Sunday Writing Prompt — The Sense of Smell

When I saw that the Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie was the three senses and that we were asked to “choose either sight, sound, or smell, and write a memory it triggers in you,” I could think of only two things.

The first was the Edvard Munch painting, “The Smell of Death,” shown above. Munch was a Norwegian painter, graphic artist, and printmaker. His best known work, “The Scream,” (below) has become one of the iconic images of world art.“The Smell of Death” is one of Munch’s lesser known works. I can’t recall where or when I first saw it, but it made an impression on me and the word “smell” occasionally brings that painting to mind.

The other memory the word “smell” conjures up is the Lynyrd Skynyrd song, “That Smell.” Since I posted details about the song this past December in response to one of Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday prompts, I’m only going to post the video of the song below. If you’re interested in learning more about that song, including the lyrics, click here.

And no, I’m not obsessed with or even fascinating by the smell of death. I’m just, as the prompt asks, writing about memories the word “smell” triggered.

Screwed the Pooch

“You didn’t seriously…?”


“You just…?”


“Does that mean…?”

“Quite probably.”

“But you’re the patriarch of the family.”

“Yeah, so?”

“It’s not very beseeming. You should set an example.”

“That’s what I did.”

“Well, it sometimes makes me wonder where your head is at.”

“How so?”

“Like where you come up with such radical ideas?”

“Like what?”

“Like going to D.C. on January 6th and participating in that ill-fated siege of the Capitol building.”

“That was fun.”

“Fun? Seriously? You thought that was a good idea?”

“For sure. My best ideas often come to me while drinking my morning coffee and eating a couple of poached eggs.”

“Sorry, Grandpa, but I think you screwed the pooch this time.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because your picture was posted on the internet.”

“Really? How’d I look?”

“Good enough to be recognized.”


“I don’t think it’s so excellent.”

“Why not? Now I’m famous.”

“More like infamous.”

“That’s not such a bad thing.”

“Tell that to the two FBI agents who at waiting for you at the front door.”

This post was written for the JSW Challenge from Athling2001. The idea is to take the dialogue posted above and run with it. Also written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (patriarch), Your Daily Word Prompt (beseem), Word of the Day Challenge (sometimes), The Daily Spur (coffee), MMA Storytime (eggs), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (radical).

Share Your World — Peanut Butter and Octopus Ink

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday and Melanie is once again asking us to Share Your World with her and with our followers. So here we go.

Do you think psychic abilities exist?

Just to be sure I was answering this question correctly, I looked up the word “psychic,” and this is what Merriam-Webster had to say: Psychic means

Lying outside the sphere of physical science or knowledge: immaterial, moral, or spiritual in origin or force.

It also means

Sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences: marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding.

I’m a very pragmatic person who doesn’t believe in miracles, in magic, or in the supernatural. That said, I believe there are people who are more insightful, more empathetic, and may have a sensitivity to or keen perception of people and their environments. But as to “psychic,” given the above definitions from Merriam-Webster, my answer is No.

How would you describe peanut butter to someone who didn’t know what it was?

I’d say, “Imagine that you crushed or pureed peanuts and spread that on a piece of bread or a stick of celery.” Of course, if they had never even eaten a peanut, I’d be at a loss.

Why does an octopus squirt ink?

I think they do it to escape danger from predators, like putting on one of Harry Potter’s cloaks of invisibility.

Who are two of today’s greatest entertainers in your opinion? (Can be actors, musicians, singers etc.)

I suppose by “today’s entertainers,” Melanie is limiting us to those who are still living. This is tough because there are so many different genres of entertainers. But I’m going to go with a few who stand out in my mind. Stephen Colbert (and I also like his ice cream), The Eagles (who are great in concert, although I haven’t seen them perform live since the passing of Glenn Frey), and let’s say Frances McDormand (one of the most versatile actors around).

Blogging Insights — Planned Spontaneity

Blogging insightsFor this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know…

Do you outline your posts (planning) or do you just go ahead by the seat of your pants (pantzing)?

There are two ways of looking at this question. I’m not sure which way Tanya meant, so I’m going to answer it from both perspectives.

One interpretation of the question is how you go about writing an individual post. Do you plan what you are going to write by creating an outline and then building your post around that outline? Or do you just start writing and see where it takes you? I’m the latter. I never outline my posts. I have a general idea of what I want to say, especially when it comes to writing flash fiction, and then I just start writing. Sometimes even I am surprised by where my writing takes me.

The other way to interpret Tanya’s question has to do with scheduling your posts in advance versus writing them more spontaneously. I do both.

For my FOWC with Fandango daily word challenge, I schedule my prompts up to two weeks in advance. For this month’s Blogging from A to Z (BATZAP) challenge, I schedule them up to a week in advance. And for my Flashback Friday prompts, I usually schedule them a few days in advance. Oh, I also write my posts for Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday prompts on Friday or Saturday for posting at 3 a.m. my time on Sunday morning. But that’s because he tells us in advance what his upcoming SLS themes are going to be.

But most of my other posts are more seat of the pants. For example, I frequently put together posts in response to multiple daily prompts, which I obviously can’t do in advance as I have no idea, other than for my own FOWC prompt, what words the other bloggers who post daily word challenges will use. The same goes to the other writing prompts I participate in, like this one, like Melanie’s Share Your World prompt, like the various Mindlovemisery Menagerie prompts, and a number of others, given that I don’t know until the boggers publish those prompts, what the prompt picture or subject will be.

So I suppose I’m both a planner and a pantzer.

D is for “Dallas”

Finally, a TV show that is not a sitcom. “Dallas” was the first of the so-called American prime time television soap operas. It aired on CBS from April 2, 1978, to May 3, 1991.The series revolved around an affluent and feuding Texas family, the Ewings, who owned the independent oil company, Ewing Oil, and the cattle-ranching land of Southfork. The series originally focused on the marriage of Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and Pamela Barnes (Victoria Principal), whose families were sworn enemies with each other. As the series progressed, Bobby’s older brother, oil tycoon J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), became the show’s breakout character. His schemes and dirty business became the show’s trademark. When the show ended on May 3, 1991, J.R. was the only character to have appeared in every episode.

Other main characters in the ensemble cast included Barbara Bel Geddes as Ewing matriarch, Miss Ellie, whose family were the original owners of Southfork; Jim Davis as her husband, Jock, the founder of Ewing Oil and head of the Ewing family, Linda Gray as J.R.’s long-suffering, alcoholic wife Sue Ellen, Steve Kanaly as ranch hand Ray Krebbs, Pam’s ex, who would eventually turn out to be Jock’s illegitimate son, and Ken Kercheval as Pam’s brother Cliff Barnes, J.R.’s archrival.

The show initially borrowed a familiar premise from Romeo and Juliet — young lovers from feuding families — for one of its key plotlines: the marriage and subsequent drama between J.R.’s youngest brother, Bobby and Pamela Barnes, the sister of rival oil tycoon and J.R.’s chief nemesis, Cliff Barnes.

“Dallas,” with its tales of wealth and power, scheming intrigue, and dramatic feuds, quickly became an international favorite, and the exploits of the Ewing clan and their assorted relatives, allies, and enemies were eventually broadcast in more than 130 countries. Amid the never-ending saga of secret affairs, backstabbing, gunfights, car accidents, and various dramatic twists and turns, Dallas became best known for its cliff-hangers at the end of each season, especially the “Who Shot J.R.” episode at the end of the third season, which ended with J.R. lying on the floor of his office, felled by an unknown attacker. After a summer of frenzied speculation during which the phrase “Who shot J.R.?” entered the lexicon of American pop culture, the identity of the assailant was revealed in the fourth episode of the fourth season, which became the highest-rated single broadcast in American television history at the time.

And yes, I admit that I watched this prime time soap opera.

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