I Got Nothing Today


8B4EC126-35DC-447B-B507-4EEF75C8A2C7When I see the WordPress one-word prompt each morning, I think about if I’m going to respond and, if so, how?

Will I write a bit of flash fiction using the word as inspiration? Will the word remind me of something that happened in my life or in the life of someone I know and motivate me to write a post about such an incidence?

Will the word trigger something related to current events, political goings on, or some other timely topic for me to write about?

Today’s one-word prompt is the word “elegance.” It’s a noun used to describe something that is elegant, something tastefully fine or luxurious in dress, style, or design. Something refined or dignified.

There is nothing about me or anyone I know that can be described as “elegant.” My family, friends, and acquaintances are all firmly ensconced in America’s middle class. My home is not in any way elegant. Nor is my clothing, my car, or my lifestyle.

And today, neither is my imagination, as I haven’t been able to conjure up a fanciful tale built around the word “elegance” to share with my readers.

So I’m sorry to disappoint, but I got nothing. There will be no post from me today in response to the WordPress one-word prompt. Check back with me tomorrow.


#MicroMondays — Immunity

E86CE1F4-00DF-44D2-AB16-31E443C79C16“All stayed well for less than twenty-four hours,” recounted Paul, one of the few survivors. “Then the first symptoms started to appear and people were getting sick. By the end of the second day, half the population had been wiped out and the rest were in bad shape. A handful of us seemed to be immune and we managed to survive.”

Written for today’s #MicroMondays prompt. It is taken from the short story “The Bodyguard,” by Lee Child. The challenge is to write a 54 word story, not including the eight-word prompt. The prompt, “All stayed well for less than twenty-four hours,” must be used verbatim.

Twenty Questions

237AB625-6362-4E3F-85B7-F6FE20E01674Do you want to play a little game and have a little fun? Yes or no?

Well, if you said yes, here are 20 either/or questions for you. Feel free to answer as many as you want or none at all.

For those who want to play along, post your answers and pingback to this post (or leave a comment with a link to your post). Then go read how your fellow bloggers answered.

And feel free, should you choose to do so, to take a few seconds to explain why you chose this or that. You may also choose neither and say what you would choose. For example, maybe in response to “window or aisle?” you might say, “Neither, I prefer middle seats.”

So, have fun…or not.

Window or aisle?
White bread or whole wheat?
Car or pickup?
iPhone or Android?
Foreign or domestic?
Hip hop or pop?
Watch TV or read a book?
Summer or winter?
Daytime or nighttime?
Hot or cold?
New or old?
Fiction or non-fiction?
Poetry or prose?
Democrat or Republican?
Windows or Mac?
Mountains or ocean?
Whole or skimmed?
Coffee or tea?
Football or baseball?
Soda or pop?

Sunday Photo Fiction — Mean and Inconsiderate

723932EE-D420-4715-8A6E-0D5A0FA1A04FIt was, perhaps, the meanest act I’d ever committed. Certainly the most inconsiderate. But I was only ten-years-old, so what did I know?

My father loved to build miniature settings. He had constructed an elaborate village around his HO scale train set in our attic. It included a train station, post office, church, store, and a few homes. There were painted roads with small cars and trucks and tiny little people. It was fully landscaped with trees and shrubs, hills, and a creek. A true work of art.

For Christmas one year, he decided to build a little fairy village on our patio for my younger sister. He constructed it from twigs, straw, branches, and stones. He built a tiny church, shed, fire pit, table, and bench. It was exquisite.

He finished it just in time for Christmas and, when Christmas morning arrived, my sister and I eagerly opened our presents. My favorite was a 20-inch tall Godzilla monster doll.

Dad escorted us out to our back patio and unveiled the fairy village. My sister squealed in delight. I, with Godzilla in hand, proceeded to destroy the tiny village by stomping all around, making horrible monster noises, just like the movie.

(202 words)

Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Image credit: Eric Wiklund.

Bah Humbug

Image result for The GrinchCan you believe that Christmas is right around the corner? Yet again.

Ah yes, Christmas, the holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus, is a jolly and joyous holiday to Christians.

Well, I, for one, am not so jolly. Okay, yes, I know. I’m a grinch. I admit it. But at the same time, I’m enough of a pragmatist to recognize that our nation, while not a “Christian Nation,” as some conservatives suggest, is a nation that is overwhelmingly Christian.

And yet, year-after-year, there are those — from virtually everyone on Fox News to President Trump — insisting that American Christians are being persecuted and that there is a “War on Christmas.” Trump has even suggested that, now that he’s president, Americans are once again permitted to say “Merry Christmas.” Wait! Did Americans ever stop saying that?

Seriously, do most Christians really believe that the small sliver of the American population comprised of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and other non-Christians have somehow stolen Christmas?

I look around and wonder how anyone can come to that conclusion. I hear continuous, unavoidable Christmas music; it’s virtually nonstop. I see Christmas shows and specials on TV, Christmas movies in theaters, Christmas musicals and plays on live stage.

Flyers and advertisements for Christmas sales add significant heft to the newspapers I stuff into my recycling bin each week. The bulk of TV commercials at this time of year are all about the Christmas gifts you absolutely must buy. My mailbox is stuffed with Christmas catalogs.

I see formerly vacant lots filled with Christmas trees and wreaths that are selling briskly. I see homes, condos, and apartments throughout the city decked out with colorful, blinking lights and fully adorned Christmas trees in the windows. I see nativity scenes on public squares and common areas around city and on town hall lawns throughout the area.

I see grown men wearing red suits, fake beards, and pillows stuffed under their belts, little kids sitting on their laps in stores and malls. At any other time of the year, these men would be arrested.

Santa copping a feel (or is that Roy Moore dressed as Santa?)

But at Christmastime, there are long lines of parents, with their kids in tow, eager to put their little darlings onto the lap of some otherwise unemployable, probably drunk old man wearing a phony beard and dressed in a strange costume promising to bring them all kinds of gifts that their parents can’t really afford.

Can someone please explain to me how Christmas is being stolen?

Well, maybe the “Christmas spirit” has, in fact, been usurped by crass commercialism. Christmas has become less a religious holiday than a two-month long shopping spree.

Instead of the jolly holiday bringing out the best in people, it seems that this season of good will and joy instead brings out the worst in many. Me included.

Bah humbug!

Oh yeah. Happy Holidays.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “jolly.”