Writer’s Block

“I am literally at a loss for words,” Jon said to his editor over the phone. “This stuff usually comes naturally for me, but I can’t seem to focus.”

“It’s probably just a phase you’ve going through,” Jeremy said, trying to reassure Jon. “Maybe you need a break for a few days in order to, you know, clear your head.”

“A break?” Jon said. “I’ve committed to having this manuscript done by the end of the year. I can’t just pack up and go.”

“Listen, Jon,” Jeremy said, “I’ve worked with a number of writers who hit a wall at this point in the writing process, and I can assure you that even a short break is just what the doctor ordered. And I know the perfect spot. It’s my rustic cabin near Yosemite. If you hit the road now, you can be there in two hours. I was just there last weekend and there’s plenty of beer and food in the fridge, and coffee in the pantry.”

“I don’t know,” Jon said.

“Dammit, Jon,” Jeremy said. “Just go for a few days and clear your head. As your editor, I promise, it will do you a world of good. When you come back your muse will be with you again.”

Jon sighed. “Fine, text me the directions to the place.”

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (loss), Word of the Day Challenge (naturally), The Daily Spur (focus), Your Daily Word Prompt (phase), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (spot), and My Vivid Blog (road).

Who Won the Week — 11/28/2021

The idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

My last Who Won the Week post was a bit of a rant from me about how Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old kid, was found not guilty of murdering two men and maiming a third. The jury inexplicably bought his self-defense argument even though he came from another state to Kenosha, Wisconsin and carried a military-style, semiautomatic assault rifle to an otherwise peaceful demonstration in protest of the police shooting of black man.

Well, the good news is that, at least in one instance, the justice system has redeemed itself. So this week’s winner is justice. A Georgia jury convicted three white men of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. The 25-year-old black jogger was shot and killed as he ran through a residential neighborhood in February of 2020.

Arbery was out for a jog when the suspects chased him through the neighborhood, cornered him with their pickup trucks, and shot him. The defendants say they thought he was a burglary suspect, and that they acted in self-defense. Ah, there’s the dreaded claim of self-defense again. This time around it didn’t work.

The three men are also facing federal hate crimes charges. In April, the Justice Department returned an indictment alleging that they used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race. It also alleges all three defendants attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery and detain him against his will.

So let’s celebrate a just jury verdict this past week.

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

E.M.’s Sunday Ramble Prompt #1

E.M. Kingston has started a new weekly prompt called The Sunday Ramble. It is based upon a certain topic. She asks five questions about that topic, that we can ramble on however we wish. Today’s topic is:

Would you rather be alone or be in a large group of people?

Thanks to COVID, I’ve gotten so used to being alone (with my wife), that I just don’t feel comfortable anymore being in a large group of people. Or safe, either.

Would you rather live on the beach or live in the mountains?

I go back and forth on this one. I wouldn’t mind either, but perhaps the best of both worlds would be to have a place in the coastal mountains with an ocean view.

Would you rather tell people how you feel or keep your feelings to yourself?

I hate it when people ask me how I feel about something, at least in the real world. I’d rather keep my feelings to myself. Well, except here on my blog, where I let it all hang out.

Would you rather be filthy rich or just live comfortably?

I would love to be filthy rich, but that probably comes with too many problems and too many people who hate you for being filthy rich. So I’m going to go with living comfortably.

Would you rather watch a new movie at home or at the theater?

Again, thanks to COVID, it’s been almost two years since I’ve been to a movie theater to see a movie. And because, as I said in my first answer, I have no desire to be in a large group of people, I’d rather watch a new movie (or an old one) in the comfort of my home.

Image credit: dribble.com.

Song Lyric Sunday — Education

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams once again handed over the reins to Paula Light of Light Motifs II. Paula’s theme choices are School, College, Education, Class, and Degree. I was going to go with the Hall & Oates song, “Adult Education,” but our host, Jim, beat me to it.” So instead it’s Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2.”

“Another Brick in the Wall” is a three-part composition on Pink Floyd’s 1979 rock opera, The Wall. It was written by the band’s bassist Roger Waters. “Part 2” was released as a single in late 1979 and it sold over four million copies worldwide.

The song is essentially a protest song against rigid and abusive schooling, and it features a children’s choir. Waters wrote the song about his views on formal education, which were framed during his time at the Cambridgeshire School for Boys. He hated his grammar school teachers and felt they were more interested in keeping the kids quiet than teaching them.

In the film based on the album, in the film based on the album, the “Part 2” sequence shows children entering a school and marching in unison through a meat grinder, becoming “putty-faced” clones, before rioting and burning down the school.

Walters later claimed that the song was intending to be satirical. He said, “You couldn’t find anybody in the world more pro-education than me. But the education I went through in boys’ grammar school in the ’50s was very controlling and demanded rebellion. The teachers were weak and therefore easy targets. The song is meant to be a rebellion against errant government, against people who have power over you, who are wrong. Then it absolutely demanded that you rebel against that.”

The children’s chorus that sang on this track came from a school in Islington, England, and was chosen because it was close to the studio. It was made up of 23 kids between the ages of 13 and 15. They were overdubbed 12 times, making it sound like there were many more kids.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

We don’t need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave those kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave those kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

‘Wrong, Do it again!’
‘If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you
have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?’
‘You! Yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddy!’

FOWC with Fandango — Spot


Welcome to November 28, 2021 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “spot.”

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. Please 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.