Blogging with different ideas.
|Ultimate Adventurers Group"|
|Word count: 813
As much as I like blogging, and I don’t, I would like to just be able to say this whole contest was beyond fun. This is not going to be allowed though by the people running the said contest.
I would be telling the truth when I said I enjoyed the experience. I try not to get into contests that are so involved and take up so much time but I was drawn into it just by the premise. Faries and the fantasy world are a strong pull for me. When you are told you are going to visit six fantasy worlds and you are shown artwork that is beyond beautiful you are pulled into the clutches of the writers.
The worlds all have a theme and your endeavors need to revolve around the theme. You are given hints on what you need to tell the world about. There were pictures or words for each world, you have to write a blog. Have I mentioned yet, that I do not like blogging? You also need to write a story that falls in line with the suggestions given. To finish off each area you need to do six reviews in the genres given.
I think I’ve made myself clear on how I feel about blogging. Luckily I have “kissed the blarney” stone many times over my writing career. I also know you do not use contractions because using two words instead of the shortened word helps whatever looming word count there is. Several of my blogs came real close to the established count of seven-hundred-and fifty words. (writing out numbers also helps.)
The storytelling was not an issue. I have a knack for turning a suggested genre such as horror (not anywhere close to a like) into one such as science fiction or fantasy which I love. No definite word count markers were given, but the stories all had to qualify as short stories. Many literary directions classify short stories as starting with a minimum of fifteen-hundred words. Luckily Writing dot Com, will let you do a thousand and still fall within the parameters of what they consider proper. I always try for at least a thousand plus. Now sometimes my muses take over and allow the characters to just keep trudging forward and I get more. I would rather have a minimum number of words than a maximum. Those darn muses can get carried away sometimes when they are yelling in my head to keep typing.
Reviews are no problem to me at all. I actually enjoy doing them. Over the years I have set up a system which works for me. I start off by letting the writer know how I feel about the story and add any suggestTions. I then give a line-by-line review, showing clerical errors in red and suggested changes in blue. When I rate the review, I very seldom go under four stars, because the way I look at it, they should get at least that many just for putting in the effort to write. A piece has to have absolutely no mistakes or very few mistakes but an outstanding take on the genre, to get five stars.
One thing this contest did do was to get me reading tales from genres I normally stay away from both in reading and writing. I am not a fan of horror/scary, normally I think because so many writers think you have to add killing, and blood into a story to make it horror. Not my kind of visions I want to add to my brain. I am not much to reading religious stories. This is not because I have an adversion to them, and have anything against the genre, it is just because I am not interested in other peoples opinions which they tend to try and jam down you throat. “Read what I wrote. If you do not agree with me there must be something wrong with your thinking.” Granted they are not all like that, but so many are. Over the past few months, I have tried to broaden my horizons by delving into several of the genres I don’t visit often.
I would do this contest again, after a short rest. The only suggestion I have is to lower the word count necessary to complete the blogs, of course. Myself and the other adventures were given two months to complete the total contest. I agree this is an adequate amount of time. Although I finished three weeks early, there were a couple of writers who finished before me. Most of my tie was taken up in the blogging section. Have I mentioned I do not like blogging? If there is anyone out there who likes a challenge, the contest could be finished even now before the July thirty-first deadline. You may not get much sleep but you could do it.
|Word count - 849
I fully realize the directions for this blog, say we are supposed to pick one or more proverbs and discuss how they have possibly been interwoven into our lives. There are a lot of them listed, and this makes it a bit overwhelming. I’m a two maybe three-choice type of person, but I’m going to try and see if I can whittle them down a bit.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. When someone along the line added to this proverb I have to laugh every time I read or hear it. The wise person said the reason the grass is greener on the other side of the fence is that it is padding the top of a septic tank.
What makes a person remember a Proverb? I would be willing to guess it is because there is a reference in it to a part of the person's life or experiences. They are ah-ha moments when you hear them. Take “too many cooks spoil the broth” for example. Several things can be in play here. Maybe you like to cook and when you tried, others decided to give you unwanted help. The meal was ruined because of this help, either through ingredients being added to the recipe, a burnt offering or you were not able to get the enjoyment you usually obtained when cooking. Of course, these two contradict “many hands make light work” at least where cooking is concerned.
“The early bird catches the worm” and “better late than never” go together in my mind. I was always taught if you had an appointment you arrived early. It was appropriate for you to wait but not for the person meeting you to wait. I was also taught you should never cancel an appointment unless there was an emergency of some kind. If you needed to cancel you always called as far ahead of time as possible to let the other person know, that you could not make it at the prescribed time. The possibility exists you could set up a slightly later time and still accomplish whatever the meeting was for.
These all seem to go together when you have something to do and you are not looking forward to it. “Don’t make a mountain out of an anthill” A lot of us tend to look at a large problem and say to ourselves it is impossible. I try to break the big problems into smaller segments. I was told once if you take care of the small stuff the big stuff will take care of itself. Always remember “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. The way may take some time to make itself known, but it will come, usually when you are doing something totally different.
Now that you have the problem fixed firmly in your mind, and you have come up with a few of the smaller steps to get to the end you need to “strike while the iron is hot”. Please don’t put it off. You have the information clearly in your head. If you convince yourself to wait until a later date you will not remember some of what you have figured out. Have you ever had a fantastic idea, and said to yourself there was no way you would forget it, only to have a short period of time pass and the idea is not anywhere to be found. I have reached the age I can walk from one room to another and forget what I was after.
Yes, you want to start as soon as possible to solve your problem but you “always look before you leap”. I cannot tell you how many times I have started something to realize I didn’t have all the supplies I needed, or enough room to place the object where I thought it should go, or permission to put it where I knew was the exact right place to position my creation.
Once you have the plans set, you have everything you could possibly need to complete all of the steps you figured out before this, “always put your best foot forward”. Another proverb, not in the original list is, “if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.” You should always try your hardest to complete whatever it is you are doing. Most of the time you can ask questions. Asking for bits of information is a lot easier in today’s world than it was when I was younger. We had the library and depending on how big it was, you might be able to get a helpful answer. We also had friends and family, but sometimes you would get contradicting information. Today you have the internet. Yes, I know you can still get contradicting information from “experts” but you have more than one of these people in the know who you can choose from.
Hope this “sage advice” has helped someone out there.
|Word count: 755
I am still fighting my way through the Blogging parts of this contest. It is definitely not one of my favorite things to do. The time around we are given five pictures to choose from, in Dark, Ghost, Gothic, Horror/Scary, Paranormal, and Thiller/Suspense categories.
Although I have delved into the paranormal and thriller/suspense areas in my writing, they come second in any story I may write. I try and stay more on the light, with a smidgeon of edgy, areas when I tell a story. The only time I dive deep into the ones listed above is when it is for a contest I am entering, or when I have been drafted to help with judging. There are too many not-so-nice things happening in the world at the moment to spend time thinking about the processes in play in order to write about them. The Paranormal and even Ghost categories allow you to walk away and even wall up the real world.
Although many of the categories we are working with in this section can be easily combined I am going to attempt to separate them. Mind you I will most likely miss the mark. In the Dark category, the stories have a semblance of nightmares. The symbolism of darkness, showing negativity, connotating death, evil the unknown, is intertwined with lightness giving positivity to the story and allowing hope, life, and goodness to bleed through. You are going into an area where everything around you is trying to pull you to somewhere you know you don’t want to go. Nothing turns out to be what it seems. The feeling of dread is prevalent. I think the old television show, The Twilight Zone, would fall in this category.
The Ghost category is one of the easier ones to explain. There is some sort of apparition that shows itself in some way to a human. The ghost may be fully formed and visible or it may be a force with the ability to talk to or move objects in the real world. The Ghost does not always need to have danger in mind but maybe there just to give information or add protection. My favorite ghost story is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, where a sea Captain ghost and a lady fall hopelessly in love in an old lighthouse.
Now let’s delve into Gothic. The Gothic style comes from the people who lived in East Germanic lands in the 4th through the 6th centuries AD. Western Europe bought into the style in the 12th through the 16the centuries, with buildings characterized by pointed arches, rib vaults, and flying buttresses, together with large windows and elaborate tracery. According to the online dictionary: “Gothic literature can be defined as writing that employs dark and picturesque scenery, startling and melodramatic narrative devices, and an overall atmosphere of exoticism, mystery, fear, and dread.”
Horror/Scary is self-explanatory. Things are going to happen to nice unexpecting people which will fall outside belief. The happenings will be unbelievable even as they are happening and most of the build-up ramps you toward greater fear.
Paranormal stories give many examples of unusual experiences which have no scientific explanations. It’s a free-for-all and can include clairvoyance, supernatural creatures, UFOs, ESP, and telepathy. Psychics can go completely off the charts. I tend to write a lot of shifter stories, where animals can take on human characteristics. Paranormal can be interwoven in many different genres.
The last in this section’s list of genres to be covered is Thiller/Suspense. This area can start with an everyday simple story. Over a time period, which can be minutes to years, in the story, the adventures of our main characters can go sideways really quickly. Clues, so subtle and hidden, some in print as neon signs, are given to the reader. The reader needs to keep track of the clues and come to a conclusion on what is happening, with any luck before the end of the story. One of my favorite things in this category is giving clues which are red herrings. The reader thinks it is a definite clue, but the information has nothing to do with the ending. Smoking gun clues are also good. An example would be, a half-filled glass mentioned, or the material of curtains mentioned, two seemingly filler information, but they turn out to be an integral part of the story and the ending.
I hope some of this information has helped you understand the genre you should be adding to your descriptions.
|Word count: 793
For this section of The Ultimate Trinket contest, we have to write a blog and have it focus on one of three pictures. Instead of the pictures, I have decided to write about the story I wrote to go with the second picture.
I normally do not have too much of a problem, making up a story when I have interesting pictures to work with, but I will admit nothing came to me on these three, except for things too depressing to discuss. Over the past couple of years, too many things have happened in the world to tank everyone. At 71 years old I have seen almost everything which has happened, but different names have been given to them. I’m still trying to wrap myself around the “woke” stuff.
Now when I got to an age where I first started noticing “adult” happenings. I was still protected in my own little world. I had a family who cared about me. I lived in comfort and I had friends to talk to about whatever we thought was important. I lived through a recession where money was tight. Filler was added to hamburgers to make it possible to sell at the same price, but still, give people something to eat.
We didn’t have the internet to jam the rest of the world down our throats. You could trust news anchors to tell you the truth without trying to swing the story one way or another. It consisted of “the facts and only the facts”.
The first picture isn’t too bad. I tried to think of it as a boy taking his pet for a walk. Bang, a side story pops up in another “channel” I am viewing, and the picture which was reasonably happy goes sideways. In my mind, I now have a boy taking his pet to the market because his family needs the money to survive.
Our world tends to color our outlook. We can all see the same picture and have multi-faceted outlooks on what the photographer is trying to tell us. Are we being shown just a snippet of a different life? Are we being shown the hardships of different places? Maybe the picture taker is trying to convey how not everyone in the world is constantly running to and fro.
I used the second picture to write the story for this section of the contest. I enjoy reading and writing science fiction and this video-scape was easy to drag there. The contest designer was still holding true to keeping life below the happiness bar. This whole part of the contest is supposed to make you think about life. I have had too much of this part of life surrounding my being at the moment. I want to escape, hide, cover my head or whatever other metaphors you can come up with to not deal with it.
The third picture was the worst to try and deal with. At the moment I’m having a very hard time even looking at it and writing about it. I just want to take these too youngin’ into my arms and spirit them away somewhere safe. Somewhere that would wipe the frightened looks off their young faces. I’m even having to write this section in bits and pieces because I can’t view the picture for any great length of time without sinking into the quagmire of life.
I know the photographer is trying to show how adult-inflicted wars are hurting parts of the different squabbling counties that have no say so in what they want to do in life. Their world consists of just trying to survive and be someplace safe until the adults come to their senses. They don’t understand how a piece of land is important enough to kill and destroy the world they are trying to obtain. They don’t understand abstract ideas like, freedom, oppression, and ownership of the larger piece of Earth’s proverbial pie, which means you have to blow things up and scare the bejeebers out of everyone, so some person higher up in the food chain can trump their chest and say “look what I did”.
We are supposed to use these blogging sections to tell how we feel. Well in this section of the contest, I am feeling depressed, sad and like life doesn’t care. I am feeling like I should take the family and climb into one of the old bomb bunkers so many people built in the seventies. I want to figure out how to protect my loved ones but have slowly realized it is impossible. I am not high enough in the world's hierarchy to make a difference. I just have to sit and wait, hoping the elite come to their senses before they do something stupid.
|Word count: 786
War Affects the World
I am sure out of my comfort zone here. I know the directions for writing this blog say we are to pick one of the words listed above and write about it, but they are so intertwined I am having difficulty following the directions. Fair warning, I generally stay away from all of these categories. They don’t help with the general day-to-day depression surrounding me. Hopefully, I will be forgiven.
I don’t have any personal experience with war, as in fighting in one of the armed services or being in a war-torn country. My experiences all stem from others I know about. My father was in World War II. He actually went into combat for the first time on D-Day. There is a very famous World War II with appears in magazines and books. It shows about thirty men jumping into the water off the back of a landing craft. They are all headed to the beach. On the right-hand side of the picture is a man carrying a gun, his large backpack tied up with rope and wire. That is my father. He maned a bazooka most of the time.
As he got to the beach he was shot in his lower left leg. The fighting was intense and it took a long time to push the enemy back. With all the casualties, my father spent close to today before anyone found him among the others injured or killed. It was a week on the beach trying to stay alive with the other lucky men around him before they could get him on a hospital ship headed to the United States. Through various forms of transport, he ended up in Sibley Hospital in Washington D.C. They were able to save the leg, but he was told he would never be able to walk on it.
There is a saying my grandmother used to use. “Good things come about by bad things happening.” My future mother worked at Sibley Hospital. Through her duties to help the injured with basics and some rehabilitation the nurse and the army man fell in love. Between the two of them, they were not going to take what the doctors said as true. Through dance t my Mom taught my Dad to walk again. He retained some of the shrapnel in this leg but he was able to get around.
The other experience I had with war, was my husband and his stint in Vietnam. A judge in his small town in Massachusetts decided to clean up the town. He did this by sending any man, young or old, into the service. My husband, nineteen, who grew up on what would have been considered “the wrong side of the tracks” got caught along with seventeen other men in this scam.
He was there for sixteen months, but those months hung around for many many years. He came home with no downtime or decompression from being in an area where you had to be on your guard at all times to walk through an airport and being called a “baby killer” by peace advocates of the early 1970s. He also was presented with the symptoms of major Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His nightmares were bad sometimes.
PTSD affects not only the serviceman or woman but family and close friends. Once I was pulled down behind a bed in our bedroom and told to stay down because the “enemy” was trying to break into the house. Another time I was thrown into a doorway because a car backfired. I thank the Veteran's Services for helping me get through the worst of the trama.
War is bad, this I will agree with this. After everything is said and done though sometimes the aftermath can be worse. I agree to fight for land, wealth, and status is ingrained in the human makeup, but you would think with the progress in understanding the world, they could come up with a better way to decide these matters other than saying let's see how many of the “other side” we can kill or maim.
I wrote a story once where if one area declared war on another, spies were sent to both areas by the opposing people. Each country, (I used islands in my story) had one week to discover who the spies were. The first to discover the spies won the war and would be allowed to run the “island” for a period of three years, with the deposed king, held by the winner in confinement. At the end of the three years, the loser would get his country back. For my story, the situation worked. I wonder if … no I guess not.
|Word count: 757
Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. -John Lennon
It was difficult picking the saying I wanted to use for this challenge. I am not someone who puts my life out there for everyone to gawk at. So many of the choices would require too much personal information to be passed around.
I had a relatively easy beginning in life. I grew up on a farm but didn’t have a lot of chores, basically only the ones I choose to do. Although I had two brothers and a sister, I was the oldest and spent very little time with them. Because of this, I became an introvert. I knew how to act with adults but not with people my own age. At an early age, I could plan a proper Tea Party and Garden Party. Lucky me.
My childhood dreams and plans for my future consisted of being an astronaut, a writer, a wife, a mother, and owning my own hotel. My ideas of what these possible professions required came from books and what I learned in the months I was in school. We moved to Florida when I was 13 and I found out what was going on in the real world. Don’t get me wrong not all of my dreams changed.
Life kept moving forward. I started working on my dream plans seriously, in High School. I took all the courses I would need such as Science and Math. I even trudged through Latin because it is the basis of most of the Scientific and Mathematical terms. Latin was not easy. I figure the only reason I passed was that they needed the desk for the next year's students.
When my major league college plans fell through, I switched to thinking about what I would need in business. Junior College offered what I could afford. I focused on secretarial duties and accounting possibilities. Accounting was a lot easier than Latin. One hitch was shorthand. Attempting to learn shorthand only strengthened the knowledge I am not proficient and will never be proficient at anything requiring a different way of expression which is not plain English.
Life gave me a man to love and the pendulum of life swung in a different direction. Yes, I still found something to study, (always learning something new is a necessity in my life). Planning became figuring out how to work (two paychecks were needed in the world of the recession) and taking care of the needs of my family. I loved my husband dearly, but he was not much of a hands-on type of person. He worked and did what he considered fatherly things, but in the world, I flourished in, the woman took care of home and hearth.
Plans needed to be put in effect to get through the days. It was my responsibility (and I admit looking back on the time, I took a lot on myself which I could have delegated out) to make sure the three children made it to school, to sports practice, get their homework done, baths, and family chores. Luckily my husband loved to cook, so meals were contrived by him for the most part.
Still, life moved forward, swirly around the edges of my accomplishments, setbacks, and plans. The children were growing and attempting to spread their wings. My husband started to get disability because of problems he suffered in Vietnam. Attempting to keep planning a life the children could thrive in and still keep my sanity, because almost impossible. My husband moved us from the city to rural America to help with his anxiety and to give the children a better atmosphere to grow up in.
My planning started to include the plans for grown children. Their lives swirled into the mix of my life. I still tried to make writing a strong point. The fanciful days of living in a big way, traveling, meeting interesting people, and experiencing out-of-this-world times floated off on clouds, evaporating over the horizon of age.
Life never gave up though. It still allowed me to trudge through, many ponds of quicksand. It constructed an occasional bridge, some very rickety, to let me keep my proverbial feet dry. Life let me make plans with some hope of being able to check things off the list, now and again.
I recommend for most people's sanity, they cut back on planning and work with what is in front of them. Save your planning for a possible Bucket List of hopes and dreams for the future.
Music Video 3:: Earth by Lil Dicky
Word count: 1074 (does not include words in the link section)
The Earth in Flux
Before today I never heard this song, so I thought I would start off with something new. It is interesting. The scenes start off as live-action, showing some of the things happening in what I am taking as a medium to a large city. The inhabitants of the “real” world are taking life for granted, not worrying about how their actions affect the world around them. They barely pay attention to other humans. Different groups, like with any other mammal groupings, are shown.
Like is writing, starting off with impact for the first few seconds is accomplished very nicely in this piece.
Soon we are taken into an animated world through the pages of a very old book, a metaphor for wishful thinking we could start over again from some unknown point in the past.
Different types of animals around the world are introduced to show us how they should be considered part of the world and not taken for granted. A zebra is shown, and then a lion cub is there eating the zebra. Through the demonstration of animals' lives, the writer explains how different species depend on the chain of life and death.
The song also mentions the fallacy of the scientist saying we only have 12 years to save the planet. Now even I realize they are not saying the planet is going to blow up or something in 12 years, they are saying that is the point we will reach where turning the human destruction of the world will become too hard to turn around.
In the article, We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN by Jonathan Watts Global environment editor, published online October 12, 2012, (link is below) he states the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.” From what I have read this is still a popular belief.
I have also read scientists say the Earth goes through climate cycles of warming and cooling. These cyles can take thousands of years to manifest differences. I personally fall into the people of the earth who follow this train of thought.
Wind turbines were shown to help foster the idea we don’t need fossil fuels. I have one question though. What happens if the possible global warming takes place and there is not enough wind? Also, where do the batteries the wind turbines charge come from? What are the countries who can’t afford the turbines, or don’t have the availability of a wind gust area supposed to use? When I was growing up the big thing was to build dams which would use the water to run the engines to power electricity and other things we need.
An eagle carries our narrator around the world, making comments on different areas. I don’t agree with some of the comments made as they travel, but this is a free world at least in my neck of the woods, so disagreement is allowed. I personally have lived through several of the events which are mentioned. The trip on the eagle is the most political part of the story.
How are the political issues of the video
creator/narrator shown? The narrator travels along the great wall of China and hand slaps the Chinese characters saying how much we love them. He then flies farther along and tells Germany we forgive them? What are we forgiving them for, this makes no sense? Along the way, he says how Russia is cool. This is not so much true in today's society.
I have been unable to find the date of the original publication of this film. Some of the present-day theories are involved in the storyline. The young man and most of the character actors/singers are young so it is understandable some of their thoughts. The whole montage is a modernization of a song from my generation called We Are The World, with a video backing. (link below for the song). I do commend the contributors on their attempt to show people the possibilities which can be taken advantage of and to give some renewed hope.
He also mentions the possibility we are a simulation. This is a possibility that can never be proven or disproved, but like other “swirling human thoughts” can get people talking, which can be a good thing. In December of 2021, Star Talk did a YouTube video on “Are we living in a simulation?” ( I have put a link below). It discusses the possibility we are not the first in the line of simulations, but a simulation of the inhabitants of another simulation. It is a fun and interesting thought process to try and get through. Do we really exist or don’t we?
There is a definite belief in the legalization of drugs, with Marijuana being held up as a minimum example.
The narrator shows himself standing on the planet looking out and questioning the existence of a higher being. An echo is used to demonstrate possible emptiness. In the video is also the Christ the Redeemer statue located in Rio to show some other beliefs. (Link below) I will give the narrator accolades for showing both sides of possibilities in all sections of the storyline.
Some General Thoughts and Beliefs
I get the feeling the narrator believes we are the only inhabitants of the universe. To hedge his bet though he talks about Aliens visiting earth and taking Leonard Decapio away. Personally, I think it would be beyond egotistical that we are the only living beings in Billions and billions of star clusters. Remember we only see the stars, not any planets which may be orbiting around each one of the small pinpoints of light.
I know I have missed other metaphors which are peppered through the piece. The artwork and animation are beyond reproach. This being said it is not a video I would watch more than once if I didn’t need to come up with examples here. I am a firm believer in recycling and trying to take care of our environment, and do what I can in my own small portion.
We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN
Song: We Are The World
Are we living in a simulation?
Statue in Rio