Friday, October 31, 2014

I Wrote a Creepy Story; Are You Satisfied Now, Universe?

It’s been pretty hard to find good writing prompts this month. Well, ones that interested me, anyway. Most of them have included the words “spooky” “paranormal” or “creepy” in them somewhere, and I don’t like scary things. The only slightly creepy story I’ve ever been able to write had two kids trying to join their neighborhood’s paranormal investigation club. It was a high school assignment, and while my classmates all wrote scary things, I made the characters wander through an allegedly haunted house, where nothing happened but that they were scared at nothing and when they came out safe on the other side they got to join the club.
But the last couple of days I’ve been thinking of a story I could write that wouldn’t be too scary for me but would satisfy the apparent demand for creepiness during this time of year. Okay, here goes.

The back porch wasn’t the best place to spend your time. In the winter it was too cold, and in the summer it was too hot. It was a nice place to keep canned fruit and bags full of recyclables that never got taken out to be recycled. It was an okay area to stand in for a bit and sort laundry, or to stash that twelve pack of soda that you didn’t want anyone else in the house to know was there.
One autumn afternoon she remembered that the soda was there, and headed back to the porch to get one. Her bare feet touched the cool floor as she reached for the box. A soda rolled toward her, and as she was lifting it and moving to turn away,

The end.

This has been a semi-true creepy story that has not actually happened but could happen and I think about it every time I go back on the porch to get a soda. I hope that your creepy story yearnings have now been sated. Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Silly Holiday: Mischief Night

I never really understood May Day as a kid. You run up and knock on other people's doors, then run away? And... candy? I didn't get it, but hey, free candy.
But apparently these May Day "tricks" didn't make much sense in post-industrialized England, since the lovely scenes of spring could not be seen in the city, so in 1790, some well-meaning idiot at Oxford encouraged (encouraged!) his students to engage in mischief and trickery near Guy Fawkes Day instead.
The results of Mischief Night.
(via the Halloween wiki)
And so began the illustrious tradition of Mischief Night.
I guess it gives more weight to the phrase “trick or treat,” as in, “give us a treat or we’ll TP your yard and egg your shed and pelt your dog with rotten cabbages like we did yesterday.” I mean, vandals can’t possibly expect to get everything done in one night.
So nice job, headmaster at St John’s College. You’re the reason that forty thousand people have to patrol the streets of Detroit around this time of year to prevent vandalism. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


About ten years ago, I was able to go out with my friends to various places, drinking various drinks and staying out late into the evening. I had various jobs that kept me working past midnight, sometimes past 3 AM. I had no problem with this. I could get up the next morning around eleven or noon, and be ready to stay up late again.
Today, I require a certain amount of introverted relaxing time after the activities of the day are over. The kids go to bed, and I crochet or read (or try to crochet and read at the same time) or I do puzzles and read (or try to do puzzles and read at the same time). My husband also requires this introverted relaxing time, and usually we sit in the same room, engaged in our separate activities but still able to spend our time together.
If the day runs long, I still need that certain amount of relaxing time, whether we get the kids to bed right at 8 o’clock or come home from family activities late and have to put extra tired fussy kids to bed. No matter when my relaxing time starts, I don’t sleep until it has lasted the sufficient amount of time. So if it’s 9 pm when I fall asleep with my kindle in my hand, it’s 9 pm. If it’s midnight when my husband shuts the lights off and demands I go to sleep, then it’s midnight. But the days are gone when I can sleep until eleven or noon. And even if I could, I’d still be exhausted and growly when I woke up.
I like that times have changed, but sometimes I wish I could bring some of that 21 year old energy to my 31 year old day. Especially when I’ve stayed up late partying.

Somebody buy me this shirt.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Writing Prompt: The Fountain

She walked through the park every day. The fountain was one of the only pretty things about it, so it wasn't unusual to see someone standing near it wearing a hopeful look, eyes closed, clutching a small amount of legal tender. Every time she saw someone toss a coin into that fountain, she wondered if their wish would come true.
There were better things to do with spare change, in her opinion. There were candy bars in the vending machine at work and cups of coffee to buy for the homeless guy who hung out on the corner. Why should she waste her money on a wish?
That fountain was a wish graveyard, made up of hundreds of pennies settled to the bottom on cold, unfeeling stone. The fountain didn't care what those people wanted or how badly they wanted it. And it never would.
But that wasn't the fountain's fault. Just because someone hoped their wish to come true wasn't going to make it come true, no matter how much money they tossed into the water. You weren't ever going to get that wish of being able to fly, but you could pay to go skydiving. She thought it was a much better idea to work hard to make your wishes come true.
One morning she walked through the park with a pile of coins in her hand. She had just bought a cup of coffee for the homeless guy on the corner, and was heading to work to give a presentation that she and her team had worked hard on. The water from the fountain glistened in the sun, and suddenly, she felt bad. The poor fountain was always being appealed to for help and never gave it.
She stopped and tossed a nickel onto one of the upper tiers of the fountain. Since no one else was around, she wished aloud: "I wish that our presentation goes awesome and that the boss tells us we did a great job."
It wasn't an earth-shattering wish. But it did come true.
Every time she walked past that fountain, she would look for her wish and smile inside.
At least one of those coins represented a hope that had been realized.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Writing Prompt: It Wasn't a Dream

He cleared his throat uncomfortably. She wondered if he had a sore throat. "So, um, Ms. Wallace, what would you say you could bring to this position that sets you apart from other applicants?"
She smiled. "My sense of professionalism," she answered confidently. "I know it's important to be friendly with co-workers, but even when I'm getting to know the people I work with, I always maintain a professional attitude."
He nodded, though something in his facial expression made her think he didn't believe her. "Well," he said, "your references are excellent, and you definitely meet all of our qualifications. We have a few more people to interview, but we're hoping to make a decision by the end of the week. We'll let you know by Monday." He set her resume down on the desk and stood, holding out his hand.
"Thank you for your time," she replied, grabbing her leather briefcase as she stood to shake his hand. She noticed quite a few of his employees watching as she turned to leave his office.
"Ah, Ms. Wallace," he called as she reached the door. "I suppose I do have just one more question."
"This might seem rude, but I was just wondering why, um... What I mean to say is that most people wear a suit to an interview. Is there a reason you chose this... particular attire?"
She clutched the handle of her briefcase tightly with one hand and looked down at the giraffe print footie pajamas she was wearing, then squeezed her eyes shut.
When she opened them, he was watching her as though he was expecting to have to lunge for the phone to call security.
"So," she said awkwardly. "I guess this isn't a dream."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Birthday List

It’s my birthday. Today I will:

Hang out with my kids

Play video games

High five my mom

Go out to dinner with my husband



Be amused by the number of people leaving birthday messages on my facebook wall who have not communicated with me since the last time they left a birthday message on my facebook wall

Be awesome (as usual)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday in History: Coequal

On this day in history in 1850, the very first National Women’s Rights Convention was held. Among other things, it aimed to change public opinion about the status of women and move society toward “Woman’s co-equal sovereignty with Man.” Susan B. Anthony, one of the most famous advocates for women’s rights, was not in attendance, but was converted to the cause when she read a speech given by Lucy Stone at the convention:

“We want to be something more than the appendages of Society; we want that Woman should be the coequal and help-meet of Man in all the interest and perils and enjoyments of human life. We want that she should attain the development of her nature and womanhood; we want that when she dies, it may not be written on her gravestone that she was the “relict” of somebody.”

On this day in history in 1915, around 30,000 women marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City for the right to vote.
And on this day in history in 2014, the internet is in a screaming match about women. This isn’t terribly surprising, as the internet is usually in a screaming match about something, anything. This screaming match started when a bitter ex-boyfriend posted a rant about a female game developer he had been dating. Anonymous jerks online rallied to his side without checking any facts, and this woman (and her family) were deluged with threats and obscenities. Many humans who actually stopped to listen hoped that the movement would tire itself out and go find something else to do.
But it didn’t; instead it took a new turn. Sure, the game developer’s father isn’t getting as many offensive phone calls as he was, but that doesn’t mean that those behind the movement are finished. Now that they’ve got attention, they’re lashing out at anyone who speaks out against them. Well, any woman who speaks out against them.
Anonymous online jerks are resourceful. They can find many things. Women online aren’t even allowed to look like they’re mentioning this movement, because they are afraid that they will be next. “...Seeing another gamer on the street used to be an auto-smile opportunity, or an entry into a conversation starting with, “Hey, dude! I love that game too!” Me and that stranger automatically had something in common,” Felicia Day wrote on her tumblr earlier this week. “For the first time maybe in my life... I walked towards that pair of gamers and I didn’t smile. I didn’t say hello. In fact, I crossed the street so I wouldn’t walk by them. Because after all the years of gamer love and inclusiveness, something had changed in me. A small voice of doubt in my brain now suspected that those guys and I might not be comrades after all. That they might not greet me with reflected friendliness, but contempt.” Within minutes of putting up her post about how this movement has changed the way she feels about the community that she loves, Felicia Day’s home address and personal email address were posted online by an anonymous jerk.
I guess we could ask why these anonymous online jerks are acting this way. Is it because they think that feminism is a bad thing? Is it because they want to show that they have power over women? Or are they just doing it because they’re anonymous and because they can?
I’m not sure what should or can be done to slow down or stop this internet screaming match. Maybe we need to have another National Women’s Rights Convention. Maybe we need to march en masse down Fifth Avenue. Maybe enough of us need to stand up and shout that stalking someone or threatening to rape them falls under criminal harassment, not the right to free speech.
I suppose that it could be argued that the currently women are enjoying the “coequal... perils... of human life,” but what Lucy Stone spoke out for at that first NWRC was not just for women to have to put up with the same kind of crap that men do. It was for “all the interest and perils and enjoyments of human life.” She was speaking out for coequal status, coequal benefits, and coequal respect.
In 1850.
I think the one thing we can expect is that this issue isn’t going to quietly go away anytime soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Writing Prompt: Productivity Tips

Writing Prompt #674
My productivity tips for evil dictators would be pretty much the same for any person, regardless of the amount of power they hold: get a good night’s sleep, eat (fairly) healthy, and wear comfortable shoes.
One thing I would recommend for evil dictators (and maybe regular folks, if they can afford it) is to invest in a dedicated minion. Like, the kind of devoted underling that takes your very word as gospel, believes that only you hold the keys to a perfect existence, and generally worships the ground you walk on; but they need to come equipped with the added bonus of being able to get things done. A minion who can’t get things done is not a minion but rather merely one of the faces in your crowd of admirers.
A dedicated minion can get tons of things done for you. They can wake you in the morning without being tempted to quietly do away with you for the good of the world at large, be trusted not to poison your breakfast, check your closet from tiny scorpion assassins as they choose your most flattering military uniform for the day’s occasions, check in with your security staff as you go over your daily schedule, keep an extra eye out for snipers when you get into your car, and sacrifice their own life to save yours while you give a speech to your adoring masses.
I guess there are other things they can do than prevent your death. General personal assistant duties can be trusted to a dedicated minion: knowing how (and how often) you take your coffee, knowing how long you like to nap (when to wake you to take charge of matters of national importance or when to prioritize your nap and let those matters wait until you’ve had enough beauty sleep), knowing when to order your car to take you to your next appearance (or back to your heavily guarded estate after a long day of waving and smiling at the faithful populace).
A dedicated minion will improve the life (and perhaps prolong the life) of any person of power, evil dictator or not. And if you can’t afford a dedicated minion, then, just, y’know, get a good night’s sleep, eat right, and wear comfortable shoes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I’ve felt really lazy lately, and procrastination is fun. The last several days, I haven’t started writing anything until the very late afternoon, sometimes the evening. I’m pretty creative, so I can think of lots of excuses not to work, or reasons that I’m not working, but I haven’t wanted to put any effort in to even do that.
Earlier today I was talking to a couple of co-workers about a project that I’m working on. I’m not shirking my part, but I can’t do what I need to do unless I am contacted by others. “They’re adults,” I told them. “This is their job; if they don’t want to do it, I can’t make them. It just won’t get done until they actually put forth the effort.”
After this conversation, I came home and started dinking around on the internet. I found a writing prompt and got to work on it (sort of). But during my procrastination, I came across several different things: two tweets (from people I don’t follow, retweeted by two separate people I do follow) and a tumblr post via George Takei’s facebook page. (Yes. This is a lot of procrastinating.) All three seemed to be shouting at me: WHY ARE YOU NOT WORKING???

Tweets by Matthew Wrex and C. Spike Trotman; George Takei's facebook is always full of crazy stuff.
The universe was putting up a sign in the places I procrasti-loiter to tell me that I’m an adult, that writing is my job (one that I love), but if I don’t want to do it, the universe can’t force me to. I won’t write something brilliant (or even anything lame) until I actually put forth the effort to get it done.

Monday, October 20, 2014


One of the first writing reviews I ever received told me that my piece was not to the reviewer’s taste. “I don’t like this kind of thing,” the reviewer stated, then proceeded to use other words, like “insipid,” “boring,” and “shallow.” It wasn’t a good review. Those words hurt. And for quite a long while after reading them, I couldn’t write.
I sat around a table with ten people I’d never met before, listening to a young man haltingly explain the synopsis of a novel he was hoping to write. I listened politely, but I didn’t make eye contact with him or with anyone else around the table, because I didn’t want anyone to know what I was thinking: “insipid,” “boring,” and “shallow.” What he was proposing to write did not sound at all interesting to me. It sounded like nothing I would ever want to read, and if I had chanced on a paragraph or two, I would have put the book down and gone looking for something else. But when he finished, everyone else had interesting ideas that made me think of his story in a different light. I even found myself contributing ideas of my own.
I came to see that the story that he was hoping to tell was not necessarily going to end up the way I saw it, and was able to admit to myself that it might eventually become something that I would like to read.
I suppose we all have different tastes.
Maybe I should finally forgive that reviewer for his or her own opinion, and the fact that they probably never thought that their precise words would get back to me. In the same way, I would hope that my first reaction would not tarnish a young writer’s enthusiasm for his own work. I would not want him to be unable to write after hearing my unfiltered opinion of his ideas.
And just because I don’t think I’ll like it doesn’t mean the other ten people around the table won’t.

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Trending News"

Facebook amuses away many of my hours. It keeps me in touch with friends, provides me with a source of news about local and world events, and allows me to keep up with what the internet is yelling about today.
One of my favorite sources of amusement recently has been the “Trending” news stories which facebook seems to think are important for me to see. Thankfully, this section comes with a feature that allows me to get rid of any headlines I like, and an option to say why I’m getting rid of that particular item. I’ve been trying to train it to only show me things I actually think are interesting.
Over the past month or so, I’ve convinced it that I don’t care about tennis, golf, major league baseball, or the NBA. Now it only shows me NFL news, and the very occasional international football (soccer) story. There are very few headlines in the world of music that I’m interested in, whether it’s about a feud between two hip hop artists or who has released a new album. And I’m usually not really super excited about technology news, because newly-unveiled items don’t often make it into my hands.
There are so many other interesting pieces of news that I would rather hear about. International conflicts, disease outbreaks, and national politics are things that should be news.
The one thing I haven’t been able to completely banish from my facebook trending news feed is the TMZ element. These sorts of stories fall into the “I know nothing and I care less” category. The only time I care about celebrities is when they may happen to be appearing in a movie or series that I’m interested in. But for some reason, I can’t get facebook to stop telling me about people whose personal lives it has no right to be butting in on. I don’t care who is having a baby, celebrating a commitment ceremony, or trying to get their child support payment lowered. Unless they want me to buy them a shower gift, invite me to their wedding, or babysit their kid, I don’t need to know about the inner workings of their lives, or even second-hand rumored stories about the inner workings of their lives.
I enjoy reading the headlines of the day, as long as they’re actually important or interesting enough to me to spend my time on, like things that actually have an impact on the world. And just so you know, facebook, a news story titled “Actress X adopts kitten with boyfriend” will never have an impact on the world.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday in History: The Library of Alexandria

It’s always too soon to joke about the destruction of the Library of Alexandria. One of the Wonders of the Ancient World, this place was amazing. It was built by Ptolemy I, the guy who took over ruling the Egyptian piece of Alexander the Great’s empire. The Library was full of innumerable scrolls which scholars from all over the place used to study when they came to research and learn at the Musaeum of Alexandria.
The Library may never have gained much fame had it not been destroyed, and all its works lost. There are differing accounts as to when the destruction happened: one romantic account has Marc Antony and Cleopatra perishing in one another’s arms as the Library burned around them; another says that Emperor Aurelian was putting down a revolt and accidentally damaged the area of the city where the library was located; and one blames the loss of the Library’s contents on Pope Theophilus. However it happened, all of those scrolls, all of that knowledge, that potential to learn, was lost. Wikipedia put it quite nicely: “though it is unknown how many scrolls were housed at any given time, their combined value was incalculable.”
That word: incalculable, is pretty descriptive. Whenever I think about the Library of Alexandria, I daydream about the kinds of things that were there, and what we might know today if it had not all been destroyed. It makes me sad. So yes, even though it’s kind of funny to say, I really do think that it’s always too soon to joke about the destruction of the Library of Alexandria.
The original Library didn't have a website. The new one does:
On this day in history in 2002, the gorgeously amazing piece of architecture which is blessed to be the modern installment of this ancient wonder of the world was officially inaugurated. It sits right on the Mediterranean, and has many interesting features: the largest reading room in the world, the Espresso Book Machine (which prints books for you right when you want them), and various specialized libraries and museum exhibits.
750,000 square feet of reading space on eleven levels. I wonder how far a "Shhh!" carries.
It may not be the wealth of information that its ancient counterpart once was, but maybe someday it will be. In the meantime, it is a breathtaking piece of architecture that symbolizes the hope that the world could build a library like the one in ancient Alexandria.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fair Weather Friend

Annie and I have been friends for years. Well, I say “friends,” but sometimes I feel like we’re more like close acquaintances than anything else. I don’t mean to say that she wasn’t a blast to hang out with or that I didn’t enjoy her company. It’s just that sometimes I invite her out to do something, and she says no, without giving a very good reason.
We’ve gone on tons of adventures together: hiking picnics, swimming and water skiing, and once, we even went hang gliding. She always struck me as an outdoors sort of girl, but after seeing various pictures on social media, I realized that maybe she was only an outdoors person with me.
At first it sort of made me feel good. Like, I was her “athletic” friend that she went rock climbing and bungee jumping with. It’s not that I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t enjoy an afternoon at the aquarium, but Annie never wanted to go to the aquarium with me. There were plenty of pictures with her “BFF Steve” posing in front of hammerhead sharks, but the ones that featured my face were always taken at the top of a mountain or in front of a waterfall. After a while, I started to wonder why "BFF Steve" never went hiking with Annie; he looked like a fit guy in all the pictures of them together at the museum.
So one rainy Saturday, I called Annie up and invited her to an art gallery. “Sorry, I already have plans with Steve,” she said. “Want to do something next weekend? The weather’s supposed to be really nice.” The next weekend when we met to play Frisbee in the park, I surprised her with advance tickets to the opening night of a play she’d been dying to see. “Oh, it’s going to rain that night… I was planning to stay in,” she told me.
“I have an umbrella,” I said, smiling. “We can take a cab. I won’t let you melt.”
She frowned. “I think Steve and I have plans for a movie marathon.”
“Oh,” I said, trying not to sound as confused and disappointed as I felt. “I guess I’ve got some other friends I can ask.”
My sister Nicole tried to help me out with my Annie problem when she joined me at the play. “Maybe she’s just the kind of person who likes to make plans herself,” she said.
“I’ve invited her to go hiking lots of times. The only time she said no was once when the forecast said it might storm.”
“Well, that’s a legitimate reason not to go hiking.”
“Yeah, but why not come out to the play she really wanted to see?” I asked.
“She already had plans.”
“But that’s not the first excuse she gave me. She said it was going to rain.”
Nicole considered this. “Maybe… she gets depressed when it rains. Some people do. Maybe ‘BFF Steve’ doesn’t really exist and she’s just using plans with him as an excuse to avoid you when the weather’s bad.”
“But I’ve seen pictures of him,” I told her.
“Have you ever met him?” she asked.
“Not… really,” I admitted.
“Photoshop,” she pointed out.
“Look,” I told her during intermission. “Let’s stop by her place after this. Then we can see who’s right.”
“Won’t that be awkward?” she asked.
I shrugged, more curious than eager to be socially delicate at this point.
Annie was surprised when she opened her door. And it turned out that Nicole was right: it was awkward. Both Annie and I were embarrassed. I felt stupid because I had been determined to catch her in a lie, but it turned out that Steve was a really nice guy. He and Nicole filled in the uncomfortable silence with small talk, and eventually Annie invited us to stay for the rest of the movie they were watching. Steve volunteered to go grab some pizza, and after a look from Nicole, I decided to join him.
"So," he said, as we stood in front of the elevators on our way back to Annie's with our arms full of food. "You're Annie's fair weather friend."
"I'm... what?" I stuttered.
"You're the one she hangs out with when it's nice out," he clarified.
"Uh, yeah," I said, "I guess we do get together and do stuff outside a lot."
We rode quietly up to Annie's floor.
"What did you mean by 'fair weather friend?'" I asked as the elevator doors opened.
"That's what she called you when I asked her a couple of years back why she and I never went skydiving or spent a day at Disneyland." My confused look invited him to continue. He smiled. "I'm the one she enjoys hockey games with and the person who stays in to watch movie marathons with her. She saves me for rainy days. You're the one she runs marathons with and does Tai Chi with in the park. The one she shares sunshiny days with."
After a moment of stunned silence, I said, "That's... weird, right?"
Steve smiled again. "That's how I felt at first. I think she was surprised by my reaction, and maybe that's why she didn't tell you. I was convinced for the longest time that you didn't exist and she was just using my friendship as a way to feel better about herself when the weather was bad."
I still couldn't quite believe what he was saying. "It doesn't bother you that she'll only spend time with you when it's crappy out?" I asked.
He shrugged. "It's just Annie," he explained, pausing outside her door. "And I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend time with her when I can than not at all."
I followed him mutely inside, considering what he had said. As I watched Nicole chatting with Annie, I found myself agreeing with Steve. Annie was awesome, and I wasn't going to let a little personality quirk keep us from being friends. I'd just have to be content as her fair weather friend.
"Hey," I said when the movie's credits rolled. "Does anyone know what the weather's supposed to be like tomorrow?"

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Platter is Not a Metaphor

“What is this?” he said, leaning backward dangerously as he balanced on the counter.
“You’re going to fall, and when you do I’m going to laugh, and then probably have to call 911,” she replied, ignoring his question.
He placed one hand on the cabinet door and steadied himself. “When did we get this and what is it for?”
She spared a glance for the large misshapen platter he was brandishing. “We’ve had it forever. I don’t know; I think your aunt gave it to us.”
“Yeah but what is it.”
She rolled her eyes. “Isn’t it obvious? It’s one of those stupid egg plate things, like people use at Easter. Your mom has one. It looks like a bunny.”
“For deviled eggs?” he asked.
She nodded, warming her hands on her coffee cup.
“How come we never use it?”
“Why would we?” she asked.
I like deviled eggs,” he informed her.
“So wait until Easter and compliment your mom on her recipe. Maybe she’ll send some home with you.”
“Or,” he said, sounding as though he had just stumbled upon an important scientific discovery: “You could make some.”
She stared at him, the look on her face informing him that his proposal was not going to be approved.
“What?” he said. “It can’t be that hard. You just… I dunno, boil eggs? And then mix the yellow part with other stuff? Do we have any paprika?”
“What are you even doing up there, anyway?” she asked, possibly hoping to distract him with a different subject. “If you’re looking for the Oreos you hid up there three months ago, I ate them.” She turned to walk out of the room. “I ate them like two days after you hid them.”
He made a sound that properly expressed his outrage, but she was either too far away to hear or was ignoring him. “You can make it up to me by making deviled eggs!” he called.
“Do it yourself!” she called back.
He carefully climbed down from the counter, bringing the deviled egg platter with him and muttering mutinously. “I can’t believe you ate my Oreos.”

Friday, October 10, 2014

Reddit for Writing Prompts

“What’s everyone doing on this fine Tuesday?” she tweeted to her followers.
“I’m probably going to head over to tumblr and find a writing prompt,” I tweeted back.
“There’s a Reddit for Writing Prompts, too! If that helps!” she replied.
“Thanks, I’ll keep that around for future reference,” I assured her.
What is even
happening here
Then I googled “Reddit for Writing Prompts
Then I googled “seriously how do I even use reddit”
I generally tend to stay away from stuff online that will take a week and a half to learn how to navigate. And I’m even more apprehensive about reddit, which I only ever hear bad things about. It’s as though the entire website is holding a sign that says “abandon hope all ye who enter; here there be trolls.”
It’s even more intimidating because I know there’s a reddit for, like, everything. Cows? Probably. Chick Fil A? Most likely. Sandwiches? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Also I have no idea what’s going on with any of the millions of arrows all over the place. Am I supposed to use them to like/not like certain posts? There are too many, and I am afraid I will be overwhelmed by reddit's cascades of arrows.
Even though I’m weirded out by the confusing website and convinced half the people who use the site will be jerks to me, once I calm down enough to actually look at some of the writing prompts, it’s actually pretty cool. There are some good ideas, and not just for original fiction. Today I saw a suggestion for a Harry Potter/House M.D. fanfiction crossover, and another for a Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares/Breaking Bad fanfiction crossover. There were several ideas for “last person on earth” stories, and a few for scenarios involving characters being at the gates of heaven. The most interesting prompt was “A time traveller from the 1930s travels to modern day in his time machine and wonders why his invention never caught on.” But my favorite was “You are part of a powerful order of mages. Some control fire, others, water. You however... Have the power of bread. That's right, you're a bread mage. Tell me about your day.
So even though I’ll probably never sign up and actually learn how to use reddit, I might head over to the writing prompts if I ever need an idea, or just a laugh.