February 11, 2021 – Day 42

Creativity

Sometimes, when you’re world-building things just happen. You start working on something and the story takes a left-hand turn from where you thought you were going.

If you roll with it, you are what is called a ‘pantster’ because you are flying by the seat of your pants. If you meticulously layer things on, plan everything out to the Nth degree – you are a planner. There is nothing wrong with either process – the first allows for breathtaking plot twists, the second requires you to lay the seeds as they go and stick to the plan.

I fall somewhere in between – I have a general picture and a few major scenes in mind and I enjoy the journey from start to finish… but with pantsing – it’s hard to get things back and actually, you know… finish the story.

One of the things I love about FlashFiction is the fact that I write a complete story in a short period of time – I prune out every sub-plot and unnecessary bit of fluff to get to the meat of the story… and then after it’s done, I can put more meat on the skeleton– I can expand on things I wanted to write more about – it’s the difference between sculpting with a chisel, chipping away at a solid block and forming the artwork, and sculpting with something malleable, and building up the features.

Two very different approaches, but they both end in art. And the coolest thing – art begets art.

Today’s Prompt: Cut to the bone.

Go forth and create art!

February 10, 2021 – Day 41

Programming

One of the things I love about programming is solving puzzles – figuring out the best way to implement something to make life easier. The other part I love goes back to being a learning junkie – you have to learn whatever process you’re implementing if you’re going to get it right, but there is a creative side.

Whenever you write code -the first thing you learn is … how to write code and that usually involves the obligatory ‘Hello world!’ program. (It sounds exactly like it is)

The next piece, the creative piece is presenting information and actions in a way that pleases the user – it needs to be easy to use and you have to take things into consideration like people don’t always follow the script.

This is one of the reasons I love testing because I put myself in the shoes of someone who’s going to do the unexpected – they’re going to enter dates that don’t exist, they’re going to put characters where they don’t belong… they’re going to run with scissors.

But sometimes it’s fun, especially with digital assistants. People cuss, people are uncouth and ask inappropriate questions and you make contingencies for such things. But sometimes, people surprise you and I always appreciate that when the programmers take that into consideration.

The next time you use Alexa or Seri – give them the command to wake up and then, say ‘thank you.

Today’s Prompt: Plan for the unexpected

February 9, 2021 – Day 40

Anticipation

When I was young, I looked forward to things– I got excited about them and part of the enjoyment was that build-up. The only problem was the disappointment I experienced if/when things fell through.

I learned that life didn’t always go the way you planned and I prepared for that. It was practical and I didn’t experience the letdown, but the things I enjoyed were tarnished they happened and then were gone – there was no build-up, no ‘this was everything I expected…’ moments

It was a trade-off. As a writer you try not to let your readers down – you want everything that happens to add to the excitement, add to the appreciation of the ultimate reward.

I‘ve started looking foward to things again, getting excited about upcoming events– and then the pandemic hit. Irony, the guiding force in my life sometimes…

Today’s Prompt: Things not going according to plans– in the best way possible

February 8, 2021 – Day 39

Inspiration

Inspiration means to give life to something… be it an idea, a story, or another human being.

We are a storytelling people – no matter where we come from, our ancestors told stories. They told stories to explain what they couldn’t understand. They told stories to teach what they did understand, and they told the stories because the nights are long and we crave something more.

In many cultures it was the storyteller who held great power – Teach, learn, entertain but most importantly, inspire.

Today’s Prompt: A world without heroes

February 6, 2021 – Day 37

Resolution

Resolution is an interesting word – you can make a resolution, magnification comes in degrees of resolution – I guess what I’m really looking for is clarity.

When I was a child, there were absolutes. A lot of them were taught to me by example. Those absolutes are a lot less clear now, but I still hold those lessons close to my heart.

You can tell people what they should or shouldn’t do– or you can live it. There’s that slogan ‘Dance like no one is watching…’ I say love like the world is ending. In the end, every rule we’re taught is about loving each other.

Today’s Prompt: Coming into focus

February 5, 2021 – Day 36

Feeding the Monsters

Monsters thrive when you feed them. Every troll, every bully is looking for someone weaker than they are, and they come in every size, shape, and type.

Fear mongers play on your fears, bullies play on your weaknesses and insecurities. I was lucky – I grew up with a very long stubborn streak and the ability to not see things I didn’t want to see.

Sometimes you starve the monsters by yelling back at them, sometimes that only makes them bolder. The key is knowing your monsters.

Today’s Prompt: You have to know what you’re fighting

February 4, 2021 – Day 35

Thought and Memory

Odin had two ravens, Huginn (thought) and MuninnĀ (memory). Every day they would fly out over the world and report what they saw to Odin and thus he was kept informed.

In one of the poems of the Edda, it’s said that -‘For Hugin I fear lest he come not home, But for Munin, my care is more.’

I think it’s interesting that there is concern for thought not returning, but losing memory is worse… I’m hard-pressed to say which is worse.

Today’s Prompt: Two Aspects of being – which is more important?

February 3, 2021 – Day 34

Value

We put a lot of value on different things depending on our circumstances. We value our time, our lives, friend’s opinions… they have different values, just as there are different forms of love.

We value what we cannot produce ourselves, and I know I tend to devalue something I can do. It doesn’t really make sense, but then neither does chasing down little pieces of paper.

Except of course when you don’t have them.

Today’s Prompt: Wanting

February 2, 2021 – Day 33

Favorite things

It’s funny – We all have our preferences – there’s nothing wrong with that but it can be an interesting statement?

My husband loves pilot pens – he likes the way they feel and the way they flow. In college my favorite pen was a Zebra steel barreled refillable pen – find point/ ballpoint.

These days it’s a Frixion (Pilot) .05 gel ink pen that is friction erasable (Heat and water will also erase it.

Sometimes I wonder what my pen choice says about me, but mostly I’m busy trying to find where I left it.

Today’s Prompt: Favorites