Monthly Archives: Jan 2016

Fiction
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What Do You See? #microstory #fiction

Ha! Really? That looks like —

You have such a dirty mind. It’s a beautiful painting. It’s the Bridge of Brodgar, for heaven’s sake!

Yeah, I know what I see. It’s practically smacking me in the face.

Ugh! I can’t take you anywhere!

 

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Maybe the grass is greener on the other side depends who was standing in it. Sometimes you have to go over there and look.

Lynne Rae Perkins
Fiction
10

Unknown Depths #microstory #fiction

You were down there forever! I thought you were a goner! Did your feet ever touch the bottom? It’s endless? Bottomless, you say? How is that possible?

I’m telling you, it goes on for eternity. No one can dive down that far.

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And people tended not to bother a woman with a book.

Cherie Priest
BlogHer
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Balancing My Online and Offline Worlds

I’m not good with balance. Frankly, I’m so used to being off balance that when I get on an even keel, I think something must be wrong. Clearly, I’m forgetting something, there’s no way I should feel like everything is fine.

So it’s probably no surprise that I’m also a person of extremes. Either I do All The Things or I do none of them.

Either my entire life is spent online or I ignore the web, social media, and my phone completely.

Either I’m ready to be the most maternal Mommy ever or I really wish my kids would leave me alone so I could read my book. (I kid…sort of.)

Either I love the whole world and see nothing but goodness or the world is filled with rat bastards who don’t know how to drive and couldn’t be compassionate toward their fellow man if their life depended on it.

See? Extremes.

So purposefully balancing being online (screen time) with being offline isn’t something I’m good at.

I have noticed, because I’m not completely blind, that when I spend more time online, I feel more stressed, think I’m not doing enough, and feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

On the other side of that equation, when I spend time ignoring the online world, I’m much calmer, and I enjoy my time spent reading or stitching or watching movies. I don’t, however, love the sometimes frantic messages of “Where are you?!” from the people who are used to me being online all the time. But hey, nothing is ever perfect.

Do I set conscious limits on my screentime in front of laptops, tablets, and phones? No.

Should I? Probably.

Will I? Probably not.

I live and work in an online world. If I’m not online, I’m not working, connecting, networking, or building the online writing career I want.

That being said, I know enough to enjoy the time I spend offline and to understand how important it is to my own mental health. So while I probably won’t schedule offline time, I will definitely take every advantage of it when I can manage it.

How’s that for balance?

Today’s post is part of BlogHer’s daily prompts for January on finding balance.

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1000 Speak
10

Forgiveness is Easy, Forgetting is Hard #1000Speak

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I’ve always wanted to be one of those “forgive and forget” kind of people. I don’t like to hang on to hate or anger. It’s too exhausting and takes up too much space in my head.

Maybe it’s because of my hermit-like ways or maybe because I’m insanely careful about who I let get close, but I’ve not had a lot of moments where I’ve had to consciously forgive someone. Don’t get me wrong – it’s happened.

The “friend” who bailed on my wedding – and she was the Maid of Honor.

The ex who went ape-shit crazy during our split, forcing me to call the cops.

Myself – for every mistake (perceived and real) I’ve ever made.

The rest is all little stuff. And supposedly we’re not supposed to sweat the little stuff.

“Sorry I was late and made you wait a bajillion hours for me to get here.” (I may be paraphrasing…) My response? No worries.

“Sorry I didn’t email you back when I said I would and you had to hound me for weeks.” I get it.

“Sorry I called you mean names and made you cry when we were kids.” Hey, we were all little assholes as kids.

Forgiving is the easy part – even when it’s not easy at all.

But I never forget. Blame it on my Scorpio nature or my INTJ ways, but wrong me and the moment is seared into my memory forever.

I don’t hold onto it, worrying over it, gnawing on it like a dog with a bone. I don’t dwell on it. Really, I don’t even think about it much. Until that same person comes calling, and then I pull the memory out of a filing cabinet in my brain. How someone treated me once will determine how I think they’ll treat me again. The memory will tell me how I should proceed – with caution or with trust.

The only way to combat that bad memory of rudeness, lateness, obnoxiousness, you name it, is to flood the memory banks with the times when it was good, and there was nothing to forgive.

I like to believe the ability to forgive is the best part of me. Attempting to live with understanding and compassion – even for situations I can’t possibly understand – is something I work at every day.

Forgetting? Well, that’s another situation entirely. A defense mechanism, if you will. I’m not sure I can let go of the memories…and I’m not sure I want to.

1000 Speak is an international blogging movement to add compassion to the world. Each month is a different theme. January’s theme: Forgiveness.

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Fiction
6

New to the Party #microstory #fiction

Who knew so many people could make so much noise? How did you get the hottest deejay in NYC to your party? Do you have any more beer? I hope your upstairs neighbor doesn’t get pissed off and call the cops…again.

 

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It is ‘where we are’ that should make all the difference, whether we believe we belong there or not.

Chang-rae Lee
300 Prompts
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What’s In My Fridge?

After a short break from the holidays (a much needed and appreciated break), 300 Prompts is back! This week is number 22 (only 278 to go but who’s counting?) – slow and steady, y’all, slow and steady.

Feel free to join in on social media, in the comments, or on your own blog (share the link in the comments!).

This one is a little different, but…okay.

If I looked in your fridge, what would I find?

I’m assuming you (the reader) are the “I” and “your fridge” refers to mine – that’s what I’m going with anyway.

Writing Prompt 22

Okay, open up my fridge and you will find…

Two large bottles of peppermint mocha creamer (there’s some in the freezer, too – I stocked up before the end of the holidays).

Three different types of ground coffee – Maxwell House and 2 Starbucks varieties. Yes, really. (There’s some of that in the freezer, too.)

A big thing of apple juice. A smaller container of Gatorade. Water. Lots of water.

Leftovers (ugh) – some of it might even be edible.

Everything to make a great breakfast – too bad there’s no one here who wants to cook a great breakfast. Cereal again!

Salad stuff – some of which has gone moldy, some hasn’t.

Lots and lots of condiments. A few are used nearly every day (ketchup, I’m looking at you, dude) and others, I’m not sure what to do with them (soy sauce?? I don’t even remember the last time I used that.).

Yogurt is tucked way in the back, soon to be forgotten. So is the sour cream.

There’s some fudge from last month. Old pizza too.

I’ve got a styrofoam container of…I don’t know. When it starts to smell, I’ll probably throw it away.

Half and half, milk, and almond milk all fight for room among the chocolate and caramel syrups, the jelly, and the butter.

Don’t look too closely in the back corners – even I don’t know what’s back there anymore.

Basically, my fridge is full. Most of what’s there is edible. When it gets empty, I buy more stuff or cook more food. And the cycle of life will continue.

 

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Music
0

Girl on Fire #FridayJams

Ohhhh oh oh oh oh
She got both feet on the ground
And she’s burning it down
Ohhhh oh oh oh oh
She got her head in the clouds
And she’s not backing down

Oh yeah, baby. This girl is most definitely on fire.

I heard this for the first time on New Year’s Eve, 2012. The next year proved to be a year of great change and found love. Now I play it for inspiration. What change will 2016 bring? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.

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