Honor System

Prompt: Honor


Hello Wednesday,

It was my parents’ wedding anniversary yesterday. Were they still alive, it would have been their… 700th or so, which is not diamond or paper anniversary but I believe is celebrated by presenting one another with life-viable planets. I mean, it has to be extra-special to stay wed for so long, right?

So they would each have had possession of a planet that could conceivably be a location for, say, space vacations, providing there was a water slide or similar amenity. Either one could also act as a back-up planet for this one, for a reasonable fee. If only all anniversary symbols were so practical.

They would get to name their planets. My mother would probably call hers “Sophie” while my dad would likely go for “Omphaloskepsis” or other cool-sounding, obscure word, since he liked puzzles and dictionaries. He liked dictionaries he could hold in his hand, not Google search screens. At my parents’ home there was a shelf under the living room window stocked with several dictionaries, a three-volume encyclopedia, almanac, Book of World Records, Thesaurus, atlas, and a French-English dictionary (we’re Canadian, what can I say). These books were called Argument Stoppers.

My mother liked words too but preferred the meditative arts to crossword puzzles: she embroidered, knit, crocheted, quilted, baked, canned.. and basically excelled at all the lost arts. Planet Sophie would look nice and have great food.

If my parents were here with me now, in my humble living room, my mother would be doing handwork by the fire and my dad would be working on a cryptic crossword, surrounded by Argument Stoppers, occasionally challenging me with a clue. My mother would also be doling out advice— strangely enough, advice I likely asked for. She was good at advice.

I would be here at my laptop, missing them terribly.

Well now, in honour of honour, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons that honour the prompt’s American spelling, “honor”?

cartoon tsa honor

cartoon trump honor

cartoon alleged killer whale


Peace and love,

~~FP

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Pill Popping

Prompt: Addiction


Hello Wednesday,

nano banner 2019

What? No. No! Noooooooo!

I won’t say the following: “What happened to the year?” “WTF?” “I have no clue what to write.” “Should I do this again?” But I promise you, I am thinking those things.

What I will say out loud is that I am ever and always surprised at my reaction to Nanowrimo: my supreme dread and my subsequent commitment to it.

National Novel Writing Month is an annual event wherein new, middling, experienced, or even non- writers decide to participate in a 30 day challenge: to write a 50,000 word novel. The only rule is that you don’t start putting pen to paper until 12:01 am November 1 and succeed if you have at least 50k words by midnight November 30. What you write and how you write and whether you prepare your plot and scenes or write by the seat of your pants is all up to you.

If you choose to jump in, you would go to the website, sign up, and share your progress, chat (if you want to) with other participants via the many forums, and either miss the bus or celebrate your victory, often with Winners’ Offers more substantial than the certificate of success (which I always download and wave around like a fool).

Truth be told, I really would love to give the whole thing a pass this year, but it seems my family and friends are addicted to my annual participation. Any day now I will be getting queries and pep talks. Sigh.

Speaking of addiction, which is today’s prompt, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon popped pills

cartoon staff picks

cartoon addicted rats


Love, peace, and pushy friends,

~~FP

Quick Nap

Prompt: Comfort


Hello Wednesday!

As summer turns to autumn we all put on a cheerful front and declare our love of brown leaves and claim to adore the crisp cold air. At the same time we are chilled and miserable and damp as we put on scratchy socks for the first time since summer and fold up our patio furniture, relegating it to dark corners of the garage.

It’s a comfort issue. Warm breezes are more comfortable than chill ones, bare toes prefer to wiggle freely, an ice-cold drink on a hot day is only marginally rivalled by a hot drink on a bone-chilling near-winter day.

Wait. Those hot steamy mugs sipped while gathered round a fire are almost the definition of comfort. Perhaps we need the un-comfort to truly revel in comfort. Yin and yang, and all that.

In any case, I don’t feel ready for hot chocolate just yet. I would still refer a frosted glass of rosé enjoyed while basking in the illusion of endless summer. For now, anyway.

On the subject of comfort, I’ve been busy writing/compiling an ebook to publish on Kindle, a definite step out of my comfort zone since while publishing is a glorious goal, self-doubt and and impostor-syndrome follow me around too. So I am going to get this book written (it’s a fun guide to setting up a kitchen and pantry for newbies) and out there just to shatter the mystique of publishing. If you like, I’ll announce its launch here when it is on it’s first free Amazon promo.

In the meantime, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, very loosely related to today’s prompt, “comfort”?

 

cartoon cat schedule

 

cartoon old cat

 

cartoon crocs


Peace and comfort,

~~FP

I appreciate your concern

Prompt: Thank you


Dear Wednesday,

Today is the 18th anniversary of 9/11, one of those events that are monuments in our memory— we will always remember where we were and what we were doing when the planes crashed into the towers.

I was roused from my bed in Houston, Texas, with the words, “You need to see this.” We had visitors from the UK, who had passed through Newark airport at the same time as the terrorists responsible for the carnage on the television.

That day we went ahead with our plans to drive to San Antonio. Firemen stood at the side of the road as we drove in, each holding a huge rubber boot. They wanted donations for the first responders.

Like everyone, we were numbed by the experience, and today the same visitors are with us here in tiny town. There is a pall of remembrance hanging over the house.

I wish there was something that 9/11 taught us, or added to our consciousness, or which caused us to seek real answers in a troubled world. But no, it turned out to be mainly a political opportunity for the craven and greedy. Whatever our hearts tell us about that day remains deep inside, private and personal.

But it is Wednesday, and the prompt is “thank you”, and sure, I am grateful that the loss of life was less than it might have been that day, that I am back living in Canada, that the sun is shining, and that it is the day that I present a few of my favourite cartoons.

May I?

cartoon thank you email

cartoon thank you croaking

cartoon cat thank you


Peace and peace,

~~FP

When it’s an elephant

Prompt: Rely


Dear Wednesday,

There’s nothing like a sleepless night to fill your head with possibilities, as long as you don’t rely on your memory to remember the crazy or brilliant ideas that percolate in the head in the wee hours. I was careful the other night and wrote this down: “Alphabet. Every.” Would have been nice if I had elaborated a little. I think it had something to do with each letter of the alphabet having a character of its own which can act as a portal to deeper understanding of the patterns of life. Or something.

In a dream I had, I and a small group were assigned the letter “F” to discover. We were puzzled at the assignment, and started off with a list (for some reason) of fish that started with the letter F, like flounder and flatfish (is that a kind of fish?). Further brainstorming brought us to freedom and friendship, and we were well on the way to defining the character of of the letter F.

It made sense at 3 a.m.

In any case, I may use use this alphabet idea, such as it is, as a kind of writing exercise when I’m stuck for inspiration.

Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which is tangentially related to the prompt, “rely”, even if the others then wander off on a tangent?

cartoon elephant sticky notes

cartoon elepnant in room

cartoon hippo in room


Peace, love, and friendship,

~~FP

Staff Picks

Prompt: Movies


Dear Wednesday,

For a birthday treat as a child, I was allowed to invite six of my closest companions to go and see Disney’s 1001 Dalmations. What with one thing and another we arrived so late to the theater that the only seats left to accommodate us all sitting together were in the front row.

Wow.

There are drug-free psychedelic experiences to be had all around us if you let them happen! Have you ever bit into a pepper so hot that your eyes rolled back and you saw stars and almost lost consciousness? Psychedelia! Have you ever donned scuba gear and plunged into deep water only to discover that you didn’t know any more which way was up or down or left or right and felt like you were likely to die in a floating, gravity free world just like the one you left when you were born? Bad trip! Have you ever laid flat on your back in the countryside on a clear night and seen so many stars that they suddenly envelop your body and spirit and you drift into concurrent significance and insignificance? Woot!

Or just stare at a chunk of Romanesco for awhile, and see if that doesn’t pry the lid off the top of your head and allow delicious madness to creep in. Cheap thrills!

romanesco

In the spirit of madness and movies, may I now present a few of my favourite cartoons related to that theme?

cartoon movie popcorn

cartoon movie shoelaces

cartoon movie heads


Peace, love, and fractal vegetables,

~~FP

Hoops

Prompt: School


Hello Wednesday,

Do you find sometimes that the most valuable lessons you learned were in primary and elementary school? I mean actual academics, not lessons about sharing and communication, since I’m not sure I learned anything of great value about life in any stage of school.

But addition and multiplication tables— all that repetition mostly stuck. And cursive handwriting— once out of fashion but now sneaking back into curricula— and all the practices hoops and lines, page after page.  It comes in handy— it’s like a kind of speedwriting when compared to printing, and is simpler and more personal than keyboarding. I’m not forgetting spelling and reading, though I think it’s often true that we learn our love of reading despite early school lessons, unless the methods and resources have changed. Have they?

I honestly don’t remember early school as a series of life lessons. I was already familiar with bullies of all ages. Sure, I had to share during recess, but I’d already learned that at home with three brothers and sisters, though it’s also one of the earliest playground lessons, if you don’t want to get beat up. The conning of teachers was an early learned skill; I used to play the “cute” card a lot as a wee girl, while not even knowing what “manipulation” meant. One thing that was drilled into me was obedience to authority, and that was a lesson that did not serve me well as I matured. It allowed me to abandon responsibilities, turn away from injustice, and accept the unacceptable.

School was never, sadly, a bright glorious light for me, even though as a typical young child I professed to “love” school and adore my teachers. It was a more a part of an inescapable routine, frequently boring, sometimes enlightening, less frequently stimulating and challenging. And of course, it kept us off the street, where we might get up to thieving and pillaging.

I think in general schools have changed for the better (at least in where I live), but I would like to know more. I have teacher friends— I suppose it’s time I hauled them in for an interrogation. I never learned how to interrogate in school… but neither did they.

On the topic of “school”, may I now present a few of my favourite cartoons loosely related?

cartoon summer vacation

cartoon math blackboard

cartoon teacher money


Peace, fuzz, and uniform hoops,

~~FP