Rory’s Daily Four More

4 leaf cloverI’m three days late on this one, but despite my tardiness, I’m going to go ahead and post my responses to Rory’s daily four questions from September 8th.

What truly motivates you to write?

I’ve always enjoyed putting my thoughts and stories down in writing, but my busy life raising a family and holding down a demanding job limited my opportunities to sit down and write for fun. (I did have about have a dozen papers I wrote published in several trade journals back in the day.)

Then, in 2005, a friend of mine suggested that if I wanted to exercise my writing chops, I should start a blog, so I did. I have to admit I got a bit of a rush when I read my words published on the internet and to have total strangers read and respond to my words. From that point on, I had found my motivation to write.

What’s cluttering up your life today and what are you doing about it?

As a retiree, I wouldn’t say that my life is particularly cluttered these days, so there’s not much I need to do about uncluttering it.

Did you enjoy a creative childhood?

I used to draw a lot, write stories a little, and invent games to play, both by myself and with friends. I had a pretty vivid imagination, but I don’t know that I’d specifically say that I was creative. Perhaps imaginative would be a more apt word.

Have you ever wanted to write a book? Or if you have written a book, do you feel accomplished for doing so?

Yes, I not only wanted to, but I started at least three or four. But I never finished any of them. I loved inventing characters and writing scenes, but I could never develop a strong enough plot or story arc sufficient to sustain a novel-sized book. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing flash fiction. I can  invent characters, construct individual scenes, and create dialogue while telling a short story with a beginning, a middle, and an end in fewer than 500 words, in most cases.

But maybe someday I’ll wake up and write the great American novel. Or not.

SoCS — Beginnings and Endings

720351BE-7122-45EB-98A7-03285D72CD92After my teachers in high school drummed it into my head that you’re never ever supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, I was shocked to find out that most language experts don’t actually abide by this so-called “rule.” Some grammar mavens even call that “rule” a myth.

What are prepositions? Actually, prepositions are some of the most frequently used words in all of English, such as of, to, for, with, on, and at. A preposition is a word or phrase that connects a noun or pronoun to a verb or adjective in a sentence.

On reflection, if the “never end a sentence with a preposition” rule is a myth, what about never starting a sentence with one? Well, it turns out that using a preposition or a prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence is both common and grammatically correct.

The word “after,” which is the very first word of this post, is also a preposition. And that’s a good thing because Linda G. Hill challenged us, for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, to start our post with a preposition. With that in mind, I started my post with the word “after,” which is a preposition. Yay me!

And while we’re talking about “hard and fast rules” in grammar that I was taught in high school, another was to never start a sentence with a conjunction.

Well, according to Grammar Girl, “It’s fine to start a sentence with a conjunction. And, but, and or are the three most common members of a group of words known as coordinating conjunctions. In fact, a substantial percentage of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions.”

And with that, I’m going to end this post right now. It’s time to move on.

In Other Words — Daily Prompts

2E12834B-7223-427A-8FD9-CD66284699EDEach and every day, a handful of bloggers post daily word prompts.

And each and every day I look at the four to eight daily prompt words and try to weave them all into a coherent and cohesive post.

For example, today’s eight daily prompt are resolute, blind, explicate, tag, unrequited, extravaganza, variable, and idle chatter.

It’s not always easy, and sometimes it’s quite challenging, to come up with a post that successfully leverages many or all of those prompts words.

There’s only one way that I can figure out how to fit all eight of today’s daily word prompts into a single post — and that is to improvise.


In other wordsWritten for the In Other Words prompt from Patricia’s Place. The challenge this week is to write a story or poem of five lines or fewer using the picture above and/or the words “improvise.” Image credit: Tumisu from Pixabay. Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (resolute), The Daily Spur (blind), Your Daily Word Prompt (explicate), Daily Addictions (tag), Word of the Day Challenge (unrequited), Ragtag Daily Prompt (extravaganza), Nova’s Daily Random Word (variable), and Weekly Prompts (idle chatter).

So Many Words

9670BE73-11FD-4242-AD7A-860EA68E3836As many of you who read my blog know, I try to incorporate four or five daily prompt words into a post each day. In addition to my Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, there’s the Word of the Day Challenge, the Ragtag Daily Prompt, the Your Daily Word Prompt, and, more recently, the Daily Spur.

Now two other bloggers have upped the ante. Roger Shipp has resurrected his popular Daily Addictions prompt and Nova has brought back her Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt.

So today we are offered seven daily words: productive, pollution, adversity, drive, puzzle, target, and youthful.

Okay, the gauntlet has been thrown and I’m going to pick it up now.


“Our nation is facing a serious crisis. Pollution of the air we breathe and the water we drink is bringing about a potential environmental catastrophe,” the candidate said.

“It is critical that we, as citizens, come together and target the crisis with productive approaches,” she continued. “This is not a puzzle that is unsolvable. We need to apply your youthful exuberance to drive this country toward cleaner air and water and to overcome the adversity that doing nothing will bring about. It’s your futures that are at stake. Thank you.”

The candidate for student council president received a standing ovation from Miss Brown’s first grade class.

Not Just My Verse — Insomnia

72EC02B7-B1F8-49A3-98B6-FAC597ED994FSo Rory (A Guy Called Bloke) started another one of his poetry blog hop thingies. He chooses a topic — in this case, insomnia — and writes four lines of rhyming verse. Then he tags one of his readers who will, in turn, add his or her own four lines of rhyming verse to Rory’s and then tag one of his or her own readers to do the same. And so on and so on. It’s a case of wash, rinse, repeat. Once the poem [verse] leaves Rory’s blog, the next series of bloggers can take it wherever they want with regards their own four line verses, but they must always stay on topic.

Here’s how Rory got it started:

Why do you evade me so? It makes for no sense,
In truth, to do so unkindly and unwarranted, is nonsense!
I have tried counting all sorts, from stars to wide eyed sheep!
Yet still you, yes you decline me shut eye and valuable sleep!

 Jay-lin of The Wonderful and Wacky World of one Single Mum

Tossing and turning pulling blankets near,
What is that noise that I hear?
It is not the sandman come for me,
Why won’t you let me sleep dear?    

Gary of Bereaved Single Dad

Countless late night biscuits and black coffee,
Walking around like a spaced out zombie,
Listening to Cohen and Floyd on endless loop,
Convincing myself that no sleep is common in my age group.

Lorraine of Blind Wilderness

I toss and I turn
Oh when will I learn
That sleep is at bay
On an Away Day

Di at Pensitivity101

The stars are so bright at this time of night,
I look forward to slumbering deep,
As I close my tired eyes, what a surprise,
The brain wakes and I can’t get to sleep!

Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith

The shadows creep along the wall
like predators waiting for me to fall.
My pillow–my shield; flashlight–my sword,
The most dangerous thing is a mind that’s bored.

And now it’s my turn:

Wide awake, I turn and look at my clock to see
That it’s three a.m. and I have to get up to pee
Back in bed I close my eyes, then check my clock once more.
Oh my God, it’s not even four!

Okay. I’m going to throw this over to my buddy Jim Adams to add his four lines of rhyming verse.