The 365 Day Prompt Challenge: A New and Different Kind of Blog

The muse and I haven’t been keeping up with our blogging lately. Admittedly, we’ve been kinda busy. I made a job change that I hope will ultimately allow me to spend more time with my family but also allow for much more writing time. So, while I have had plenty to rant about as I leave my job, try to sell my home and businesses, and move even further north, none of those rants were very funny. The truth is I never meant to start a humor blog in the first place. It just kind of happened one day. Actually, the blog was started to keep me writing on a daily basis because what I want more than anything else is to be a published writer. No, wait….what I REALLY want to do is be a popular, wealthy published writer. But let’s be realistic here, I have a good job; one I like even, so writing for a living is just being greedy. That being said, I still want to write. But I don’t want the pressure of being funny every day. That isn’t the kind of writing I do.  I like to write fiction; specifically fantasy/horror/sci-fi.

What I would like to do with this blog, then, is to force myself to be creative and write daily. It’s great practice and maybe I’ll get some good feedback from you all too. So, what I will be doing is going through the book Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side by Michael A. Arnzen. Chapter 1 is titled “Prompts: 365 Sick Scenarios”. I propose to go through every one of those prompts and write a piece on that prompt. I can’t promise it will always be a full story, maybe it will just be an opening chapter; maybe it will be a piece of flash fiction or perhaps even a poem. What I hope you will do is read my writing and if you love it or hate it; let me know. If you want more of the story, tell me. I want this blog experiment to be a dialog between you, me and my petulant muse (who has the final say). We might end up writing a novel together; kind of an in-progress Choose Your Own Adventure book. Maybe you’ll hate the whole thing and I will just be sending you a daily dose of spam that you will promptly delete and never think about again. That’s ok too. This exercise is ultimately for me and the muse—we need to work on our relationship. Hey, let’s add this rule to the plan: if you have a prompt idea/picture/quote/etc.—send it my way, I’ll take a break from the book and try your idea. If you write something based on my prompt, send it in, I’ll post that too and share with everyone. Look for my posts in the evening, by 8pm—you can read them before you go to sleep (if they aren’t too creepy!) This could be a lot of fun!

Want to know what kind of stories you’re in for if you choose to go along with this plan? Check out my story on www.freeditorial.com . It’s titled “The Appetite of Sin” and is listed under Writers of the XXI Century on their home page. It won second place in their Long-Short Story Contest. I’ve also won first place recently in a flash fiction contest by Dragon Tree Books, and I made it to the second of three rounds in NYC Midnight’s Short Story Contest. I am currently working on two short stories (one of which will be entered in Freeditorial’s next contest which will be starting soon and ending on Thanksgiving Day) and preparing for NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Contest which starts on July 31. I am also outlining a new fantasy novel about the real life of imaginary friends. I hope you decide to follow along for the next 365 days. Let’s see where my muse takes me!

Joe-la Dowdy

Day#0 of 365 Prompts

7/6/15

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I Am A Mosaic (and I Can Be Serious)

Here’s what you need to know about me. I am a mosaic. I am made up of multiple tiny pieces with different colors, pattern, and even textures. So what if I like to go fishing and get earthworm dirt under my nails? The very next day, maybe I will want to be sparkly and pink and frou-frou to the max. That doesn’t make me less of a feminist. That doesn’t mean I can’t demand equal pay and reproductive rights. Because I like to feel like a girl, look like a girl doesn’t make me any less of a human being.

Sometimes I turn up the 80’s station really loud in my car and sing Come On Eileen at the top of my lungs. I’ll grumble and complain about how awful today’s music is and you might even hear me making fun of the styles the young girls are wearing. But next week, I just might be tapping my toes to Pierce the Veil while buying leggings and a miniskirt at Hot Topic. Know what that means? Nothing. It means my age does not define me. It means that I can like what I like and wear whatever makes me feel good that day and if you don’t like that, well, I’m glad you have an opinion, that’s your piece not mine. I am not a genre. I am a living, moving, changing creature who can appreciate art for art’s sake. I’m really cool with that.

I eat chicken wings and cheese fries and hot dogs because they are freaking delicious. I like sushi and veal cheeks and I learned recently that I also like a good blood sausage. Some days I eat all day and not one thing is good for me and some days I count calories like Rain Man counts toothpicks. I gain weight and feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and then, I bust my ass and lose it again and feel like a little pixie. You know what? I love this about me. I will never be a Victoria’s Secret model living on celery and laxatives, and I will never be on My 600lb Life either but even if I were, I’d be loving every morsel I put into my mouth because food is amazing. It tastes so damn good and if you aren’t out there eating it and tasting it because you feel bound by society’s ideals or you aren’t trying things like Foie Gras or caviar because you think it’s for snobs, then I am sorry for you, because you aren’t using all the perks that came with your body.

Some nights, sex is the only thing on my mind; I might watch some porn or maybe try out my own porn scene in bed. Other nights, the pillow and blankets cover my yoga pants and tee shirt and that feeling is the equivalent of an orgasm and all I want is to be left untouched while I sleep.  I want to do things that make my body feel good. I’ll go to the beach or pool with you and I’ll lie in the sun as long as it feels good, but I’ll abandon the perfect tan in a second to feel the water slipping past my skin while I swim. I’ll go for a run because I love the feel of the wind, the smell of the trees and grass, the sounds of the crickets as I go by, but I’ll take the damn elevator every time because I don’t like to climb the freaking stairs. It’s all about what feels good.

I love my children and I am proud of every accomplishment they achieve. I have never signed them up for every activity that came along or insisted they participate in community service because it looks good on the National Honor Society’s application. I have never made them go to church either. I never stopped them or said no when they wanted to participate however. I have told them every day of their life that I love them, I have made every decision with their well-beings in mind. I have encouraged their dreams, even when I couldn’t understand them. I have never given them lectures on why my beliefs and opinions are right. I have tried to expose them to both sides of a political disagreement, many religions, and cultures. I want them to grow up to become their own mosaic, not another version of me. They have to collect the pieces that will ultimately become the beautiful work of art that is life; their life.

I write this today because I want you to look at yourself and see your mosaic. Are you happy with your pieces? Are there enough colors, patterns and textures there to tell your story or are they all mirrors reflecting whatever society is doing at the moment. Do you see a unique and priceless work of art or just some second hand knock-off of someone else? I have been 40 for five months now and I’ve thought about it a lot, how fast life really does slip by while you are worrying about what you look like, dress like, or how much money you make. What you should be doing is laughing, and tasting, and smelling and loving. That’s what your body is supposed to do. That’s the only way to collect your pieces in this game. We all have our own finish line waiting for us. No one is going to beat us to it. It’s ours. So why worry about what they are doing or what their picture looks like? Why not take their hand and walk the path with them and if you see a piece that isn’t right for you, leave it or better yet, pause and let your friend check it out, it might be the right one for them. People will remember you for the work of art you created by living, they won’t remember you by the pieces you passed by or stepped on. I love my mosaic, even a couple pieces that aren’t quite the perfect color (I’ll just sprinkle some glitter on them). I hope you get out there and find your pieces, I bet your final work of art is gonna look amazing!

Psssst…….

If you liked this post today, you realize that I also do some serious writing. I have a Long-Short Story out there on www.freeditorial.com in the long short story contest. It’s called The Appetite of Sin and you can download and read it for free. If you like it, tell your friends. I won’t lie to you; it’s part of a contest and the winner’s story will get published. I’d like to have time to do more writing but to do that; I need to get my foot in the door. That’s where you come in. You can download it to your phone, your e-reader, your computer or all of the above. If you hate it, that’s ok too, if you don’t feel like reading it, I’m cool with that, but if you could take a second to download it, that’d be great. MmK? Thanks a bunch. Mwah!