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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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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 appear, 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.


September 4, 2023 at 12:35pm
September 4, 2023 at 12:35pm
Prompt: Happiness
What is it that you think happy people have? And what makes you happy? Also, what is it that you have as skills or characteristics that you're most happy about?


I am not sure I have ever seen an all-the-time, really happy person. The only one that came close to it was a lady friend of my grandmother's. My grandmother, too, was quite happy most of the time. The one thing that united these two people were the way they looked at the world and took everything from a positive stance.

Unlike my grandmother and her friend, this happiness idea made me think of Robin Williams with his faked happiness. Many people claim to be happy when, indeed, they are not, for they may be covering up something really sad. I believe any momentary, fleeting, or most-of-the-time real happiness shows in one's true being for those who can notice it.

This is because happiness is complex and deeply personal, and it is also an elusive, yet dynamic and fluid state of mind. More often than not, it is influenced by external factors, such as life events, relationships, and material possessions, but it is primarily rooted in one's internal thoughts, emotions, and perceptions.

What leads to happiness is experiencing positive emotions, like love, gratitude, satisfaction, and joy. Also, finding purpose and meaning in one's life, good relationships, and enough physical and material comfort add to one's happiness.

A high-school home-ec teacher (Miss Lindsay) taught me and my class a life lesson, not exactly on happiness but that lesson she taught have sustained me throughout my life and led to, at least, some partially happy moments. Her lesson was resilience. She said, resilience is the most important virtue we would need to attain and foster, no matter what, to live through this life. I believe I took her word for it and used her information at least to some degree in the worst of times and I came out better for it.

Then, engaging in activities that nurture the mind such as reading, writing, and the arts, and acts of kindness, helping others in whatever way one can--be it pouring water over a drying frog, or doing volunteer jobs or listening and understanding others' woes--also add on to some satisfaction in oneself. When all is said and done, the path to happiness is a personal journey and I believe there is no end point or a high-throne to it.

September 2, 2023 at 12:50pm
September 2, 2023 at 12:50pm
Tell us how you came to be on WDC. What appealed to you the most? How long have you been here? Share a link to something you wrote in your early days.


Long Story. It was the end of June 2001. A friend from NY had seen the existence of a writing site called stories.com (which became WdC later). She sent me the link to it. I checked it out and decided to try it. So I registered on June 29, 2001. Just at the moment that I finished registering, my husband came off the phone and told me he had to fill in for a colleague who had to take off for two months. At Erie PA. And on the 30th, the next day, we were to board a flight. I was shocked, but we did board that flight and made it to the beautiful city of Erie with its long-lasting gorgeous sunsets.

This was the AOL and landline-connection era. Of course I took my clunky-laptop with me, for I was dying to go online and explore stories.com. The place that we were to stay, however, had no landline, as it was a vacation motel with tiny bungalows. I was so upset that my husband couldn't stand it. So he went and talked to the administration and had a line brought in to our place. The rest is history. But I have to add one more thing. At that time, the site had no sr. mods. Just a few moderators. Those people helped me so much! I'll always be thankful for their then-existence. Unfortunately, almost all of them are not with us anymore, and some of them are in white cases.

Here is the link to the very first item that I uploaded on the The StoryMistress 's encouragement, which I made sure I didn't delete it, ever. I say SMS's encouragement because in the beginning, I was checking into the existing few forums, looking at the others' work and giving five stars at everything. So she told me to upload a writing of mine, too. Lol!


Once I came in here, I never left, and neither did I have a long absence. No matter what happened in my personal life, I always peeked in. I have a hunch that I'll also keep peeking into WdC from the other side, as well, when my time comes.


September 1, 2023 at 1:52pm
September 1, 2023 at 1:52pm
Prompt: Use these random words in your entry today: fleet, threaten, established, place, ban, vegetarian, quantity, and personality.


There is an established restaurant with the name Greenies, in our city. Once, its business used to rely on making deliveries to the customers. This place was and still is famous for its vegetarian dishes and a loyal clientele, plus the warm and welcoming personality of its owner, Mr. Grant Wilson.

A while ago, our city established a ban on a fleet of delivery vehicles in order to reduce air pollution. This ban threatened many restaurants' livelihoods who relied on these vehicles for deliveries and Greenies was no exception.

When Mr. Wilson went to see the city council representative Ms. Crane about his difficulties with this ban, Ms. Crane suggested this solution.
"How about establishing a central pickup point for your customers? They can come and collect their orders themselves, reducing the need for delivery vehicles."

Mr. Wilson thought for a moment or two, then nodded in agreement. It was a good idea and it could even attract more foot traffic to his restaurant. This way, the quality of the food he offered could even be enhanced with the quantity of the purchases. Also, he would be saving on gas and the keep-up of his delivery vehicles.

To all our surprise, the plan eventually worked and the pickup point became a popular spot. Mr. Wilson started to welcome customers at this spot, which was actually a side building next to the restaurant. Eventually, he even set up café tables and chairs there, for the customers to wait while their orders were being readied.

I think in our city we owe something to Ms. Crane's suggestion but we owe even more to Mr. Wilson for his enthusiastic stance and inventiveness. This little incident has shown us in our city that constructive thinking and a little effort can turn what initially seems like a threat to a positive change for growth, in addition to caring for our environment and the earth's resources.

August 31, 2023 at 1:53pm
August 31, 2023 at 1:53pm
Prompt: WDC is 23. Write about 23, Birthdays and celebrations for your Blog entry today.


This year will be my favorite, as I have a love affair with the number 23. First, I got married at 23 years of age, a marriage which lasted a lifetime, at least as long as my late husband was around. Then, also, this year is Writing.com's 23rd birthday.

As to number 23, it is an odd number and a prime number, which means it can only be divided by 1. This must be because Writing.com is the one and only. As to the mystical significance of 23, the number is said to have hidden meanings and synchronicities. I only know this little, as mysticism is not exactly my cup of tea.

In fact, what 23 is to me, is that it is a number for personal full growth and celebration and new experiences while focusing on the strengths of the old ones. In short, it means potential for further personal development.

Going back to year 2000, it was a period where the dot-com era experienced a major boom, going from experimentation to the real text-based interaction. It was exactly at this time that Writing.com emerged, however with a different name. So to us, Writing.com's full married name could be: *Wink*
Writing.com--Nee, Stories.com.

At the time, the concept of an online community centered around creative writing was revolutionary, although in those years, many such sites popped up and fizzled out. But for Writing.com, there would be no fizzling out and still, there isn't, only because writing and self-expression arts is the aim of the site in addition to the members' friendships and relationships in a vibrant ecosystem.

Then, the site has always had owners with excellent hands-on approach to its workings, upholding the idea of family, even though that family now is in hundreds of thousands. As I reflect on the time when this site came into being, I laudly applaud the pioneering spirit of The StoryMaster and The StoryMistress . They made Writing.com a home for creativity and camaraderie for many of us over the years.

As such, I am one of the lucky members who have been here for almost all of the years that this community has been around. For me, Writing.com's brilliance is a testament to the dedication of its owners and members, and the success and potential of the internet in connecting people with shared passions and interest.

So, Happy 23rd Writing.com!

August 30, 2023 at 11:49am
August 30, 2023 at 11:49am
Prompt: Summer 2023
Now that 2023 Summer is ending, please, think back on it. What was your favorite part? What is your favorite memory? And for whatever reason, this summer, what did you miss doing that you had planned or wanted to do?


This summer is ending with a mixture of relief and resignation for me. I am looking forward, truthfully, to cooler temperatures, which are almost never cool where I live, but only livable. Summers are a challenge for the heat and the scorching sun, but then come September and fall, we are faced with the threat of hurricanes.

My favorite part of this summer was staying inside the house and reading more, and also, staying in touch with family and friends. The highlight of that, during early August, the daughter of a very old friend (RIP) got in touch with me and, although I had never met the daughter, we connected through my memories of her mother.

I almost never plan ahead for anything, except for daily to-do lists, and this goes for my summers or any part of the year. Yet, this year, the summer's end has brought some relief and some nostalgia, such as the memories of icy roads and the falling snow that left behind a mosaic of sensations about the time when I lived in New York.


Prompt: "Memories of our lives, of our works and deeds will continue with others." Rosa Parks. Write about this quote in your Blog entry today.


This quote suggests that our lives are not isolated blips in time, but rather threads in a tapestry that continues to be woven long after we're gone. Do I believe it? I doubt it. To me, this world is fleeting and ephemeral and no one imprint any one person can leave behind will last an eon with that person's name etched on it.

On the other hand, our works and deeds, however grand or modest, have the power to add to the collective memory of humankind. It is for our own benefit and for the benefit of the time and place we live in that we need to live a life of purpose, to lead meaningful lives authentically, to contribute positively, and hopefully, act in a way that enriches the lives of others, at least in our present time.

Our acts need not be only our professional achievements but also the small kindnesses, the words of encouragement, and the moments of selflessness. These may be a kind word spoken in a difficult moment, a mentorship that can be a guide for someone's path, or a piece of art that can inspire positive emotions. It is this thread of actions that will transcend the limits of our mortality and will add to the greater whole.

August 28, 2023 at 11:02am
August 28, 2023 at 11:02am
Prompt: Flash Fiction
Other than being short, what do you think is at the heart of flash fiction, and how would you go about writing a flash fiction story with a surprise ending?


Flash Fiction or Fan Fiction? First, let's look at these two definitions. Since most writers are confused about the terms of flash fiction and fan fiction, let's see which is which.

Fan fiction is fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, etc. Fan fiction doesn't have the length rule.

Flash fiction, on the other hand is a highly compacted short-story. It is usually very short in length, from a few words to a thousand or so.

It is unfortunate that even some publications today mix these two styles of writing. The differences between the two do not only involve context but also the length of a story.

Since the prompt is about flash fiction, I'd say, flash fiction is like a painting. It has to hit our senses at first sight or in a very short time. Where in a painting, line, texture, color, density, placement, and message are important, in flash fiction, too, language, imagery, and surprise are the most important.

As to the language of the flash fiction, the sentences need to be excellent giving an internal rhythm to the story. Among other things that are necessary is the imagery, which doesn't mean that the writer has to describe a scene at length but give the idea of it, possibly in one or two words. The next important element is the surprise, more or less, that may come at the last couple of sentences. On the other hand, not all flash fiction has a surprise at the end, some end with a deep emotion or a moral.

Then, an internal rhythm is also necessary, which can be partly handled by the skillful use of the language. To top it off, a brilliant title and ending do enhance the effect of flash fiction. Elements such as tone and point-of-view, sometimes can and do fill in for the plot, although I personally like a good plot in any kind of fiction.

Here in Writing.com, we have two long-time surviving contests on what can be called flash fiction. Here are their links:

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge  [13+]
Enter your story of 300 words or less.
by Arakun the Twisted Raccoon

The Writer's Cramp  [13+]
Write the best STORY or POEM in 24 hours or less and win 10K GPs!
by Sophy

Since I'm mostly long-winded, I have entered both of these wonderful contests at one time or another in the past and learned a lot about fiction writing from them. This is because compressed space does put more emphasis on the language choices we make. Still, as exercises, they are both priceless, although "The Writer's Cramp offers more word-count allowance and "Daily Flash Fiction Challenge is more compact.

August 26, 2023 at 1:00pm
August 26, 2023 at 1:00pm
Do you remember your favorite children's book? What was it about that book that captivated your young mind? Was it the setting? The Characters? Or the person who was reading the book to you?


This made me laugh. At myself. Not the prompt or all the other dreamboat stories told or read to other young girls who may be about four, five or six... stories with castles and princes and happily ever after stuff. Then, although my mother was a fabulous storyteller and she told me of stories of giants, kings, princesses and the like, she never mentioned or knew about my favorite story.

That is...my favorite children's story was Peter Pan written by J. M. Barrie. The first version, which I was given at six years of age, was a picture book and I couldn't read enough of it. I carried it with me, went to bed with it, even took it to shopping and other places we went. Later, several other versions of the book was gifted to me.

I don't know what I liked about the book then, or about Peter Pan. Was it the fact that he never grew up or was it all the action and entertainment in the story? The only feeling I recall is that I wanted to be in the Neverland myself, where one could escape that thing they called growing up.

The other characters were captivating, too. As to Captain Hook, each time I read the book, he turned even more sinister. I wasn't quite sure of Tinker Bell, too sweet and unbelievable, maybe, but I liked the lost boys who chose to stay young forever. Wendy on the other hand, probably personified the adulthood and I thought of her as sort of being self-important and stuck up. After all, she grew up, didn't she!

This whole Peter Pan thing now reminds me of my younger son, when he was a child. Unlike his older brother who couldn't wait to grow up, each birthday, my younger one didn't want to be a year older. "I don't want to be six, Mom! I want to stay five!" This serves me right for loving Peter Pan, who also didn't want to grow up.

But then, did I really grow up? Now, that is the big question, isn't it! *Wink*


August 25, 2023 at 12:15pm
August 25, 2023 at 12:15pm
Prompt: Let's talk about inspiration. What place gets your creative juices flowing? Like for example: a garden. Why does special place make you feel more inspired than others?


More than inspiration, it is always the mood that gets me to write, although I can also write on demand, I guess; however, on-demand writing is never the same as inspired writing.

As to inspiration, it depends on the circumstances and the mood I am in. Many places can be inspirational as they have different ideas to offer. A case in point, I have been, in the past, inspired by a mountainous landfill. *Rolling* On the other hand, I neither want to see such a sight nor write about it again.

As a place that could inspire me the most, I can think of watching the ocean from a lonely spot. The ocean because it is limitless, has depth and mystery and from where I stand I can only see the surface of it, just like people who we see and understand only on the surface. Yet, the ocean changes, just like people, with its cycle of tides, suggesting impermanence, while on the horizon it looks expansive and limitless. The ocean also is conducive to introspection and reflection into my own thoughts and complexities.

Then, mostly, in the past, which was also my inspiration, was our backyard in Long Island, NY. We had two acres of oaks and other tall trees in it. Trees always offer ideas, symbolism, and mystery to me. So I can easily say in addition to a lonely spot by the ocean, a stretch of land with trees can be an inspiration for me.

A treed stretch of land--not the land itself so much but its trees--can mirror the development, transformation, and resilience in life. Even the barren branches symbolizing hardship in winter hint at hope for the new buds in spring. They provide an excellent metaphor for our human condition through their changing colors, shedding leaves, and root systems. Their longevity is very much close to that of the ocean's.

August 24, 2023 at 11:35am
August 24, 2023 at 11:35am
Prompt: A beautiful baby giraffe was born at a zoo in Tennessee. What's the big deal? She has no spots! She is all brown. Write about this in your Blog entry today.


She's a cute marvel, isn't she! Together with the rest of us, she left the zookeepers and the vets astounded, I bet.

This giraffe's coat pattern came about probably because of the multiple genes interacting in new and complex ways. Then, this might be caused by environmental factors and the interactions of her mama with an animal from another species as it does take place quite often in the animal kingdom. Yes, go blame the mama, again! *Rolling*

This sort of thing probably doesn't happen as often; yet, the workings of the DNA sometimes throws us a curveball with a genetic surprise. In general, nature has designed giraffes' and other animals' coat patterns as camouflage in their natural habitats. It just may be that, if you change the habitat, you change the camouflage.

This could be because, given a certain unchanging habitat, DNA has expertise in replication, but change something a bit different and DNA adapts to it and changes with it, sometimes with unfortunate consequences. Why, we don't know, yet. Although we've come a long way in understanding DNA's tricks, there is still much to learn. Luckily for the baby giraffe, this change may have affected only her coat pattern.


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