WDP — Leisure Time

What do you enjoy doing most in your leisure time?

I spent almost 50 years of my life getting up each and every day and going to work. A lot of my work involved writing proposals, presentations, analysis documents. I also interacted with coworkers, clients, prospective clients. I even tried to find some time on weekends to write The Great American Novel, but never got very far.

Then, at the end of 2016, I retired. No more proposals, presentations, coworkers, clients, prospective clients. Just me and my wife (and the kids when they found time in their own busy lives to visit with us). Suddenly I had an abundance of leisure time. An over abundance, actually.

So, what should I do with myself and all of this new found leisure time? I wondered. After a month or so into my retirement, my wife apparently got tired of me just hanging around and always being underfoot. She said to me, “Hey, you like to write. Why don’t you start a blog?” It was actually more of a demand than a question. Then she said, “That will keep you busy and out of my hair. You’re driving me crazy.”

I thought about that for a minute. Hmm, okay, I could express my points of view on the world around me and publish them on the internet, where they would be out there for anyone to stumble upon, virtually speaking. And maybe some people actually would stumble upon my blog posts and enjoy what I wrote. Maybe some would even responded to my posts. Comment on them.

Maybe not just my family and friends, whom I would tell about my new hobby, but total strangers from around the world would read, like, and comment on my posts. Maybe I could actually form connections with a large and vibrant community of other bloggers.

So I started blogging. It felt great to see my thoughts, perspectives, ideas, notions, and opinions “in print” for all the world to see. I discovered flash fiction and realized that, while I was unlikely to ever write the Great American Novel, I was a decent very short story writer and blogging allowed me to hone those skills and get almost immediate feedback from those who read them.

I discovered that there were writing prompts to help bloggers like me come up with something to write about and to post on our blogs. I even started creating prompts of my own to help nudge and inspire other bloggers to come up with ideas for their posts.

So, with all of what I just wrote as background, the short answer to today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is that what I enjoy doing most in my leisure time is blogging. And as the photo at the top of this post suggests, I do almost all of my blogging on my smartphone.

Staying Alive

On Friday I’m scheduled to be leaving the post-surgical orthopedic rehab facility as I enter the next phase of my return to normalcy. I will be transitioning from inpatient physical and occupational therapy sessions to at home sessions. My primary care givers will no longer be doctors and nurses, but my wife. She will also be my primary meal preparer and housekeeper. She will also assume a huge burden of physically and emotionally caring for me as a result of my stupidity that caused me to fracture my hip. And I couldn’t be more grateful for her presence in my life.

I’m still in a serious amount of pain at the site of the surgery (my left hip) and my left leg feels almost like dead weight, unable to follow the simple instructions my brain is sending it. My energy level, particularly after going through rigorous physical/occupational therapy sessions, is drained. I know it’s going to take a lot of time, effort, and patience before I will be back on my own two feet, literally.

So, on to the point of this post. I have been able to keep my daily FOWC with Fandango prompt going because I usually have a few weeks worth of those daily posts scheduled in advance. And I think, even while focusing on my physical recovery, I will be able to keep them going. I’ll probably be able to keep my Flashback Friday posts going, as that mostly involves reblogging a previous post. But I have other prompt posts that might not fare so well in the near term:

  • Monday’s Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)
  • Tuesday’s Fandango’s Story Starter (#FSS)
  • Wednesday’s Fandango’s Provocative Question (#FPQ)
  • Sunday’s (sometimes) Fandango’s Who Won the Week (#FWWTW)

These posts will have to go on hiatus until I get my mojo back. I just don’t have the energy or motivation right now to keep them going. If any of you would be interested in temporarily (or possibly permanently) taking over any of these challenges, please let me know. Otherwise, these four aforementioned posts will be off the radar for a while.

While I’ve been trying as best I can to read and respond to your comments on my way fewer posts these past nine days, I have not done as well keeping up with your posts. I hope, as the weeks go by and my recovery proceeds, to resume reading your posts more regularly and to be able to respond to the prompts and challenges many of you post.

And again, thank you for your well wishes since my fall.

Truthful Tuesday — Prompts and Challenges

Di, of Pensitivity101, is our host for Truthful Tuesday. This week, Di asks us:

Do you enjoy taking part in other bloggers challenges?

Yes, I do enjoy taking part in other bloggers’ prompts and challenges. I take part in a bunch of them, including three of Di’s (Share Your World, Truthful Tuesday, and Fibbing Friday). I also occasionally respond with a comment on her Three Things Challenge prompt.

Do you prefer a picture or word/sentence/question prompt?

Yes to all of the above. I enjoy coming up with stories that spring to mind from a photo or an image. I also often respond to other bloggers’ (as well as my own) daily word prompts. And I do respond to some question-based challenges. About the only two types of challenges I don’t typically participate in are poetry and drawing challenges. Because I kinda suck at both.

MLMM Friday Faithfuls — Prompt Me

For the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Friday Faithfuls challenge this week, Jim Adams would like to know our thoughts on blogging challenges. I’m going to take his questions one at a time.

Which ones do you participate in and why you decided to participate in them.

I participate in prompts that tickle my imagination, be they word prompts, photo prompts, Q&A prompts, or whatever.

If you are a host of any blogging challenge, talk about your challenge.

Do I host any blogging challenges? Well let’s just say that, all modesty aside, I consider myself to be somewhat of a master prompter. In addition to my daily FOWC with Fandango One Word Challenge, which I started back in June 2018 when WordPress abandoned its daily prompt, I have a number of weekly prompts that I host:

  • Sunday: Who Won the Week?
  • Mondays: Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (a photo prompt)
  • Tuesdays: Fandango’s Story Starter
  • Wednesdays: Fandango’s Provocative Question
  • Fridays: Fandango’s Flashback Friday

I often participate in six daily prompts from other bloggers: Word of the Day Challenge, The Daily Spur, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Your Daily Word Prompt, My Vivid Blog, and E.M’s Random Word Prompt.

And I regularly participate in these weekly prompts: Song Lyric Sunday, Cellpic Sunday, What Do You See, Share Your World, Blogging Insights, The Monday Peeve, Truthful Tuesday, One-Liner Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Thursday Inspiration, Fibbing Friday, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, and Weekend Writing Prompt.

There some monthly prompts, like Last on the Card and One-To-Three Photo Challenge, that I enjoy. And other prompts I may join in on as time and inspiration permits are some of the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompts, Three Things Challenge, One Minute Fiction Challenge, Writephoto, Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner, TGIF, and Friday Fictioneers.

Do you feel that the host of a blogging challenge has any responsibility to the participants.

I try to read every response to my prompts and, time permitting, to comment on them. As to other bloggers who host prompts, it’s up to them how much they interact with those who participate in their prompts.

Talk about Mr. Linky or the Blue Frog.

I’m not a fan and don’t typically use them.

How do you feel when the host is not automatically approving your comments or pingbacks?

I personally made the choice not to moderate comments on my blog. But I think it’s up to the host of the blog to decide how to handle comments and ping

My Daily Schedule

Rory, of Earthly Comforts, has asked us, in this week’s Coffee Morning Question Time prompt:

Do you write a daily schedule for your blog or is everything as it happens on the day itself?

My answer is both. I host a number of prompts, one daily and the rest weekly. For the prompts that I host, I plan them in advance and schedule them to be posted on a specific day at a set time.

All of my other posts, including my responses to prompts (such as this one) and the daily prompt words from other bloggers, are what I’d characterize as spontaneous.

In addition to responding to those daily prompts, I might be inspired to post about something I read in the morning newspaper or heard on the news or saw in my newsfeed. So, to use Rory’s words, such posts are “as it happens on the day itself.”