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Smoky Share

Share Your World

Happy Moonday! Hope your air isn’t as horrible as California’s. Melanie continues with a double dose of Q’s for this week…

Roger’s Magical, Mystical Questions:

1. You have just been gifted a magic wand that specializes in completing household chores. You can request the completion of only two household chores. Which chores would you assign your wand to complete?

Wax the car! Paint the house! But seriously, since California is my home, I think this wand should magically clean our air from smoke and our water from pollution.

2. At the local Wizards-R-Us store there was a sale on handshake shockers, instant darkness pellets, and levitation pills. Which of these ‘party thrillers’ are you more likely to purchase?

Hello darkness, my old friend…

3. In the alley behind Wizards-R-Us, there was a tradesman selling a Love Potion. The sales pitch was too much for you and you yielded and purchased one vial. What do you do with it?

Pour it on a lottery ticket.

bitmoji bonus

4. You are the Great Clearinghouse Winner of a new ‘good luck’ potion – Felix Felicis. It has to be used within the next thirty days or its potency becomes diminished. Do you use it? Do you give it to a friend in need?

Give it to a daughter.

Melanie’s Mundane Muggle Questions:

5. If everyone spoke their mind, would this world be a better or worse place? Why?

Worse. Just look at Twitter and FB! Yuck. People need to relearn what polite topics of conversation are. Hint: not religion and politics. The world doesn’t need to see all your ugly and hateful feelings… repress those suckers.

6. Can achieving nothing make a person happy?

By “a person,” I take it to mean me, and I say no. People who answer yes aren’t homeless and starving.

7. How do you know if you love someone enough to marry them?

You don’t, nor is there any guarantee they’ll love you till they (or you) die. It’s always a gamble.

GRATITUDE SECTION (as always this is optional)

Please feel free to write about or share an image of something you’re grateful for!

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images credited to Melanie and Bitmoji

My Turn [rant]

Bitmoji laptop

Soooo, I have tried to avoid bitching too much about WordPress, as imperfect as it is. Not to mention that I don’t hate the block editor (heresy!), though of course I have empathy for anyone experiencing difficulties getting their writing to publish. The thing is, blogging is my favorite form of social media by far, and I’m super grateful it’s surviving when almost everyone else just twitters and faceplops. I blame a short attention span… I remember when some of my writer friends kept interesting blogs, but now they just quote boring political crap on FB, or repost dumb memes. I guess it’s easier. 🙄

H O W E V E R!

I had the damndest time getting my last post to publish properly. And this has nothing to do with the cursed BE because I was using the app in classic mode. Ooh, maybe they’re screwing with the CE to get us to switch over entirely (I use the BE on my laptop). I had to keep fixing it and republishing it to get all the links to “take.” They would disappear in the process and I’d view the post only to find them poofed. So maddening!

Bitmoji fire flames angry rage

I understand that the outcome of writing to WP for help is zippo, nada, crickets. So why bother? Instead I’m venting here, especially because this wasn’t a one-off. I’ve had to repost other pieces of writing due to formatting glitches. Sometimes my video links don’t show up with previews, and it looks stupid when the html link sits there alone instead of a nice music image. Btw, I’m in the process of labeling all my saved images, since the WP search function is crap. Not talking about their library, but trying to find something I’ve used before and saved in mine. Yes, that’s a different issue, but why not throw everything into the Big Casserole of Doom?

Must chillax somehow…

bitmoji meditate calm breath zen

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Bitmoji

Crabby Share

Crabby

Well, I was in a good mood, but checking FB, Twitter, and all that nonsense has put a raincloud over it. Wish I hadn’t rejoined FB and need to stay away. Twitter too… it does not help me sell books at all. Okay. Time for Share Your World! I’ll answer the Harry Potter questions this time because they’re pretty general.

Roger’s Magical, Mystical Questions:

1. Have you ever spent the night in a house that was supposedly haunted? Anything ‘strange” happen?

No and yes. “Strange” things happen all the time ~ how you interpret them is the key. There have been times it feels like my mom talks to me. I could decide that’s a ghostly communication from “beyond,” or my own subconscious.

2. What is the largest sporting event (or concert, etc.) that you have ever attended?

I went to some hideously huge concert at the Hollywood Bowl some years back. I forget what it was, but I had a really bad time in that large of an arena.

3. When you go for a swim, do you prefer an ocean, the seaside lakes, or a pool?

None. I dislike pools altogether, and the natural bodies are good for getting my feet wet. I’m not inclined to do more than that.

4. Tell about the most ‘ghastly’ fashion statement that you have ever made.

I dressed up as a silly elf for a Christmas party and won a prize.

Muggle Questions (from Melanie):

1. What is the last song you sang along to?

“Monday Monday,” which was on a CD I randomly grabbed today for the car.

2. What was your scariest nightmare about?

I was little, around 10 or under, and dreamt I got lost at the zoo. I ended up behind the exhibits and there was a wolf loose. He jumped on me and ripped my throat open. In the dream, I died, though I understand that isn’t supposed to happen in dreams. I woke up with strep throat.

3. What food do you crave most often?

It used to be sugar, preferably frosted cake or cookies. Now though I’m more likely to crave pizza or pasta. In fact, I would like some pizza, thanks! 🍕

4. What’s your grossest bug story?

I have a few, but the most disgusting event that has never left my mind was when my new puppy had tapew*rms, which usually happen because of flea ingestion. So so so gross. My cat had them too (twice!), due to effing fleas, but getting rid of them wasn’t as disgusting as the puppy situation. I saw big tangled globs of them. HORRIBLE.

GRATITUDE SECTION (optional as always)

Grateful for modern science and medicine, even when it works imperfectly. I have zero tolerance for conspiracy lunatics who would rather take advice from some idiot on YooToob. You don’t believe in science or support “big pharma”? Go live in a cave then. I get all the vaccines and am thankful for them!

Share Your World

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from wherever…

Monday Mishmash

Bitmoji Monday

I meant to do the Dog Days’ prompt last night before bed, but I began a puzzle, got sleepy, and conked out. To punish me for this neglect, my guilty conscience kept waking me, and Monday morning said hello with a migraine. (Yay for meds! Feeling better already.) Generally, however, I make my blog a priority; for example, I have my Thursday Inspirations scheduled out through the end of September. They aren’t topical, so that’s fine. My Monday Peeves could theoretically be scheduled too, but I kinda like to wait until I’m genuinely annoyed with something on the spot, which is never a problem. If I go a week without getting annoyed, my blog fans will be the first to know!

Speaking of blog things, you’ll be happy to know that I am approaching the big 2K of real followers. What do I mean by that? I mean that instead of “cheating” and including Facebook and Twitter “friends” as followers by connecting my blog to those platforms, I disconnected and am counting only those who actually have clicked on follow. Truth is, I don’t mind the lower number because it more accurately reflects how my blog is doing. Obviously, not all 1900+ followers are reading my posts, but that’s okay. They’ve clicked follow, which is what counts.

Bitmoji happy stars

Honestly, I feel like a fish out of water on FB and Twitter now. People are so niched up, with many focusing only on one topic (usually politics, but not always), and they get lots of friends/followers because their fellow focusers see them as a serious poster. I’m not serious. On FB, I’ll post whatever silly thing crosses my mind, but since my return I don’t post much, compared to my prior account. It’s just not that appealing any longer, though I’m glad to have reconnected with peeps and try to comment here and there without getting into fights. On Twitter, I usually tweet poetry, but I also retweet politics, cat stuff, otters, nom food pics, jokes, whatever. The Serious Poets are not interested in following me. Oh well.

Bitmoji shrug

But blogging isn’t like that. The peeps I follow in general post on a variety of topics, and this pleases me. I enjoy knowing that when I go to Fandango’s pad, I might see politics (well, duh) or some cool piece of flash fiction. He also hosts prompts, as do many of us. When I visit Di or Li or Sadje, I might get to read a poem or an essay or flash fiction. There are also a bunch of posters with neato info about music (Jim, John, et al). Of course Rory takes the cake with posts on everything imaginable. This all makes my newsfeed more fun for me. I guess blogging is now considered the fringe of social media. It’s like telling people you still burn CDs for your car. How uh quaint.

Yes, I do still burn CDs for my car! 🎶🎶🎶

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image credits ~ Bitmoji

“Emotions Are Overrated”

pointless meanderings

This is a subheading in Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I totally vibed to this section. He talks about emotions being “feedback mechanisms” that notify us when something is right or wrong for us in our environment. Like eek a snake… fear! Or mmm a cupcake… happy! Those are simple ones obviously, but even the more complex ones are feedback too and it’s less stressful to consider them as such. Oh, I’m feeling anxious, why? And then I can logically go through the things in my environment that are making me feel out of control. Which are all the things, but still. It’s helpful (for me)!

You know where it’s super useful? In dealing with unpleasant stuff online. Look, someone said a mean thing to me and I am feeling all sorts of sad and bad and rage. Instead of immediately acting on that, I think about why I’m feeling those things. Is the comment partly true? Are there things I could do better ~ I’ll work on them! Is the commenter just a trolling jerk trying to get a rise out of peeps? Most of the time this is it and the correct response is to ignore, mute, block, or sometimes simply make a silly joke to defuse the situation. Responding heatedly only encourages more of the same. This is a hard lesson for some people to learn, but my online presence was born in the flames of Usenet, so I usually can step back.

This dovetails with the other way I like to think about emotions ~ the train metaphor. I strive to envision my mental landscape as a serene, calm, beautiful place with lush gardens, fluffy clouds, pretty butterflies, and sparkling lakes. There is also a train track and periodically an “emotion car” comes through. The car could be full of anger or sadness or joy or hope. But whatever it is… it will pass. Sometimes it’s a long-ass train, car after car of yucky emotions, but even so, eventually it goes away. So very important to keep in mind, for me anyway. I realize it’s just a fancier way of restating “this too shall pass,” but that phrase isn’t evocative for me like the train image.

We like to think of the negative emotions as transitory, but as it turns out, the positive ones are too. At least for me. I can’t sustain joy 24/7, nor would I want to. If every hour was filled with balloons and candy cars, that would get dull. Unfortunately, back when I was “dating” (barf), I and the men I dated wanted constant happiness. If we weren’t feeling awesome all the time when we were together, then obviously something was wrong and we should bail. That’s pretty unrealistic. I think our expectations are set by the media though, which says you need to feel continuous joy in a romance or it’s wrong.

The romances and romcoms I grew up with had this trope. No matter what obstacles life put in the way, the “perfect” person for you would vanquish them so that the relationship could be bliss 24 hours a day. But no one has relationships like this. What happens after the happily ever after ending? That, as my friend Don noted on FB, is the interesting story. That is where the story really begins.

“A fixation on happiness inevitably amounts to a never-ending pursuit of ‘something else’ […] And despite all of our sweat and strain, we end up feeling eerily similar to how we started: inadequate.” ~ Mark Manson in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image originally found on Pixabay.

I So Lay Ted World

Share your world

Melanie has gifted us with some Q’s…

What do you do to get rid of stress?

I’ve been working on avoiding stress because once invited in, it’s tough to boot out the door. As I’ve said many times, I gave up a huge source of stress by quitting dating sites in 2016. I’m also more careful to avoid other activities and events that create anxiety, such as last minute travel, big concerts, loud parties, etc. And I know it sounds silly, but I also get easily stressed out from unfamiliar locations and parking problems, so I’m cautious of those as well.

But what if all that fails and I get stressed? Welp. I would want to be home or get home ASAP. Familiar surroundings are important to calm me down. I’d want to change into comfy warm clothes, make tea, lock the door, and be in silence to decompress. I’d probably play some word and card games on my phone to have something soothing to do. Then I might “self-talk” through the situation, pace, cry, rant, call a daughter, rinse, repeat as necessary. Hopefully, I’d have a day to myself to process whatever thing this was.

bitmoji meditate calm breath zen

In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?

Pierce Brosnan. ❤️

What’s the opposite of a koala?  (this is strictly for fun.  I know what I came up with as an answer, but it was nonsensical.   Alaok.  See?   It’s okay to pass on this one too if you want)

Well… a koala is a gentle tree-dwelling vegetarian, so the opposite of that would be a vicious water-dwelling carnivore… I’ll say shark. There are others though, if anyone is offended that sharks are unfairly singled out. We can go with barracuda then. They both have songs about them, which is nice. Idk if there’s a song about a koala, but I bet Jim would know! 🙂

What’s the creepiest tech out there?  (My interpretation of “tech” is app or program.  If you know what “tech” is supposed to mean, hey!  Great!   Educate us.

Facebook. It has all the creepies ~ trackers to know where you are and what you’re doing, ads shoveled at you every second, face recognition software, conversation recording, “oopsie we stole/sold all your data & promise never to again” my bads, fake news, fake profiles, conspiracy groups, scammers allowed to flourish, hackers, trolls, etc. But you have to be on, I know, or how else would you know what your third cousin twice removed is up to?

Keyboard

What method are you using to find your smile right now?   Please explain in detail so others might utilize the same ideas.   Some bloggers have shared a daily (weekly sometimes) method that they are using to keep their spirits up right now.   I’d love to hear from anyone who does and is successful at it!    Have a great week and stay safe!

My spirits are not “up.” I find this whole ordeal scary and unpleasant, though I totally understand the necessity of doing isolation until this thing is more under control. The best I can hope for on any given day is to keep up with the chores and writing goals I’ve set for myself, stick with good habits, and try to avoid stress (such as arguing with anyone). Neutral days are fine for now. Good days will come again later when I can visit my family again.

Personally, I find it helpful to read small bits of news when I’m in the mood for an update, and not just about :the thing: but also cute aminal stories too. I avoid live news, most especially any clips of babbling politicians. Listening to a press conference would spin me into an insta depression. 🤮

Paper dolls

~*~

Images credited to Bitmoji, Pexels, and idk.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

FEXIT Anniversary

Cat walks away from explosion

Somewhere around this week or so, two years ago, I exited Facebook. I don’t mean I took a break; I mean I deleted my account (Instagram too). Not only don’t I miss the endless flamewars, fake news, intrusive ads, hacking, privacy invasions, creepy scams, and daily time wasting blabber, but from what I hear, it’s only gotten worse.

I received grief for this, natch. Certain people were unhappy with me ~ they felt rejected and refused to communicate with me via other means. They did not share my concerns about the hacking, etc. I didn’t judge them for staying and still don’t; my daughters remain on Facebook, after all. It makes sense to be where everyone else is. I just don’t want to. I lack the willpower to resist jumping into the flames myself, and there goes my free time.

Space time wormhole

Others thought I’d feel isolated and return. I do feel isolated, but in a good way. There are times I get a tiny reminder of FB via Messenger, which unfortunately I still have due to some friends’ refusal to text. People like to form various Messenger groups and occasionally there are minor kerfuffles, like during the past few weeks over COVID-19.

Isn’t human behavior fascinating? On the one side we have doctors and scientists; and on the other we have… “but I wanna!” I believe I have summed up the entirety of the fussing with that, though I am positive that on FB it goes on and on and on. You log on and bam! You’re hit with those tags for another 127 comments… and who can resist reading them? Not me. Suddenly, you find yourself angry with friends and vice versa, over garbage some politician said who couldn’t give a crap about any of you.

But hey, if you still enjoy the place… great! I bet it’ll be booming this weekend since the USA has shut down and we have nowhere to go and no sports to watch. Please allow me to make a humble suggestion. Between ranting over other people hoarding TP and Lysol wipes, running to Costco (just one more time), telling your kids to move their junk out of the spare room cuz you’re working from home now, etc… why not buy my book? There’s no reason not to! It’s cheap, it’s fun, and it mocks everyone! Yay!

Switching Positions by Paula Light

Thanks in advance! Please don’t forget to leave a review. ❤️💙

~*~

Images from Google and Pexels.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ58: Shattered Illusions

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

What is something you’ve long believed to be true, but you now realize is not true?

This question definitely lives up to its name and has provoked a lot of thinkies. While there have been minor and/or short-lived beliefs I’ve held that life has popped like a room full of party balloons, nothing comes close to my cherished and false belief in love. 💔

Now before people start hollering at me… I am not saying I have ceased to believe that love exists. Don’t be silly. Of course, I know that people find love all the time. Other people. What I mean is that for decades I was absolutely certain with an unwavering faith that love existed for me. A soul mate. All that romance novel crap. But soon I’m going to turn 59 and I have given up. In fact, I can pinpoint exactly when I gave up: Thanksgiving 2016 when I got dumped by someone I really believed was a good guy who wanted to be with me and would follow through on the plans we’d made. 🥀

Some people will say that it’s because I gave up that I can’t find love. There’s some woo theory that you must behave as if love is already in your life and wake up every day with the idea that you will be with your soul mate imminently. So, you’ll be happy and smiling and dressing beautifully, since you would be doing these things if you were meeting your love for brunch… and then by some miracle he will appear at the car wash or something. Idk. It’s not my theory, so don’t expect me to defend it! 🤣

The thing is, how long does a reasonable human behave this way? Six months? Ten years? You wake up happy, smiling, put on a gorgeous glittering gown, sashay off to the car wash… and they go, “Jesus, it’s that crazy lady again waiting for her soul mate! When is she gonna bring a car here?”

So, anyway. Giving up gave me freedom. I quit the dating sites. I deleted Meetups. I even exited Facebook and Instagram. All the social media sites that were supposed to make you feel connected to people (and potential soul mates), but left me feeling more isolated and alone. I began to focus only on work, family, friends, and writing. I quit spending money trying to look “sexy” for some man I hadn’t met and most likely never would. I revitalized my blog, which has always been my favorite form of “social media.” 😻

Now, in a movie or novel, this is exactly when I would meet my soul mate, right? When I’m focused on my own life and doing things that bring me joy, rather than searching outward for happiness. But this is real life not a romcom… so no.

Bitmoji shrug

~*~

Image credits to Fandango and Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Navel Glazing

Magenta daisy

Dr. Tanya asks more blogging questions about blogging bloggers…

 1. Do you like to respond to writing prompts?

It depends. I haven’t been doing many this month because I had a lot of other stuff going on. I committed to doing the daily music prompt for Bee, and I was busy with my political love story. But yesterday I did a combo post for Fandango’s Flash Fiction prompt, and that worked out well. When I do writing prompts, I like to combine them.

Typewriter explosion

 2. Do you feel that they add value to your blog?

Fiction and poetry add “value” to my blog, as do posts about writing in general, book and movie reviews, and other cultural jabber that can add depth and interest to fictional settings and characters. What doesn’t add value are boring “Facebook” type get-to-know-ya lists of favorite colors and ice cream crap posts that I try to avoid.

I love to read other bloggers’ short fiction and poetry, whether from prompts or not. There’s so much creativity here!

 3. What is your favourite kind of writing prompt?

I am more likely to respond to an idea, or words that together form an idea in my mind. Sometimes I’ll respond to a dreamy picture that inspires a poem.

Walking with a red umbrella underneath a full moon

 4. Which ones are you less likely to do?

I won’t post yucky pictures here and I try to avoid politics, religion, and graphic sex, not that this is a blog for little kids or anything. But those are my preferences. If you want to read spicier stuff from me, buy my books.

I also don’t like a lot of rules about writing for fun. When I post a prompt, I tell people to respond how they wish. To me, that’s ideal. If I see a prompt that tells me I need to reply with 87 words all starting with Q, stand on my head, and click a freaking blue frog, ya know what? HARD PASS.

Bitmoji boom

~*~

Image credits to Bitmoji and idk… Google?

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Monday Peeve 22

Monday Peeve kitty

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, and link back to me (or not ~ I dgaf), 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!

*

What’s with the dickheads who respond to me in other bloggers’ comments? Rarely, if ever, do they have anything nice to say. They only pop up like demented clowns to criticize. Um, hello, jerko, I don’t know you, so what makes you think I care what you have to say about my response to Fandango or Lydia or whomever?

I’ll tell you why they don’t simply write a new comment directly to the blogger ~ it’s because they’re attention whores. They need me to see that they have something critical to say about what I wrote, so they make sure I get a notification. Idiots. I try never to engage with them.

This is part of the reason I left Facebook: friends of friends who insisted on arguing with me over scraps of nothing. I had some friends who collected these people like garden weasels, ready to snap at anyone’s ankles who wandered by. I’d block them, but there were always new ones. It made the entire experience unpleasant, aside from the constant privacy and data issues.

Strangers with opinions! Grrrrr. Go away. No, I don’t want to turn these strangers into friends, thanks. I already have enough friends with annoying opinions. 🤣

~*~

Image originally from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.