Tag Archives: psychology

Tell The Story: ”Laryk the Red” [fiction 453]

Rory has challenged me to tell a story about this photo, and so I shall. You can get the background on this particular challenge here.

Edwin’s parents sent him to sleep away summer camp when he was 5 years old so they could take a long romantic vacation in Europe. The first day at camp, an older redheaded boy named Larry K pushed Edwin into the pool. He hadn’t been taught to swim yet and almost drowned. One of the counselors rescued him.

The second day, Larry K hit a volleyball into Edwin’s head so hard it knocked him over and the nurse gave him an ice pack. The third day, Larry K “tripped” and dumped his entire dinner tray on Edwin. A counselor forced Larry to apologize, but he laughed the whole time and some of the counselors did too.

Eventually, all the other kids began to laugh at Edwin every time they saw him, calling him names and putting silly stickers on the back of his shirt like Larry K did, so Edwin pretended he was sick and stayed in his bunk bed unless a counselor made him come out to eat or hike.

By the time Edwin’s parents picked him up at the end of the summer, he had an imaginary friend to help him deal with the hostility from the campers. The friend’s name was Laryk the Red, and he was a larger, meaner version of Larry K with nasty yellow eyes and tusks. Laryk had big hands to grab bullies and smash their faces into brick walls. He had rotten breath and jagged teeth from biting bad boys’ noses off when they picked on smaller kids. Edwin stood up tall and spoke confidently because he had Laryk to help him, and his parents were pleased.

Later in the school year, however, they grew annoyed because Edwin kept getting into trouble for hitting and biting other children. The next year they sent him to a psychologist, but she made little progress. His behavior became more disturbing in middle school, garnering multiple suspensions, and his parents didn’t know what to do with him.

Edwin dropped out of high school at age 16. He left home, lived on the streets, and broke into houses and cars to steal cash and whatever else he could find to fence. Other criminals learned not to mess with him because of his ferocious temper and appetite for violence. He regularly beat up other homeless people just for fun.

Eventually Edwin was arrested and given a long prison sentence. One day at dinner, a familiar face gazed back at him across the table.

“You got a problem?” Edwin asked.

The redheaded man looked down at his plate. “No. Sorry. I thought I might have known you from a long time ago.”

“Hell no.” Edwin flicked a pea at him. “I’d remember.”

~*~

Now I’m supposed to post a photo and challenge three bloggers to tell a story about it.

Please tell the story:

Jim Adams

Tao-Talk

J-Dubs

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Journal: Week 2

9. I’ve been good about actions matching words so far this year (it’s early!) except of course I have already messed up on my exercise goals. But I’m still persevering. Every day is a new chance to feel better.

10. One thing I learned about myself last year is that I’m still good at breaking bad habits, just like way back when, as long as I listen to myself and no one else.

11. I’ve overcome the challenge of dumping Facebook when most people are still on it, didn’t believe I could give it up, and keep making excuses for the executives’ bad behavior.

12. A need I can meet? I assume this would be my own… I was having trouble carving out enough time to write, but I gave up TV and movies and now I have the time. (I will watch the last season of Game of Thrones though.)

13. Recently I had dinner at Vegan Nirvana in Huntington Beach. I’m not the hugest fan of fake meat/fish, though this restaurant does a super job at making theirs especially tasty. I had a big salad and it was good. I would have preferred more veggies/nuts and no fake chicken, but that’s not how they roll. I did get lots of steaming hot water for my tea, so yayyy! 😀

14. Rory (my NorCal daughter and son in law’s doggie) made me proud ~ she just graduated from her second puppy school class! Go Rory!

15. A good idea… hmm, not sure if I’ve had any good ideas yet this year, but fear not! My blogfans will be the first to know if one arrives at ye olde brain station. 🚂

Sharing is Baring [SYW]

Questions from Melanie (who got them from some man but like who cares?)…

1. You’re walking in a forest and you find a black suitcase.  Inside it is one millions dollars and a piece of paper, stained in blood and bearing the single word “Don’t!”  Would you take the suitcase home or leave it?

– This is from Plots R Us. Greedy Gertie takes the money, which is marked, and then she’s tracked and murdered. No thx. Leave it alone. (PS: I wouldn’t be walking in a forest ~ that sounds waaay too much like a dreaded “hike.” 🙄)

2. Imagine you lapsed and cheated on your partner. You feel horrible and you know you’ll never do it again, because the feeling is so awful. Would you confess?

– No. Keep quiet and live with the guilt. That’s the punishment. Why make a second person miserable? Also, wait a few days and you’ll feel less horrible, just sayin’.

3. Would you live your life differently if nobody ever judged you for anything you did?

– Yes. Pesky judges, and juries too. I WUZ FRAMED!

4. Would a fly without wings be called a walk? No? What would you call it?

– A disgust.

5. What’s something that brought joy and lightness of being to you this past week?

– Pepperidge Farm c00kies.

Change of Mind

Recently my thinking on an issue has evolved, and I thought I would share it here. It’s semi-political, in a way, but relatively non-partisan. It has to do with how celebrities are treated, whether they are in the entertainment industry or well known political peeps or whomever.

In the past, I basically dgaffed. My view was that, for movie stars especially, they became famous by seeking the spotlight, so live by the sword, die by the sword. I had no patience for their bitching about the paparazzi. The exception was Princess Diana, but, still, was it a photographer’s fault her chauffeur drove like a maniac?

That was a long time ago, and before celebs were on twitter along with their stalkers. Same for politicians, etc. It’s really not a solution to say “get off social media.” I can, since I don’t actually have a writing career. But a politician can’t. An established author must have an online presence. Actors are probably told the same. Etc.

They are not only relentlessly mocked and harassed, but also impersonated to an insane degree. This goes far beyond the annoyance of having some shutterbug snap a photo when they’re trying to relax at a resort.

The other day a singer I follow on Twitter, Rosanne Cash, had her entire account recopied word for word, photo for photo. That account then followed me. My first reaction was hey neato Rosanne follows me now! But I looked more closely and figured out it was a fake. I reported it, and Twitter deleted it.

Why do people do that? To begin setting up scams. Most likely after fake-Rosanne amassed enough followers she’d begin flirting with some men, tell them she wanted to chat offline, and hit them up for money for whatever thing. They’d send money by PayPal and she’d disappear.

My reporting fake-Rosanne will probably accomplish nothing. She’ll try again. She’ll choose a different celeb. I reported another fake account a while back and it too was deleted. Twitter does take action ~ it also will get rid of those awful antisemitic Q accounts too if you report them. But there are so many that it’s hopeless.

I feel sorry for celebs now. Some actors like Scarlett Johansson are victimized by “deepfake porn,” videos that make it seem like they are really acting in porn movies. The technology is so good that these creeps can superimpose faces on other women’s bodies and apparently you can’t tell the difference. No one should have to put up with that in the name of “free speech.”

It’s all because of this idiotic idea that we should be able to access the internet anonymously and thus be completely unaccountable for our behavior. Get TOS’d? No problem. Make a new anon gmail and begin again. I’ve said before that I’m against anonymous speech and there are only more and more reasons piling up why it’s a bad thing. My view is we should have one ID, from say a fingerprint, that follows us everywhere online, no escape from our words and behavior.

No worries, you can still be a creepy troll… but everyone will know who you are right away. The nasty stalkers will still be able to dog their fave celebs and politicians all over Twitter in the name of free speech, and they can still be obnoxious and crude in the comments on Fox News, but we will know who they are and where they are the second they hit send. That will most likely make a lot of these jerks have second thoughts about blurting out their vile spew. Neither “little people” nor stars should have to put up with this continual harassment.

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 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

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!

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

The Weekly Smile

My Weekly Smile has to do with writing ~ surprise!

I began to edit my novel Ghosted on New Year’s Day. What this means is I slog through the mass of blog posts that comprise my 50K words of NaNoWriMo 2018 and copypasta them into my main Word document. But I can’t just do that in one swell foop, nope ~ I’m doing it one post at a time, sometimes two, since each post is about a chapter. Then I format the blob properly and edit it; when finished, I attempt to come up with a clever chapter title.

And guess what? I’m having a great time doing this! I still like my novel a lot, have no desire to round-file it (a frequent concern at this point in the story), and can’t wait to get caught up so I can write the ending.

This makes me happy because I was a little worried in December that once I looked at the stuff I wrote in November it would seem too messy and disorganized to deal with. Here’s a great quote to illustrate why we should simply get started on whatever task we need/want to do. 😀