#WDYS — The Buccaneer

It was a tradition in Roland’s family to read books and he embrace that tradition with gusto. He always thought of books as a conduit that connected his very pragmatic brain to the luminosity of his vivid imagination.

Roland was driven to read as if reading was his mistress who he found irresistible. But poor Roland soon found that he was having trouble distinguishing between reality and the world he experienced from within the pages of his books.

Suddenly he was a buccaneer standing on the seashore of a deserted, tropical island. He was guarding a chest full of treasure from a pirate ship anchored just off shore.

Roland heard an eerie, far off voice seemingly carried by the breezes. “Close the book, Roland, while you still can. Close it before it’s too late.”

Roland saw pirates leaving the ships in row boats, heading in his direction. “No, I cannot close the book. I am the protector of the chest,” he said to the strange, far off voice. “It is my duty, as the King’s buccaneer, to defend his royal treasure, even if it portends my end.

“Close the book,” the voice insisted. “It’s not real. It’s your imagination. But if you don’t close the book, you will never escape.”

Roland sighed. “I’d rather remain locked within my imagination than return to a depressing reality.”

And with that, the book slammed shut. So, too, closed the book on the reality of the young man once known as Roland.

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Tumisu @ Pixabay. Also for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (tradition), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (gusto), Your Daily Word Prompt (conduit/portend), Word of the Day Challenge (driven), Ragtag Daily Prompt (luminosity/mistress), and My Vivid Blog (seashore).

Truthful Tuesday — Reading During the Pandemic

Frank, aka PCGuy, has published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts, and this week Frank wants to know…

What impact, if any, has the pandemic, and specifically last year’s lock-down, had on your reading habits?

I’ll jump to the bottom line first: the pandemic has had no real impact on my reading habits. At least not my book reading habits. Now that you have the answer to Frank’s question, you can stop reading. Or you can take a minute to read on for more details.

I retired at the end of 2016 and I planned to spend a lot of time writing. Yes, my goal was to pen the great American novel, which would be a best seller, of course.

That didn’t happened. But my retirement did afford me the opportunity to read more books, and I did so in that first year. Well, a few more books, anyway.

But I became, after the election of Donald Trump in November 2016, obsessed with reading and watching the news. So my book reading actually diminished and it has not picked back up in the year and a half since the pandemic began. I still read the newspaper and my newsfeeds and I still watch the news on TV, but I have spent more time since the pandemic began on WordPress, reading other bloggers’ posts and creating my own.

And also binge-watching TV shows.

Truthful Tuesday — Reading is Fundamental II

Frank, aka PCGuy, has published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts, and this week Frank continues his books and reading theme. He wants to know…

1. Are there any books that you can read over and over again, and never seem to tire of?

I’ve read Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy twice, once while in college and a second time when I was in my fifties. I may consider going back to the Middle Earth a third time.

2. Have any of your favorite authors written any books that you just didn’t care for?

I read Frank Herbert’s original Dune Trilogy, but after reading two other Dune books, I stopped reading any further Dune books as I found them to be tedious.

3. When it comes books, do you prefer reading fiction or non-fiction? The genre is unimportant.

I prefer fiction, but well-written non-fiction can be a welcomed change every once in a while.

Truthful Tuesday — Reading is Fundamental

To be truthful, today is not Tuesday. However, yesterday Frank, aka PCGuy, published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts, and since I couldn’t get around to responding yesterday, I’m going to respond today. This week Frank wants to know…

1. Do you consider yourself an avid reader?

If you’re talking about books, I used to be an avid reader and would typically read at least one book a week on average. But lately, most of my reading is done on my iPhone’s newsfeed and on WordPress when I read posts from other bloggers.

2. What was the last book you read all the way through, and how long did it take you?

It was Octavia Butler’s The Patternist series. It’s a four book series and it probably took me about three weeks to read all four of the books.

3. Are there any books that, try as you might, you just haven’t been able to bully your way through?

After I saw the stage show, Les Mis, which I absolutely loved, I tried reading Victor Hugo’s book “Les Misérables,” the book upon which the Broadway musical was based. I have never been able to finish it…or even get too much further than the first few pages.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 1

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 1st) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on my blog on January 1, 2018.

Conversation About Drama

72F31045-5C6F-4A0E-A96E-A6E737E1082BThis month there are two daily one word prompts. One is from WordPress, like today’s one-word prompt, “conversation.” The other is something cooked up by Linda G. Hill called Just Jot it January (or #JusJoJan). Today’s #JusJoJan word is “drama.”

So, I thought my first post of 2018 would be a one-word twofer. Let’s have a conversation about drama, shall we?

I enjoy a good drama. At the movies. On TV. In books. Even as flash fiction on someone’s blog. But not in my real life. I try, as best I can, to keep my life as free of drama as possible.

Of course, sometimes drama in life is unavoidable. Shit happens. People do or say stupid things. Drama happens.

So what can you do to escape drama? Well, if possible, don’t get involved. If you’re not a party to the drama, get out of the way. Or if that’s not possible, maybe just lend a neutral and sympathetic ear to those immersed in whatever drama is taking place.

But sometimes you’re an actor in a drama that is playing out. Maybe at home with family, maybe at play with friends, or maybe at work with coworkers or your boss. What you want to do is to minimize the drama as much as possible.

How, you ask? Well, my first bit of drama avoidance advise is to determine if you, yourself, are the source of the drama. Are you the constant? Are you creating it? If drama is always swirling around you, you need to change your behavior, your perspectives.

And whether it’s you at the center of the drama or if it’s others, you need to think before you react. Maybe follow that old trick of counting to ten before you say or do anything. And you need to figure out a way to rein in your emotions. Don’t feed the drama, tamp it down.

So there you have it. Fandango’s words of wisdom regarding removing drama from your life. If you need more drama, read a book, go to the movies, or watch TV.