Life in progress


Just Jot It January 2016 Participant Badge and All-Round Pat on the Back

We did it! Just Jot It January 2016 was an unprecedented success and I owe it all to everyone who participated. It was wonderful meeting and getting to know some great bloggers who I hope to keep up with from now on and I enjoyed reading all the posts (so far – if I haven’t read your post, I’ll certainly try). The daily prompts were loads of fun, as was the opportunity to link to different blogs, though maybe I’ll do that a little differently next year. I’m thinking about holding the “competition” once a week so more people have the chance to get their prompt in, particularly those who start later in the month.

Based on this year’s excellent turnout, I may ask for help next year. I’m not sure exactly what “help” will entail yet; if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Perhaps I’ll do guest bloggers.

So this is it! Congratulations to those who linked every day in January, and thanks to all, whether you participated 31 times or once.

Here’s your badge!

JJJ Part 2016

P.S. Anyone who’s looking for a new daily prompt for February, look no more! Our friend The Bee is hosting “Love Is In Da Blog” again this year. You can find the exciting new rules here:


Just Jot It January 31st – Clumsy

I admit to feeling clumsy in the way I go about organizing these prompts of mine. The pingbacks mixed in with the comments are haphazard and I can imagine they’re more difficult to find than they should be. So hopefully sometime within the next month I’ll have time to search for a better way of doing things. It would be awesome if I could set up my page like they do at the Daily Post – I like that idea better than having an offsite compilation with someone like Linky Tools or Mr. Linky. I have what is probably an irrational fear of leaving my email address on a site I don’t know. Anyway, I’ll start with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt and go from there.

Speaking of clumsy, I’m also thinking about getting a real artist to design a new JusJoJan badge for next year. I’m starting to realize that maybe my mad Paint skillz aren’t up to snuff. And I’m getting tired of looking at the stick-figure blogger with a burning screen. If enough people insist, maybe I’ll give you all a choice when January 2017 rolls around to use the new one or keep the retro one.

Ha! Whoever thought I’d ever make it to “retro”? Not me.


The “Clumsy” prompt is brought to you by Judy at Edwina’s Episodes. Please head on over and have a read, and tell her I said hi!

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 31st post here!


Just Jot It January 30th – An- #SoCS

What if all the answers to all the questions in the world were given to us? Wouldn’t life be boring? There would be no disease, no questioning why we exist. Would there be no war? I imagine there would be no need for it, since we’d know how to sustain our peoples, our boundaries, grow all the food we’d need… and still I think life would be chaotic.

People would be so bored they would defy the logical answers. Like, what if I jump off this cliff with a bungee cord wrapped around my throat? Okay, bad example. How about, what if I jump off this cliff without first measuring my bungee cord? There is already no end to the number of risk-takers in this world. Nor is there a measurable number of stupid people. You just have to watch AFV to see a handful every week.

Having all the answers, I can only therefore deduce, would not limit the number of deaths in the world. It would only kill off the stupid people. That’s my final answer.

And how about anticipation? If we had the answer to every question in the world, we’d know how everything was going to turn out. It’d be like having precognition. (Except for the stupid people, because they’d just ignore it.) Having precognition would end hope. The end of hope would be the end of happiness.

So there you have it. If we had all the answers we’d be a population of smart, (because all the stupid people popped off after doing something stupid) miserable, yet safe and healthy people with nothing to look forward to.

Think of that next time you wish you knew the answer.

The “An-” prompt is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click here to join in, and leave your link for everyone to see!

SoCS badge 2015

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here. Join in today! It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 23rd post here at this post.

Note: If you combine SoCS and JusJoJan in one post, make sure you ping back to both this post and the Friday Reminder post.


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Jan. 30/16

Welcome! It’s Friday, and at Life in progress that means it’s time for the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt!  Tomorrow is a special day for me here at WordPress – it’s my third unofficial WP anniversary, so I’ve decided to let the prompt reflect that in my usual roundabout way. The SoCS prompt will also be tomorrow’s Just Jot It January prompt word (if you can call it a word… I suppose you can), so if you want to use it for your JusJoJan post, go right ahead, and if you want to combine the two challenges you can do that too!  On with the prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “an-”  Use it as a word or find a word that starts with the letters “an” and make it your post’s theme. Have fun!

After you’ve written your Saturday post tomorrow, please link it here at this week’s prompt page and check to make sure it’s here in the comments so others can find it and see your awesome Stream of Consciousness post. Anyone can join in!

To make your post more visible, use the SoCS badge! Just paste it in your Saturday post so people browsing the reader will immediately know your post is stream of consciousness and/or pin it as a widget to your site to show you’re a participant. Wear it with pride!!

SoCS badge 2015

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


Just Jot It January 29th – Ghost

Let me start by saying I’m afraid of ghosts. At least other people’s ghosts. Their ghost stories scare me. I think it must be the unpredictability of them, because I’m fine with writing my own ghost stories.

For me, a ghost story has to have a romantic element for it to be enjoyable. Like in the movie Ghost, which is arguably the most famous purely paranormal romance out there, there has to be a feeling of comfort for me to be able to watch it or read it. I remember the first time I tried to read Stephen King’s The Shining – I couldn’t. I got as far as the twins in the hallway and I had to put it down. Yes, I was only about fourteen years old at the time, but it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I was able to read the whole thing. And I still look for a spooky set of twins every time I stay in a hotel. Especially if it’s an old one.

It’s funny, I used to love to be scared by certain movies and books (but not too scared, Mr. King) but now I’d really rather not. Is that growing up? Or growing old?

The “Ghost” prompt is brought to you by Barbara at teleportingweena. If you don’t already know her, please pop over and have a read!

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 29th post here!


Just Jot It January 28th – Serendipity

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about serendipity on this blog. The last time was just a little more than two years ago. I talked about how I met my children’s father; it was a serendipitous occasion.

However, something happened more recently that makes me think it’s possible for serendipity to work in reverse. Allow me to tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a girl who was walking alone around Tokyo, browsing through the open air market on a crisp but sunny November day in 2015 when she came across a man selling silver jewelry. This girl loved silver jewelry, in fact she was wearing four rings upon her fingers, all of them in silver.

As she perused the gentleman’s wares, she came across a ring that was identical to one of those she was wearing. Unable to contain her excitement at the chances of this happening, she pointed to the ring on the stand and then to the ring on her finger, to share with the man this unbelievable find. What she didn’t have the vocabulary in Japanese to say was that she had bought the ring she was wearing eleven years ago… in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada!

Extraordinary, wouldn’t you say?

Fast forward to Sunday, January 24th, 2016, the very same girl was out taking pictures when she accidentally took a picture of her ring with her cell phone.


How silly, she thought, and she considered deleting the picture but for some reason she didn’t. And now the girl is glad, for she had no way of knowing she would lose that very same ring the next day. No more than she could have known she should have bought its duplicate when she found it in Tokyo.

Because as it turns out, she found her ring in the most unlikely place in the world, two months before she lost it.

The “Serendipity” prompt is brought to you by Jan at JT Twissel. If you don’t already know her, please head on over and have a read!

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 28th post here!


Just Jot It January 27th – Mendaciloquent

Mendaciloquent. Yes, you read it right. Or did you? It seems to be one of those words that can only be found in places like the Grandiloquent Dictionary. The closest Merriam-Webster and Oxford come to it is mendacious. According to my trusty thesaurus, mendacious is synonymous with deceitful, fraudulent, and untrustworthy, among others. From what I can gather, mendaciloquent means all that, but to the nth degree. Perhaps it’s lying with eloquence.

I was amused in a wry sort of way that a few mentions of politics came up on the first page of my Google search for the word of the day. I could talk about how much I love The Donald, (that’s sarcasm … or is it mendaciloquence? I’m not sure anymore) but you wouldn’t be able to shut me up for days. And then I’d be told to, “go back to Canada!”, to which I’d reply, “I never left!” and then a wall would go up and it would be a complete mess, so I won’t talk about liars in politics.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it ’til I die – I don’t see the point in lying just for the sake of lying. Or for the sake of making oneself look better in someone else’s eyes. The truth always comes out eventually. Even fiction, no matter what the story, no matter how outrageous it may be, has its own truth.

The problem arises when people can’t discern the difference between fiction and dishonesty. There are people out there who build their entire lives around a fiction. They survive by it; then it’s devastating for them when reality seeps in.

The truth is now I need to go to bed. That ain’t no mendaciloquence.

The “Mendaciloquent” prompt is brought to you by Coralee at Musefully Mendaciloquent. If you don’t already know her, click on the link and check out her blog!

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 27th post here! If you’d like to combine this with One-Liner Wednesday (which will be posted several hours after this), have at it! Just be sure to link back to both prompts.


Just Jot It January Prompt for Wednesday Jan. 27th

This is it! I’m posting one last time to ask for your help in choosing a prompt word for tomorrow’s Just Jot It January.

The rules for getting your prompt in are:

  1. Enter one word in the comments below. If your comment includes more than one word, your suggestion will be eliminated.
  2. If you’ve already contributed to the existing prompts for the rest of the month, you are automatically disqualified.
  3. Come up with something original. The existing prompt words can be found here: Please make sure you don’t enter a duplicate.
  4. Any word is eligible, just keep it clean.
  5. The first one to write their word below, wins. Hurry up!

P.S. If your word is the first and is chosen, you’ll also have your blog linked to my daily post tomorrow. It’s well worth the effort!

Thank you!!



Just Jot It January 26th – Oneness

There are certain things we humans naturally feel a oneness with. Being joined by the tradition of marriage; being a couple rather than an individual and having your name synonymous with someone else’s of your choosing creates a sense of completeness. The birth of a child between a couple who love one another is a bond that cannot be broken. For that matter, our families as well as our friends, nature, or even a good book can cause a feeling of oneness. But etched in my mind was one bond I can recall with great clarity. It was with my horse.

His name was Shadow and he was a mutt – part quarter horse, part thoroughbred; we were never really sure. I bought him from the lady who owned the farm where I guided trails but I eventually moved him closer to where I lived. Close by was a conservation area, the Vivian Forest, consisting partly of natural forest and partly planted rotating forestation, which spans almost 5,600 acres. I could ride for eight hours without seeing the same trail twice. Shadow and I knew the place very well.

There were a few rides, just me and my horse, that I’ll never forget. Once, riding along a well-worn trail, we came too close to an owl’s nest. She wasn’t pleased: she flew at us, soaring over my head three or four times as I ducked down as close as I could to Shadow’s mane and we galloped the hell out of there. Another time we were walking, on our way home, when Shadow came to a dead halt, head up, ears pricked. Rather than urge him on, I sat still on his back and looked in the same direction he was staring; a fully antlered buck, almost the size of my horse walked out of the forest on to the trail, stopped, stared at us, and crossed the trail, disappearing back into the woods.

But there was one ride that truly made me feel that oneness. It was early summer and I’d just finished an overnight shift at the 24 hour gas station I was working at at the time. Rather than head home to bed, I decided to go out on Shadow for a while. We went a long way that morning and on the way home I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. So I closed them and fell almost all the way to sleep in the shade of the forest, while Shadow took me home. What an incredible feeling of oneness it was.

The “Oneness” prompt is brought to you by Carol at WritersDream9. Pop on over and say hi!

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 26th post here!


Just Jot It January 25th – Prestidigitation

Funny story: When I saw “prestidigitation” suggested as a prompt by my friend, the lovely Pamela, I have to admit I cringed a little bit. There’s a mouthful, I thought. I wonder what it means? Regardless of my initial reaction, I was looking forward to writing a post on it. It’s a fact that I work better under pressure, at least when writing is concerned. I believe in this fact so much that I forced myself to wait until I was ready to write this post to look the word up in the dictionary. When I did, I had to laugh at myself.

You see, as it turns out I have been writing about prestidigitation quite constantly, quite vigorously, and quite intently, for more than four years without realizing it. My novel, which took eighteen months to write and is on its seventh revision, is about a magician. Prestidigitation means to perform magic.

How did I not know this?!?

So thank you, Pamela. The word “prestidigitation” will find its way into my novel. And that page will be dedicated to you!

Speaking of prestidigitators, you may remember I met a very nice magician last summer and requested an interview with him, both for my own research and to share with the public. I’m quite embarrassed to say I still haven’t managed to use that interview anywhere, but I haven’t given up. I plan to try pitching it to a few more places but, if I’ve had no success by the end of March, I’ll post the interview here. Please look forward to it!

The “Prestidigitation” prompt is brought to you by Pamela at Butterfly Sand. If you don’t already know her, please click on the link and have a read!

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 21st post here!