Before Cell Phones

We parted with enmity

And now he is gone,

Left without a kiss,

And sailed off at dawn.

I shall write him a letter,

Include a photograph too,

And stuff them in a bottle,

Toss them in waves of blue.

As he sails round the globe,

My love note behind him,

Fate may have to intervene,

For this message to find him.

~*~

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The Friday Four

A Guy Called Bloke Production

1] Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

– I’m an introvert. But I’m not pathologically introverted ~ I don’t have anxiety about calling peeps on the phone or interacting in person, and I’ve even done a couple stand-up comedy routines. I just prefer not to. I like to be at home with my kitty, 🐱 writing in relative quiet. But I’ll do the other stuff from time to time, or even often, because life. Part of my issue with “doing things” isn’t being with people so much (though I do joke about that) ~ it’s being on the road. Traveling in a vehicle is very dangerous; there are around 30,000 deaths per year on the roads, not to mention injuries. That’s terrifying. I have a lot of anxiety about driving and other drivers, but I believe it’s quite justified.

2] What makes you feel complete, whole or accomplished?

– I enjoy office work. I like being thanked and knowing I helped get a project done. I also like completing an organizing or decluttering task and seeing all the things in their Rightful Places, whether at home or at work.

3] Do you judge a book by its cover?

– Sometimes I am guilty of this, in both directions. 😱

4] What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?

– People take my fiction literally. Ah, if only I had done the all things I write about… what an interesting life that would have been!

My First Mystery

… award that is!

A big thanks to Kristian for the nom. He has a very entertaining blog and it’s hard to believe it’s less than a year old!

The Rules:

1. Put the award logo on your blog. ✅

2. List the rules. ✅

3. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog. ✅

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well.❓

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself. 🆗

6. Nominate 10-20 people. ⚠️

7. Notify your nominees. ⚠️

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, specifying one weird/funny question. 🚫

9. Share a link to your best post(s). 💤

Three Things:

1. I’ve never seen Titanic.

2. I’ve been wearing tights under pants because it’s so cold in SoCal.

3. I usually cry at other people’s sad animal stories, and sometimes at happy ones too.

Questions from Kristian:

1. Name something you like to see in a book, that makes you want to read further.

– A kitty or puppy.

2. What would make you want to stop reading a book?

– The author intruding with his/her political opinions in fiction.

3. If they produced the story of your life, what genre would it be?

– Medical: “A Cure for Insomnia” 💤

4. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

– NorCal.

5. What advice would you like to give to your ten-year-old self?

– Go to Northwestern!

As for the rest, my nominees and questions, I shall use this handy-dandy card from Rory. 😀

My Own Worlds (200 words)

My father was never lost; he just took the scenic routes. This infuriated my mother, who had created plans and made motel reservations. She would read the road map while Dad meandered along a new route in a strange state until she got a headache. Eventually, he’d get to where we were supposed to be, accompanied by a lot of shouting, his good mood disappeared and all of us starving. Luckily, we never had to sleep in the car.

In the meantime, I tuned my parents out by curling up in the back seat with books, immersing myself in new worlds with new characters. I let the scenery whoosh by my window unobserved. I wanted to escape into my mind, into a fantasy land where people weren’t screaming over maps and whether we were lost.

I was lost in a kaleidoscope of fiction. Sometimes the newly spun world was a doggie story and later they became mysteries. In my teen years, I got hooked on romance novels. Eventually, I began to wonder if I could create my own worlds of words, spin my own colorful tales for others to lose themselves in. It all began during those stressful driving “vacations.”

~*~

50-Word Thursday (sets of 50)

Three Things Challenge

Shoe Trouble [flash 115]

“What’s wrong?” Candy asked Cinnamon as they stood in line for the bus. She noticed that her friend looked forlorn this morning.

Cinnamon sniffled as tears filled her eyes. “I’m just feeling a lot of buyer’s remorse over my new school shoes.”

Candy glanced down at Cinnamon’s feet. “They are cute shoes, but…”

“My feet already hurt!” Cinnamon stamped them in frustration.

“Um, that might be cuz your shoes are on the wrong feet,” Candy said. “Let me hold your backpack and you can switch them.”

Cinnamon smiled. “You’re a good friend! Want to be science lab partners this year?”

Candy blanched. “Let’s just focus on your shoes for now. One thing at a time!”

One-Liner Wednesday

Quote from Goodreads.

This is undeniably true; only a psychopath could witness certain kinds of horrors and stay serene and unaffected. I also believe that depression should be considered a normal reaction to experiencing profound grief. Why do we have to think of it as an illness? Whether medication is necessary or desirable is a separate topic. I’m only talking about the way we think about dark and prolonged sadness.

People don’t want to know. They want to see the phony smile. They want the bland “good” in reply to their meaningless “how ya doing?” They put artificial time limits on other people’s grief or heartbreak. A year is “long enough” to mourn, or you can’t be that upset over him ~ you only went on a handful of dates! Oh. My mistake. I’ll just take my ball of sad and go home.

Anyway. I think it’s good to remember that people can have different reactions to the same situation. We aren’t all carved from a monolithic mind.

~*~

One-Liner Wednesday

FPQ9: Struggle Bunny

This week Fandango asks two (2!) provocative questions, and we can answer one or both. Or none, if we’re party poopers. But I’ve always gone for extra credit points, so both it is!

“What are you struggling with the most right now?”

I’ve been trying to lose the five pounds I gained last year and it’s a struggle. I’m not used to dieting these days, plus the fact that I don’t eat that much to begin with, so it’s very difficult to cut back from my normal small meals. What would have been best is not to have gained in the first place. 🙄

Fandango sez:

Some of you might be uncomfortable answering such a personal and possibly intrusive question. And that’s why I’m going to pose an alternative question:

“As a blogger, do you enjoy ‘virtual relationships’? Do you consider them to be real?”

First, let me laugh at the idea that I would not answer a personal and possibly intrusive question… 😂😂😂

Second, yes and yes. I enjoyed virtual relationships long before I became a blogger, so blogging has nothing to do with it. The minute I discovered the internet and found a universe of weird funny punny writing type people who wanted to discuss topics other than baby food and carpet samples, I was into VRs. (Later, I found more interesting people in meatspace, but that took a while.)

I liken virtual people to the Velveteen Rabbit from the children’s book. They’re all real to me, as they exist in their own worlds and the internet gives us a way to connect. I imagine they view only certain aspects of me, not me as a whole complete bunny, and that’s okay. It’s not like people in meatspace get me all that well either ~ sometimes a lot less actually.

But here’s the weird thing: many times I prefer the virtual relationship. It’s more cerebral, it’s all in chosen words, and it’s easier to walk away from (if necessary). I like a relationship made of writings to savor and reread. I like creating my part of the relationship, thoughtfully, out of words, not awkwardly out of blurty speech and clumsy actions. And I like being able to delete it completely when I’m done.

And Fandango thought the first question was more personal!

Journal: Week 1

(Thanks to Nova)

1. I’m most looking forward to making progress on my novel.

2. Three goals for this month: edit everything I wrote on my novel in November, exercise daily, blog daily.

3. Today is quiet and productive; wish I had Diet Coke.

4. Looking forward to seeing my grandbaby again soon.

5. I don’t want to forget how much fun I had over the holidays when my whole little family was together.

6. This year I’ll be going up to NorCal at least twice.

7. My top three priorities are: work, health, writing.

8. Places I have visited so far this year would be… home and work! Target and the gas station. Costco for an eye exam and to order new glasses and sunglasses. Oh, and the restaurant that didn’t have hot tea. 🙄

Don’t Look Back [flash 99]

They told her not to look back, but the road was long. She grew weary of the endless night.

She glanced back once and glimpsed Paradise: lush meadows, bright skies, sparkling rivers, a swirl of butterflies.

She glanced back twice and saw the rains had come, snakes forced from their dens, lightning flashing, children cold and crying.

She glanced back again and all was fire, horror, madness, and death. She quickly turned away.

Lavender dawn broke over the road in front of her, but it was too late, for the madness had seeped into her mind.

And they knew.

~*~

Prompt from the Carrot Ranch

Pretty Birds

Thought I’d share some of my fave birdie pics for Ryan’s photo challenge to brighten up the week. I took these 3 years ago at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.