An Honest Blogger

4CD745AD-5CB5-4C3D-A497-9439E58964DBRory, A Guy Called Bloke, wrote a post today in which he asked this:

How honest are you to your blog and as such, to your readership? Do you think you can be too honest, too open?

This question really struck a chord with me. Why? I was once told that, since I blog anonymously, I am not an honest blogger. Why? Because I’m hiding my true identity, and unless or until I reveal my true identity, I’m being dishonest and disingenuous.

Well I call bullshit on that. I have my reasons for blogging anonymously, primarily having already been the victim of identity theft — twice! So it has nothing to do with being dishonest or disingenuous.

With that out of the way, on my blog I write a lot of flash fiction, often in response to word or picture prompts. Fiction is stories that describes imaginary events and people. Fiction is invention or fabrication as opposed to fact. So, by definition, writing fiction is not about honesty.

I also respond to Q&A prompts, and I do try to honestly answer the questions posed. And finally, as my blog’s tagline says, I post about life, society, and politics.

Other than members of my immediate family, few of my friends or acquaintances know who Fandango is. If they did, the real world me might feel more constrained when it comes to expressing my deep down inside thoughts and feelings on my blog. After all, I have to interact with these people in the real world and I’m a relatively private person.

Thus, it’s here, on my blog, where I’m probably being more honest and genuine in expressing my inner self than I am in the real world.

So back to Rory’s question, I feel that I am honest on my blog and with those who read my blog. As to his second question, I do feel there is a risk of being too honest and too open — in the real world. But not when it comes to my blog, where I can write and post any damn thing I want.

#writephoto — When Another Door Opens

DB92B21A-4E32-4A93-BB6D-9C19649A11BCAllison looked out of the airplane window shortly after takeoff. The sun was setting over the midwestern city she was leaving, probably forever. She let out a heavy sigh. Her eyes welled up and she struggled to hold back the tears. It was hard for her to face the fact that she was leaving her old life behind.

When she discovered ten months earlier that her husband of eight years was having an affair with her best friend, Allison was devastated. She was more angry with herself for being blind to the betrayal by the man she thought loved her and by her closest friend. She knew that she could never forgive either of them. And she also knew she needed a complete break from everything. It was time to start over with a clean slate.

She moved back into her parents’ house until the divorce was settled. She received half of the proceeds from the sale of the house that she and her husband bought together shortly after they got married. While the net proceeds after paying off the mortgage and the real estate commissions weren’t that much, the amount was sufficient to cover the cost of the one-way plane ticket and a few months rent in a new city halfway across the country.

She didn’t know anyone there and didn’t have a job. But as her father told her, when one door closes, another door opens. Allison certainly hoped that would be the case. She pulled her iPad from her carry on bag, opened it up, connected to the airline’s in-flight WiFi, logged into WordPress, and started typing on the tablet’s virtual keypad.

“Hi,” she typed. “My name is Allison. Welcome to my brand new blog.” She paused, and for the first time in a long, long time, Allison smiled. Then she resumed typing. “I’m 31 years old and I’m starting my life all over again, which is why I’ve named my blog When Another Door Opens.”


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

Exploring Original Thought

Original thoughtIt recently occurred to me that I have never had an original thought in my entire life. Neither have you, most likely.

There is an actual theory about this. It’s referred to as the Original Thought Theory. I don’t know who originally thought of the Original Thought Theory, but based upon the theory itself, it wasn’t an original thought.

The Original Thought Theory suggests that anything anyone can ever think of has already been thought of by someone else. Do you believe that?

Even the Bible doesn’t buy the notion of original thought. In Ecclesiastes 1:9, it reads:

That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there’s nothing new under the sun.

So what do we mean by “original thought?” First, let’s explore the word “original.” Various online dictionaries define the word as new, fresh, inventive, novel. It’s something created, undertaken, or presented for the first time.

It’s much easier to use the concept of “original” in terms of physical things, especially inventions. The iPhone was the original smartphone (or, arguably, the BlackBerry was). How about the IBM PC? Was that the original, mass-market personal computer? Johannes Gutenberg invented the original mechanical printing press. The Ford Model T was the original mass-produced automobile.

But the concept of “original” when it comes to thought is a different proposition. The word “thought” is defined as “the product of mental activity.” So an original thought is something new, fresh, and inventive that is the product of mental activity.

How can you know if a thought you or someone else had was uniquely new, fresh, or novel, as well as one that was thought for the first time…ever?

Apple on Newtons HeadWas Sir Isaac Newton, who wrote the Law of Universal Gravitation, the first to observe and describe the concept of gravity? Newton may have proved the existence of gravity using mathematics, but did it occur to no other human being before Newton that what goes up must come down? I can’t prove that it did, but I think it’s unlikely that it did not.

Think about the history of humanity on this planet. Think about the billions and billions of thoughts that human beings have had throughout history. What is the likelihood that you or I will actually have a truly original thought, a thought no other human being in the history of recorded time has ever thought?

Thoughts may be unique to a person, but they are formulated by a wealth of other thoughts, data, emotions, and perspectives. If someone presents a different perspective and your response is, “I never thought of it that way,” is your revelation an original thought or just a new take on an existing idea? Is formulating a new opinion about something the same as having an original thought?

Even if I discovered a new and different way of thinking about something, it may be new and different for me, but can I know for sure that no one else has also thought about that same thing the same way I have? Of course I can’t.

So, do I feel bad that I have never had an original thought and never will? No, not at all. I am happy that I possess the wherewithal to think rational thoughts, weigh the evidence, internalize other perspectives, and draw my own conclusions.

And then, in my blog, I post about such conclusions, observations, and perspectives in what I hope is a reasonably original manner. Original to me, anyway.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “explore.”

Time To Write — Baby It’s Cold Outside

8033D4CA-A8FE-434D-B22C-7379C44A330B“Come on, hurry,” Veronica called out to her husband.

“Why, again, are we doing this?” Tim asked.

“I told you. It’s for my blog,” Veronica said. “Do you ever listen when I’m talking to you?”

“Yes, I listen. I just forgot what you said.”

“But you just asked me why I needed my camera,” Veronica said, “and I told you I have to get some pictures for my blog.”

“So what is your post about that we need to go out in the freezing cold?” Tim wanted to know.

“It’s in response to a photography challenge,” Veronica explained. “We’re supposed to post pictures that reflect all four seasons. I already have some that I took when we were at Virginia Beach last summer. And remember when we were in New Hampshire last fall and I took those stunning pictures of the autum leaves?”

“Yeah,” said Tim.

“And for spring I’m going to use one of the pictures I took of the cherry blossoms on the Potomac during our trip to DC a few years back,” Veronica said.

“So now you need a shot to show a wintry scene,” Tim said.

“Exactly,” said Veronica. “I was thinking of something artistic, like bare, snow-covered branches contrasting against the deep, blue sky. That would really depict winter well, don’t you think!”

“Can’t you just use one of the pictures from that week we spent skiing at Taos? I know you have pictures from that trip.”

“Yes, but I just wanted something unusual, unique, and interesting,” Veronica said. “And we are here in Montreal, aren’t we?”

“Fine,” Tim said. “But let’s make it quick, okay? Because baby it’s cold outside.”


Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write prompt.

#JusJoJan — Finding Your Passion

 

13BB5B49-4F80-4541-853A-B5A5DF139EE5“So,” she said, “you’ve told me all about your job and what you do for a living, but you haven’t told me who you are.”

A work associate of Jason’s had given him Carrie’s phone number and urged him to call her. “She’s smart, attractive, and I can see the two of you really hitting it off,” he told Jason. Jason called her and she agreed to meet him for a cup of coffee.

Confused by her question, Jason looked across the table at Carrie, who was, as his friend had said, quite attractive. “I think I’ve told you a lot about who I am.”

“Not really,” she said, a warm smile gracing her face. “I want to know what makes you tick, what gets you up in the morning, what drives you, what moves you, what excites you, what it is that you’re passionate about.”

“I love my job,” Jason nervously responded. “My job is interesting and challenging. I really do get excited about getting up every day and going to work.”

“Okay,” Carrie said. “But other than your job, what gets your juices flowing? How do you like to spend your weekends?”

Her question made him realize that, outside of work, he didn’t do much. He spent most weekends at home, by himself, reading, watching TV, or going to a movie. Jason thought for a moment before answering, taking a slow, deliberate sip of coffee to give him some time to conjure up an answer.

“I have a blog,” he said. “And I’m really passionate about it.”

“Oh, that’s exciting,” Carrie said. “What’s your blog about?”

“My job, my work.”

Carrie looked at her watch and said, “Oh my, look at the time.” She stood up and reached out her hand. “It was very nice to meet you, Jason, but I just remembered that I have to be somewhere.”

Jason stood up and shook Carrie’s hand. “Can I call you again?”

“No, I don’t think so. But thanks for the cup of coffee,” she said as she walked toward the door.

“I’ve got to find my passion,” Jason said to himself.


Written for today’s Jot It Down January prompt from Linda G. Hill. The word is “passionate” and was proposed by Rosemary Carlson.