Tag Archives: #animals

U is for Useful


by Lillian Csernica on April 25, 2022

In Writing Open the Mind, author Andy Couturier describes how asymmetry can help the reader participate in our writing, creating a fresh and dynamic experience. “Since each combination of these dissimilar parts suggests its own meaning, its own interest and power, asymmetry in visual art or in writing encourages participation by the viewer or reader in the fertile process of creation. In a sense, writing asymmetrically is generous, because it gives the reader many different ways to understand, instead of insisting on one, that is only our own.”

I keep all the fortunes I get from fortune cookies. My friends and family know I do this, so they tend to give me theirs as well. Over the years I’ve collected at least two glass jars full of fortunes. I decided to experiment with “writing asymmetrically” by pulling out a dozen fortunes and setting them aside without reading them. I wrote out twelve questions, just going with whatever popped into mind, then printed out that page. I cut up the questions into twelve strips of paper and mixed them up, setting them aside face down in one pile beside the fortunes already waiting in the other pile. I chose a question and typed it in, then chose an answer and typed that below the question. The results can be used for writing prompts, scene dialogue, a personal journal entry, etc.

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Q: What makes life worth living?

A: A goal is a dream with a deadline.

(Sound advice. Failing to plan is planning to fail.)

Q: Who knows the secret of eternal youth?

A: You will soon be crossing desert sands for a fun vacation.

(Why does this make me think of Las Vegas or Palm Springs?)

Q: What advice would you give to your granddaughter?

A: Look closely at your surroundings.

(Furniture? Objet d’art? Choosing the most worthy granddaughter?)

Q: How do you solve the problem of time travel?

A: Good fortune is always on your side.

(So you’ll have a good time wherever you go!)

Q: Where can you find true Paradise on earth?

A: You are always welcome in any gathering.

(Makes sense.)

Q: What did the monkey say to the banana?

A: Look for the dream that keeps coming back. It is your destiny.

(I’m guessing the monkey dreams about really big bananas.)

Q: How do you bring a smile to the sourest face?

A: You must learn to broaden your horizons, day by day.

(Some people bring happiness by arriving, others by departing.)

Q: I’ve lost my car keys and I have no money. Now what?

A: You are a lover of words.

(Talk your way out of that one!)

Q: How does one restore lost innocence?

A: An unexpected payment is coming your way.

(If money can’t buy happiness, it certainly can’t restore lost innocence!)

Q: Why are word problems always so confusing?

A: Laughter shall fuel your spirit’s engine.

(My teacher tended to laugh at a lot of my answers, that’s for sure.)

Q: Why are we told there are always more fish in the sea?

A: Little brooks make great rivers.

(This pairing was an accident, I swear.)

Q: What do you get if you cross a rhino with a stapler?

A: Follow your instincts when making decisions.

(First, don’t cross a rhino. Second, don’t do it with a stapler!)

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Filed under #atozchallenge, Blog challenges, creativity, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, homework, Humor, memoirs, research, Writing

R is for Relaxation


by Lillian Csernica on April 21, 2022

As you may have gathered from some of my previous posts, my life is rather stressful. Finding reliable methods of relaxation is essential. Here are a few of my favorites.

Watching the wildlife

Various members of the local wildlife community who turn up in my back yard. I live on an acre of land with a creek that runs along the southern property line. The wildfires in California caused such a loss of habitat I’m happy to see the critters show up here. The regulars include ravens, crows, ducks, wild turkeys, woodpeckers, and two dozen species of songbirds. Squirrels both red ad gray live in the trees on both banks of the creek. There are two skunks who snuffle around late at night. Once in a while I’ll see a ‘possum.

Coloring books

Entangled Night Skies from Creative Haven uses Angela Porter’s wonderful designs. It takes some work to color in all the separate elements of each page, but it’s well worth it. There’s no particular deadline, so I can go at my own pace and linger over the colors I enjoy the most.

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Bad ghost chaser movies

I find these entertaining if only because they’re so predictable. Ignoring all the warnings. Blowing off that creepy sense of being watched. The lights flickering. Will the problem be in the attic or the basement? The popularity of paranormal investigation movies has given me the opportunity to gain some insight into other cultures. Scandinavia, India, Poland, Turkey, France…. All over the world, things go bump in the night!

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Filed under #atozchallenge, bad movies, Blog challenges, nature, therapy, Writing