WordPress Discover: Grateful

The WordPress Discover challenges are blogging prompts that help bloggers originate additional ideas to include in a blog. This month, April 2020, the Discover challenges continued one-word prompts that expanded upon detailed suggestions to keep bloggers going in these days of an emergency. I got interested in the second day of April, when I learned unexpectedly, from another blog, that the prompts were back.

Today is the thirtieth of April, and it means it is time to bid the challenges farewell.

Today’s challenge is the word grateful and I am grateful for having lucked into writing prompts as often I felt I could. I am sure others are grateful for the same prompts. Many days of the month this go-round I was able to blog, and this week the prompts wound down to their finale under the guidance of Ben Huberman, who in the past has helped me think of other posts to put together, particularly well-focused I think, this month.

Articulating

Today in the peninsula the weather is gloomy and wet, and it reminds me of a writing prompt I came across in the twelfth grade in public school.

I was learning the foundations of the programming language C, in a classroom setting, and an exercise in word processing came my way. It was a writing prompt. I’d seen many writing prompts in school,l but seldom in a computer skills classroom.

The prompt that day was to write about a spooky house, presumably despairing, or at least that’s what I would flavour such fiction, given a prompt of that kind. It was twenty-five years ago, but I remember vaguely what the prompt was like, given that the exercise was to write a page of flash fiction and input it. Being high school I was writing all the time.

I doubt that I knew the phrase “flash fiction” at that time, or even if it was the going nomenclature for the writing. Somewhat zealously, I suppose, I wrote a piece of flash fiction for the instructor, dutifully inputting it. The teacher had no real interest, knowing that it was a simple exercise and that computers, not creative studies, was the department.

The exercise was at best a distraction, I think, a few minutes to come up with a little tale of being lost all on your own and approaching a spooky house for help. It was likely the fall, when Halloween comes, not the springtime. The lesson was to adopt the role of being a writer and to try filling those shoes by inputting the tale in a word processor.

If I’d had leanings toward finding it interesting for the sake of being computed, perhaps I would have tried a career choice of software if I’d pursued the ambition of computer work. Curiously, the mere interest in writing the flash fiction signalled to me that I would need a creative endeavour to keep myself feeling like I was honouring myself, you might put it.

January 5 2018 collage experiment

I am glad that WordPress Discover prompts returned and I am looking forward to devising a plan, a calendar, to keep a hand in as a blogger. I continue to believe that a blog is an integral part of the world wide web. I am grateful for this practice put in at writing on a schedule that means a consistent effort at blogging, and I think the habits utilized could remain in place if the momentum grown from doing the Discover challenges this month continues to breathe life into my site.

God bless you. You may follow and/or comment on the blog if you like.

WordPress Discover: List

This has been a different kind of month for me in the blogosphere. Obviously, the province which is my home is on lockdown, but as you may know, Ben Huberman helped devise the WordPress Discover challenges again for April, which were lacking for some time as, I suppose, the nature of the beast changed. Don’t take it from me.

I finally began to rest where most previous days of the month I published something in response to the challenges, and it isn’t because of them, it is just a lot of work to keep those up again and again. That’s why it’s a challenge, though.

Photo by Kristin Hardwick from StockSnap

I looked today, and the test was distributed the previous evening. I weighed my options and decided to read what the challenge had to say.

The WordPress Discover day by day challenges has been important for developing as a blogger. It is pleasant that this was available last night, and I looked at what the challenge is, and I noted that Ben actually went so far as to say in the post that the decision to put it up early was deliberate and that he hoped participants are making good use of the time.

I made a mental review and weighed how effectively I actually did spend last night, against what would have been best. The list challenge had what I perceive was the intended effect, of jumpstarting interest in the winding down Discover challenges.

The word last night for today is List, so I took a dice game score sheet that I was keeping on hand for an occasion like this, and made a random list of the some of the more effective pursuits I made in the time between last night and this morning, that was, perhaps, shaped by the continuing interest in being part of the blogosphere, and of being motivated by the Discover challenges. I could hypothesize whether I am attempting exercises because of the endgame of searching better for being in the blogosphere, yet I don’t think so. The activities I was, you might put it, afoul of, were only what I might pursue with an interest in amusing myself.

I wasn’t deliberately mindful that the test had just begun. Ben included the line “we hope you make the most of the extra time!” regarding the decision to present today’s challenge early. Indeed, even without the cognizant exertion of setting up a post, I thought about whether I could make the contention that I was getting ready for the post by attempting typical kinds of exercises I embrace if I was effectively mindful.

Photo by Morgan McGregor from StockSnap

The challenge is good, too, and even though I stated previously that I expect the reason for the early availability is to galvanize participants into writing, I also think Ben felt he had a strong idea on his hands and he wanted to give a solid opportunity to address it, by making bloggers interested in it more eager and more thoroughly than they may have if it only became ready this morning. I can’t say for certain, but I know at least that he is aware that we’ve been looking at these Discover challenges all month and now we are beginning to wrap up, and he felt we all merit a strong finish.

I would prefer not to state an excessive amount, however, I might rehash my appreciation for having gotten the open door for WordPress prompts every single day of April. I haven’t written this in a while, but you are welcome to follow and/or to comment.

WordPress Discover: Book

Today is my niece Clara’s tenth birthday.  Happy birthday, Clara.
I have been perusing the April 2020 WordPress Discover articles.  This week they are again driven by Ben Huberman.
Today’s Discover Challenge:  book
StockSnap_1OBXVC1ARF
Clara is in the third grade.  At the point when I was in the third grade, I think my preferred intrigue was beasts, and obviously, she is a young lady.  However, I think my favourite book, when I was a third-grader, was the classic, The House with a Clock in its Walls, by John Bellairs.  It’s a 2018 film.
My nephew Mack, Clara’s brother, is in uni, and when I think back of books I read in college, that weren’t on the syllabus, I remember reading The Mosquito Coast, by Paul Theroux.  I think I wanted something familiar to read.  There is a film, the 1986 film featuring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren.  Harrison Ford had starred in the Star Wars films which saw son pitted against father.  I think he was following that set of motion pictures with another film that was about the idea of Father’s relationship with the child, and furthermore about the connection among machines and nature, likewise a topic in that first Star Wars three.
If my mother were to ask me, I would recommend Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life, by Richard Carlson.  It’s an antidote to stress.
For my dad, who has likewise been my supervisor for quite a while now, I would prescribe a progressively unordinary book, the novel Humans by Donald E. Westlake.  It’s a novel truly about a fight among God, and the Devil, for the whole planet.
If Kris was still with us, as she loaned me her Holy Bible, which I wish I’d demanded to return, I figure I may have gained favour with her if I’d brought her A Million Little Pieces, the splashy novel by James Frey, that transformed into contention, with Oprah Winfrey.
These books I felt were appropriate.

The Thwarted Search, a Chaucerian stanza

ChristineBolton, a poet, pointed out tonight that a Frank Hubeny is hosting “D’Verse Poets.”

Hubeny is prompting a seven-line poem, such as a Chaucerian stanza, a seven-line poem in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of ABABBCC. Or any Christine wrote that she is up for the challenge and she chose to write a Chaucerian stanza, her first one. Her poem is good and you can find it at:

https://poetryforhealing.com/2020/04/09/lying-eyes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lying-eyes

Christine Bolton – Poetry for Healing ©

Impressed, I tried my amateur hand at such a poem myself.

The Thwarted Search
a Chaucerian stanza

Not bringing here among ones seldom met
Less reason shap'd without much duress back
Evaluated in those facts long set
How such affairs withheld often for lack
Would most uncommon times have but the knack
To lead further again but less fulfilled
If I have no such luck it's uncontrolled
Academia

WordPress Discover: Pairs

The April 2020 WordPress Discover challenges continue with another essay by Michelle Weber, on the subject of “pairs.” Today’s Discover challenge for me is particularly enjoyable. I am thankful.

five best books you’ve ever read, and a song

Photographer:
Suzy Hazelwood

the stranger, by Albert Camus
killing an Arab the cure

a gentleman deals with the death of his mother. killing an Arab might have been the first single put out by the cure. i am sure the cure were inspired by the stranger when they wrote this song, which, despite its theme of “killing” is not a song about hate

brave new world, by Aldous Huxley
chrome injury the church

in the future, a man from lands outside civilization tries to come to terms with how people are living. chrome injury is a song from the church’ first record, a new wave record entitled of skins and hearts

bonfire of the vanities, by tom Wolfe
a well-respected man the kinks

an accidental hit and run are the minutes that serve to ruin a rich man’s life. a well-respected man tells the story of a man whose desires are controlled by his need to fit into “normal” society

one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, by Ken Kesey
ballad of Dwight Frye Alice cooper

a rogue goes into an insane asylum rather than face jail time. Alice cooper’s song ballad of Dwight Frye from their first album love it to death is on a similar theme, about a deadbeat dad who gets locked up

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, by Robert Pirsig
born to be wild Steppenwolf

a man “throws away his wristwatch” and travels the united states. born to be wild by Steppenwolf is identifiable as being about that same kind of thing

by the way, you’re welcome to follow and/or to comment

WordPress Discover: Curve

A lovely word, curve. The curve is the subject of today’s WordPress Discover prompt, moderated by Michelle Weber.

I have a photo, from February 5, of the curving drive into the cemetery I help care for. It’s on the outskirts of town, just a little cemetery. If I was being honest, I would say I am not sure I’d like to be there after dark.

Louth United Church

I take the cemetery onto Facebook. We have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Owing to the health crisis, I’ve had to slow right down on the number of times I post to Facebook, as I don’t want to seem too out of touch. I’m keeping it active, of course, until such a time I can resume, one might put it, my “editorial calendar.” 🙂

I was glad for the Discover prompts this month, from WordPress, as they provide fuel for the creative fires.

I find putting myself into something like that helps with managing stress, as anxious energy spills out onto words. I occasionally look to a guru like Tim Ferriss, who wrote The Four-Hour Work Week, years ago, or whatever source of advice that seems savvy that comes up, on Twitter, for example. I really have a couple of guidelines I borrowed from Four-Hour Work Week, although I’m nothing like that.

I haven’t been working that hard lately. There just hasn’t been a call for it. Funeral services are an essential service in Ontario, and it is usually just two or three of us at the cemetery, so I think we are okay to do some work.

There don’t seem to be too many people around most of the time. I would stay home without concern if I had to. My dad, who handles the monetary details of the work, among other details, is free to drop the duty in the short term, and he knows that.

It sounds pretentious, but at the moment, I guess it really is about playing the long game. I hope you like the photo. The congregation disbanded in the year 2006.

A Difficult St. Patrick’s Day

It’s the end of March and two weeks ago was St. Patrick’s Day for 2020. The weather in Southern Ontario was reasonable in light of expectations. I found myself spending less time on Facebook. My sister telephoned me a couple of times.

A cousin of my mother, Cathie, along other lovely people, with a hobby of genealogy, ending with a nice account of the Irish my mother’s side of the family has. It looks like this St. Patrick’s Day, 2020, I’ll be a little less Irish.  It looks grim.

Photographer:
Tiago Almeida

change

the act or instance of making or becoming different.

I wish a lot of things were different, but I never would have chalked up the possibility of experiencing our pandemic catastrophe in my own life.  I read of environmental warnings, like that there could be, say, eight years until the damage to the planet caused by humans becomes irreversible, or that global warming will cause sea levels to rise, however active God is on the picture at large. I don’t know how human beings will fare.

To consider attacks between warring groups the world over, hellbent on decreasing each other to iotas, to very small pieces, I think also police and military unfairly treat peaceable citizens, because the police loathe the skin colour or addiction, behaviour that doesn’t toe the line for the safety of the public.  I think about these now and again, yet I hadn’t thought of what really descended three months ago. It is hard to contextualize that.

I always do my best to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, as so many do with aplomb and style.  I welcome the end of winter. We are all called on to be, not so much Godfearing, as instead socially distant from one another.

Good on us all the same, that we can find solidarity in separating from one another, in a fashion that, like the lot of the unlucky addict, is no fault of our own.

Photographer:
Peter Hershey

We will have to come up with new measures to survive, and we have to do it at a time when I am sure many of us would be happier celebrating St. Patty’s in the usual fashion, wearing the colour green, and staying out late.  We’re told to stay out of bars and restaurants and nightclubs and still young people want to go to those kinds of haunts. I want to be young myself, but not to the extent I want to risk sacrificing growing old.

I wanted to think about a superb St. Patrick’s Day, and although I recall it every year, I don’t know I could say that any specific March festivity was better than some other.  A number of them were beautiful and left me feeling blessed. I am grateful to The Lord.

1998 occurs to me, becoming 21 years of age.  However, against how this spring is going, I don’t think the excitement of taking a visit back in time is going to especially cause me to feel better. I like to enjoy speaking a kind word at certain times, because a little kindness sprinkled in the mix, while not reversing the uncertainty that we’re facing, does help temper the darkness.

I would like to wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day, dreadful or not.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t to be overlooked, obviously.  Go with the luck of the Irish! Let’s have a safe spring!

You’re of course welcome to comment and to follow.  All the best to you, and to your loved ones.

Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

We’re also on Twitter https://twitter.com/findingenvirons

I enjoy social media.

20 Problems I Have Seen and Resolved

Today is Kaite’s thirty-fifth chasing the hobbit. She is happily married, to a great guy, and they have hopping careers. She has been known to help clarify life, with thoughtful Christmas contributions.


One gift was a special design, on a coffee thermos, a Maple Lawn Cemetery logo, for the cemetery for who I’m a computer monkey. She is one of our “friendlies.”

Bearing my customized canteen ten months back

http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

BUMP… you’re on WordPress? If you’ve hit bumps in the road, the reality that there will be problems has taught me a trick or two. I came up with a few contingencies!


For those lucky few, I have a list for you, of twenty posts, of special use, in the event of specific unforeseen circumstances. Here you are.

  1. Verbal Confirmation: Assigning a Speech Label https://findingenvirons1.blog/2014/10/01/verbal-confirmation-assigning-a-speech-label/
  2. Passion is Fragile https://findingenvirons1.blog/2016/09/16/passion-is-fragile/
  3. Action is Essential if you Want Your Aims https://findingenvirons1.blog/2016/10/06/action-is-essential-if-you-want-your-aims/
  4. Lofty Ambitions are Nothing But Daunting, At the Start https://findingenvirons1.blog/2016/11/13/lofty-ambitions-are-nothing-but-daunting-at-the-start/
  5. Thinking I Have Been Misguided https://findingenvirons1.blog/2017/09/04/thinking-i-have-been-misguided/
  6. Being Artificial on Social Media https://findingenvirons1.blog/2017/10/23/being-artificial-on-social-media/
  7. Devising Content that Stands Out from the Crowd https://findingenvirons1.blog/2017/11/07/devising-content-that-stands-out-from-the-crowd/
  8. Requirement To Proceed Gingerly is Essential https://findingenvirons1.blog/2017/11/09/requirement-to-proceed-gingerly-is-essential/
  9. Whether Sincere or Can We Challenge Ourselves https://findingenvirons1.blog/2017/11/18/whether-sincere-or-can-we-challenge-ourselves/
  10. Narrowing Down How People Interrelate https://findingenvirons1.blog/2017/12/30/narrowing-down-how-people-interrelate/
  11. Attack of the Video Content https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/01/28/attack-of-the-video-content/
  12. Twitter Refreshing How the Platform Looks and Making It Easier https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/04/09/twitter-refreshing-how-the-platform-looks-and-making-it-easier/
  13. Be That You Would Rather Risk Temporary Shelf Life https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/05/07/be-that-you-would-rather-risk-temporary-shelf-life/
  14. How Literature Can Keep You Out of Trouble #LiteracyDay https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/09/08/how-literature-can-keep-you-out-of-trouble-literacyday/
  15. 10 Freaky Reasons Cupcakes Could Get You Fired https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/09/22/10-freaky-reasons-cupcakes-could-get-you-fired/
  16. Drifting Down the Inclination to Abnormal https://findingenvirons1.blog/2019/08/29/drifting-down-the-inclination-to-abnormal/
  17. Why Blogger’s Envy Will Make You Question Everything https://findingenvirons1.blog/2019/09/12/why-bloggers-envy-will-make-you-question-everything/
  18. Why A Winter’s Night Will Change Your Life https://findingenvirons1.blog/2019/10/04/why-a-winters-night-will-change-your-life/
  19. Why When We Are Young We Heed What We’re About https://findingenvirons1.blog/2019/11/05/why-when-we-are-young-we-heed-what-were-about/
  20. There is no number twenty. I am sure you can write it. This is an exercise that you have brief to appropriately respond, except if you have prepared what to do.

Trust in your arrangement. I’m glad you visited, as the reason I have written these posts is to hang out, these last few years, in the blogosphere. The pleasure is mine.

The Whispering Doll

In response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #26, I wrote a piece of flash fiction this morning inspired by an illustration Fandango blogged. #FFFC https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Fandango

Robot servicables, three in number, stood by the entry port to the cultural receiving destination, completing their ask of assisting humans reaching the district. The latest car sailing above the rail beams pulled to a halt and the door was thrown back, revealing the people inside, a woman thirty or thirty-two years in age, and a little girl with her, both dressed for the chill night air. The woman wore quality fleece and held hands with the child, perhaps eight years old, likewise dressed for the temperature in fleece hanging from the shoulders to the knees.

The little girl with her arms cradled a doll, looking like it was crafted from porcelain and dear to the child.

The doll resembled a classical design for a child’s toy, but its mouth, red rose lips, curled into a smile, fitted by its manufacturer with an oval speaker that permitted the doll to speak, a pricey but not uncommon companion, to speak to a child from a family with privilege. The doll had a low-level mind that collected sentiments occurring to the little girl, her perceptions of her surroundings and the denizens nearby. As the girl gazed upon the servicables standing upright on the platform, where the car was letting the two girls go, quiet for at once being in the open air, the sound of a whispered murmur escaped into the night.

The little girl reached forth and gripped the adult’s arm. The doll’s sentience was clear. The porcelain figurine’s lyrical but artificial voice reached the little girl.

“Tell me what you saw, for her sake!”

Author: Fandango

Boldness of The Skywalker Saga: Where’d You Go?

Dedicated to a love of Star Wars, Celebration this month in Chicago flabbergasted fans.  The assembly included panel discussions and all manner of Star Wars exhibits, and also celebrity appearances, a teaser for Episode IX, along with trailers for EA’s game Jedi:  Fallen Order, The Clone Wars S7, and The Mandalorian.  The celebration also took a look back at The Phantom Menace, embracing the sci-fi franchise once again.


StarWars.com

I took in some of it owing to its availability on YouTube.  Celebration, I recall, is nine years in the running, and in 2019 it highlights Episode IX.  Celebration revealed the title of Episode IX, and a teaser trailer.  There is excitement in the business sector of the entertainment industry, being the introduction of Disney+.  Disney+ is making available animated features from Disney’s history of films, along with Marvel Cinema Universe titles from the last ten or eleven years, and the Star Wars films, of which by now there are several.

The reason I enjoy Star Wars is that when J. J. Abrams directed The Force Awakens, I felt the excitement that Star Wars was again back speaking to me.  It seemed to again be a film series to be passionate about.

The response following Celebration did not completely line up with the positive outlook of the fortunate people who went to Celebration in person.  While most everybody there loved what’s going on, some of the YouTube channels who discuss Star Wars have mixed feelings, to say the least.  Geeks + Gamers criticized the teaser for Episode IX, The Quartering was dismissive, and a union of voices on the Internet ridiculed reactions that were exuberantly emotional.  All that is best measured against the outpouring of support for the franchise.

It is almost as if there is a guilty conscience about being part of the Fandom Menace and hating The Last Jedi, but still wanting to see what Episode IX is about.  I am sure the average fan does not feel this way.  I waited for The Last Jedi to go to Netflix, but I enjoyed it.


Photographer:
Tim Mossholder

The influence of Star Wars is hard to comprehend, but there is a war indeed between the feelings a fan has for Star Wars in the nineteen seventies and eighties, and equivalent satisfaction with the new trilogy, however much it taps into your experience of Star Wars and however deep it runs within you that the original films were perfect.

Rian Johnson directed The Last Jedi, and while that film was a commercial success, the popular response to the movie, as, for example, those voices on the Internet made known on Rotten Tomatoes, divided the fans.

None of this will be settled until December, but there will be a lot of excitement that grows this summer and fall.  As is typical of hot takes, animosities, apprehension, and outrage for Star Wars will be evident in the backlash that is going, “to battle,” for whatever reasons.

Publishous this month presented the Where’d You Go writing prompt.  Publishous is an 11,000-strong Medium newsletter which presents and highlights Christian writers who seek to make it, in the sense that they are writing because of the compulsion they feel to do so.  Although I’m not a member of Publishous, I look over articles they present, which provide some inspiration to blog in light of their writing prompts.

I am also a volunteer at a cemetery, Maple Lawn Cemetery, and I am their SMM.  You can find out more about us here: http://www.maplelawncemetery.org

Thank you, and please feel welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.  All the best.