The Personal Cost of Blogging

355DF3F1-2A64-48EE-A0B0-750BAEAF5C96Dr. Tanya, over at Salted Caramel, posted these questions about a week ago under the banner of “What does blogging cost you in your personal life?” I thought I’d take a shot at answering them, since blogging has become an important part of my personal life over the past two years.

Does blogging infringe upon your leisure time?

I don’t know that I’d say it infringes upon my leisure time, but it probably does, more than any other single activity, take up a lot of my personal time. According to my iPhone’s Screen Time tracker, I spend between eight to ten hours a day using my iPhone and about 70% of that time  is related to my blog…composing, editing, and publishing posts and reading and commenting on the posts of other bloggers. So infringe upon my leisure time, no. Dominate, yes.

Worse still, does it distract you from your work/studies?

Since I’m retired and I’m not a student, blogging doesn’t distract me from my work or studies. But it does help distract me from the shitstorm known as Donald Trump and the damage he’s doing to my country (the United States) and to the world. I consider that to be a good distraction.

Is it taking a toll on your personal relationships?

My wife spends as much time glued to Twitter as I do to WordPress. So no, it’s not taking a toll on our relationship.

Has your health suffered?

If my health has suffered, it’s due more to my anger and frustration directed toward Donald Trump and his Republican enablers and rabid supporters.

Have you gained weight?

No. My weight rarely fluctuates by more than a couple of pounds. And I get plenty of exercise walking our dog three to four times a day.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

Not really. Between the news, the prompts, and life, I rarely have trouble finding fodder for my posts.

Have you ever suffered from blog related stress or blogger burn out?

There are times when I considered cutting back on the time I spend on my blog or the number of posts I publish daily, but I always end back at it again. It addicting.

The Sky Is Falling

Falling lights“Oh my God,” Sara said, sitting next to Todd on the sandy lake shore and looking up at the night sky. “I hate to sound like Chicken Little, but I think the sky is falling.”

“The only thing that’s falling,” Todd said, “is me for you.”

“Seriously, Todd,” Sara said, “I don’t know if you’re trying to butter me up, but I’m freaking out right now. Look at those lights or whatever they are. They seem to be dripping down from the sky. What is this?”

“This is love, Sara,” Todd said, “and all I can see right now is the reflection of my feelings for you in the deep blue pool of your eyes.”

“Todd, shut up. Now is not the time,” Sara said. “I don’t think you see the gravity of our situation. Something incredibly weird is happening here. I think we need to get out of here now!” Sara stood up, but Todd grabbed her hand to stop her from leaving.

“Go?” Todd said. “No way, Sara. All I can feel at this very moment is this electric current running through my body as we sit here together on the shore looking out on the glass-like surface of the lake and the exquisite light show in the sky above us. It makes me feel so heady.”

“Are you kidding me?” Sara said. “We don’t have time for me to list for you how inappropriate you’re being under the circumstances. Don’t you see what’s happening?”

“What’s happening is….”

Todd was interrupted by the sound of the huge extraterrestrial vehicle coming down from the night sky and alighting on the lake waters, churning them up enough to engulf the young couple.

Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Google Images. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (butter), Daily Addictions (pool), The Daily Spur (current), Word of the Day Challenge (glass), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (heady), and Your Daily Word Prompt (list).

The Monday Peeve on Tuesday

PG&E LogoPaula Light, over at Light Motifs II, has this weekly thing she calls The Monday Peeve. She says that it’s “a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again.”

Well, I know it’s Tuesday, but I have some steam I need to blow off, and it’s directed at my utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric, or PG&E.

Now in the grand scheme of things, I don’t have that much to complain about. The power company officials started notifying 200,000 customer accounts across 16 counties yesterday that their power may be preemptively shut off in the middle of the week, as they monitor dangerous weather conditions (e.g., dry conditions coupled with high winds). And this is just two weeks after an unprecedented series of intentional blackouts that left 2 million people across the state without power.

But that’s not my peeve with PG&E, since I was not one of the 2 million or will be one of the 200,000.

My complaint is that I’ve been notified that my electricity will be temporarily interrupted this Thursday night from 9 pm through 6 am Friday morning in order to “safely replace an electric power pole” on my block.

So what’s the big deal, you ask? A nine hour outage mostly when I’m sleeping. Oh boo hoo. Such an inconvenience. Stop whining, Fandango. Right?

Well, here’s why I’m pissed. This “repair” was originally scheduled for mid-July. I got the notice in the mail and prepared for the outage. I froze two water-filled, 2-liter soda bottles in my freezer and put them in my refrigerator overnight so that my food wouldn’t spoil. I bought a small, battery operated lantern, some flashlights, and a bunch of candles at the hardware store, and I explained to my cat and dog what was going to happen so that they wouldn’t freak out.

But the blackout never occurred. No explanation from PG&E. Nothing. I figured that they must have repaired or replaced whatever they needed to repair or replace and the power to my house was spared. Oh happy day.

But then I received another letter from PG&E earlier this month saying that the work that didn’t happen in July was rescheduled to October 13th starting at 9 pm. Fine. I froze two more 2-liter bottles of soda and put them in the refrigerator and brought out my previously purchased lantern, flashlights, and candles. And this time, I warned my out-of-town houseguests to make sure all of their devices were fully charged before they went to bed that night.

Guess what. Nothing happened. Again. No power outage. No explanation. Until this past Saturday, when I got another letter in the mail from PG&E telling me that the work is now scheduled for this Thursday night/Friday morning. So here we go again.

Maybe the third time will be a charm.Monday Peeve

Twittering Tales — Six Minutes

Tim sat at his desk watching the digital minutes slowly tick by on his computer screen. He grew impatient, nervously clicking the tip of the pen in his right hand. In just six minutes the whole world would finally see what he was capable of. He would show them. They’ll be sorry.

(279 characters)

Written for this week’s Twittering Tales prompt from Kat Myrman. Photo credit: Pexels at

FOWC with Fandango — Heady

FOWCWelcome to October 22, 2019 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “heady.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.