Remember back in elementary school when the teacher would take the class outside for recess? There was always something fun to do and it never seemed like enough time. Sometimes there would be extra play time if the class did particularly well on a spelling test or if there was a special holiday or celebration—fun times. There was also one or two kids who would ruin things for everyone else. I’m not really referring to the “Bad-eggs” but those who would always push the envelope when it came to the rules. For example, the rule might say that everyone must form a line at the end of recess when the whistle is blown. There would be that one kid who would continue to run around frantically. The teacher would do everything to get that kid to line up. Finally, everyone would be made to suffer next time by having to end recess minutes earlier because “Little-Mr. Rambunctious” refused to stop and form a line. It was ruined for everyone.

Remember in your freshman year of college—when you lived in the dorms. There was always that one person who refused to control themselves over the weekend. They would always have too much to drink or stay out too late—causing everyone else to worry. They never seemed to be able to keep situations within workable means. Situations like this really ruined a lot of things for people.

What about parents and relatives? Excessive eaters, drinkers, smokers, porn worshipers, etc. not to mention other social items that seem to have been over-used to the point of ruining it for us. How can anyone be expected to enjoy a sociable drink when they have alcoholics in the family tree? How can anyone enjoy a cup of coffee when there are people close to them who have drank it so much that it has turned into a bad habit to be frowned upon? What about sex? How can young people enjoy the exploration of their own sexual identity when there has been an excessive amount of attention given to label it “Bad.” There’s the stigma that follows a young girl who explores her sexual curiosities. The young boy who becomes acquainted with his own masculinity and appreciates the same in others of his gender. Maybe his family members have overindulged and become negatively affected. They frown, snarl, haze, bully, and disrespect him. It has been ruined.

Life is ours to live and experience to the fullest extent. Not to hurt one another—physically or mentally.

My belief is that the mass majority of human beings really want to accept one another. We want to take a recess from popular views that keep us separate. We want to enjoy our differences and bask in the glory of our individual revelations. We want to hug, kiss, cuddle, tickle, laugh, and sensitively talk together. We want to look one another in the eye and ask “What’s it like to be you?” We want to express gratitude for being educated in the ways of another—but we can’t. If we dare to tear down the false barriers—there may be consequences. Our brief recess will quickly come to an end. Our lives will retard until all growth stops. And we will become strangers to one another—ruined.

My List of things to do

Myy most overused theme is “There is never enough time in a day.” I have given serious thought to why this could be and I’ve come up with two variables. One is, There’s plenty of time—I just spend most of mine doing things for other people.

The other is, I don’t have enough time because I spend it all trying to organize my “To do lists.” I really need to get down to the foundation of exactly what it means to have enough time. I have to determine what time value means to me and what my daily challenges could be. I have to stop glossing over the items on my list and make an effort to finalize them. I have to resist the urge to add items that really shouldn’t be on the list. Most importantly—I have to stop making lists—and just get things done.

Bella Noir (a 100-word story)

Photo Credit: John Pierre Candelier

The dark girl cursed the sunlight and walked with the moon. Her scent was paralyzing in the crisp night air. She was young but beauty had no description for her. It was innocence that slaughtered those who came to prey upon her. Weakened by wishes of forbidden dreams she lured them. Ignorant of her prowess they drank her scent and danced in a drunken trance then fell to her feet—she laughed. Like the sweet taste of ripening fruit she savored their gluttonous desires. Never granting more than a kiss in exchange for a crimson drink—lying in wet thickness.

100-Word Stories: Writing with Gaps

I found this post to be very informative and it has really motivated me to make an effort toward writing with fewer words and more meaning (if that makes any sense).

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

100A guest post from Grant Faulkner, co-founder of 100 Word Story, the magazine that makes Brevity look verbose:

Writers are presumed to be lovers of words. They’re called wordsmiths, praised for their lyricism, and celebrated for capturing telling details. Stories are built through text, after all, so we strive to learn the fine art of vivid verbs, hone an ear for dialogue, and absorb new vocabulary. These are all valuable tools, but one of the most important tools of writing can be neglected by attending only to the words of a story. I call that tool “minding the gaps.”

I’m speaking about the gaps between words, sentences, paragraphs—the gaps around a story itself. Such gaps determine a story’s contours, its aesthetic. What is left out of a story is as important as what is included because life moves as much through disconnections as connections. Think of the gulf between…

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I’m just kidding

How many times have you been insulted by someone, felt whatever type of emotion the insult evoked only to have them say…I was just kidding with you 😯. In my mind that statement begs the question “How was I supposed to know you were joking?” I mean, aren’t jokes supposed to make you laugh—at what point does that change? When is it simply a lack of discernment on the part of the individual hiding behind the “I’m just kidding” phrase? Too many times I have witnessed or have been the chief recipient of the “so called” joke (…that no one laughed at). I now wonder why the person who made the comment didn’t simply opt to insult me instead. Was it their failed attempt at appearing less offensive in the eyes of others? Did they assume that my feelings would be hurt but they can claim that wasn’t their intension? If someone makes crass comments and/or rude jokes directed toward you in a way that was NOT FUNNY—what is it called?

I don’t like…

When did it become acceptable to pass judgment upon someone? Some could argue that it has never been unacceptable. In the 60’s it may have been fashionable to consider yourself “able” to judge another. With the elitist attitudes that most people had, it wouldn’t be difficult to see that this could have been considered normal. What about other parts of the world—not just in America. Is this common in most cultures around the world or is it only practiced among the major world powers (as they call themselves). At what point in time will the human race determine that being prejudice toward someone is simply archaic not to mention absolutely wrong in every sense of the word. We pass judgment because a person is redheaded, blonde, dark/light skinned, short/long hair, fat or skinny, rich or poor, vegetarian or omnivores, and the list goes on forever. Why is this? In order to answer that question I turn to myself. I have a tendency to pass judgment before learning more about something or someone. In elementary school I remember hating a little girl who frequently wet her pants and smelled very bad. I didn’t even know her. No one in the class liked her very much. There were times when she was bullied. I was about 6yrs old at the time and knew enough that I realized it was wrong to hate someone who had not given you a reason—and yet I did it anyway. She didn’t hit me or threaten me or anything. I just didn’t like the way she smelled and that she was able to wet her pants and not get punished for it.

Today, I find that I don’t like people who have a blatant disregard for others. I also don’t like spiders—for different reasons. People who float through life, day after day—with no regard for others…irritate me. It’s as if they think everyone is below them or exists strictly to elevate their lives. They sometimes have this sense of entitlement and they figure everyone “ought to know” that they are special and entitled to act as they do. There is no excuse for bad behavior and those who feel less willing to acknowledge the significance of others are basic and archaic—less deserving of human affection. Spiders…well that is a topic I will save for another discussion.