Stand Up and Be Counted

I have to dig deep to ask myself what I can do about the issues of our times, like climate change, runaway inflation, the erosion of democracy, political corruption, right-wing extremism, income inequality, women’s rights, gun proliferation, and racism. These are issues that have our way of life under siege.

I, of course, feel empathy for those most impacted by these matters, even though I’m not directly or personally affected at this time. It would be easy for me to stick my head in the sand, to filter them from my consciousness. I could rationalize and ascribe these issues my fellow citizens face to external factors over which I have no control and little influence.

But I need to sum up the courage to stand up and be counted, not just in words, but in actions.

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (ask), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (inflation), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (empathy), The Daily Spur (filter), Your Daily Word Prompt (ascribe), and My Vivid Blog (courage). Illustration credit:

Truthful Tuesday — What’s News?

Melanie, of Sparks from a Combustible Mind, is still filling in for Frank, aka PCGuy, who is taking a temporary hiatus from his Truthful Tuesday prompt. This week Melanie asks…

What is your honest opinion of the news and how it is shared right now? Are we being informed or fed Pablum designed to keep us uninformed and in the dark?

My honest opinion about the news is that what is represented as news today is primarily clickbait. Sensationalized sound bites or headlines intended to draw eyes and ears. Everything is labeled “Breaking News” to the pointed that the term breaking news has lost its meaning.

Much of the “news” is also biased, promoting a particular ideological agenda. Whether it’s Fox News or MSNBC, conservative newspapers or liberal newspapers, right-leaning talk radio shows and podcasts or the relatively rare left-learning talk radio shows and podcasts, they are presenting the “news” in a way that preaches to their respective — and receptive — choirs.

Most people watch, listen to, or read the news that reinforces their existing perspectives and biases. They don’t bother to read the details, understand the specifics, or even critically think about what is behind the headlines.

I don’t think the news today is designed to keep us uninformed or in the dark. It is geared more toward swaying us to buy into a particular perspective by promoting specific ideological beliefs and downplaying or ignoring anything that contradicts them.

Where is Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America,” when we need him?

#WDYS — I Thought You Knew Me

How long have we been together? Years, right? We’re close, very close. I’m always right by your side. I’ve been there for you, haven’t I? Through good times and bad. Comforting you when you’re down. Celebrating with you when you’re up. You’re my best friend. And I thought I was yours.

I thought you knew me, but I am apparently sorely mistaken. What were you thinking? You know loud noises freak me out. You know how frightened I am by explosions. Thunder, fireworks, gunshots. Doesn’t matter. Those loud sounds drive me crazy. They scare me and make me shake in fear.

But then you bring me to a place like this. A freakin’ thunderous waterfall. This is like fireworks with the volume turned up to eleven and it’s never ending. Are you trying to give me a heart attack or something? It’s not like I’m a cat and have nine lives.

I know you think it’s beautiful, but that’s really selfish of you. Don’t you dare pet me. Don’t tell me everything will be okay. Just get me outta here now, before I pee on your foot. Maybe if you give me a beefy bone to gnaw on when we’re back to the peace and quiet of home, I’ll forgive you. Maybe!

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See prompt. Photo credit: Aleksey Kuprikov @ Pexels.

Fandango’s Story Starter #54

It’s time for my weekly Story Starter prompt. Here’s how it works. Every Tuesday morning (my time), I’m going to give you an incomplete “teaser” sentence and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a story (prose or poetry) around that partial sentence. It doesn’t have to be the first sentence in your story, and you don’t even have to use it in your post at all if you don’t want to. The purpose of the teaser is simply to spark your imagination and to get your storytelling juices flowing.

This week’s Story Starter teaser is:

As our eyes met across the busy café tables, I was struck with the feeling that…

If you care to write and post a story built from this teaser, be sure to link back to this post and to tag your post with #FSS. I would also encourage you to read and enjoy what your fellow bloggers do with their stories.

And most of all, have fun.

FOWC with Fandango — Empathy


It’s July 12, 2022. Welcome 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 “empathy.”

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. Show them some love.