Those are “the Snarkies Nominees” and the Winner is …

I have no hope for modern music, I have hope for modern music.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Snark Bombs, Away!.” Try your hand at parody or satire — take an article, film, blog post, or song you find misguided, and use humor to show us how.

“Stitches” by Shawn Mendes. Holy smokes in my life I’e never heard such atrocious and shallow lyrics. It’s as if his teacher assiged him the job of writing what it’s like to fall and slice yourself up in front of a car. I suppose I am getting older now at 46 and I should give some grace to the acts out there making tunes these days. I get it that love can mess you up. I also get it that it can be painful. How old is our Shawn though? I’d gamble 15 or less. Can he know the good parts of suffering and learning through love at his age? I know I didn’t at that point.

There are many more examples of stupid lyrics out there. For the record, I love the melody to “Stitches.” It’s just the lyrics that have me pressing “FWD” on Spotify. Meagan Trainor is another gross offender with lines like “Momma told me men want a big booty to hold at night.” I won’t disagree but dear me, such a crass approach to songwriting. The other day I heard children singing, “Sex you like Marvin Gaye.” Oh my goodness, I’m about ready to punch my ticket when I hear spoiled brats getting paid to put this stuff out. I keep hope open for new stuff. One band that I actually really like is “Lonely the Brave” from Scotland. Check this guitar and vocal driven song out.

“How do we forgive our fathers?”: Forgiveness and Healing in ‘Smoke Signals’ | Bitch Flicks

I finally watched “Smoke Signals.” and I have to say it was touching and almost spiritual in depth the way it dealt with a father/son conflict. The Native American culture has so much to offer us even now in 2015. If you’re a dad or a son, this one’s for you. Check out this haunting quote Thomas recites at the end of the film:

How do we forgive our fathers?

Maybe in a dream

Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often or

forever when we were little?

. . .

Do we forgive our fathers in our age or in theirs or in their

deaths, saying it to them, or not saying it?

If we forgive our fathers, what else is left?


Source: “How do we forgive our fathers?”: Forgiveness and Healing in ‘Smoke Signals’ | Bitch Flicks

Specter Behind the Glass

The age old question is “Would you want to know the time of your death?” There are so many movies about time travel and this question is relevant time and time again for me. I say no but sometimes in my past, knowing the future would have been very helpful.

In response to Writer’s Workshop #5. Write about a time you thought there was a ghost. and The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Out of Your Reach.” Was there a toy or thing you always wanted as a child, during the holidays or on your birthday, but never received? Tell us about it.

In junior high school, my friend got a shiny red Riva scooter for his 15th birthday. I was sick with jealousy. I had seen this scooter on television and behind glass at the Honda showroom store in the mall by my house. Every fifteen year old dreams of the open road and this dream was no different. When my friend got his and brought it by, I really really wanted to force my parents at gunpoint to buy me one. Things like this growing up are out of reach and visible only “behind the glass” so to speak. As it turned out I got a scooter later and it ended up being even cooler. Unfortunately none could tell me anything good until that happened.

Another time I was seduced by something behind the glass was when some friends of mine dared me to go see a ghost in the garage of an abandoned house. I sat there until my eyes adjusted and I swear I saw something move. It was creepy and I ran all the way home. Only later in my childhood would I find out the kids were in there messing around and my pupils had not yet dilated enough to see them for what they were. Like the scooter, this elusive specter just needed time to be revealed. If only we had a time machine to see if what was behind the glass was real or not.

By the Dots

As a writer who started serious endeavors back in college earning his BA and MA in English, I’ve had a lot of experience with the elements of style. There are so many things I’ve picked up along the way but one thing stands out as personally significant.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “By the Dots.” We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!

I had grown to overuse parentheses to signify asides in my writing. I noticed it not after writing but years later going through looking for good stuff and finding out I was doing this in an exorbitant fashion. Here’s an example:

I had lunch (my favorite meal of course) with my brother (I have one and two sisters).

I see this over usage with many bloggers. I think it’s tempting to do it because in blogging you are simply relaying a diary to your readers. There aren’t the usual trappings of MLA or APA and certainly no one giving you a grade per se.

I think about the silent readers, the ones who never comment. The best way to consider them is to read my work before and after it’s published making changes if needed. I decided to self-impose a ban on parentheses for a while. That was almost 3 years ago. I guess I realized they were almost never necessary. For asides, appositives, and extra notes I want put in a sentence I no longer use parentheses. Now I just use the comma appositive sort of format. I feel this has made me a better writer and hopefully a more palatable one for my reader.


Sometimes my best inventions are not really inventions but coupling of existing services and raw materials around me. I use flickr in a very unique and highly effective way that some people may have never thought of.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Brainwave.” What’s the best idea you’ve ever had? Regale us with every detail of the idea — the idea itself, where it came to you, and the problem it solved.

Painting done!This photo is hosted by flickr. This is significant because it takes up no space on my self-hosted account. Beyond that, it preserves my photos in a highly customize-able format with amazing tagging and archival features as well. My great idea isn’t inventing flickr but it is integrating it into my blogging and social media. I use flickr as a photo host for my “photo statuses” on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and occasionally my blog Riley Central. I do this through the use of IFTTT, If this then that. The trigger I use is uploading a public photo to flickr. When I do so, IFTTT send the photo and any text I put in the title or description to all my social media services with one click. BeachFor my blog, I want to preserve the space on my account. I get 30G for $29/month on Bluehost but photos and other data can quickly max that out. Using Flickr as a photo host allows me to have access to all my photos on my blog in an easily accessible way. It also provides my flickr photostream with new photos automatically whenever I put photos in a post, which is virtually every day. Since I started doing this, I’ve gained 33 more followers on flickr,
without even trying to enhance my photostream. So, the final result of using flickr as a photo source is that all my social accounts, including flickr, benefit in the quality I am sending out to the blogosphere. I can organize my photos much easier on flickr than WordPress or the other services, and I forgot to mention that flickr gives its users 1T of space for free! Try as I might, I will never use that much space. Note: if you click on these photos you’ll see how they integrate back into flickr. Comments and share buttons are available on the photos there. So, that’s the idea I chose to share today. It’s not the first, best, or the last but I think it’s relevant to bloggers.

Follow my photostream on flickr.