Second blog -- answers to an ocean of prompts
"Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself."
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
This is my supplementary blog in which I will post entries written for prompts.
|Prompt: What song tells the story of your life? It's up to you, pick a song yourself or check out the link and see what it picks.
Well, there’s no exact song that I thought would tell of my life or a slight reflection of it. Maybe there is, but I haven't heard it, yet. Fact is, I have so many different twists in the plot of my life that I wonder if any song can be the reflection of it.
So I took the quiz on the link, which said:
“You have absolutely no qualms about the way you live your life. You will do anything. Try anything because you know you are only going to live once. To you, the rules are made to be broken. You realize you have to loosen up a bit to enjoy life, and you do, every day of your life. Bungee jumping, on your to-do list. Sky-diving, either you have done or it is on your to-do list. It's not that you hate authority, or that you have no responsibility, you just want to experience everything you can and don't like people getting in your way. After all, only the good die young.”
What the quiz came up with couldn’t be farther from the truth. First, I try not to break any rules and I respect authority more than the most. Then, Bungee jumping? Sky diving? Me?
In the same vein, the quiz gave me “Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel. Although I like Billy Joel, this song’s music and rhythm is not my thing, let alone its words.
Then it came to me. Elvis, of course.
Crying in the Chapel and For the Good Times kind of tell the way I feel nowadays.
“Don't look so sad
I know it's over
But life goes on
And this old world will keep on turning
Let's just be glad
We had some time to spend together…”
And so on and so forth...
|Prompt: What books are on your summer reading list?
Books do matter. More than anything. That is, they are for me. They comfort me, challenge me, instruct me, which is why I don’t have a reading list for anything or anytime, except for ~Minja~ ’s Reading Challenges.
Then, I just checked my Goodreads book-reading credentials. It shows me in the process of reading 86 books at the same time. Ridiculous, right? This is because each time I open a book on Kindle and check or read a few pages just to see if I am in the mood for that book, it registers in Goodreads as if I’ve started to read it. I know the control is in my hands, but why bother? Even if it is just a click or two, it is a distraction while I am trying to figure out what to start reading at that very moment.
Yet, Goodreads isn’t so far off. I have several Kindles and an old Nook, and I do buy or borrow print books, too. Still, at any given time, I am not reading more than four books concurrently.
So, if I never have a summer, winter, spring, or fall reading list, it is because I am always reading whatever I wish.
As to Minja’s bi-monthly reading challenge, we only have to say how many books we’ll read at the given time. As to her yearly challenge, I only entered three items. The entire novels of Charles Dickens, which I wanted to read, (yes, all 16 them), for a long time, a three-book sci-fi collection, and Goldfinch by Donna Tart, which I’ve already read in the beginning of the year.
Is it the unseen and imagined world or the real world I am after? I don’t know, but I do like the real world, even these days, although what’s happening to me and the world is rather difficult to handle. Thus, in dealing with the real world, the unseen and the imagined can be a panacea. In short, the right book at the right time, for all relevant reasons, puts me in a happier place and raises my spirits.
|Prompt: A picnic is more than just a meal. It is a pleasurable state of mind. What foods do you like to eat at a picnic?
I used to love picnics when I was very young. Later on, neither my husband nor I cared for them very much. Once a couple literally forced us to go to a picnic in a park with picnic tables when a whole group of people had come together. We knew everyone there and we had been invited, too, but we had declined. There were all kinds of food and tablecloths and flatware and dishes. It really wasn’t much different than a dinner party at a home. I guess it was okay, but it just wasn’t our thing.
When I was little, we used to cover the ground with a large cotton blanket and we sat right on top or it, eating finger foods from baskets, which I used to love. In my old age, sitting on the ground is taboo for me because I’ll need someone to lift me up, unless I move on all fours and do some weird calisthenics to stand on my two feet again, and that can be quite a show for those who watch and an embarrassment for me.
If there’s a table and a chair, a sandwich or a salad could be perfect, and I may go along with it. To tell the truth, I don’t even like to eat outside on my porch where there’s a table and chairs. I guess I am not much of a picnicking person. As they say, to each her own.
|“Suffering is like anything else. Live with it long enough, you learn to like the taste.”~ Leigh Bardugo Agree or Disagree?
I don’t think I agree with “liking the taste” of suffering. Why do we have to like suffering unless we are masochists?
Rotten things happen to people and as a result they suffer. We all suffer at one time or another because life is hard, mostly due its nature of sudden changeability.
On the other hand, in time, we learn to accept the rotten stuff and, in time, we find or devise ways to handle similar misfortunes. In that sense, such a suffering becomes a teacher.
Pessimists claim that life is filled with suffering all the time. Although in our worst moments, we tend to agree with that viewpoint, we find that due to our expectancy from life in general, or a specific dream, or the love of a person, we have set ourselves up to suffer if we look analytically into what really caused us to suffer.
To some extent, life can become a container of suffering in many ways and types. If we expect something from anything or anyone and a storm hits that thing or a person, we suffer, be it physical or mental or both. We may even suffer watching someone else suffer.
On the negative side, being human, then, we may lower ourselves by putting the blame on something or someone else, so we wouldn’t feel responsible for our own suffering. This is not, in my opinion, the right way to handle suffering as it leads to revenge cloaked under the term “justice,” through which we make our misplaced revenge justifiable.
Again, in my opinion, instead of giving in to suffering and the negativity that stems from it, wouldn’t it be better to learn from the experience and to try to redirect our attention to more positive things in life, such as enjoying nature, creating something, or soothing other people’s hurts?
This way, we may gain appreciation, sensitivity, and knowledge of life that fills us with gentleness, compassion, and a deep concern for other beings. This way our suffering will have some meaning.
|Prompt: Love. Home. Joy. Use these words in today's Blog entry.
More and more each day, I am finding out that love is the only rainbow life brings on our homes after the rain and the storms. It shines on our children, our loved ones, friends and acquaintances, and even people we hear about or those we are in touch with through the internet.
Love kindles our fires in the hearth, grants us our hopes and dreams, and lets us find joy in the commonest things, making us feel we are so much more than beasts that depend only on the satisfaction of their earthly bodies.
Love builds every home, creates beauty by chiseling statues, painting artworks, or writing masterpieces. Better yet, it does away with our selfish fears and lets us listen to the noblest and greatest urgings of our hearts.
What a glorious world love can create once we overcome our fears! Love is the magician that turns mere mortals into angels and enchants those molded of common clay, no matter what their rank and station may be in a society.
It is a fact that we may be separated from those we love here on earth due to our human mortality, but at the end, all we do for their love or the kinds of love we feel for all that is earthly may turn into the love for the Creator and His Heaven. Now, what’s better than that?
|Prompt: A new day. More changes. Do you feel every new day offers a chance for better changes in life?
To me, every new day offers another day of life. Whether it is for the better or not, it remains to be seen. Having said that, I am more than happy to be alive and breathing every morning when I wake up. Being alive is a good thing when I consider the alternative.
Then, life is such that change is inevitable. It is like the weather. It never ever stays the same. You can be sure it will change one way or another if you wait long enough. It is a roller coaster ride. Those with a good balance and nerves can take a wild roller-coaster ride. Most others get sick.
Surely, too strong a change, especially when it is heavy and sudden, overwhelms us. Those who study human emotions claim that a sudden big change, even if for the better--for example a windfall--, shocks and excites the people. Such excitement can lead to panic, and when there is panic, out goes the clear thinking and wise action.
This means change can be fun but it is also difficult, and by the extension of that thought, so is life.
|Prompt: "I believe now that I'm no longer capable of writing. It's not that I don't know what to write, but how to write it. That's what they say is a crisis. But in my case, it's something inside me, something which is affecting my whole life."
What are your thoughts on this quote? Do you ever feel like this?
No, I have never felt like that. I can always write whenever and however, even if I can’t write on any suddenly given subject or proposal or a prompt for fiction. Neither can I make any of my work a masterpiece. That is why my favorite form of writing is free-flow, like what Lyn asked in yesterday’s prompt. I think a writer who loves writing can always free-flow.
I can, however, understand this author’s dilemma, and I feel for him. Could it be that he is taking himself too seriously? Could it be that he thinks his self-image is dependent on only what he comes up with and if what he comes up with is less than his previous work, it is not acceptable to him?
In my humble way of reasoning, any kind of writer’s block and what Michelangelo Antonioni talks about is due to the need for approval, such as when you write to appease the readers, to rival other writers, or you’re delirious about getting published. These reasons and others like them, however, are perfectly okay and understandable.
Understandable because authors depend on their pen and its approval by others to make a living. That’s why I am of the opinion that most writers should have a day job that will sustain them. If they truly love writing, they’ll always be able to find the time for it.
One who truly loves writing and wants to write should only look around. If there’s nothing around, even looking inside the trash can could give a few ideas. Yes, even trash can become a writer’s content.
I am not saying one should write from morning till night, either. A writer should have a real life and should be able to do other things, like enjoy being with people and have fun hobbies, as those things, also, create ideas for authors.
Why stop writing, only because the mind tells you that you have a writer’s block? After all, no one’s life depends on your work like that of a medical doctor or a surgeon.
If a writer, you write. You don’t need an edict from the Pope or a presidential dictum for you to write and your work doesn’t need to be a masterpiece at all. It can even be less than mediocre. It can even be gross. It is okay. After all, you wrote, didn’t you? And who knows, some gems usually hide in what we think is garbage.
Prompt: It all started when
Goody, goodie! I think we have another free-flow prompt. So, without much ado, here it goes:
It all started when I set down my mug of coffee and reached for her hand. She was falling apart, and I wanted to console her. Letting me hold her hand, she told me why. Two hours earlier, her cat had jumped up and had broken a few figurines. Something in her voice gave me a chill. But I felt for the cat, not the figurines.
For all I know, after I left, she is still mourning the breakage of a family heirloom, a crystal bird and those figurines. Yet, those broken thingamagics are not victims. She is the gullible, innocent victim. Her cat is even more of a victim.
I bet that cat, due to her constant scolding, is still trembling and hiding inside the large carton box from Amazon. While I was there, that poor, furry, alive animal kept shifting its weight, probably debating--inside his mind with fear--whether it is still okay to use his litterbox. I bet, now, he can only move about when she isn’t around.
Yes, I think the culprit is not the cat but those objects. All those figurines assigned to people’s lives and their backgrounds…They could not be separated from their purposes, as they continued accomplishing missions decades after decades. Missions of causing her and people like her to brag about lifeless stuff. Lifeless though they were, those things were an army of objects and their inheritors were their unsuspecting victims. They got under the skins of the elderly who put a lot of stake in material possessions, especially if they were from their once-hated-now-beloved families.
Do you see why the core premise of valuing material things over live things is so flawed? It means having nothing but memories and guilt. An overwhelming guilt of loss, love, and grief. As it has to be in her case.
Those figurines may just be the guiltiest things since they symbolized such feelings of hers, however hidden from her consciousness. Those figurines and the crystal bird that plunged to their doom, letting her ancestral alarm go off inside her cellular level, ripping the map of her life that she created through her faulty map-drawing skills.
Long ago, I had promised myself that I would be wary of people that held material things more dearly than alive things. Yet, I still befriend such people. When did I stop trusting my own perceptions or are they the ones that are flawed? I am still gritting my teeth when I think of that cat. But then, together with the cat, she is the one to feel sorry for. She is the one betrayed by her figurines.
|Prompt: Do you like living in 2020 or do you wish you would have lived in 1920?
To tell the truth, it is not the time or era but it is the place that gets to me. If I were to find another planet or livable place that is much better than planet earth, where kindness and unity are the top priority for all inhabitants and not the fake assumptions such as status and wealth, I would be out of here in a blink.
But dreaming aside, as much as the 1920s were fun, I know what happened then and what followed that decade, like the Great Depression and World War II. At least, with 2020, I don’t know what the year will bring.
This goes along the lines of my reading habits. If I were to pick up a fictional book to read, I wouldn’t want to know what exactly happened in it. In fact, I don’t read a novel twice. Where’s the fun and excitement in something you already know about?
|Prompt: "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved." Helen Keller What are your views about this quote?
I like Helen Keller a lot, but I don’t see how a character can be developed only through experiencing pain and suffering. I didn’t experience the Nazi death camps, but I keep reading about them and the memoirs of the people in them. I am never saying it is history, partly exaggerated, etc. In fact, I think that horror hasn’t been fully evidenced due to so many of the people who lost their lives under the worst conditions possible.
For developing character, having decent parents who don’t encourage vanity and unkindness and having a moral earlier life can be another asset.
Yes, pain and suffering--as most religions push it so they make themselves seem important---may become a factor in developing a good character, but extreme pain and suffering can also make people depressed for as long as they live or give them feelings of revenge against life, relatedly against other people.
Prompt: Author Brad Meltzer says he admires honesty in writing the most. What do you think honesty in writing is, especially when you are writing fiction?
I think making the feelings of the characters honest and as close to the truth as possible is the first thing to do. Then nothing should be contrived. Even though we are creating the situations, nothing should feel as if it is made to favor the writer in that he pushes the characters into situations, rather than the situations arising from the theme and the characters’ psychological makeup. Plus, the dialogues should have a feeling of reality to them even if the situation happens in a sci-fi or fantasy genre.
Most of all, when the author wants to say something serious, he shouldn’t butt into the story and lecture the readers. Serious ideas can be made evident through situations and through the give-and-take between the characters.
Prompt: “I have learned all kinds of things from my many mistakes. The one thing I never learn is to stop making them.”
Joe Abercrombie, Last Argument of Kings
What do you think about this quote and do you believe you have stopped making mistakes?
Nope, I haven’t stopped making mistakes at all and they come in all shapes and sizes. However, the last time I looked, I saw myself as being a human. As a human, I am supposed to make mistakes. I can only hope I might be able to learn from my mistakes, but it seems, just when I think I have learned, I find that I have made the same mistake in a different form, which means mistakes have forms and fashions, too. So, I must be vigilant about this.
|Prompt: Yesterday, I inquired about something that frustrated you. Today, let's talk about something that delighted you.
Most everything is delightful if I look at things from the right angle. Just that I wake up every morning and know that I am alive is delightful enough.
On the other hand, smiles on people delight me a lot. I love it when my husband, children, daughter in-law, and friends have genuine smiles on their faces. Yesterday, on FB, a baby’s smile delighted me the most, although it was only a photo, but the smile was open, unaffected, and so, so cute. That smile belongs to Daisy, Gaby‘s baby daughter.
Then, this morning, a flock of white ibises descended on our lawn like a white fluffy cloud. I love the togetherness of these birds. Their spindly legs and curved long beaks and their conversations with one another is delightful to take in. Instead of going to the mailbox to post a letter, I stood motionless at the door and watched them. A bit later, I came back in and waited for them to take off to my neighbor’s yard. Only then, I went out and put the letter in the mailbox.
Such a delightful morning moment it was, me watching those birds!
|Prompt: Is there something that has frustrated you recently? Talk about it.
Nothing frustrates me like my own self when I forget to do scheduled things or messing up while doing anything. It is true that I have a lot on my plate, and moreover, I keep adding to it. Sometimes, while doing all that, I mix up stuff and that is terribly frustrating.
Things I write down and take care of through my computer I am not too bad at, but the other chores, especially having to do with housekeeping get me down. For example, I make brewed tea in the mornings. I have two teapots that fit into each other. The top ceramic one is for the brewing a very strong tea, and the bottom one is for the hot water to dilute it while pouring into the cups. Since I use distilled water, I don’t want to waste it.
This morning, while adding tea leaves to the brewing pot, I put them inside the wrong pot, which is the one that holds the hot water. It was so annoying. And not only for the waste of water either. Tea has a way of sticking to and coloring the insides of the metal pots. The brewing pot is ceramic, so it doesn’t matter.
Of course, I poured out the water from the metal pot, scrubbed it, and in the meantime, burned my finger because the pot was so hot. Then, I boiled more water in it.
Also, today, in the morning, I forgot the laundry in the washer. Later in the afternoon, I forgot to take the clothes out of the dryer. I hate to leave wet wash in the washer and to not take the dried clothes out as soon as possible. Maybe it is old age, but I keep getting annoyed at myself with such stuff, all the time.
Come to think of it, what I just wrote down sounds like slapstick comedy!
|Prompt: "If you remember the 1960's, you weren't there." George Harrison What is your take on this quote?
I guess he was talking about himself and his own stoned head. I do remember the sixties and I didn’t even know what a joint was. At the time, I was out of the country, studying and working.
On the plus side, the sixties brought rock and roll and a new form of free thought and action, and concerning those things, nobody can deny the fun and the positivity they brought into our culture. .
Prompt: “Some people are going to leave, but that’s not the end of your story. That’s the end of their part in your story.”
Indian author Faraaz Kazi
What are your thoughts on the subject?
When people leave, without turning around to go to Heaven, we feel the loss and think we are now weaker than ever. Not only when people die but when they drop out of our lives, with or without a reason, it is difficult on us. Their not being around us pulls us down.
Sometimes, we may even feel stronger in their absence because some people, even if they might have added to our life experience, can pull us back and hinder our progress.
What I believe is we don’t deserve someone who keeps leaving and coming back. We deserve people who never leave, at least in a personal, spiritual sense. We deserve people who respect our individuality and are not afraid of the way we love and cherish them.
That is why when someone leaves, for any reason, we can be thankful for their involvement in our lives but look forward to our own life that has been given to us and us only, to value and make the best of our time on earth.
Prompt: What is “awareness” to you?
When a tourist visits a place, he or she notices things that the locals have gotten used to and take for granted. It is, therefore, important to notice things that are familiar to us, such as how a tree in one’s yard branching out, the songs of local birds, or the street signs in our neighborhoods. This is because paying attention may be the only thing that pledges insight.
Then of course, noticing what’s around us adds to our survival and self-preservation as it protects us from harm.
There is a difference between looking and noticing. Noticing leads to awareness. In the same vein, when we get good at noticing, we might even be able to gain awareness into the unseen and a power higher than our tiny selves.
|Prompt: Re-write your favorite fairy tale.
The Beauty and the Beast
Once upon a time, there was young man, Norton Beast, whose family fortune was decimated by his alcoholic father and two brothers. His father’s carelessness due to his alcoholism took a tragic turn one day when he and the two brothers were sailing. Due to their sloppy boat-handling, their sailboat capsized and all three met their maker. The young man wasn’t with them because he had to attend business earlier in the day so his family could eat, and also he wanted to stay home later and read.
Having little to live by, after the Beast family was decimated, the young man sold the house and moved into a tiny hut and found a job working in a farm. Although the farm work was back-breaking, it left him enough time to attend to his beloved reading and learning.
One day, while working in the fields a storm came over the place with heavy dark rains falling from the sky. The foreman of the farm was a superstitious man and he didn’t like the crops being swept away by the wind. “You brought this storm on us just the way you caused your father and brothers’ deaths at sea. Now what am I going to tell Princess Beauty? She is the owner of these fields. The Princess, as you may have heard, is a tough cookie, and she punishes people cruelly. She’ll do away with me!”
The young man felt bad for the foreman, although the storm had nothing to do with either one of them. “Don’t worry, Sir,” he said. “I’ll tell the Princess that the loss of her crops was all my fault. I am sure, she’ll spare you.”
After saying that, Norton Beast trudged through the muddy streets to the palace where Princess Beauty lived. He told the guards at the door that he had come to see the Princess to report on her crops. One of the guards went inside the palace and, after talking to the Princess, he came back to say, “The Princess will see you now.”
Norton Beast, trying to control his anxiety over his own future, ambled through the beautifully decorated corridors of the palace. The richness and exquisiteness of the place made him even feel poorer than he already was.
Yet, when he saw the princess, he couldn’t believe his eyes. How could such a beautiful lady gain such a terrible reputation of being tough and cruel?
Princess Beauty, too, when she looked at Norton Beast, couldn’t help feel a softness in her heart. Getting angry with herself for that feeling of softness, she grunted openly. “What do you want from me, you stupid peasant!”
“Your highness,” Norton said, without even blinking. “I may be a peasant but I am not stupid. I came to ask you not to punish the foreman of your farms. I was the one working on the fields when the storm hit. If anyone is responsible for the loss of your crops, I take the responsibility. Please spare the foreman.”
Princess Beauty was taken aback. This wasn’t what she was expecting from this man. She had thought this young peasant--let’s face it, a rather strong and handsome one, too--had come to ask for alms or for a chance to work somewhere. Quite the contrary! He was trying to protect the foreman who probably wasn’t even good to him. This is a special kind of person. He is certainly much more honorable than all the princes who are asking for my hand in marriage, she thought. I am not letting this peasant go. I am not letting him leave my side.
“The foreman is forgiven,” she proclaimed. “But with one condition. You are to stay in the palace and serve me as my personal bodyguard.”
Norton Beast couldn’t believe his good fortune. He had never dreamed of staying in the palace to take care of such a stunning princess.
“Thank you, your highness,” he said. “Your command is my desire.”
“I see you have a way with words and even some wit. Just the kind of thing I expect from a…a...ahem...from a bodyguard.”
Norton Beast caught a twinkle or two in Princess Beauty’s eyes and he watched her clap her hands to call her servants. Surely living in a palace and not worrying about his next meal would be better than his hut and the muddy fields. The princess ordered the servants to clean and dress Norton Beast, so he could begin to attend to her immediately.
“After you are all done,” she told him, “Come to the library. That is where I spend most of my days.”
“A library! I love books!” Norton Beast closed his mouth with his hands. He thought he shouldn’t have exclaimed loudly like that.
But Princess Beauty smiled, then grinned wider. “I like men who love books,” she said, with a wink.
Norton Beast was surprised once more. Why did anyone think Princess Beauty was such a witch? Truly, the princess had such a terrible reputation among the folks, but so undeservedly.
When Norton Beast peeked in through the door into the library after he was all prettied up, he saw shelves and shelves of books from floor to the ceiling and even more books on the tables and in the storage room which was visible from its open door.
“Come in, Beast!” Beauty called from the desk she was sitting at. “Grab a book and sit with me.”
“Yes, your highness!”
“Drop that your highness crap, will you? From now on, you’ll call me Beauty, and that is an order.”
“Yes, your hi…Beauty!”
At Beast's fumbling with words, they both giggled and laughed. The servants outside the door heard them and they were flabbergasted as Beauty had never laughed in her life.
Now, Beauty and Norton Beast had so much to talk about when they finished reading as reading breeds ideas in people. Through time, Beast became Beauty’s best friend. Even more than friendship as it turned out since relationships always carry a hint of friendship in them, don’t they?
Then, one day, Beauty blurted out, “Beast, will you be my king? I want to marry you.”
“But I have nothing to offer you.”
“You have everything to offer me, Beast. People can only offer themselves. The rest is fakery.”
And they did get married.
So this Beauty and this Beast ruled over their kingdom as long as they lived, and their kingdom prospered and became the most livable place in the storyland’s universe.
All because, this may have been the first time when a female took upon herself to present the offer of marriage to a male specifically in a fairy tale, but then, aren’t most fairy tales magical?
|Prompt: Free writing: Set a timer for 5 minutes and write about anything that comes to mind.
Free-flow is my favorite type of writing, but I couldn’t get to it until now at 8:48 PM.
Five minutes ago, I came across a book that is purported to be a magical realism piece. Almost every day, I keep running into books that claim magical realism. If embedding concrete, factual details inside most fantastical descriptions is magical realism, then isn't all literature magical realism? How come literariness suddenly changes its name?
Then, take all the different kinds of romance novels or mystery. Who taught of splitting the genres into more genres? Aren’t we confused enough? I never think of a genre when I start writing. This means I write, even with an outline, without thinking of the genre. Still, even with an outline, sometimes ghosts sneak into the story or bedroom scenes or horror, Heaven forbid! Sometimes the story takes over and out goes the outline.
When we talk of originality, it might be the originality of the storyline or the originality of the writer's (story's) form, but if the work is truly original, the two go hand in hand. Style and content develop as one. If the characters are developed enough that the writer and the reader understand their world and their motivations, then no plot can take a wrong turn even if it consciously stays within a genre, but giving so much emphasis to genres constricts a writer’s creativity, I think.
As a marketing ploy, however, a genre can be useful, but pushing the authors into writing in any one genre goes against the freedom of a writer and his creativity.
As to reading, I do not prefer any one genre. I’ll read anything as long it has a literary bone in its body. If written from the heart and the writer is talented in putting words together, any genre is acceptable to me.
I don’t know why I began picking on genre-splitting in this free-flow. Maybe because recently I have been doing more reading than writing, as I can read anywhere, but I can write at only one place: my desk.
I am reading about ten books at the same time, no kidding. Some of them are from the library and others are from Amazon, and still others are print books. I am just about to finish Goldfinch by Donna Tart, a Pulitzer winner, no less. Good book. I got it in paperback from a used book place. Large book, too. 963 pages. I am at page 712. I am not too crazy at the way it is ending, although maybe it will get better, but the beginning was awesome.
|Prompt: "Projects that sound strange or impossible at first often end up being the most rewarding if given a chance." Amy Flurry Do you agree with this statement?
Yes. That statement is so true.
That is one reason why I try to write for any one prompt, even if I don’t comprehend it perfectly at the start and even if my real life buts in and keeps me busy not letting me do or write as much as I’d like to.
Sometimes, I even answer a prompt inside my head, although I know I won’t have the time to write it down. Not just the prompts in Blog City, but anywhere I run into one. Not that what I write is rewarding but the thinking about it is. At least, I'll have that.
Then, when something I have to do in real life that I wouldn’t volunteer initially pops up and I tackle it, it sometimes ends up as something I like or something I enjoyed doing.
Still one has to draw the line at some place concerning what is strange and impossible. I saw this on the Business Insider. This is one job I would stay away from, no matter how rewarding, although I am grateful for the brave souls who take it upon themselves to do it. Here it is:
“Snake milkers extract venom from some of the world's most dangerous snakes, like rattlesnakes and cobras. The extracted venom is often used to create antivenom for hospital or laboratory use, and can be sold for up to $1,000 per gram.”
Strange and impossible and so rewarding? Yes! Just not for me.
|Prompt: Do you believe some people cause their own problems?
Yes, but not always, although it depends on the problem that faces a person. Did the Jews and the other central Europeans cause the holocaust? Doesn’t this entirely stand on Germany’s far-out faction’s shoulders? In the same vein, does a newborn cause her birth-mother’s leaving her in a trash bin or inside a cold snow pile?
Then, imagine you are a young girl in school studying and suddenly a terrorist’s bomb falls on the school and you are left without legs and only one arm. I did meet such a young person many years ago. How could she have caused her problems that evolved and multiplied after this incident?
On the other hand, some people do choose badly. They choose to make money in crime or find a loser for a mate or do not give their children the necessary attention to later mourn the results of their negligence. Yet, we have to ask ourselves this question: what causes some people to make the wrong choices and cause their own problems. Genetics, coincidence, bad attention, or something that happened in their background that resulted in problems?
The statistics usually point the finger to the backstory. It doesn’t have to be a tear-jerker, poverty, and abuse type of a backstory either. It might be taking on one’s parents’ beliefs and actions or the societal expectations. These, too, may have a negative effect on some people. Such tiny influences, even if we don’t exactly notice or accept their presence, combined with our inexperience especially earlier in life, most of us tend to choose to behave in a certain way or choose people and actions that may cause problems for us.
Then, mostly, when we goof, we goof on our relationship problems. By that, I mean all relationships, personal, social, political, and international. Such negative choices include the give-and-take between the countries and our negligence of taking care of our planet, in which we are all to blame.
|Prompt: “Confidence Is Silent; Insecurities Are Loud.” Brandy Lidbeck
In what ways does this quote apply to real life and to your experiences?
In my experience, people who took every opportunity to boast by highlighting their achievements and skills or even the royalty of their ancestors have been the ones who were the most insecure in their own two shoes. A truly confident and secure person doesn’t need to advertise himself. I am not saying that a person should deny their high points but always trying to switch people’s attentions to that area shows some internal inferiority problems.
Those who experience a calm, justified confidence from within, even if they are pleased with the praise they get, they don’t find it important. Fact is, although being praised helps build one’s self-esteem, in the long term, depending on that praise does not make sense because secure people are not the ones to rely on others’ opinions about their selves. Instead, they mind their own business, which usually is bettering themselves and living their lives as fully as they can.
Prompt: “Hold out the possibility that what you have learned isn’t true.” Doug Nelson
Another what if question in this quote. Can you think of a thing or things, which may not be true that you have learned to be true?
Some of the things I have learned and things that are taught to masses have proven to be totally incorrect or with missing parts. For example, in our time, we have found out the communism has been a failure on a grand scale.
Then, once upon a time, people were taught that the earth was flat. Today we know better.
On a smaller scale, take the medical beliefs. Because I tested with high cholesterol about 25 years ago, I was put on a fatless diet. I got sicker that what any high cholesterol could have done to me, and my cholesterol count didn’t improve on a fat-free diet, either, because part of my problem might be genetic. Today, I have a manageable diet and medication, and my count shows up in the normal range.
Then, in the beginning of the 20th century, they performed lobotomy on some patients with psychiatric problems. They had learned (falsely) that lobotomy could be a cure. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Yet, what is the truth behind anything and how do we reach it? I guess it will be by learning and relearning, and never trusting fully what we have learned previously, especially in the field of medicine.
|Prompt: “Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.”
What do you think about this quote, and what kinds of situations force us to keep secrets? Then, are all our secrets necessary?
Most secrets are based on fear and guilt, and they have to do with not only what the person has done but what has been done to him or her. Even some crime victims may feel guilty of being the victim and not being able to prevent what has been done to them. They fear they’ll be ostracized and they’ll be looked down upon. This guilt is what makes a person act out in irregular and anti-social ways. That is why some groups and religions encourage confessions.
Also, when a person hides things from others, surely, they won’t be able to relate to them fully and as the result, they’ll feel lonely. Simply put, secrets cause alienation.
Everyone may have a secret, personal or belonging to others. some families have secrets, from the innocent to the deeply sinister. Sometimes, there are good reasons to keep them under wraps. Sometimes there is no reason to make them public or to hide them. But once a secret is out, the secret bearer is off the hook.
On the other hand, other people’s secrets, government secrets, and military secrets have to be respected.
|Prompt: When you run out of book case space, where do you put your over flow of books?
I hate to say this but they are all over the place. We have several bookshelves in almost every room. The only rooms that don’t have free-standing bookshelves are the kitchen and the living room. Inside the kitchen, however, I have a drawer where I keep age-old cooking books. In the living room, too, we have side tables and a cocktail table with open bottoms that were meant for books, which are filled up with books and some DVDs.
Ever since the e-readers sprung up, my buying print books have diminished, though not stopped. I used to give away the books to the library, but now the library has stopped accepting them because they are inundated and perhaps the donated books make extra work for the staff. So, I am at a loss with what to do with all those books that take up space.
Prompt: "A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires." Hedy Lamarr Do you feel this way about a good painting?
I guess our emotional dependence on art began with the cave drawings of the early men. All arts offer expressive solutions to our emotions by becoming a way for people to access themselves.
A painting usually opens up the hidden parts of the human experience that cannot be effectively expressed by words alone. Loving a painting can be a release, an affirmation or a consolation.
I feel like that about a few paintings. Two of them are of my children when they were little. Another one is of an ocean. The ocean always meant things to me I couldn’t fully express, although I have written several things on the subject. But just looking at that painting, makes me feel different things each time my eye catches it.
Prompt: "The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart." Judy Garland What are your thoughts about this quote?
A true treasure is unseen as it is held like a secret inwardly. It sometimes takes the form of strong beliefs and faith, and at other times, it is the perseverance and the good wishes for all creatures even during the most difficult times. This comes from the love of all creation, which is always there inside the heart.