my comments, since I have friends from all over the political spectrum. Meh.
Twitter is nuts. I keep losing followers, though I don’t say a damn thing. How could I offend anyone? Maybe they die, idk. Yesterday I complained about my sinking stats and a few returned. Who even knows what is up with that place. I shouldn’t care about the numbers, and I wouldn’t except they’re right on the splash page of your profile. At least here on WP, I have to click somewhere to look at my pathetic stats. Yes, I know they are bad because I did look. Pffft. Don’t care. WHY don’t I care about my WP stats, when I’m writing here, but I care about my number of Twitter followers, when I barely tweet? There is a mystery…
Okay, this is long. I should go make some tea and write the fan thing now.