It was the night before my son’s graduation from college. His fraternity, the second oldest at the university, had invited the parents to their house for an evening of merriment and revelry. My husband, my mother and I all ventured into the lovely old house with a bit of trepidation. He had lived there for two and a half years. We knew what to expect inside.
I mean, the house was well over one hundred years old and had housed some 25 young men every year for at least 100 of them. A house in such disrepair, they were in the midst of raising money to do a massive renovation. (They were successful!) A house that had a party every Saturday and a thorough cleaning before house meetings every Wednesday. (I never understood that delay...)
And we were going to spend time in the basement. A basement on which one fraternity brother had done an experiment earlier that year. Taking a sample of basement sludge after a normal Saturday night, he brought it to his professor’s lab. Some two weeks later, the professor said don't tell me where you got that from, but it is hazardous.
A basement that smelled like Clorox with a hint of I am going to be ill.
I guess all of that was in my mind as we entered the house and walked down the rickety stairs. My mother stayed on the stairs (in her mind, a little fresh air could be felt there, ha, and she still had a perfect view of the main room.) There were several offshoots from the main, and every room had a ping pong table.
All of those thoughts evaporated when I was persuaded to play ping pong.Or, rather, beer pong.
For the first time in my life.
It was a tournament: mother and son against mother and son. My son was the reining champion in the house. I, as I mentioned, had never played.
I got a crash course and the rules were slightly modified: I was allowed to not drink the beer on a missed shot (not a fan) and the boys were allowed to make us mothers feel better by not drinking the beer in the cups in which balls that had bounced on the wet floor were hit. (Vomit.) They kept cups on the side for the drinking. Lol.
Something you should know about me: I laugh a lot. Loudly. Also, when it comes to sports, I can be very competitive. And, when I play (or watch) sports, I scream alot. :-)
By the end of our match, all the players from other rooms had stopped their games to watch ours.
This picture was taken by another parent. An amateur photographer, that night, he took some of the best action shots I’ve ever seen. This is my favorite.
As you may be able to tell from my expression, my son and I won. And then he and my husband went on to also win in the dad/son tournament. And my husband and I both had the same winning shot. :-)
If I were to guess, I would say my thoughts then were very similar to the ones evoked every time I look at the picture: I have never had so much fun.
Another Wednesday, another Roundtable, where writer’s express themselves and where you can get to know the person behind the pen better than before, or perhaps become a new reader to the work shared here.
And I say this with a bit of pride, this particular edition marks Roundtable's first full year
year since its reemergence. Thhis never wouldn't have been possible were it not for two things: those Proser's who agreed to do this, and you, the reader. So, I thank ye all for the support. And at the very bottom is a special announcement I would like for you to read. A few of you already have but many more haven't and again, I thank ye one and all.
With that said, step inside and see who we have this month.
I have a few more people whose doors I will be knocking on before long, and don’t be surprised if I stop by your own Prose door to ask you to take part in Roundtable Wednesday.
This month, it is my privilege to introduce GLD to all of you. She hails from South Africa, a lover of music, books, and people. She invests her time with strong friendships and has a wonderful sense of humor.
… and if you are unfamiliar with her, read a few things she has written, for trust me on this, you have been missing out on some quality writing.
At the end of this, I have a very special message for you. A few of you have already seen this but others haven’t
Let us begin ….
Can you shed some light about yourself that other people here can get a feel for who you are?
Who am I? Hmm…Supposedly, I am an “adult”…but I’m positive that I’m being mislabeled and that I’m still a teenager having to start learning how life should be navigated.
I really don’t know what else to say about myself…It feels like there is so much to me, and yet so little. Hmm…I’m a daydreamer, I’m the eldest child in my household, the eldest grandchild, I’m the awesome older cousin, I’m adventurous, I’m quiet, I’m talkative, I’m a jokester, I’m a philosopher, I’m a singer, I’m a writer, I’m a reader, I’m a friend…I love planning, I hate being restricted by my own plans. I love being home alone, but I also love to be out in town; I love to be alone, but I also love to be spending time with people (My conclusion is: I’m an introverted extrovert).
I’m…like a picture puzzle that has more than enough colors and items in the picture to leave you feeling like this will be a difficult build...There’s more to me than just five of the pieces (No, I’m not a puzzle builder; I’m the person to walk by, grab a piece while somebody else is building, and try to fit it in, before I move on with my life).
Writer’s write, it’s what we do, but what do you see as your strong point, or motivation to write?
My motivation to write…Hmm…I guess my motivation is that I can’t live without writing. Every day, so many stories get to live inside of my head. And I can’t live with them just staying there; I need to see them on paper, at least for some peace of mind. I want to write, I have to write, because I need for people to feel and experience this story as I have experienced it in my mind.
The very first thing you ever wrote, if you remember it, how did it come about?
Wrote or made up? I couldn’t possibly be expected to remember the first thing I ever wrote. Okay, I could be expected, but I can’t remember. Before I got into writing, I drew stories. I used to draw the whole tale, being very particular about ages. I don’t know what it was about ages…My characters just had to HAVE them. The ages would be marked above the heads of the characters. It’s amusing, but it helped me, I guess, in some sense.
After that, I moved on to ‘paper dolls’; characters I drew and cut out, having them act out stories in a book of settings that I drew (Yes, I wasn’t much of an outside person). I loved writing stories for schoolwork. But the first story I can remember writing was some detective series that I wanted to write. I think I got to Chapter 2 (I never read Nancy Drew by that time, and I wished to tell a thrilling mystery in my own language). That didn’t work out, but I’m still secretly clinging to the wish of grabbing those papers from whichever drawer I stuffed them in (I hope I didn’t throw them away) and blowing life into that idea again someday.
Who are your favorite authors and please; give us a few names?
Jane Austen, Kristen Hogrefe Parnell, and Georgette Heyer. I adored Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Emma, and Mansfield Park was also a great book. I’ve only recently been introduced to Georgette Heyer. Her mystery, Detection Unlimited, was so well-written! Her style; just beautiful. Having reached the end of it, I’m still not sure if I’m furious at myself for having been tricked into suspecting so many others but the actual criminal, or if I’m in awe at how she did it. She wrote it masterfully; her characters were amazing! She really had a grasp on crafting believable, and very fun, characters. And then, Mrs. Parnell…She has two trilogies, young adult fiction: Wings of the Dawn and The Rogue Series. She is a great writer who captured me in her works, kept me swiping to the next page. Best thing is I know her personally, and she has helped me grow as a writer through my school’s writing club. I have at least two more favorite authors, but I can’t actually recommend their works since they aren’t in English. Which means everybody out there is missing out on some of the best books in this world.
A thing for me, though, is that I’m not always paying attention to the authors; I pay attention to the works. There are great books out there, and I might not remember the author, but I WILL remember the novel if I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Any favorite songs/artists you listen to that set a tone for you when writing?
Oh, what a question! The easiest way for me to answer is this way: I have so many favorites, I could write a light novel on all my favorite artists and songs. I like listening to my music shuffled; love that ‘shuffle’ setting. You never know which song to expect next. But, I can say that I adore Michael Bublé, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Backstreet Boys, Il Divo, Queen, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Lee Brice, Keith Urban, Bonnie Tyler, Taylor Swift and so on and so on.
From the Baroque period to this present moment in time, I find songs to love from each period and era. I honestly can’t settle on one genre, on one style, on one artist, or anything. My taste for music is as much over the place as my mind is. And when I’m writing…I guess it depends on my mood, what is currently playing, if I’m even paying attention to the music, and lastly what I’m writing.
Do you have any literary work on tap for publication, or have you been published?
No, I’ve never been published, and at present I have nothing “on tap for publication.” I have many different ideas for novels, but not one has gone from idea to outline to finished novel. First few chapters have been written, but the end has never been reached. I consider it to be just another learning experience, until I can find the story whose plot I don’t end up losing a few chapters in.
Is there any one particular book you have read you would recommend others to read?
Gosh…I can’t pin it down to one book…I think I might have to say Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. Well, I’ve got the tales compiled into one book, and those tales would make these fantasy worlds come alive for young me; these fairy tales were my secret pleasure as a child. I think a lot of us could use that moment of disappearing into these awesome fairytale worlds; just forgetting about reality for those few minutes.
When you aren’t writing, what do you do that pays the bills?
I’m not yet having to pay bills, and I’m internally crying out praises of thanks for that. Yes, the thought of paying bills and all that leaves me almost sick; no, I’m not being overdramatic, not this time. By the time, this Roundtable Wednesday…premieres? Let’s use that word. By the time this premieres, I’ll be a recently graduated student. After that, I’ll have to think about getting a job, but for now I’m just enjoying my little bit of freedom from the usual adult stresses.
Why did you join Prose and how long have you been a Proser?
October 27, 2020. No, I don’t remember that I joined back then; I looked up my first post a few weeks ago. Why did I join? THAT…is an excellent question…I was looking for a platform with writing challenges, I do believe. I’ve done it before in the past, but I guess that week, I finally made the decision to join one. My pick fell on Prose. I’ve never regretted my choice. Being able to flee to Prose and write (or message friends I made here) might have saved me in a way.
When you hear the term “less is more” … what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Less stress, more joy. I think we could all use that in our lives.
Are there places as far as social media accounts, perhaps your own website you would like Proser’s to be aware of where you can be found?
No, I don’t want Prosers to know where else they can find me. Ahem, that to say, there is no other place to find me. I have no social media accounts and no website. Why? Websites are work (okay, I haven’t given it a LOT of thought) and I am very happy with the people I am in contact with already. Also, I’ve just never been interested in any social media platforms. One more thing: time. I don’t have time for other forms of social media; I’m far too busy keeping my friends occupied with my messages, and daydreaming the rest of the time.
Hmm…Where would I begin?! I’m not a very structured person, so a hobby, for me, is something I enjoy doing, but I might only rediscover it every other month. The list does include the following: reading, writing, drawing, listening to music, singing, dancing, listening to podcasts, messaging friends, playing Playstation with my sister, playing the piano, composing, researching something about psychology or personalities, learning something totally new and random (that is a hobby, trust me), discovering new words or quotes, walking outside, spontaneous sprints, taking photos, sweeping the floor, watching movies, quoting movies, watching movie documentaries, learning languages, sometimes knitting…Hobbies are difficult for me to choose. I generally have so many because I love experiencing things, and also because I struggle to stick to one thing (except for music and writing; I can’t seem to leave them alone). Let’s just say that I can make anything a hobby, and I’m still planning on putting surfing, ice skating, deep-sea diving, traveling, and flying planes/helicopters on that list. “Any day now…” (as quoted from…I believe it would be Turbo).
What is the single most thing you like?
Dark chocolate. Need there be more said?
What one thing do you really dislike?
Traitors. I don’t even mean traitors of a country. I mean people who betrayed you, an individual; people who betrayed your trust.
With Covid surrounding us, what advice would you want to share with people?
Stay sane, people, and leave the mischief and trouble for me. Just kidding. Hmm…I guess: Stay sane, yes, and don’t let this time break down who you are. Don’t let it be an excuse for why you can’t do what you have been dreaming of doing. Whatever you wish to accomplish, know that it can be done! Maybe not right now, but you sure as hell can start preparing for that day when you will be able to take flight and flee from these cages of isolation.
If you could offer up one piece of advice for other writers, what would it be?
Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep, just keep, just keep writing. I sound like Dory, but I do mean that. No matter how terrible, forge ahead. Oh, and learn to write without trying to edit. Just push through and leave editing for later (which kind of ties in with the “just keep writing;” write without filtering what comes out from those fingertips).
Lastly, your favorite quote?
“This will all make sense when I am older.” ~ Olaf. Okay, yes, that’s from a song. I like it because it makes me smile every time, but I’m not sure if it would count. Hmm…a favorite quote that is not from a song…“To thine own self be true.” ~ Polonius, from Hamlet.
Thank ye ever so much for taking center stage here at Roundtable, GLD. As with those before you, and those to follow, it was a treat to get to know a wee bit more about what runs through your thoughts.
Now, as with those before, GLD hasn’t a clue as to which of her writings I have placed here. When she and I first discussed this, she said she would pick five to see if she would be able to guess which one I would use. Let’s see if she may guess right.
Visit her page, read her work. It’s entertaining and entertainment at its best. Especially her series, “The Sun Will Rise Again.”
And now, a portion of her work.
You’re My Everything
You’re the thunder to my lightning
The water drops in my rain
The clouds in my blue, blue sky
And the golden rays in my sunshine
You’re everything I need
Everything I want
Everything I could ask for
Everything I could dream of
Yes, the flowers in my bouquet
The lyrics to my songs
The hero in my nightmares
The keeper of my heart
You’re my everything when I wake up
Everything when I go to sleep
You’ll be my everything tomorrow
For those who have not seen this page: prosersunited.mailchimpsites.com ....
For those of you who have, I hope from time to time you read it again.
For almost a year, I have been doing a daily “Weird Holiday” posting, with some of the most off the wall things that shouldn’t be a holiday but is classified (and I use that word loosely) as such.
About two months ago, I thought, why can’t we have our own special day as well. Hence, Proser’s United became our day.
I created this as my way of saying we are all in this together regardless of any differences we may have. We all need “our day” to single us out for what we do.
If you ever need to be reminded for what you do, just go back there, and read it again and again and again. Believe in what you do and believe in who you are.
It’s as simple as that.
going back a ways...
“Which friend you’re with right now is the best?” is a losing question, I learned on a playground, so I hope @Danceinsilence will forgive a variation that remains in the spirit of the challenge. Instead of trying to pick a favorite present Prose writer, I’ll name someone long gone who I always hope will return.
@cassfelliott, man. I want to read more stories by @cassfelliott. “The Whirlwind” remains the most gripping piece of horror I can recall reading on Prose. It’s here: https://theprose.com/post/319799/the-whirlwind The scenario, the imagery, the reveal are all unforgettable, and the story does that thing great horror does: it imprints upon some common experience and shades it in your memory. I had occasion to go on a waterslide last week. Definitely thought of “The Whirlwind.”
@cassfelliott is probably on to bigger, better things, but I always hope a burst of notifications will get us one more story.
In this picture, you see me about to go for a pickup. the photo was taken in the cold january 2020 morning, when the quarentine in Wuhan was just recently instated. no one knew anything about transmission of the covid 19 virus at the time and we were much in a panic. i am wearing swimming goggles, as it was rumored to be transmitttable through soft tissues, like eyes. the jacket covering my head is not just a precaution against the cold either. i was also wearing gloves, and nylon bags over my shoes.
these excursions were very rare, and limited to walking to the front gate of the residential block that i lived in, where the grocery van brought vegetables. you did not get a choice of what to buy, everything was prepacked, take it or leave it. the supermarkets did the same with dry goods and toileteies. some people got very confusing items along with their soap. but considering the fact that nothing was set up prior to deliver things to EVERYONE, then this ensured that people got at least the basics.
i remember a lot of things going through my mind:
1) the swimming goggles were an improvment on my old pair, which is more like a scuba goggle. they fogged up and made things even more difficult. so first thought- gratitude that we somehow found the older pair, which were uncomdortable in the pool, but at least made me look slightly less ridiculous.
2) i remember thinking how at the end of this excursion my wife and baby will need to go and hide in the bedroom, until i took everything off, and it was in the washer, bathing in a ton of laundry detergent, and me scrubbing myself in the bathroom. only after i was in the bath could they come out with reasonable safety. my thought- maybe we should also mop the floor with disinfectant. but of course alcohol was more expensive then gold. (we had a stock of stuff before as i was crazy a long time before covid..)
3) i wonder what surprise the grocery guy will bring? turnips? cabbage? carrots? i was desperate for a tomato or cucumber, as they were rarely sent over.
as i said much was not known of the virus and how thos sickness spreads and kills. all that people knew back then was that it was dangerous and that you need to take precautions.
which is why after more than a year of this crap, i feel absolute rage, contempt, and disgust when i read about people who have the means to protect themselves with masks, and vaccines, who still choose to not take these very basic precautions. this is a subject of gross neglect, irresponsibility and stupidity on an absurd level!! the fact that vaccinations and masks are still a political divide in some parts of the world, and a question of supply and demand in other, poorer places , just infuriates me! this is not really a question of freedom any more. abnoxious or reckless behavior can be tolarated and accepted as part of the rich tapestry that makes up a society. however a society that cant provide protection from dangers to its members is in serious danger or even doomed. the masks that people refuse to put on, mostly as a protest over some imaginary repression is not different from letting people get drunk and high and start plowing the road with their cars. no one has an objection to the police pulling them over, and at least giving them a heavy ticket, if not arresting them. the same rigor of enforcement, should be applied to vaccination and masks. countries that have limited resources to deal and provide these simple precautions should receive aid to that effect. it is much cheaper to srnd a billion dollars worth of vaccines , gloves and masks, than a billion dollars worth of smart bombs. and oeople will aporeciate the latter much less than the former. plus the benefit is at least as great.
Class of 2021
I took this selfie right before my previous Pre-K class had their graduation ceremony. Due to the pandemic it was Zoom only (which can arguably be a bigger challenge because I wouldn't be able to see the reactions of the families watching), and I was heading in with nervous excitement. Besides having to give a brief speech about the school year, I was also hoping that everything would go well with my 4 and 5 year old students being able to walk in as orderly as those of that age can, and also sit still long enough as well as those in that age group can. Besides being nervous, I was also excited to see my students graduate, and I felt proud of all of us for getting through a school year during a pandemic. Everything did go well and a good time was had by all. In the picture my glasses were initally foggy from wearing the mask and getting out of the car, which is always fun for a glasses character like myself.
Pretending To Be A King
As someone who reads a lot of Wikipedia pages about royals, I thought of how would it go if I would pose like them in their portraits.
So at my grandmother’s house one time, I requested my sister to picture me in a pose fit for royalty. And there at the third floor of the house, a few shots of me were captured. And in those moments, I do felt like a king.
However, it should be taken note that it’s just pretend; after all, I’m not a royal. As seen in the picture, my scepter was actually a hanger rod, and although it wasn’t seen, I was actually wearing a red muscle shirt back then. Most notably, I wasn't wearing any crown on my head.
Always Read the Challenge First. Always.
It surprised me not to find this name when I skimmed through the challenge entries: @Clarity. If you had known me for a while, you might know that I am a mad fan of her work. She is not around these days. But she was, is, and forever will be one of my favourite writers on Prose. Her novels are a must-read. Her ideas are ingenious. And if you still haven’t read her works, my friend, you are missing out.
I am trapped. Will keep it short.
@GLD: She changed me as a writer, and furthermore, as a person. I think that says a lot.
@Mnezz: She is the lifeblood of Prose. Period.
@Danceinsilence: I have said this before, and I will say this again. Since the day I met this man, I have never felt the lack of a proper father figure in my life. And, less is more.
I’m honestly a big fan of the stuff that @rlove327 produces. He’s got a lot of natural talent and an obvious knowledge of the technical skill that comes with writing academically or professionally. I am always flattered when he compliments something that I’ve written because I respect him a lot as a fellow writer.
He consistently creates well-crafted pieces that remind me of novels I studied in school, though he has a voice of his own. There have been a few times when I’ve seen him enter challenges that he didn’t win and felt floored because of the quality of his submission. Art is subjective, though. Even the best writers are faced with rejection, and that’s okay!
There are a lot of really great writers here on Prose who don’t get a ton of attention but it would be great for y’all to show some love to rlove!
Amazing People Whose Things You Must Read
HelenaTherese is the embodiment of sunshine and contagious joy. Her pieces will make you come away with a new appreciation for how beautiful the world is
Read this and I guarantee you will smile: https://theprose.com/post/400652/just-the-two-of-us
I will never fail to be surprised at PaperbackFish's ability to freeze feelings into words
I've read this piece at least 10 times and it destroys me every time: https://theprose.com/post/417878/drowning-because-maybe-you-ll-meet-me-down-there-at-the-bottom-of-the-ocean
HandsOfFire is an artist, that's all I have to say about it
I could never pick a favorite post, but here's one that will steal the air from your lungs: https://theprose.com/post/435507/the-blue
If you haven't read one of DoveRaptor's poems, I quite truly have no words. Just read all of them as soon as possible
This is painfully relatable and beautiful: https://theprose.com/post/415101/soda
JaneF writes absolutely everything, and writes it all absolutely wonderfully
Here is something amazing: https://theprose.com/post/358886/roses-and-thorns
I just moved in with my boyfriend and we have this lovely rooftop patio I like to read and write on - and take the occasional selfie on.
We live in Silicon Valley. He’s a techie at a big company and I’m a writer. We live happily with our (my) corgi.
But this isn’t a biography. It’s a picture, of me. And I’m happy. Happy to be here in sunny ol’ California.
As unhappy as my writing is, I’d like to say that I’m this picture, I’m beaming.