Blogging Insights (11 January 2021)

This week Tanya over at Salted Caramel asks a couple:

Do you like reading posts written for prompts? If so, what kind?

If I take part in a particular prompt, I try to commit myself to reading other people’s responses. I sometimes miss one or two but I’m usually pretty good. So, reading prompt responses comes with the territory.

That also means:

  • if I don’t think I’ll have time to read other responses, I’ll usually skip the prompt.
  • when I do sit down to look through other responses, I’m going to be reading ten, twenty, maybe even thirty responses to that prompt. So, however long a post is, multiply that by thirty, say, and that’s how long it’ll take me to plough through the bunch. Bottom line, the kind of responses I like are short ones!

Poetry is a good one there, as poems are usually a quick read. But here I must admit to being a bit simple – I prefer direct language and I often don’t understand some of the poems I read. I do write some poems myself – you can’t beat a good limerick – but I deliberately try to be obvious, in your face. It’s very “schoolboy” stuff.

For long posts, whether I even try to read them depends on how much time I have abailable to me.Bearing in mind that WordPress is not my main activity.

When you publish a piece in answer to a prompt, do you read entries by other bloggers? If so, do you read them before or after you have written your own?

After. I try to catch up with my daily prompts the same day, but weekly prompts. I tend to wait four or five days. This is because responses tend to come in dribs and drabs, so I try to wait until “most” have come in. I don’t get stressed about those I miss.

Especially with the music prompt I used to take part in, I used to think of a response and think “that’s so obvious, everybody will think of that one”. But, they never did! It was rare, anyway.

I’d tag onto this that I’d expect the person who issued the prompt to read the responses, even if nobody else does. If people have taken time out to write a response, then I think the prompt-issuer should at least take the trouble to read them. In fact, I once stopped taking part in a prompt for that reason. But… it won’t be anybody who finds themself reading this, this goes way, way back. I think that’s really the committment you make when you decide to host a prompt.


The next day. I’m sorry, I really don’t like adding to posts, once they#re live. But I realised there was a glaring hole above.

Some bloggers will say, I’ll read other responses if I have the time. My view on this: if there’s time to write a post, then there’s time to read a post.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #100

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #100, where we write about this photo from artbyrandy at Morguefile.

It was a the middle of summer’s, and Andy was glad to have escaped the city for the day.

For his mom’s seventieth birthday, then had decided to spend the day together, and she had chosen the Rubio Gardens, about forty miles out of the city. Andy remembered going there a few times, as a child, but… it must have been two decades…

As they strolled along the pathway, Andy could hear the sound of music, and as they rounded the bend, he saw a well-manicured pond. Beside the pond was the source of the music, a bearded man strumming a guitar. Then he smelled the incense. As he watched, the man picked up a bunch of flowers. And drew a figure-of-eight in the air. He put the flowers down again and resumed playing. As he and his mom admired the pond, a few minutes later, he saw the man repeat the action.

The man’s actions were clearly deliberate, and Andy was perplexed.

The next time the man stopped, Andy pounced. “Excuse me”, he called. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what are you doing?”. A thick country accent answered him – he was certainly not from around these parts,

“I’m the Wasp Whisperer”, the man said.

Andy was taken aback. “The w-w-w-what?”

“I charms the wasps away, I strum on this guitar, that charms them. Then I wafts these fresh-cut flowers about the place… They catch the incense as well, and… well, I’m not sure why, but they goes all quiet, like. This place pays me, keep some of the wasps away from the people eating their lunch.” He gestured toward a wall, and Andy could hear cutlery on the other side.

“These country folk”, thought Andy, “I’ll never figure them out.”

Nipped in the Bud

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 11 January 2021, operation.

As a youngster, went crabbing with chum,
When one creature latched onto his thumb,
It required operation,
To remove this crustacean,
Leaving poor guy’s hand withered and numb.