Reading Our Minds

Geralt on Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons

Researchers develop device that can ‘hear’ your internal voice

“Researchers have created a wearable device that can read people’s minds when they use an internal voice, allowing them to control devices and ask queries without speaking.” The Guardian

Happy future: this technology sorts out all the different voices in my head and helps me make sense of things.

Dark future: this technology allows others to read my mind–and yours–which is a very, very, very bad idea.

 

Photo source: Geralt on Pixabay


 

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Shopping the Discount

71_Discount2The coupon was for 40% off a single item. A second coupon—same store—promised another $2 off on top. A character was aroused.


She gathered her purse. Told Bubba she was headed out.

“Where you going?” he asked.

“I’m off to shop,” she said.

“What are you buying?”

“I’m not buying, I’m shopping.”

He turned in his chair and eyed her. “What’s the difference?”

“Buying is when I need something specific, maybe toilet paper or toothpaste, and I go out and get it. Shopping is when I want something, but I don’t know what. I wander the aisles until something hooks me. Eventually, something will.  Shopping scratches an itch.”

“Oh,” he said, sounding confused.

“I have these coupons I need to use,” she said, as if that explained everything.  “How often does CVS send out 40% off coupons? With a $2 bonus on top? I gotta use ‘em today because they expire. I’ll walk around the store until I find something, maybe even something we need.  If I’m lucky, I’ll find something we need that’s more than we’d usually want to pay, and can apply the coupon to it; get maximum savings. What I get is less important than how much I can save.”

“So,” Bubba said, with sudden understanding, “what you’re really shopping for, is a bargain.”

Coffeebeanworks on Pixabay Creative Commons


Photo sources: MarcoRoesler on Pixabay; Coffeebeanworks on Pixabay

Depression Isn’t Sadness and Suicide Isn’t a Cry For Help… by Steve Safran

I talk about personas and characters that chitter away in my head, critiquing how I’m doing things, often saying I’m doing things wrong. Depression takes that to levels that cripple and can destroy. I appreciate this blog and how it talks about it.  A close friend of mine committed suicide. I have periods where I see life through grey-colored glasses. When that happens, I experience life very differently; darkly. And I know that having someone tell me, “chin up,” not only doesn’t help, it generally makes me feel worse. Better understanding is a good step.

“Depression is exhausting. And it’s cruel. It tells you terrible things about yourself. That’s why Ms. Spade and Mr. Bourdain died. I can’t speak for their experiences, but I can speak for my own and what I know to be true from many other patients with depression: our minds become ruthless bullies. They tell us the meanest things about ourselves. They stockpile ammunition and open fire. And we have to sit there and take it because, well, it’s coming from our own brains.”

Blooms and Bubbles

Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Two gut-punching suicides that have people asking “Why them? They had it all!” Sure, Bourdain lived a hard life, but Kate Spade, the queen of whimsy? She was wealthy, adored and…

Depressed.

We need better words. One of the biggest disservices to the field of mental health is to call the diagnosis of “depression” by the name “depression.” Everyone “gets depressed.” It’s a commonplace word: “I’m so depressed the meeting I planned fell through.” “The ending of that show was too depressing.” “He’s too depressing to be around.”

None of these examples has anything to do with the psychological definition of Depression.

People who live with depression are wired differently. Our brains perceive life differently than those who do not have depression. Let me put it another way.

Suppose you were born left-handed in this predominantly right-handed world. Suppose that was considered OK from time to…

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The Judge and the Dishes

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When Bubba and I met, we each had years of experience loading dishwashers. The thing is, we didn’t load them the same way. And since each of us was sure “our” way was the “right” way, we had to deal with some relationship hiccups as we figured things out.

Routine aspects of life give me regular opportunities to “figure things out.” That usually means trying to understand the inner voices that chirp away when, for instance, I see Bubba do something my Inner Judge insists is just not right.

Maybe he’s putting forks into the dishwasher tines-down.

“The tines won’t get properly washed!” The Judge says, absolute in her declaration.

Continue reading “The Judge and the Dishes”

Dopamine-Induced Raw Begging

I’m responding to likes and kudos, comments and accolades. Like Pavlov’s dog, I’m salivating over feedback; getting hooked by WordPress’s announcement that I’ve surpassed my previous record of likes. New record: 27! It may be a puny record, but it’s my record. So…whoot!69_PavlovBegging_6-1-18Pavlov. Dogs. I’ve been writing about dogs. Ugly dogs. Fee for petting dogs. Dog House fiction.

Is this all an accident? Coincidence? I think not.

Continue reading “Dopamine-Induced Raw Begging”

The Anti-Frown Workout

Creative Magic on PixabayIt was dark on my morning walk as I forced myself to smile.  There was nothing funny about the dark, but I smiled anyway.

I was exercising; not just my legs, but my smile.

“I am not going to become a grumpy-looking old person,” I told myself. I had seen those faces; the edges of lips turned down in a permanent frown. A look at a few Mitch McConnell photos should scare anyone.  I was resolute; this was not going to happen to me.

Continue reading “The Anti-Frown Workout”

Never Too Late to Apologize

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She stood in front of me, her 8-year-old daughter by her side. This girl, now woman, who had taunted me in my youth. She and her friend would feign to befriend me, only to toss slights my way and jaunt off together to play, leaving me behind.  It was an up-and-down arrangement; when she needed someone, she’d turn to me. When she didn’t, she’d turn away.

Years passed. She was now a mother, with several children, and had redirected her life from the wildness of her youth, to that of a responsible adult, finding her way back to the God her grandmother feared she had strayed from.

“I feel so badly about how I treated you when we were kids,” she said, looking first at me, and then down at her daughter.

She spoke to the girl. “Mrs. G and I were neighbors, and I was mean to her. I’m not proud of that. That’s why we’re here: so I can tell her I’m sorry. I want you to treat people right, and to know it’s never too late to apologize.”

She looked back at me, subdued. We hugged, and I felt the pain of her shame. Her seeking forgiveness was a moment I never expected, didn’t know I wanted, and felt deep gratitude for experiencing. It was a moment of unanticipated grace; a grace still with me today.


 

Difficult Decision

Nothing like fireworks and kind words! My Dog House 150-word fiction piece got the nod from The Creative PTSD gal’s contest. Yes! I won! Whoot!! Thanks, Jo 🙂

A Creative PTSD Gal

This did not come easy and spent most of my night reading and re-reading the short stories that came in. I even asked my husband for his opinion (believe me, that rarely happens) and he was some help. Here it is:

If you would like to read the short story The Dog House and all the other wonderful submissions just follow the links below:

The House
The Inn of Eternal Rest 
Hence, the Exorcists
Marmalade
The Silenced Eyes
The Walk

There is something to be said creating something just from a blank screen and believe me I know, it’s not flipping easy! Every one of these writers (yup you’re writers) should take a bow.

Tomorrow I am introducing Fenton and the writing project that everyone gets involved with. Stay tuned!

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Daily Post Word of the Day Prompts

Since today is the last Daily Prompt day by WordPress, folks are having a Community Rising response and creating replacements. If you love the Prompts, check here.

Thriving Not Surviving

Last week I reblogged the post regarding the fall of the Daily Post’s word of the day prompt. I was concerned personally because I depend on these words to stretch my thinking, to practice my writing and to encourage me to be accountable for posting every day. I decided immediately that I would post a word myself that I could use as inspiration. I never realized how many people would feel the same way; it has become quite the topic on WordPress.

That being said, I have 3 people who will be collaborating with me on this project. Given that the first post is scheduled for tomorrow I feel very behind on organizing this effort so it’s likely that we will have a bumpy start…completely my fault as I’ve been preoccupied with making summer plans (if you read my post yesterday this might not surprise you).

As quickly as I…

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine-blogger-award-3The Sunshine Blogger Award is “given by bloggers to fellow bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community.” I’d love to say that came from the official Sunshine Blogger home page but, if there is one, I can’t find it. This was on this 2018 blog post and since I liked it, I pilfered it.

To have One Day at a Time nominate me for this in April and tell their followers about Walk the Goats is a nice recognition of my blog. And it gives me welcomed encouragement. Thanks, Floating Gold, and sorry I took so long to participate!

Go check out their blog where newsworthy topics are tackled with passion and perspective. Creative writing explorations are done. And our fearless blogger takes on various projects to challenge themselves.

One Day at a Time also has one of the few blogs I’ve reblogged; it was How To Discover New Blogs, which I found incredibly helpful as a new blogger and, now, three months in, it’s still useful, even if Prompts, First Friday and Community Pool are leaving the WordPress umbrella at the end of May.

Continue reading “The Sunshine Blogger Award”

To the Daily Post Community: Thank You!

The WordPress post about the demise of The Daily Post, including the end of Community Pool First Friday’s, Daily Prompt. See previous post about community efforts to retain this elsewhere.

The Daily Post

Almost seven and a half years ago The Daily Post opened its virtual doors to the WordPress.com blogging community. It’s been an incredible ride, and incredible rides, too, sometimes come to an end. As of the end of this month (and 2,000 Daily Prompts, 380 Photo Challenges, 260 Community Pools, and 100 First Fridays later), we will no longer publish new posts, prompts, or challenges on this site.

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The Mystery Blogger Award

MysteryBlogger-AwardThe Mystery Blogger Award is “an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.” – Okoto Enigma

To have Confessions of an Irish Procrastinator recognize me for this with her April 29th Award nomination, is a gratifyingly, warm acknowledgement. Thanks, and my bad for taking so long to engage, especially since you’ve decided to take a hiatus from your blog. I do hope you come back, because your musings on life and your colorful visuals always caught my attention, entertained and provoked thought.  Glad your writings remain on your site.

Continue reading “The Mystery Blogger Award”

Attention: Community Pool

For folks who like to swim in the WordPress Community Pool, you know it’s going away at month end, right? Well, Novus Lectio is hosting a new one at a new blog: swimmersweek. Here’s more info. Jump on in.

Novus Lectio

Hey Swimmers,
As you’ve been noticed previously I’m hosting the new community pool from Monday to Friday.
This is the link to follow

http://swimmersweek.wordpress.com

I thought of hosting it in this blog but I’ve realized that I’d go crazy if I do it here, so I’ve opened a new blog for it.
PLUS I’m doing prompts too. So Saturday and Sunday you’ll enjoy the prompts!

Pease spread the word that The New Community Pool opens its doors on Monday

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Liebster Award Round #2

Liebster-Award-4The Liebster Award, with its tag line, “Discover New Blogs!” feels like one blogger telling another blogger about cool places to visit.

To have A Creative PTSD Gal send other bloggers my way with her April 29th Liebster Award nomination is a gratifyingly, warm greeting. Thanks, Jo, and mea culpa for my taking so long to engage!

Go check out her blog; it’s filled with sketches, doodles, washes, 6-word stories, longer pieces, challenges, a soon-to-end contest, pictures, and, well, just an incredibly wonderful collection of wit, wisdom and wonder.

Continue reading “Liebster Award Round #2”

Award Nominations: I’m Finally Responding!

63_AwardsAnnounced_5-26-18

I received several award nods at the end of April from fellow bloggers I enjoy reading. Definitely wit and wisdom in all three of these blogs so check them out.  I’m learning all sorts of fun, worldwide slang from some very colorful folks!

May turned into a busy month so I’ve been a tad slow responding. The 3-day Memorial Day weekend (for those of us stateside) is the perfect time to do this: one award a day.  This post is to kick my butt and get my promise to deliver on the table. After I launch this, I start my response to The Liebster Award.

Here are the three awards I was nominated for.  Thank you, my fellow writers.  I get to frolic with your questions each day and tag other bloggers along the way. Here’s to a great weekend of mindful, playful, thoughtful engagement!

#1: LIEBSTER AWARD – 2nd Nomination!

#2: MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD

#3: SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD


 

Entry: The Dog House

My submission to a 150-word microfiction contest held by The Creative PTSD Gal. This was my first time trying this and…it was fun!

A Creative PTSD Gal

If I ever need to view things from a different perspective and need a little inspiration for doing so, Walk the Goats is where I land. Reading through the author’s viewpoints on situations and working towards goals is mesmerizing. Tell her to break a leg, wait for her to enter stage left and become a member of her audience. If you would like to participate in the contest or share, check out May 10th’s post. A different perspective was promptly delivered from her 150-word story. Good thing my dogs don’t chase cats.


The Dog House

https://pxhere.com/en/photo/417409

He was ruined. Bewitched by that wicked cat who had warned him that if he didn’t stop harassing her, she would use her cat-craft to put a spell on him.

But he hadn’t listened.

She was good on her threat. He had finally chased her one too many times. Instead of running, she spun around and with…

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Crazy Lady and Swallow NIMBYism

147685 on Pixabay. CC0 Creative CommonsThe swallows have returned to the neighborhood. We watch them through our large, plate glass windows as they scope out the houses for the perfect spots to build their nests. They like the eaves of our house: high up; well-protected.

I love swallows.

Continue reading “Crazy Lady and Swallow NIMBYism”

On-Line Character Naming Tool

Writing Resources2-Blog

Baby Names from the Social Security Administration

While you might not think of the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a writing resource, think different. If your story is grounded in the U.S. or U.S. territories, it’s a great site to help find baby names.  Which means it can help you choose names for characters. Or help you find out if a name you’ve already chosen was popular or not during the era in which your story takes place.

Curious what the top names in the U.S. were in 1880?   Continue reading “On-Line Character Naming Tool”

Dracula Flame

60_DraculaTeeth_5-19-18I watch a tea candle; a small, contained flame. The black wick arises from the quickly-melted wax, takes a right turn, then runs parallel to the candle’s surface. The flame reflects in the liquid below, reminding me of moonlight on a still lake.

The wick makes me think of death even while it’s a conduit for life, delivering the melted wax.

I’m surprised how triangular the flame is: one side along the wick, the other two sides pointing straight up to a peak of bright orange, only possible because the air in my room is still.  It reminds me of a tooth, the way they’re depicted at a dentist’s office in a cross-sectional view. Or a gaseous version of Dracula’s orange, candy-corn teeth; another death image.

Fascinating that the candle evokes a flickering back and forth between life and death for me.

The fluidity and movement of the flame suggests a fairy-like freedom, despite the fact that the flame won’t survive unless it stays tethered to the wick, and the wick only works while there is wax to burn. So much for freedom for the flame.

 

Beginning Writer’s Workshop: Detail and Description, Lesson #2

Photo source: pixel2013 on Pixabay