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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/joycag
by Joy
Rated: 18+ · Book · Experience · #2003843
Second blog -- answers to an ocean of prompts
Kathleen-613's creation for my blog

"Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself."

Blog City image small

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.

David Whyte

Marci's gift sig

This is my supplementary blog in which I will post entries written for prompts.
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October 3, 2023 at 1:56pm
October 3, 2023 at 1:56pm
Prompt: Fear
“Fear is the lengthened shadow of ignorance.”
Arnold Glasow
In what ways do you think fear and ignorance are related and how can we overcome our fears especially when a fear is only imagined?


Fear and ignorance may be related but there is that strong and sudden impulsive emotion "fear" that embraces us abruptly whether we are ignorant or not. This is probably because, at its core, fear is a primal, innate reaction that has evolved over millennia to protect us from danger.

The basic nature of fear, however, does have the implication of ignorance and lack of knowledge and understanding. When we do not have enough information about or a grasp of a situation, person, or thing, we are left with a void or a darkness in our minds. That darkness becomes the hotbed of our sudden fears.

Fear's relationship with ignorance, however, extends beyond the totally unknown. As examples, there may be other cultures, religions, beliefs or life styles that we do not know much about and because of our mistrust and prejudices, we may be fearful of them.

By learning about things we don't know about and not becoming so afraid of every new situation, we can diminish the power of fear and ultimately conquer it. This allows us to embrace the unknown and face the challenges of life with courage and resilience.

Having said all that, would I be afraid if I suddenly noticed a dinosaur in my backyard? Yes, I surely would. For one thing, I don't know how to distinguish between plant-eating and carnivorous dinosaurs if I ever saw any one of them. Even if I did know a lot about dinosaurs, running away and saving myself would be the sane thing to do, wouldn't it! *Wink* *Laugh*

October 2, 2023 at 10:40am
October 2, 2023 at 10:40am
“The trees are in their autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry, Under the October twilight the water Mirrors a still sky.”
William Butler Yeats
What do you think of October in general and what do you expect from October 2023?


To me, October means relief from the scorching heat of summer and the beauty of nature at its most colorful best. It is the month that means transitional beauty. October is when the beauty of autumn with a rich array of colors and textures, cooler temperatures, and the sense of anticipation for what is to come takes hold.

October is also a month of harvest, of festivals, apple picking and pumpkin patches. Then, of course, the most iconic symbol for October is Halloween, here in the USA. With Halloween comes trick or treating, a lot of candy, parties, and horror movie marathons. In the sports world various competitions take place such as the Major League Baseball's World Series. In Canada, I believe, Thanksgiving is celebrated in October.

I don't know what we can expect from a month, any month that is. Life does what life wants, no matter what we expect from it.

September 30, 2023 at 10:38am
September 30, 2023 at 10:38am
Prompt: Most of the happy people I know do one thing really well. Think about the people in your life do you agree or disagree? What do you think inspires their happiness? What do you do to inspire your own?


Happiness is elusive; there one day, gone the next. For example, I had an uncle who was joyful, fun-loving, and usually saw the best in everyone, and he was a clown who made us laugh with his jokes. Then, one day, he lost a teenage son to an accident, and all that happiness was erased in one day. It took him more than a decade to find his footing again.

Mostly though, the seemingly happy people I have met are multifaceted, even though every one of them are unique individuals. If I were to think of some common traits among them probably their positive thinking would become the top item in such a list.

Seeing the good in challenging situations or at least seeing the positive outcome out of them can significantly influence one's overall sense of well-being. Because of their positivity and adaptability to life's ups and downs, such people also have healthy relationships in their lives. They communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and offer support to others if or when it is needed.

Still, no matter how one tries, some human beings may not react nicely to such positivity. Then, happier people are better off staying away from negative people and negative situations. Thus, staying away from the negatives is an essential part of one's happiness.

Happier people also live in the present moment more, rather than dwelling in the wrongs of the past while they take good care of their physical and mental health. This makes them become emotionally intelligent, which means seeing themselves as is and understanding and forgiving past mistakes. This helps them grow as individuals, and lets them align their values and beliefs in an authentic way.

Then, helping others when they can and practicing gratitude in some way for all that they have, no matter how small what they have may be, helps them to bounce back from adversity and become resilient. In addition, continuous learning, new languages, being curious of all aspects of life, knowledge, and hobbies can enrich their lives.

As for me, I believe in keeping busy and in continuous learning and in practicing some of the habits I mentioned above. Not that I expect to be happy all the time, but at least I can stop myself from falling into desperation and panic in any one negative situation.

While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for happiness--and I doubt that any one person can be happy all the time--, some good habits can be helpful for enhancing one's overall satisfaction with life.

September 29, 2023 at 10:43am
September 29, 2023 at 10:43am

September 29 is Confucius Day one his sayings is "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius
Prompt: Write a story, poem, or something about either this saying or Confucius. Have fun.


In ancient days when foresight did gleam,
Confucius shared an astute, ageless dream
Three methods, he used, to seek the wise,
Through reflection, imitation, and worldly ties.

First, reflection, like a calm, still pond,
Where wisdom's seeds find rich soil to bond
In solitude, we ponder, deep and wide,
And our past lessons, in discretion, hide.

With contemplation, we unveil the truth,
Discerning right from wrong in intellect's booth
In stillness, life and virtue intertwine,
And through reflection, logic in stars align.

Yet, not only in isolation do we grow,
For imitation, too, has seeds to sow,
We learn from others, we echo the best,
In kindly acts, we find us blessed.

As saplings mimic giants of the wood,
We act like the wise, and that is good
We mirror their acts, thoughts, and grace,
We find in others' paths a well-worn place.

Yet, wisdom's depth also forms in life,
In battles, trials, joys, and strife
We experience, and our selves grow strong,
In learning's caldron, we all belong.

This school of life, with lessons harsh or kind,
Bestows upon us humility and mind
In sorrows, we learn empathy's decree
In joys, we taste fruit from virtue's tree.

So, here we walk on ancient roads,
Where wisdom's treasure as bounty glows
In reflection, imitation, life's embrace,
We find our way to that merciful grace.

September 28, 2023 at 12:30pm
September 28, 2023 at 12:30pm
Prompt: Do you like cooking meals that take time or do you keep them short and simple?


Would you laugh at me if I said both? In fact, my cooking depends on my mood. But I do like cooking and I'd rather eat what I cook rather than eat ready-meals or eat at a restaurant or eat something someone I don't know has cooked.

As to short and simple, that kind of cooking has its benefits because, for those, I'd need minimal but fresh ingredients, and I can make the meals healthy and versatile from day to day. There is also that factor of spending less time in the kitchen, which comes in handy on busy days.

Yet, the other more elaborate type of cooking is a culinary adventure, and in my book, an art form. This type of cooking, when I dare, allows me to experiment with different and diverse flavors, cooking techniques and skills, and a deeper understanding of all culinary methods.

With either way of cooking, be it elaborate or simple, I like to try new things and use what I have in my cupboards and fridge in new ways to explore their wide range of possibilities. What I do most that good cooks don't is use measurements. I rather use ratios than be specific. Yet, I think, most things I come up with are edible and tasty (to me!).

On the other hand, due to my negligence (or incapacity) of using exact measurements, any good and experienced chef's hairs would stand on end if he/she ever watched me cook. *Rolling*


September 26, 2023 at 3:04pm
September 26, 2023 at 3:04pm
Prompt: Neighbors
How do you like your neighbors where you live? In your opinion, what makes a good neighbor and how important it is to be a good neighbor?


My neighbors are fine, I think. I don't know them very well but I know they are decent people. The reason I don't know them all that well is the age difference. When we moved into our house more than thirty years ago, we were the youngest couple. Now, I think I'm the oldest one and everyone else is much younger. Earlier, I was really friendly with several neighbors until Covid struck and took some of them away. Then, the others moved to other states and to nursing homes, or they moved in with their children.

The reasons my now-neighbors are good begin with their respect and privacy for me and for one another, and they all maintain their properties well, ensuring a clean and tidy environment for everyone. For example, all my neighbors have dogs but they are always on a leash when outside and they are never a disturbance. Also, my neighbors are not noisy or culturally insensitive as just about every house on our street has a family member from a different culture and those family members have gained a sense of belonging here.

As far as I can see it, being a good neighbor is not only a matter of personal ethics but also a commitment that contributes to the overall well-being of a community. When neighbors treat each other with kindness, respect, and consideration, it creates a positive atmosphere that enhances everyone's quality of life.

September 25, 2023 at 12:42pm
September 25, 2023 at 12:42pm
What do you like about an ocean and what types of things mankind still has to discover about the oceans?


Although I don't live on the ocean but only at a short driving distance, sitting at the beach and watching it fascinates me. The ocean, to me, is like some people I love and admire; calm on the outside but with unreachable depths inside or, when irked, all their rage coming out in huge waves and tsunamis.

Thus, the ocean may mean action, serenity, and rhythms of the tides, just like life itself with and its ebbs and flows. It, therefore, offers adventures for us such as sailing, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Under the surface of the ocean, a multitude of ecosystems exist. Those we so far know are coral reefs, kelp forests, and underwater caves and whatever lurks in them.

The ocean also harbors from the tiniest to the largest of all creation that we are aware of. The very depths of the ocean still remain unexplored where there are creatures adapted to the extreme pressure of the water and darkness, such as giant squids and bizarre deep-sea fish, as well as marine microbes with unknown functions that may be beneficial to us for our medical needs.

Then, the ocean's currents do regulate our earth's climate, but we haven't yet discovered all those intricacies fully, yet. Although much exploration has been done in our time, we still have to discover what's beneath the ocean and what the oceans mean to our planet's life in terms of climate changes, pollution, recycling, and nutrients. Just maybe, understanding the oceans better could save us and our planet from further destruction.

September 23, 2023 at 11:34am
September 23, 2023 at 11:34am
Prompt: Words
Let's use these words in our entry today: twenty-three, candles, allocation, seed, explain, meet, and descent. Have fun!


On a warm summer evening, Megan sat in her cozy living room with twenty-three candles illuminating the space. It was a special night, her birthday, and she had chosen to celebrate it quietly with just a few close friends.

As the soft glow of the candles flickered, she couldn't help but reflect on her life. She had spent the past few years working diligently on her career and personal growth. It was a time of self-discovery and planting the seeds of her dreams for the future.

As her friends began to arrive, Megan greeted them with hugs and smiles. Among them was Lyn, a close friend who had always been there for her. She pulled her aside and asked, "Lyn, can you explain something to me, just for a moment?"

"Of course," Lyn replied, looking concerned.

They found a quiet corner of the room, away from the laughter and chatter of the party. Megan took a deep breath and began, "You know, I've been thinking a lot about my life lately. I've worked hard, achieved some of my goals, and I'm grateful for that. But I wonder if I'm on the right path. Am I doing what truly makes me happy, or am I just following an allocation of my time and energy based on what society expects of me?"

Lyn listened intently, her gaze fixed on Megan. This moment had to be important for her.

Megan continued, "I've been so focused on my descent into adulthood, trying to meet all these expectations, that I haven't taken the time to really understand what I want and why I want it. It's like I've been following a script without questioning it."

Lyn nodded in understanding. "It's never too late to pause and reflect on your journey. It's a brave step to question the path you're on and seek clarity. What do you want to do differently?"

Megan said, "I want to explore, to take some risks, and to chase my passions without worrying about what others might think. I want to be true to myself and explain my choices to myself before anyone else."

Lyn placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "That's a beautiful goal, Megan. And you have the potential to achieve it. We're all here to support you on your journey of self-discovery."

Thus, with renewed determination, Megan blew out the twenty-three candles, symbolizing the start of a new chapter. Then, when she looked around at her friends, she felt a sense of gratitude for the people who were there for her, plus a newfound excitement for her life ahead.

Sometimes, it just helps to listen to what our friends say about what's on their minds. We don't have to offer any solutions.

September 22, 2023 at 10:19am
September 22, 2023 at 10:19am
Prompt: Feedback
Witchy woman prays 4 Ukraine asked: "I was reading about feedback plans. And it made me wonder what's the best feedback one can receive. The worst? Then I wondered does feedback serve us better early in the process or when we have a finished draft? So I'm curious about your thoughts."


I am not sure what is the best or the worst kind of feedback, for this may depend on the receiver and the sender of the feedback. I guess the worst one, here in WdC, is the kind some send to add to their review count. Those feedbacks usually end up being the same lines to everyone. On the other hand, getting any kind of feedback is a positive. It means the work was seen and read by someone.

In general, feedback is most helpful when it is timely and specific. Since each piece of writing is different, its use of the feedback as to when could also be different.

In early drafts, feedback could be beneficial to me as it may change the direction of concept, which could help me refine the piece. Then, after a break, that is when I have taken time off, it can make me more receptive to suggestions. Also, before the final revision, corrections on the minor issues can help me refine the piece.

The feedback received while trying a new genre or style is also useful, especially when it comes from a writer who is experienced in that area.

Writers can also ask for feedback on certain issues from other writers they trust. This type of focusing can be especially useful if the writer of the piece doesn't know where to go or has developed a writer's block.

Then, feedback from a professional editor can be transformative, helping writers not only improve their current work but also develop their skills for future projects. Yet, here is a user beware issue. Some editors are so set in their ways and ideas that they don't recognize a gem when they see one. Quite a number of award winning pieces are the ones where the writers didn't listen to those editors but found a different publisher instead.

Still, having said that, I sincerely believe that almost all feedbacks are good for validation and encouragement as they may provide the tools we writers need for growth and improvement.

September 21, 2023 at 11:53am
September 21, 2023 at 11:53am
Prompt: National Teddy Bear Day. Write about Teddy Bears for your Blog entry today.


Since I had sons, their main toys were cars and Teddy Bears. We even had a life size Teddy Bear for them, which on its two sides, they snuggled and slept. This is the nostalgia part for me about Teddy Bears.

Teddy bears provide a sense of comfort and companionship to children, but they also become collector's items as they have a timeless and universal appeal, even becoming sentimental gifts not only for children but also for adults.

The birth of the Teddy Bear popularity had something to do with Theodore Roosevelt who was an avid hunter. Once, other hunters found a black bear and tied it to a tree and asked Roosevelt to shoot it, but the president refused to do that. This incident became big news at the time, and a candy shop owner created the toy plush bear in Roosevelt's honor. That stuffed toy became a worldwide prototype for all the plush bears. To this day, Teddy Bears appeal to children and adults alike.


Here is a gift Teddy Bear given to me by a young lady who I like very much. My cat also shares the joy of this Teddy Bear with me.

September 20, 2023 at 11:10am
September 20, 2023 at 11:10am
Prompt: National One Hit Wonder Day. Write about one hit wonder songs you like for your Blog entry today.


So funny, I didn't even know what "One-Hit wonder songs" was. Since I am an oldie, once upon a time, I kind of liked the oldies, some of those the younger set won't even know about. Still, no song ever plays inside my head over and over, as some people claim they experience.

During my high school years, "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu," also known simply as "Volare," became a sudden hit. It is an Italian song heard worldwide since its release in 1958. It was written by Domenico Modugno and and Franco Migliacci, and sung by Modugno.

"Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu," translates to "In the Blue Painted Blue" in English, and it's commonly referred to as "Volare," which means "to fly." The essence of the song is a celebration of the joy and freedom of flying. Where I flew inside my mind or where anyone else flew inside their minds is highly personal. *Wink* This may be because the melody is catchy and uplifting and the lyrics point at a sense of freedom and exhilaration.

An internet search brought this info about the song: "The song was initially written as an entry for the 1958 Sanremo Music Festival and it won first place, which afterwards, became a worldwide wonder. Domenico Modugno's rendition reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, making him the first Italian artist to achieve such a feat. It also won two Grammy Awards in 1959 for Record of the Year and Song of the Year."

Then, I am even suspecting it may have influenced the moon landings and space exploration, later on. Am I being too presumptious? Maybe, but the song still deserves applause for its worldwide fame.

September 19, 2023 at 12:22pm
September 19, 2023 at 12:22pm
Prompt: Flaws
What are some of the flaws that annoy you the most that you see in other people or in yourself?


Before I talk about other people's flaws, I'll pick on the one flaw I have that bugs me the most. Although it may not seem serious enough, it becomes serious to me once the flaw grabs me and doesn't let me go.

That flaw is ""Having a bee in one's bonnet" as the idiomatic expressing so aptly conveys. Something disturbing--be it a very tiny problem or a mountainous idea or event--gets me obsessed with it and I don't rest until I deal with it in some way. No matter how I try to suppress it, it springs up a lot inside my mind, and its distraction is persistent and annoying. I get obsessed with it to the detriment of my mood, which I think I can hide well enough so no one around me notices the severity of it, but it isn't good for my general well-being.

They say this is good for artists and writers so they get the work done and it encourages most people toward a positive change. I'm not sure about that, as the idea whirling inside my head constantly has nothing to do with passion or dedication. Worse yet, this kind of a fixation doesn't go away easily, until I've solved the problem once and for all.

As to the other people's flaws, I can always make excuses for them for I don't live inside them. After all, who knows what causes a trouble in someone else's mind and personality!

September 18, 2023 at 11:30am
September 18, 2023 at 11:30am
Prompt: Fictional Characters.

Write about fictional characters in general and/or write about who or what your favorite fictional characters are and why you picked them.


My favorite fictional character as a child was Heidi, a novel in a series of stories about a girl who lived in the Alps. Peter was her friend and an important element in the story. Thinking back to it, I liked Heidi because of her optimism, resilience, and her talent of bringing out the best in everyone around her, as the novel explores the themes of family, friendship, being true to oneself, and the healing power of nature.

Come to think of it, in my older years up to now, I never latched on to a character in fiction as a favorite, but rather I had and have favorite stories and plots.

Yet, I still want to talk about some of the fictional characters from literature, film, and TV who are loved by most of the readers and viewers. Some of these most popular characters do not appeal to me as I see them as extremely self-righteous, such as Atticus Finch, Sherlock Holmes, and Elizabeth Bennet. As popular as he is, I am not into Hannibal Lecter either, even though he may serve as a fascinating character study in the exploration of evil. If I were to like a criminal, I'd go with Arsene Lupin, though. At least, Arsene Lupin was a gentle thief and he was extremely entertaining when I read his adventures while I was a young adult, and no, thank you, I won't read him ever again. *Rolling*

If I were to like any popular characters from literature and the movies, after most of the Shakespeare's characters, I would probably pick Harry Potter characters, in spite of all the hoopla. I think they were funny and fallible and since most of them were children, there was hope they would improve.

Who I like or not has nothing to do with literature itself. My reasons, I suspect, may be personal and are shaped by any individual character's role within the story.


September 16, 2023 at 1:14pm
September 16, 2023 at 1:14pm
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”- Emily Bronte.
Let this quote inspire your entry on the vegetation growing around you. Are there remarkable differences with the climate changing?


It seems climate change has not affected anything around where I live, and so far, I don't see many changes around me. This may be because my house is on a golf course and the club takes good care of its vegetation as do my neighbors their plants. Thus, everything stays just about the same throughout the year.

When we lived in LI.,NY, though, we had the four seasons and, as difficult as it was to do the raking every fall on a two-acre yard filled with oak trees, the sight of autumn was awesome and so beautiful.

As Bronte's line suggests, autumn brings a profound beauty and enchantment to our senses and we feel a deep connection with nature. To me, the idea of autumn brings in a sense of nostalgia and I can almost hear again the gentle rustling of leaves as they detach from their branches and fall down. Then, I can still imagine them carrying messages of tranquility and delicacy of a job completed as they swish around on the ground as if nature's confetti celebrating the cycles of life.

Sometimes, I think every leaf is a leaf of life, and therefore, I can feel the bliss in the simplest of things if only to find joy in the fleeting grace and beauty of our world, whether it's affected by the climate change or not.

September 15, 2023 at 10:26am
September 15, 2023 at 10:26am
Prompt: Let's use these words in our blog today: September, October, November , December, holidays, frustration, harvest and expectations. Have fun.


September, October, November, and December bring in a season of holidays, celebrations, and festivities that are laden with expectations. For me, though, the first couple of those months usher in dread and fear since it is the hurricane season where I live. As usual, all expectations can be a source of frustration.

Yet, these months can also mark a time of reflection, religious observance, and family gatherings. For some of us, it's a time of gift-giving, feasting, and joy as there is always a shared sense of excitement and expectations.

Since, historically, this time of the year has always been closely tied to the agricultural calendar, harvest is at the top of the minds of the farmers. This used to be a time when crops were gathered, and the bounty of the land was celebrated with feasts and festivals.

In our time, even though most of us are not directly involved in agriculture, the concept of harvest is still symbolically significant. Don't we harvest mostly our memories, experiences, and the fruits of our labor throughout the year, and we look forward to enjoying them during the holiday season?

On the other hand, building an idealized image of what the holidays should be can often lead to disappointment and heartbreak. We expect picture-perfect family gatherings, flawlessly decorated homes, and harmonious interactions. When reality falls short of these lofty ideals, frustration can set in. To avoid this, we need to remember that the holidays are not about achieving perfection but about enjoying the company of loved ones and cherishing meaningful moments.

September 13, 2023 at 1:34pm
September 13, 2023 at 1:34pm
Prompt: Today is National Twilight Day. Are you a Twilight Fan? Team Edward or Team Jacob? Write about the Twilight series today.


A fan? Not really. I am usually not a fan of any show or movie.

As to the Twilight series, I have only watched a couple of episodes of the whole thing, one in Twilight and the other in New Moon. Since my husband thought the idea behind those stories was idiotic, we both avoided that show. My personal thinking was, I didn't much care for the vampire element in it. By the same token, neither did I ever take lovingly to Count Dracula.

For what little I know and seen of the series, I can only say that the actors were awesome. The plot stories circulating behind and through the shows were possibly not to my taste. To be fair, if I were to watch the whole thing at a different time, maybe when I was in my teens, I might have liked it.

As to the word "twilight," it refers to the period of the evening when the sun has set but the sky is not yet fully dark. It is that magical and often fleeting time when the day changes into the night, and the world is bathed in a soft, dim, and diffused light. This normal and natural event has captivated human imagination for centuries, giving rise to both literal and metaphorical interpretations.

Although I said evening in the paragraph above, twilight actually happens twice in a day, at dawn and at dusk, painting the sky with warm colors, from shades of orange and pink to deep blues and purples. The symbolic meaning may refer to transition, ambiguity, the unknown and the in-between times of life that represent the beauty and the melancholy of life's fleeting. I guess the Twilight Series got its title from this symbolism of the word.

September 12, 2023 at 1:12pm
September 12, 2023 at 1:12pm
Prompt: Cats
September is Happy Cats month. Do you like cats? And why do you think some people get along with cats better than with other pets?


It is about time cats to have a month of their own, for playfulness is an integral part of a cat's personality. How can I not like cats? I grew up with a lot of cats in the house, due to my aunt's cat-lady behavior even when she was a young girl.

Cats are endearing and entertaining companions, and they know when you are ill or hurt or upset about something. I now have a black cat, Noche, fifteen-years old. She is aloof to strangers, but to me, she responds with an affectionate nature.

I adopted Noche three years ago. In hindsight, it was the best thing I did for myself in a very long time. Yet, I knew Noche since she was a tiny kitten, as she was first taken in by my son and his then-wife, but after Noche was a year-old, they took in another cat, and Noche wasn't happy about it. Still, she survived that cat's existence. What she couldn't bear was the dog, a bossy Chesapeake retriever, adopted by my son after the second cat.

Since the dog chased Noche around, Noche took the action in her own hands paws and so misbehaved that my son decided to take her to a no-kill shelter. To save everyone from such a heartbreak, I took Noche in, and any nasty behavior from Noche just evaporated.

Maybe Noche's old behaviors could be associated with the superstitions and folklore about black cats. Yet, this black cat is just as loving and entertaining as other cats with different colors and markings. What I love about Noche the most is her different ways of vocalization and purring when stroked. She is always talking to me and I answer. Then, when I talk to her she meows or makes cute sounds, something like "murrt", as replies. Usually, we have a long conversation going.

She's not much into toys, but I think she tries to appease me when I take a toy to play with her. Yet, she's a voyeur. She loves to watch the outside or anything else inside, only from a safe distance without entangling in a relationship with it.

I love most animals and can usually get along with them well, but the reason I love cats and relate to them much better could be because of my earliest exposure to cats. Even if it weren't so, I would still love and respect cats over other animals. What is there not to like about cats with their unique, independent, yet affectionate personalities?

September 11, 2023 at 12:40pm
September 11, 2023 at 12:40pm
Prompt: Terrorism and 9/11
Do you think the world would be different if the attack on the USA on September 11th had never happened? And do you believe the world will ever be free of terrorism?


I will never forget or forgive September 11 attacks on the US soil. At that time Al Queda terrorists hijacked four US passenger airlines and flew two of them into the two towers of the World Trade Center in NY city. Another one flew into the Pentagon, while the last one meaning to hit the White House or the Capitol crashed in PA due to heroic passenger actions.

Why? I think some of it was the envy and jealousy of the success and the greatness of the USA, but most of it was the false impressions the outsiders got of the Americans and/or those impressions were purposely instilled by our nation's enemies.

Case in point, during the nineteen seventies, I once sent a photo of me in my kitchen to a pen-pal overseas. She wrote back to me something like, "Why, but it is a regular kitchen you have. I was imagining US kitchens to be something very modern and mechanical." Yet, this innocent remark wasn't the only one I came across. During our overseas travels, I encountered numerous incidents that showed both a highly blown-up imagination of our life styles and disgust and annoyance at us being the "ugly" selfish Americans who never cared about others.

I tend to believe all these false impressions and our then-strength on the world's arena encouraged the negatives and their need for "justice," maybe because other societies and people felt less fortunate with their lot in the world, and for the same token, they became disappointed with their governments.

But why resort to terrorism? As terrorism is a complex issue plaguing our world for centuries, it is mostly used by angry people or groups as a method of violence and intimidation. Its motivations may vary but usually they stem from grievances, radicalization, and a desire to instill fear and chaos.

Do I believe if the world will ever be free of terrorism? No. Not unless sins like envy, jealousy, and wish for revenge are eradicated.

Because of such sins, the capacity for violence and destruction possessed by the terrorist groups has far-reaching, terrible consequences for the world. 9/11 might have been a tragic chapter in the US history. The world, however, still has to deal with it on a day to day basis, unless the human race gives up on its violent ways and engages in uniting all efforts to combat such extremists.


September 9, 2023 at 11:02am
September 9, 2023 at 11:02am
“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Let this quote inspire your entry!


This quote is so like for Roosevelt to say. To me it means--within his frame of mind--, human kindness plays a major role to bolster the strength of a society with freedom and self-determination.

For those who look down upon kindness as a show of weakness, kindness is not and has never been a sign of vulnerability. In fact, the strongest people, that is people who are strong inside, are the kindest people. This is because, in a world where power and dominance are often associated with harshness and ruthlessness, it is crucial to recognize that compassion can be a powerful force for unity and resilience.

In any group or society that favors the interconnectedness of its members, people--through mutual kindnesses--, strengthen their bonds of trust and cooperation and thus, they can withstand just about any dilemma. This happens since acts of kindness, empathy, and understanding can impart a sense of solidarity, a moral glue, and a mutual support.

Groups that are most resilient do embrace kindness as well as compassion and freedom, so everyone can feel free to express their opinions, pursue their dreams, and live according to their own values, as well as having a sense of belonging and responsibility to the other people in their group.

Also, kindness has the power to reduce differences and tension, should those arise in diverse and crowded societies. In a free society, differences of belief and opinions are inevitable, but rather than prohibiting or mindlessly agreeing with such perspectives, approaching then with empathy and a true willingness to understand can lead to peaceful coexistence and social harmony.

Although Roosevelt has said this quote for human societies, there has to be more to kindness than kindness among people. When we all can show kindness to other living beings, animals, plants, and our earth, we might have a better functioning planet without so many weather extremes and better managed resources for the human race to continue its existence.

September 8, 2023 at 12:25pm
September 8, 2023 at 12:25pm
Use these words in your entry today: reach, slogan, extort, cooperate, campaign, leader, fiction, and reluctance. Have fun!

* Here's a story too far-out to be true. In a more realistic political environment, the main character would either be murdered or accused of some wrongdoing and jailed. But fiction is fiction. *Rolling*

A Campaign for Honesty

A campaign was underway in Verityville, a campaign steeped in fiction and the reluctance of its alliances. The charismatic leader of the campaign was Ben Wright, an office worker for the city who was running for mayor.

Ben Wright was famous for his ability to reach out to the people. His aim was not only to challenge but also to cooperate with the existing leaders. "Unite for a better Verityville," was his slogan with which he hoped to stir the dreams of a brighter future.

Ben Wright knew as a secret that, within the city's leaders, corruption was afoot. He thought he could extort their cooperation in his campaign, using the threat of exposure of their misdeeds as leverage.

For this purpose, he recruited Evelyn Dawn who was a brilliant but morally conflicted political strategist. Evelyn had never liked the harsh world of politics in Verityville but she had found herself unwillingly entangled in a web of intrigue.

As the campaign advanced, Ben's charisma drew the people to his side and Evelyn Dawn's strategies succeeded as the slogan became a mantra for the disillusioned citizens who were longing for a change.

Fearing Ben's actions, the city's leaders had no choice but to cooperate, and so, they funded the campaign with their resources and networks. The alliance was iffy and uneasy because it was built on mutual distrust and Ben's threat of exposure of most of the existing leaders.

Yet, as the campaign progressed, Ben realized that the power he held over the leaders could be used for good. What he really wanted was to reform the system from within and possibly expose the corruption, too. This, he confided to Evelyn who agreed on a plan to transition the campaign from its fiction to one of redemption.

In a dramatic press conference, then, Ben Wright revealed his own past involvement in extortion for his campaign, concerning the city's leaders, and he said he wanted to change and pledged the use of the power and resources to eradicate all corruption.

The city's elite were shocked by Ben's public confession, but they also saw that they had no way out unless they, too, committed to honesty and reform. Thus, Ben's slogan took on a deeper meaning and the city folks rallied behind Ben Wright, choosing him as the new mayor of Verityville.

Ben and Evelyn worked tirelessly to implement change by making the city's leaders pass legislation to hold the corrupt accountable and to reform city's institutions. So, at the end, with its flashy slogan and all, the campaign did achieve its goal, not through extortion and deceit, but through Ben Wright's willingness to confront what was ugly and to unite the city not by fear but by hope.


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