Why I Write (or Think I Do)

Just WriteI usually write one-liners—sort of a joke and punch line in one. Twitter and Facebook have provided an excellent platform for these. Taking on a blog has provided me a greater challenge, along with an interesting and learning experience. Gathering inspiration from other bloggers, writers, and daily prompts has opened up a territory in my creative brain that hasn’t been tapped for eons. Among other sources, I found wonderful staff and bloggers at Blogging University (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/blogging-university/) who provide new bloggers/writers with courses, from getting one’s feet wet to full immersion. The courses I started out with are reinforcing things I already knew along with teaching me new and wonderful blog possibilities.

One of the daily course e-mails prompted students to post “Why I Write” on their blog. I pondered this for a while and read other student bloggers’ posts on the subject. Many of them are hoping to eventually write a great novel. Others desire to write about specific subjects, like cooking, art, or parenting. None of those were in my list of goals. But I found a blogger, Suzie Speaks, who nailed it exactly with some of the reasons I write, yet put it in much better words than I could. In fact, I printed her post to place on the bulletin board over my desk as a reminder of these reasons. You can read Suzie Speaks’ blog post here: http://suzie81speaks.com/2015/09/15/eight-reasons-why-i-write/

To add my own bullet points to make the list my own:

  • To get thoughts out of my head.
    (Some of those who know me might be surprised to find out there are a lot of thoughts in there!)
  • My friend asked me to blog with her.
    (She’s probably regretting that right now.)
  • Sometimes, I have something to say.
    (Disclaimer: Many of these ‘somethings’ may or may not be very interesting.)
  • My right brain likes to take over sometimes.
    (There is a lot of fighting for ‘king of the hill’ in my brain.)

These four along with the writing process, sharing, therapeutic, a chance to have my voice heard, enjoyment, feeling of belonging, legacy, and reflection are all reasons I write.

Do you write? Why? What inspires you?

~J

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Pediophobia

doll faceWhen I was about four or five years old, my father brought home a baby doll for me. Since I don’t remember having any before then, I assume this was my first doll. It must have been a portentous moment because I can remember it so vividly. I held the doll for a while, looking it over closely while Daddy smiled down at me. He appeared to be more excited about the doll than I. We didn’t have much money, so there weren’t many toys in the house. Daddy worked for a railroad agency and, occasionally, shipments would go unclaimed. Sometimes, after the appropriate amount of time had passed without the items being claimed, employees were allowed to choose one item from the lot and the rest was sold. Daddy usually brought home sensible things, like dishes, blankets, etc., but this time he thought of me and brought home a doll. The doll was made of a combination of hard and soft plastic with no hair and wore a stiff pink dress. It came with a tiny baby bottle to place in the ‘O’ shaped mouth, and its eyes closed when you laid it down.

I held my new baby doll for the duration of Daddy’s joy for the evening. At bedtime, I placed the doll on the sofa and, as far as I know, never picked it up again. My friends had dolls and we’d play ‘house’ with them, but I was never the ‘Mommy’—always the big sister. I never felt the desire to have a doll of my own. To me, a baby doll was something to be played with in a group of friends at someone else’s house. My imagination stopped there. I don’t know if my dad ever knew how I felt about that doll. I wish he was still alive now so I could ask him.

As I grew up, I thought of that doll frequently, yet still never wanted one. (Barbie dolls – yes. But, those are in the action figure category, right?) Dolls are creepy, especially the porcelain ones. If one is in the room, I’m quite uneasy and definitely can’t have one in the room where I’m sleeping! Going to museums can be particularly challenging if they have dolls on display, even with glass between me and them. Never look directly at those empty eyes; only admire the historic clothing the dolls are wearing and move on quickly. (Oh, look! There’s a replica of an 18th century outhouse!) And, don’t EVEN invite me to watch Annabelle or any Chucky movie! It wasn’t until recently that I discovered there was a name for this phobia—pediophobia. A relatively common phobia, it is a branch of automatonophobia; which is a fear of humanoid figures. Since I do like Barbie dolls and Minecraft’s Steve, I assume I don’t have a fear of humanoid figures. (Whew!)

Many theories are connected to the cause of this phobia—Sigmund Freud’s theory that children fantasize about the dolls coming to life, for instance. (But, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, is it?) Most claim that a traumatic experience associates the dolls to fear and anxiety in a person. Maybe. But I don’t remember any traumatic experience involving dolls, unless I’ve completely blocked it out. (Time for a therapist’s couch?)

For my youngest granddaughter’s birthday this year, I bought her a “My Size” Elsa doll because Miss M is sooooooo into Frozen. My purchase was very popular with the little girls in front of me in the checkout line. (We even sang “Let it Go” together while waiting! I think I spotted a man in the line next to us mouthing the words as well!) Miss M loves her Elsa doll; which she happily lives with in her bedroom. She obviously doesn’t suffer from pediophobia.

Today, I delight in visiting the toy section with my grandson looking for another Minecraft figurine to add to our collections and to see what new LEGO® sets have appeared on the shelves. Shopping with Miss M can get a little tricky in the doll aisle, but she has a shorter attention span and the dolls are inside boxes and plastic. (Hey, M, wouldn’t you rather have an R/C tractor? Look! You can use it to help Mommy plow the garden.)

I guess of all the phobias that exist—and there are a ton of them!—this minor touch of pediophobia that I live with on a daily basis is really not so bad.

~J

Ten Things My Bestest Friends Have Taught Me

Many bloggers have posted about what their friends have taught them—college friends, best friends, bad friends, etc. I’ve read some that were hilarious, some inspiring, and even some quite sad. Today, I thought I’d jump on that bandwagon and post things my friends have taught me. (One friend told me recently that I was unteachable. I think she was kidding . . .)

The following is in no particular order.

  1. Wine drunk from a Coca-Cola glass tastes better. Diane—I think we’re overdue!
  2. I don’t have to hug if I don’t want to. I’m not a hugger by nature, but with good friends, I feel safer in doing so.
  3. I’m not as bad as I frequently think I am. Friends can give you a boost simply by being around and are much less expensive than a therapist.
  4. Laughter is a necessary contagion. Seeing the absurdness of ordinary things is a delight among my friends.
  5. Homemade is superior. Donna—pie, please! (Blue ribbon, of course. I do have standards!)
  6. It’s okay to be human. None of us are perfect, yet we’re all perfect in unison.
  7. Everyone is going through something. Personal struggles and trials can drift to the back of your mind when you’re in the company of good friends.
  8. You can always count on a true friend. Run out of gas? Need someone to lean upon at a doctor appointment? Yep. We’re there.
  9. Turn Left When in doubt . . .
  10. After knowing each other for years, we can still discover similar interests. Right, Denise?—fried bologna and Edgar Allan Poe!

Good friends are your family by choice.

~J