Since I don’t aspire to blog daily, I’m only offering my first thoughts about the week’s prompts.
15th Jan: What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning?
Whoever told you life would be fair? They lied.
Life isn’t fair. It’s never going to be fair, but this doesn’t mean you have the right to treat others unfairly.
16th Jan: What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I have two pet hates, but I view the second as a subset of the first.
I loathe bullying and cruelty – two sides of the same coin. I support any measure (education, supervision, detection, correction, re-education…) that tackles bullying, cruelty and abuse (especially against children and animals, who can’t fight back).
I also loathe the sensationalism, selectivity, and misrepresentation of our news media and the downright dishonesty of those screaming, selective headlines? How can the intimidation of a hounding mob of journalists be considered acceptable behaviour? And this not because someone has, or may have, erred (who hasn’t?) but because the story will rouse the rabble.
The media’s prey has no effective way to fight back. Even the formally accused are meant to be assumed innocent until guilt is proved (in the UK, at least) but trial by media supercedes mere justice.
And when unsupported speculation is shown to be wrong (which it often is) another sensational story can always be rolled out to deflect the public’s attention from their mistake. But the mud still sticks.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have even one unbiased and ethically reporting news outlet? But it’s sensation that sells. And whose fault is that?
17th Jan: What is a superpower you’d love to have?
I’d love to fly: proper birdlike flying, not like in my dreams. I used to dream I was flying, but my flying was more like swimming in the air.
Come to think of it, those dreams may have started around the time I was learning to swim. Flying in my dreams was like my breast stroke; I’d use my arms to pull me through the air/water, take my feet off the ground, and hope.
I’m too scared of breathing in water to swim properly, or breathing in anything but air. I never became hooked on smoking as a teenager when my peers did, because I never could take that breathful of smoke down to my lungs. Perhaps in a former life I suffocated – or drowned. That might fit with a frighteningly clear (and somehow familiar) dream I had recently where I was driven in a car over a precipice into empty air. We hung there in space, looking through the windscreen to the horizon, waiting to drop. . .
And then I was awake, fully alert and thankfully in bed.
But I digress. . .
18th Jan: What book is next on your reading list?
A Kind Of Spark by Elle McNicoll: a YA story by an autistic author. I purchased it last night on the recommendation of my daughter who read it with her book club.
19th Jan: Write about something mysterious.
Death is the ultimate mystery, isn’t it? What happens next?
I have this theory that we all subconsciously expect to be reincarnated back here on Earth (although that isn’t necessarily what happens next). If there is no reincarnation, why should everyone be concerned about what will happen to the planet when the sun cools or the solar system implodes (or whatever) centuries from now?
In fact I wrote a short story about it called After Life. I entered it in a competition and it was shortlisted. It’s since been published in the relevant To Hull and Back short story anthology (2018) the collection, A Following Wind, from the Whittlesey Wordsmiths, and my own Witch Way. Maybe I’ll post it on here when I run out of blogging inspiration.
20th Jan: What is your favourite photo you have ever taken?
I don’t take many photos. By the time I’ve found my phone and opened the camera the moment has passed. One that always cheers me up is a snap I took of our arthritic old Staffie, Pickle, taken in her final few months as she trotted off down the garden with her tail high, as if to say, “I’m off now. Look after yourselves.”
21st Jan: If you could, what year would you time travel to, and why?
That depends… would I have to get involved? Or could I just watch?
I’d quite like to see how things have developed by this time next century but I might not want to stay there.
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