Weekend Writing Prompt — What It Once Was

I don’t recognize my country anymore
The contrast from what it once was
To what it has become
Feels like an icicle stabbed into the kidney
A sharp pain
The lifeblood has been drained from
What was once a thing of beauty
Standing tall and proud
She is now more like a sapless tree
Bent and broken
Those of us who once loved her
Who were in awe of her
Are in a state of perpetual gloom
Feeling that our nation is beyond repair

(Exactly 84 words)

Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where the word is “perpetual.” Also for these daily prompts: My Vivid Blog (don’t), Word of the Day Challenge (contrast/icicle), The Daily Spur (kidney), Ragtag Daily Prompt (sharp), Your Daily Word Prompt (sapless), and Fandango’s One Word Challenge (repair).

Question Time Over Coffee — 12/17 Edition

Rory, over at Earthly Comforts, has once again posed a number of intriguing questions this morning. Let’s see if I can come up with some equally intriguing answers.

1. What actions do you take if you can’t sleep naturally?

I’m fortunate in that once I turn off the light at night, I usually fall asleep quickly. My issue is staying asleep, as I often have to get up at around two or three o’clock to pee. But I can generally fall back to sleep pretty quickly. On those rare occasions when I have trouble going to sleep, I have some cannabis-infused gummies that have a 20 to 1 ratio of CBD to THC, so they don’t get me high, but they do relax me to the point where I can quickly fall asleep. And I have some fantastic dreams after taking one, too.

2a. Can you easily recognise if you are suffering from stress, and if so, what do you do to reduce it?

I don’t get too stressed out anymore now that I’ve cut back on reading and watching a lot of the political news. However, if I do get stressed, I’ve found that this solution mellows me out quite nicely:

2b. Are you able to see signs of stress in your friends or your family more than you?

The person I’m most in contact with is my wife, who is much more high strung than I am. A lot of things stress her out, but when she does feel stressed she dives into crossword puzzles to distract her.

3. The West holds firm concerning the war in Ukraine. However, how do you feel about it all now? Do you believe we are providing too much or too little support?

I’m amazed that Ukraine has been able to hold off the invading Russia for this long and hope they can continue to repel Putin and his not so mighty military. Are we providing too much or too little support? In my opinion, we are not doing nearly enough. We should not only provide weapons and technology to Ukraine, the West should be much more actively engaged. If we don’t step in to more aggressively aid Ukraine and if Ukraine does eventually succumb to Putin, what will be next?

4. How much black-and-white honesty from your best friends do you believe your friendship with them warrants? Should friends be brutally honest with you or provide support without question?

I expect my friends to be supportive, but not without question. Honest feedback among true friends is a necessity.

5. Do you think you have an addictive personality?

Not really. The closest thing I have to an addiction is WordPress, but if I needed to or wanted to, I could give it up cold turkey. I might have more difficulty, though, giving up my addiction to a nightly helping of Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream.

6. Why are so many of today’s online/television advertisements so cringey? Are you ever influenced by the comedy or corniness of them?

With respect to television commercials, most of the TV I watch is on commercial-free steaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV+, HBO MAX). Whatever shows I watch on network TV are recorded on my DVR and I zip through the commercials.

As to online ads, the most cringeworthy are those that show up on free WordPress sites, and I just scroll past them.

7. Do you ever need help responding to some comments left by readers on your blog posts, as in not knowing how or what to respond with? Why is this, and what usually throws you off?

Help? What kind of help? I have never needed assistance in figuring out how to respond or what to respond with.

8. What five vegetables do you use the most each week or month?

Potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, sugar snap peas, and corn.

9. What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done?

Taking a continuous shower for 102 consecutive hours, temporarily holding the world’s record, when I was a freshman in college.

10. Have your blog reading habits changed since you first started to blog? Have you ever felt frustrated from reading blog posts because they are perhaps not piquing your interest? What have you done to prevent the boredom from biting deep if this is the case?

No, my blog reading habits haven’t changed much, although I’m following a lot more blogs now than I did when I first started blogging, so it takes up considerably more of my time. If a post doesn’t “pique” my interest, I don’t feel frustrated, I just move on. There are plenty of interesting post published by the bloggers I follow that I never suffer from “deep, biting boredom.”

11. Do you find it easy to make difficult decisions, and do you have a process of elimination for making those tough decisions?

I try to gather as much pertinent data as possible when faced with making a significant decision. That is my process.

12. What’s the longest you have gone without a shower?

After the pandemic hit and I rarely left the house or came in contact with anyone other than my wife, coupled with the severe drought were we live, I started to shower every other day, instead of daily. I have gone for as many as four days between showers, but mostly it’s still every other day.

13. Between the choice of a deep fried insect sandwich or a raw earthworm hamburger with no option of declining either, which would you choose?

I’d instantly eliminate the raw earthworm burger, so that leaves the deep fried insect sandwich.

14. How would your family and friends react if you started to talk to another person one day that no one else could see but you? Do you speak to yourself regularly?

I think they’d start looking into homes for demented seniors if I suddenly started conversing with an imaginary friend. Do I speak to myself? Well, I occasionally feel that way when I’m speaking to my wife even though I know she’s not listening. And I may sometimes mutter to myself. But no, I don’t regularly speak to myself.

15. How far can you be pushed before annoyance becomes full-blown anger and what is your anger style?

I’m a relatively easygoing guy who rarely gets very angry. My anger style is mostly to withdraw inwardly and to silently seethe.

SoCS — Anyway Whatever

“Anyways,” Thomas said, looking at his watch, “I gotta scoot. It’s way later than I thought it was.”

“It’s ‘anyway,’ not ‘anyways,’” Veronica said.

“Whatever,” Thomas said as he was putting on his coat.

“No, it’s not whatever, Thomas,” Veronica said. “The word is ‘anyway.’ ‘Anyways’ is nonstandard. It’s a colloquialism, and while it’s not entirely wrong, it’s just not a real word. It’s not the correct word.”

“Whatevs, Veronica,” Thomas said. “Why do you always have to be such a stickler all the time. It’s no biggie.”

“‘Whatevs’? Seriously?” Veronica said. “Thomas, do you want people to think you’re ignorant. I know I can be a bit pedantic at times, but using an incorrect word like ‘anyways’ when the correct word is ‘anyway’ just makes you sound uneducated.”

“Irregardless, Veronica, I really have to split,” Thomas said.

“Oh my God, Thomas,” Veronica said, “‘Irregardless’ is not a legitimate word. The correct word is ‘regardless.’ Irregardless is nonsensical.”

“Listen, Veronica,” Thomas said, “you’re really starting to piss me off. For all intensive purposes people understand what I mean and for someone who is supposably so intelligible, you should understand that.” Thomas then walked out of Veronica’s place, slamming the door behind him.

Veronica stood there staring at the closed door for a moment, kind of stunned. Then she sighed and said in a low whisper, “Anyway, it should be ‘for all intents and purposes,’ ‘supposedly,’ and ‘intelligent,’ Thomas.”

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where our task is to “start your post with the word ‘anyway.’”

FOWC with Fandango — Repair


It’s December 17, 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 “repair.”

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.