An Intervention

769E7C38-D56E-463E-A146-7C3016329218“Oh jeez, it’s raining again,” Marcie said. “That makes like five rainy days in a row. And yet there you sit in front of your laptop with a big shit-eating grin on your face. How can you be so jolly in this miserable weather that we’ve been having all week?”

“Are you kidding me? Look at my stats, for crissake,” Danny said, turning the screen on his laptop in Marcie’s direction for her to see.”

“Okay,” Marcie said, “What, exactly, are you showing me?”

“It’s an Excel spreadsheet I put together to track my blog’s stats,” Danny explained. “Look at this,” he said with an orgulous smile on his face. “They are going through the roof! My blog is going viral!”

Marcie stared at her husband with a look that could only be described as mocking horror. “Are you serious, Danny?” she said. “I’m going stir crazy because of this incessant rain and you’re going all orgasmic over you freakin’ blog stats?”

“But honey, aren’t you proud of me?” Danny asked. “I’m averaging more than 400 views a day. And look at all these likes and comments.”

“That’s it,” Marcie said. “I’m calling your brother and giving him the activation code.”

“The activation code? What the hell are you talking about?”

“It’s a code that I give to a member of your family telling them to rush over here because it’s time for an intervention. You’ve got a serious addiction, Danny,” Marcie said. “There’s more to life than losing yourself in your blog.”

Written for these daily prompts: Weekly Prompts (rainy days), Word of the Day Challenge (jolly), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (stats), Ragtag Daily Prompt (orgulous), The Daily Spur (horror), and Your Daily Word Prompt (activation).

A Post About Posts

4AA76886-AF49-44BF-9993-B0159BA9E1C9This post is the 2,620th post on this blog. That’s a lot of posts, given that I started this blog only 22 months ago. An average of almost 120 per month.AC5E2F46-A3CA-4E00-A10D-AB3BA71914C4According to my category tally, almost 1,100 posts are flash fiction posts. 350 are my daily one-word prompts, my weekly provocative question prompts, and my weekly flash fiction (photo) prompts. 360 posts (including this one) are about blogging and 340 are about politics.

I posted about “Life” 528 times and about “Whatever” (whatever that is) 44 times.

By the way, for those of you who are mathematically inclined, the tally of categories exceeds the total number of posts because I occasionally assigned more than one category to some posts.

Sometimes, as I look back at the last 22 months of posting on this blog, it’s like I’m looking through a thick haze. I will periodically go back and read some of my old posts and stare at them in wonder and think, “Did I write that?” But I did.

I admit that I’ve derived a tremendous amount of enjoyment from writing my posts and reading those of the terrific bloggers I follow. I honestly can’t think of a more rewarding way to spend my leisure time.

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (post), Ragtag Daily Prompt (haze), Word of the Day Challenge (enjoyment), and Your Daily Word Prompt (leisure).

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.”