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.

Write What You Know

2FDA176F-2613-4A2D-9187-3EB5AA5B0F2DWhen I started my first blog back in 2005, I asked a lot of people for their advice. “What should I write about?” I asked. The advice most people tended to give me was, “write what you know.”

And so my posts on that blog focused on what I knew: sports, my family, my pets, and my job. I enjoyed the writing part, but despite how fascinating my life was to me, few others, including my own family members, seemed to care about the ins and outs of my activities of daily living. Even I got bored reading my blog. So I quit blogging.

But I missed writing, so a few years later, I tried blogging again. That time I decided, rather than writing about what I know, I would write about how I feel. That didn’t work out so well, though, because I’m not really in touch with my feelings. So I once again quit blogging.

When I started this blog last May, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. Then I started seeing all these writing prompts. Write a story about a word. Craft a tale about a photo or an image. Create a fantasy built around a song lyric. And that’s when I discovered that I have an imagination.

And that’s why many of my posts these days tend to be short flash fiction pieces. Sure, I still post about what’s going on in the world around me, but my true blogging bliss comes when I just make shit up. When I let my mind wander through scenes, characters, and worlds that exist only inside my own head.

So thank you to all of the bloggers who create these wonderful prompts that enable me to express myself with a creativity that I never knew I ever possessed.

If you’ve never tried writing flash fiction you should give it a try. It sure beats playing solitaire.

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

Stream of Consciousness Saturday — Balance


“Balance,” Jordan said flatly.

“Balance?” she asked.

Her question hung in the air for a few uncomfortable seconds. “Yeah, balance,” Jordan repeated. An awkward silence followed until Jordan finally broke it. “You know, balance. As in go with the flow, easy come-easy go, grin and bear it, roll with the punches. Balance.”

“Balance,” she said. “And how do you achieve balance?”

“I strive to maintain an even keel,” Jordan answered. She stared back at him until he continued. “I try to avoid life’s high highs and low lows.”

“How’s that working out for you? she asked.

“Um, okay I guess. I know a lot of people who are all bipolar and manic depressive and things like that,” he said. “But I’m not like that. I’m easy going. I never get really depressed or anything. I try to steer clear of emotional extremes so that I can maintain balance. That’s good, right?”

“Are you happy?” she asked.

“Happy? Yeah, I guess. I’m content.”

“Content?” She jotted something down on her notepad. “Do you ever experience joy?”

“Joy? I suppose I do. Sometimes. Not very often. But I also don’t ever feel really down, either. As I said, I work hard to avoid the low lows even if it means having to sacrifice the high highs.”

“I think you may be paying too great a price by insulating yourself from the intensity of your feelings.”

“Well, I am who I am and I see no reason to change,” Jordan said with some irritation in his voice. “I may not be a highly emotional guy, but I’m in balance.”

He stood up, put on his jacket, and walked to her office door. “And the only thing I’m paying too great a price for, doctor, are these weekly bullshit sessions of ours.”

“Well, Jordan, it’s good to know that you can at least feel anger,” she said just before he slammed the door shut.

This post is for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, which is to use the words “high” and/or “low” in the post. Thanks to Linda G. Hill.

Deeply Shallow


“How did that make you feel?” Sue asked as they left the theater.

“I liked it,” Hal responded.

“I asked you how it made you feel,” she said, “not if you liked it.”

“What do you want me to say?” he asked. “It was good, entertaining, informative. I liked it.”

Exasperated, Sue pressed. “Did it make you feel sad? Happy? Good? Bad? Angry?”

“Sheesh,” Hal responded. “I liked it. I enjoyed it. The acting was good. The storyline was entertaining. It was two hours well spent.”

“Do you even have feelings? Emotions? Do you know what it means to feel anything?”

“Of course I have feeling and emotions,” Hal said. “I feel that I liked the goddam movie. Okay?”

“You are totally devoid of emotions,” Sue blurted out.”

“That’s not true,” Hal said defensively. “I feel very deeply. It’s just that deep down, I’m a very shallow person.”

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