Not the Typical Set of Questions

a glass of cognac in front of fireplaceUrsula, the blogger at An Upturned Soul, received a Sunshine Blogger Award nomination from Rory, A Guy Called Bloke. Congratulations Ursula!

If you’ve never visited An Upturned Soul, you should. Ursula presents her unique perspectives in her posts in an interesting and articulate manner and expresses herself exquisitely.

After answering Rory’s questions, Ursula wrote, “And now I’m going to do what all the cool blogging kids are doing with their blog award nominations. I’m going to nominate all of you.”

And then Ursula posed her own set of eleven questions. But her questions are unlike any others I’ve seen asked by or of other bloggers, as you will clearly see when you read them. You’ll understand, given the nature of her questions, why it’s taken me almost three days to answer them.

So grab a snifter of brandy, light up the fire, pull up a comfy easy chair, and take a look at her questions, which are far more intriguing than my answers.

One: In that moment everything changed. It would never be the same again. What changed and what would never be the same again?

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. America (and the world) will never be the same again.

Two: The words swirled upon the page of the book, they appeared to be alive, the ink strokes stretched, breaking free from their confines, distorting, losing all meaning, blending into an image… what was the image?

The ghost of Christmas Future from the Charles Dickens’ book, “A Christmas Carol.” The reader was testing an experimental, interactive ebook version of the classic tale.28C76DAA-EC1B-448B-BFEC-28E9C00BA509

Three: Well, that wasn’t what she expected. She’d followed the recipe diligently. Not even one grain of the ingredients was where it shouldn’t be. And yet… what was supposed to happen and what happened instead?

The guinea pig was supposed to have died. She was practicing preparing a recipe for a special holiday meal for her elderly husband, thirty years her senior. She fed it to the guinea pig, but it survived. Back to the drawing board. 

Four: Not again. Yes, again and again and again. It would keep happening until… What would make it stop happening?

The visual auras she got every day were driving her crazy. She’d take some Advil and sit quietly in a soundless, darkened room, her eyes closed until it passed. But then the next day it would be back again. She was sure that she had a brain tumor and, at this point, she would welcome death if it meant an end to the auras.

Five: A philosopher, an astrologer, a psychiatrist, and a shrouded figure walked into the waiting room of the local dentist, which was now a trendy bar… what happened next?

The psychiatrist suggest to the dentist that turning his dental office waiting room into a trendy bar was a cry for attention. The astrologer said that the moon was in the seventh sun and this was a typical move in the age of Aquarius. The philosopher questioned the existential aesthetics of the waiting room/bar. Finally, the shrouded figure walked up to the dentist/bartender and said, “So what does a guy have to do around here to get a beer?”B8EC82B4-6B3A-4957-85BD-F79E79CE7051

Six: If there was one thing, Desperado McNair knew, it was to never ever do what he had just done… What had he just done?

They had him dead to rights, so under threat of long-term incarceration, McNair agreed to turn state’s evidence. 

Seven: The door closed behind her with a hush. Salome Vegan, let her shoulders slump ever so slightly for she knew that she was still under observation. The interview had been grueling. She had been well-prepared but not for that, and now all she had to do was… what?

…ace the written part of the exam in order to compensate for her relatively poor performance on the oral part.

Eight: Today was what is sometimes known as “One of THOSE days” when things come together in a certain manner and conspire to… what?

…undermine everything he had worked so hard to accomplish.

Nine: That was the final straw. She was never going to love another character in a film ever again. After everything she had done for… who?

…the head writer, who rejected all of her suggested script changes that were intended to make the film’s main female character more realistic, relatable, and sympathetic.

Ten: I have gathered all of you here at this time and place at the behest of your Facebook friend, The Big Cheesy Squeeze, aka Donald… not that Donald… to divulge his… what? Who are these people? WTF is going on?

This was an intervention by Donald’s closest friends and family members. They needed him to recognize that his “Make America Grate Again” campaign had gone too far.02B54B78-0A2E-4BCF-B027-EA131D7E6681

Eleven: After the rain came down, after the lights went out, after they all vanished, all that was left was… what or who was left to narrate?

Me. I am the narrator of an apocalyptic flash fiction story I am posting to my blog.

3-2-1 Quote Me! — Creative Writing

2C1493F5-DD6C-4B67-820F-E20DA6D32D8ARory, A Guy Called Bloke, tagged me for the latest 3-2-1 Quote Me! challenge. This one is all about creative writing.

Here are Rory’s rules:

  1. Thank the selector.
  2. Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.
  3. Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Okay, here we go:

  1. Thanks Rory.
  2. See below.
  3. See my chosen 3 after the quotes.

Quote 1:

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Jodi Picoult

Quote 2:

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

Anton Chekhov

And now for the tags.

  1. Jim Adams at A Unique Title for Me. Jim has been very creatively writing posts about songs having women’s names in the titles and the artists who wrote and/or performed them.
  2. James Pyles at Powered By Robots. James just completed a creative writing course, so he must have some good things to say about creative writing.
  3. Lisa at All About Life. She’s been writing some really creative flash fiction, so let’s see what she has to say on this topic.

That’s it folks. I hope those bloggers I selected will participate, but participation is purely optional.

“ent” and “ant”

A39D4C26-BC49-4184-824A-35D019E749E7Today’s one-word prompt from Sheryl at Your Daily Word Prompt is “dependant.” The problem with that word is that my spell checker keeps highlighting it and my autocorrect keeps changing it to “dependent.” That’s because I have my spell-checker and autocorrect set to US (American) English. And in American English, dependant is a misspelling.

According to my exhaustive research, in British English, “dependant” can also be spelled “dependent.” In British English, dependent is an adjective, and dependant is a noun. “Dependent” is the adjective meaning needing something or someone else for support: Many adults are dependent upon coffee to help them wake up in the morning. “Dependant” is a noun used for a person (such as a child) who relies upon others for care: The parents must sign for a dependant to be able to have the surgery.

But for those who use American English, the word “dependent” is used for both meanings. There is no word “dependant.”

Interestingly, the word “defendant” rhymes with the word “dependent,” but the former ends in “ant” while the latter end in “ent.” This is just another example about how screwy the English language is. And that doesn’t even include the myriad other spelling differences between American and British English.

And don’t even get me started on the differences between how punctuation relative to quotation marks is different between American and British English, which I whined about here.

Word Play

07AD8361-6F37-48EC-91C1-33214D76F1ECParsimonious, oeuvre, and fugacious are three of today’s word one-word prompts. Who uses words like these in everyday life?

Why not say “stingy,” “frugal,” or “cheap,” instead of “parsimonious”? Who are you trying to impress?

And why not “anthology” or “collective works” rather than “oeuvre”? Are you a pretentious snob who wants to impress people by using a French word?

And why use “fugacious” when what you mean is “fleeting” or “transitory”? Seriously?

What happened to using simple, easy to understand language to effectively communicate an idea or a thought? Why use words that require someone to flutter through the pages of a dictionary or thesaurus or to dig into the origin of such words?

I don’t mean to come across with a sanctimonious attitude towards my fellow one-word promoters, but honestly, people, let’s give people real, everyday words to work with.

Having said that, did I ever tell you the story of my wealthy late uncle? I’m not sure what the origin of his great wealth was, but to give the old guy his due, the oeuvre of his poetry was worth a fortune.

My uncle, despite his great wealth, was a parsimonious bastard. For a while, his poetry did make the hearts of the women in the family flutter. But his allure was fugacious, and he soon wore out his welcome.

Except when it came to the day of the reading of his will. That day the old bastard was quite popular.