Writing Prompts: Book Talk

One might say I’m really dropping the ball on this. But I’m just gonna keep rolling with it and get through all the damn prompts. Ideally more consistently, and daily, after today.

In the interest of keeping up on my blog, I’m shifting this from Facebook to here. Plus, these are actually fun prompts that I should be posting over here anyway.

#8 – A book you love and one you didn’t.

Well hmmmm. That’s a SUPER hard one.

*comes back after putting away laundry for 10 minutes. *

Damn. Seriously, this is tough.

I can tell you for sure the book that is most disliked on my end was a book called “The Girl in the Box” by Ouida Sebestyen.

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It has traumatized me since I was a teenager. In fact, I didn’t even finish the book. Most who know me, know that:

1) I ALWAYS finish a book, no matter how long it takes.

2) I never read the ending first.

This one was so depressing, for pages and pages, that I had to skip to the end to see if it ever ended. It didn’t. There was no resolution. The whole book was going to be torturous to read and there was no end in sight. So I turned the book back into the library, forever haunted by the knowledge that this whole book was about a girl who got kidnapped and was never rescued. She was left abandoned in a box and still alive at the end of the book. I will never read another book by this author, no matter how brilliant it is deemed to be.

So now I have to pick one that I love…..hmmmmm…I can’t pick just one favourite. I’ve mentioned some of my other favourite books in a previous prompt, so I’ll add something new here.  517mee7CTTL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_“Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier.

I read this first when I was a teenager. It was such a haunting book, with all of the plot twists, intrigue and romance you would imagine.

DuMaurier’s style of writing inspires visions of rich, beautiful images, haunting memories and sleek sophisticated characters. The movie was great, but the book was better. Truly one of those books that stands out in my mind as I think back. It inspired me to read her other books which I thoroughly enjoyed also.

 

So there you have it.

 

Writing Prompts: Romantical Firsts

So today’s assignment: My first love and my first kiss; if separate, discuss both. (My goodness, these questions sometimes make me feel like I’m signing up for some kind of dating event.)

These were two very different occasions actually. I won’t say any names here, just because this is online and all that.

My first kiss happened when I was 16. I worked at a pizza joint in high school and so did he. Even then, I was kind of a loner when it came to dating. Translation: I didn’t. So when I met him and we hit it off and it just kind of went from there. I’m afraid my tendency to remain a loner in the dating world eventually got in the way of things, but my first kiss was a very sweet and very romantic experience. He’d had 11 roses delivered to me at work “Just Because” and he was always the utmost gentleman. At the end of the night, he delivered the 12th personally, sealed with a kiss.

The first person I fell in love with? That’s a much more LOADED answer. If you know me, you already know the whole story. Now, keep in mind, there were some HARDCORE crushes that happened before that. But when I was 18, I met a man who became a “First” in many things. We started dating when I was 19. I ended up staying with him for 10 years.

Unfortunately it didn’t work out for a wide variety of reasons. And I learned the hard lesson of being in love with someone who wasn’t quite in love with me. To be fair, I’m sure he loved me. But I don’t know that he was ever IN love with me. If that makes sense. We had a lot of adventures and were very close and it was a very rocky road when I made the decision to go my own way and break up with him. Thankfully in the following years, we’ve found a peace about it all and it’s all in the past at this point.

A very sobering experience for me, when viewed in the frame of many other things happening in my life at that time. The way that it impacted my life was profound. It was a HUGE learning experience at the very level of my soul. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to go back to do things just a touch differently. But then I remember that if I did that, I would risk rewriting my entire history and there are moments I’ve had since then, that would have never come to me otherwise, and I never want to erase them. I would not be who I am, I would not know what I know, and I would not have gone through many things in life that led me to where I am now.

Until tomorrow mes amis!

Writing Prompts: Social Media Faux Pas

There’s always a pro and con to everything, especially if we don’t remember to do things in moderation. As we all know, I don’t have any problems with doing things in moderation. (Yes, that’s sarcasm folks 🙂 )

So let’s pretend we all know some of the pros of Social Media – we are all on this platform for some reason or another, so we must find some value in the experience. Here are some of my thoughts on problems (sometimes AKA pet peeves) on Social Media.

1. You don’t know who you are really seeing online. The fun thing about this medium is we can post items of interest, pictures of fun things, and all kinds of super-spastically positive mantras. We think we have a sense of a person and we feel a familiarity with who we perceive them to be. HOWEVER you DON’T know them. You only see a carefully cultivated and curated image of what they want you to see.

You don’t see the bad days, you don’t see the ups and downs, you don’t see the neurotic insecurities; you don’t see how a person may advertise they are a go-getter but in reality all they do is go to work and come home and veg out and accomplish nothing. Or you may see all of the accomplishments, but none of the work, blood, sweat and tears that went into that one single moment. You might see an “empowered” woman who claims to be independent but really has someone behind the scenes completely monetarily providing for her existence. You might see a “gentleman” who professes he is looking for love, but then has no interest in maintaining any kind of healthy relationship.

Now none of these things are inherently bad – if you’re honest about it. It’s the lack of authenticity that bothers me. The images we cultivate based on some kind cultural popularity contest. It’s an empty and vapid existence. I love actually interaction – person to person. I don’t know who a person is online. I don’t know who they really are until I meet them, look them in the eyeball, and get a sense of their energy and have a valid in-depth conversation to see their facial tics, their gestures, and their emotional reaction to stimulus around them.

2. Trolling and Bullying. I think that speaks enough for itself. It’s disgusting and ridiculous that we still live a world where people are mean and violent. It’s gross.

3. Spastic Marketing Burst strategies and MLM marketing. They are shaming and dehumanizing and predatory. I don’t like how they are phrased. I don’t like the claim of “Work for yourself!” but yet there is one guy in charge of the whole pyramid who’s buying a yacht and sailing to the Bahamas, while you are spending $$$$$ on starter kits and giving even more money to this guy while you have a hard time moving the product. Newsflash: That’s not your own business. You are working for somebody else. And I don’t like the ads that are posted by individuals 5 or 6 times a day, proclaiming not to understand why I wouldn’t want to do better for my life by buying and/or selling a particular product. Then on top of that, we are going to “Like” our own status, “Share” it, “Comment” on it tagging 50 people, “Tag” more people in the update, and “Re-Tweet” it at all kinds of random people.

Yes, the internet is a great platform for businesses to advertise. But it’s a machine that has become a monster when unchecked. I have to go through constantly to untag myself and even block some people when it’s an egregious amount.

 4. “Selfies”, or as I call them, “Narcisselfies”. I try to hold back on this because I can be pretty opinionated on it. And let’s face it, we all do it. I do it too once in a blue moon. You’re feeling good on a random day so you post a pic of yourself. Epic Cosplay costume? Awesome! You’re in front a place that you finally get to visit for the first time, and you snap a pic. You’re with a good friend you haven’t seen in ages, and you snap that memory (I call those, “Ussies”) Those newborn baby shots with Mama and Papa. I find those moments to be quite touching, because it’s a legitimate moment in a very profound relationship. Nothing wrong with that. Artistic moment? Snap away.

What I find narcissistic and entitled, is when you go through a person’s photo album and it’s ALL selfies.Your feed is flooded with them. AND THEY TAKE PRIDE THAT THEY TAKE SO MANY! What the…..? They post 5-10 selfies a day. The girl with the duck lips and the drink her hand, striking a pose. The mirror shots. Selfies of “What should I wear” whilst giving the most provocative choices. Ugh. Really? You know you aren’t looking for advice on what to wear. Selfies in bed. SERIOUSLY! SELFIES IN BED? Especially those with your significant other. Don’t need to see that. Selfies in the BATHROOM??!! I meeeaaannnnn………

Then you scroll forward and find there are VERY few pictures with friends or family or in any kind of cool environment. When there are “Ussies” of them with friends, do me a favour – take a look at the focus of where the lens draws the viewer in – 90% of the time it focuses on the person in the foreground and the friends look like semi-random people in that joined them in the background.

It’s a good sign of the amount of narcissism that is present in your relationships with them. You’re not gonna get a whole lot of enlightened ways of being there. Just sayin’.

5) The lack of energy to energy human interaction. Yes, we interact online in many ways. But it’s caused us to care more about Friend and Follower counts, rather than quality of relationships. It causes a disconnect and we say things that can be construed in many different ways, oftentimes, never in the way we intended. Sometimes we are braver online than in real life. We say things we would NEVER say to someone’s face. We are often surrounded by more “casual” relationships (if you get my meaning) because there is more of an opportunity to just move on to the next latest and greatest, without actually looking inward and doing some self-reflection about what we might be (or not be) contributing to certain patterns in our life.

Much like air travel and highway transit systems, it has opened us up globally, yet has managed to isolate us and disconnect us with our immediate communities.

 I’ll wrap up this missive by saying, we all have to decide what we want to do with Social Media in our lives. Everyone is different and certainly entitled to their own way of doing things. But don’t be surprised when people receive you the way you’ve defined yourself. And if you don’t like how’ve defined yourself, change it.