WOW #51

Mary Poppins

How to be serious, without getting serious.
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

I have always liked humor and comedy for their own sakes. They raise spirits, lower blood pressure, dissipate anger and depression, and produce feel-good endorphins. I have lived with and among jokes, almost my entire life. I have found that the best way to deal with serious matters, is often to joke about them. “Your Grandpa died? I am so sorry! Let’s have a drunken wake, and make fun of Death.”

These are only a few of the reasons why you lovely readers find my blog-posts sprinkled with a liberal dusting of

Frivolity

triviality, abandon, levity, foolishness.

From the French word frivolité, dating back to 1790–1800. See frivolous, -ity

None of the four words above exactly define frivolity. It’s more like, add them up and divide by four. I don’t like to apply the word triviality, because very little of what I joke about is trivial.

Until recently, you could practice frivolity with gay abandon, but too many Bible Thumpers have lost their sense of humor (and reality, and acceptance, and forgiveness) over anything that is gay.

Levity isn’t bad. We don’t need to get too heavy, when we’re trying to be lighthearted. If any of my readers regard my joking as foolishness, that’s precisely the audience that I’m targeting. I often feel that the foolishness is on the other side.

If you are reading this, it means that my Muse, Erato, has failed to inspire me to compose a 100-word Flash Fiction. That means that there is a 50% chance that I will be publishing another Comedy post on Monday. Why don’t you stop back and find out? 😀

Six Years A Blogger

calendar

Six years ago today, November 21, 2011, I burst upon the scene, and published my first blog-post. For H E Ellis, that’s 2192 days, exactly twice the count of my three-year celebration post, because I got to include another leap year.  Even without BrainRants’ interference assistance, they begin to add up.

Scottish Flag

Unlike the movie, 19 Years A Slave, I was not kidnapped and forced into servitude, but one way or another, I’ve become a willing slave to this lifestyle.

This is post number 843. I have lots more jokes for the bi-weekly comedy posts, and, between the 100-word Flash Fictions, and the WOW language essays, I get another post per week.  The A To Z Challenge helps flesh out the schedule.

I’ve just about run out of interesting anecdotes about my childhood, or work history, and, while they piss me off regularly, I can’t risk boring you with oft-repeated rants about religion, whether Christian or Muslim. I may have to soften my self-imposed publishing schedule, and cut back to only two posts a week.

I have a few blog-themes in a Word file, and I hope to get to at least 1000 posts before I have to give it up. Any suggestions or some ‘We’ll Miss You’ encouragement would be appreciated.

Today is the day that the wife goes in for knee-replacement surgery on the second leg. This time, she will be the first surgery of the day, and I have to have her to the registration desk at the hospital by 6:00 AM.

For two old fogies with a strange wake/sleep schedule, this means that, after I publish this post, we may get an hour or so nap, and then leave for the hospital at 5 AM, when we usually head for bed. It won’t matter for her.  They’ll medicate her, and she’ll sleep all day.  Me on the other hand….  😕

She goes in today, and gets out on Thursday. On Friday I have to take her to a physiotherapy clinic.  The physiotherapist(?) for the first knee never touched her.  He just came to the house and handed out Xeroxed exercise sheets.  She recovered so quickly and pain-free the first time, that this time she gets gym workouts immediately.  I’ll probably bore you with tales of She Who Must Be Obeyed-versus-hospital bureaucracy in a week or so.

I’ll be busy/distracted for the next few days. Don’t worry if I’m a bit slower than usual with comment replies, or miss a post.  Things should be back to their normal level of strange by early next week.  I’ll see you then.  Let’s see….What do I owe you??  Comedy??  Okay, laughs it is!   😆

 

Promptly Produced

Writing Prompts

I want to write! I want to produce, to compose, to publish, to attain fame and fortune, or at least acknowledgement, acclaim and adoration, to achieve contact and communication with others….  and apparently, so do tons of other folks.

Many people like me, who are productive, but not creative, are always searching for a little sumpin’-sumpin’ in the way of inspiration.  I am not amazed, but perhaps awed, by the number of ‘prompts’ that are available.  Words or phrases are offered, or pictures, to write stories or poems around.

There are 33-word Flash Fiction Challenges, which I stay away from. Hell, I can’t even say hello in 33 words.  There are 50-word, 100-word, and 150-word Challenges to write a complete story.  One somewhat odd challenge is a weekly offering of seven random words, to include as many as possible in a poem or tale.  This is one week’s selection.

Prompt

Being, as usual, shy a theme to base a short story on; I was giddy with anticipation, to trot out my writing skills.  I didn’t feel any doubt, and didn’t think that this challenge could punish my compositional abilities.  I was sure that I could manage to publish a bland, uninteresting paragraph or two.

I can write as much or as little as I want. Unlike the 100-word Flash Fiction Challenge, there’s not even a proposed word limit.  Over there, if I run a word or two over, I have to shave a couple off.  If I’m a few short, I just compose an addition, and pop a couple more in.

giddy, addition, punish, manage, shy, shave, pop, doubt, base, trot

Fortunately, at least for me, there’s no rule that what I write has to be deep, or socially significant – just use the words.

I try to get a Rochelle 100-word FF each week, and have some WOWs ready for when I’m not successful.  The A to Z Challenge gives me 26 theme opportunities, spread over a year.  I assemble 4 joke posts at a time, and publish them about every two weeks, but I’m always on the lookout for ideas that I can use to tell a ‘Me’ story.

Do any of you use ‘prompts’ to produce posts? Which ones?  Where do you find them?  And do you have any suggestions for me?   😕

Flash Fiction #133

Financial

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

THE REAL COST OF LIVING

We recently returned from the vet’s with the wife’s favorite cat – $200 dollars, and no guarantee the medicine would cure it. Then she had to go into hospital for knee-replacement surgery.  You could say that she doesn’t need surgery, but, to her, gardening is as important as eating.

The bill for the last oil change said that the year-old car’s brakes need work. The cost of gasoline and electricity are mounting.  The yearly ‘cost-of-living’ increase on my pension was 97cents/month.  I feel the financial walls closing in.

Will we survive this retirement tunnel, or finish, begging on the street?

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

WOW #1

Dictionary

WOW is going to stand for – Word Of the Week

I’m always looking for an interesting theme to post about. I recently found one at SightsNBytes.  He vowed to post about a word a day, for 2017.  Of course, like many New Year’s resolutions, he’d only published 3 in the first two weeks.

To publish a post about a word a day would turn this into a dictionary site, but, a word a week seemed doable, perhaps even only when inspiration doesn’t strike with Rochelle’s 100-word Flash Fictions.  My OCD suggested that I go alphabetically, like the April Challenge.  Dictionary.com has an interesting word each day.  I’m sure I can find at least one suitable candidate each week.

Let us at least begin with an A word.

The first Word Of the Week is;
askance
Meaning – adverb 1. with suspicion, mistrust, or disapproval:
He looked askance at my offer.
with a side glance; sidewise; obliquely.

It looks like you’re ‘asking’ something, but, like many other English words, it actually begins with the French prefix ‘a’, meaning, ‘in, at or to’. The rest of the word would be more understandable, written ‘scanse’, incorporating the word ‘scan.’  It is pronounced (ah-skance), with the accent on the second syllable.

Probably like many of the words I’ll choose, this one is a bit archaic. When someone writes of one character ‘cutting his eyes’ towards another, our grandparents (Okay, your Great-grandparents) might have spoken of ‘looking askance.’

Does anyone object to learning about the occasional word? Be gentle with the words you use to describe me and my idea.  😉

 

A to Z Challenge – F

April Challenge

Chuck you, Farley!

Letter F  FIRE!

I was in fine fettle and feeling frisky last Friday. I felt it would be a fun and frivolous frolic to use my finesse and mental file full of facile facts, to fearlessly fabricate a folio featuring the letter F, to favor my many fine fans and faithful followers.

My first foray was merely a foolish façade. I found that I was a failure, a feeble fake, and felt like a fog-brained, fatuous, old fart, really full of foolish ego.

I had to flee from the feeling of frustration for failing to finish my finite little Flash Fiction feature. I felt that I had really fouled up, a facet I’d never fully faced before.  At least no-one gave me the foul fickle finger of fate, and told me to F off.

This futile alliteration function has me feeling freaky. Fear not, friends.  I’m now finally free to flog a fresh foundation for the following letter, G.

I’m fully finished, and find I’m famished. I feel I should flit off and fix some filling and flavorful foreign food, for example, fajitas or frijoles.   😉

HELP!

Spring

Help, I need somebody!
Help, not just anybody.
Help, you know I need someone.
Help!

I could have used some help with this week’s Flash Fiction. I went to Rochelle’s site and examined the photo prompt.  It looked like a couple of beef leg bones in a clear plastic public garbage bag.  The only thought I had was about some greasy-spoon diner that served overly large chicken wings.  You’re better off without that story.

I decided instead, to request aid and succor from my readers. This week, in several different places, I have seen a post of 15 questions given to 8 to 10-year-old children to find out if they are geniuses (genii).  I took the test myself.  I got the right answers to 13 out of the 15 questions, so I can probably outwit some students, before they enter Middle School.

For most of the questions, when the correct answer is revealed, it’s obvious. For three of the remaining four, when the answer is shown, a note pops up to explain why and how.  I got two of these right, and two of them wrong.  One of my errors was explained, but the other one wasn’t.

I was going to leave a comment/question, asking for clarification, but found that the test is based on Facebook, and I don’t have a Facebook account to access it. Have any of my readers seen this test?  Do you know what I’m referring to?  Do you know the answer?  Do you have a Facebook account?

Here’s the question that stumped me. I guess I’ll never grow up to be an insightful genius.

Bing is to Ding
as Hug is to….
Hit/Bug/Enemy/Friend

Transposing initial letters, and answering ‘Bug’, seemed a bit too simplistic for a question searching for geniuses, but it’s the one I eventually settled for.

The correct answer is ‘Friend!’  I see how the word Hug relates to Friend, but now I can’t divine a similar relationship between Bing and Ding.

A little help – please!   😳