Daily Prompt: Personal Space – Freedom and Compromise

No matter how many ways you slice and dice it, there is always some compromise between blogging for oneself and designing posts to attract a bigger audience. There’s little reason to blog if no one else is enjoying your work. I’m suspicious of people who say they don’t care whether or not anyone visits their site. If that were true, why bother? Why not keep a diary? Much of the joy of blogging is being part of a community, of forming relationships all over the world.

The compromise? I try not to get blinded by my own enthusiasms and remain mindful that some things I love aren’t interesting to most other people. My passion for medieval history and religious philosophy is not everybody’s cup of tea. Even my most ardent fan — my husband — will glaze over when I stay over long in one of these areas. So, when I post this material, I don’t expect to draw a huge audience. I’ve been occasionally surprised when such a post is well-received. Then again, I’m often not so pleasantly surprised when a post I think will have great appeal goes uncommented and unnoticed.

There’s no logical explanation why one post hits big and another does not find an audience. I have run the same posts multiple times and gotten very different results each time though I haven’t changed anything. Luck and timing count too. That’s the wild card.

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For the most part, I do what pleases me. I know writing on “hot” topics can produce bigger numbers, but I will only get involved in current trends if it genuinely interests me. Overall, my strategic lack of strategy has worked out pretty well. I get decent numbers, have a loyal following, have formed good relationships with other bloggers and as a reward, genuinely enjoy what I’m doing. If I only wrote to get “the popular vote,” it would be like having an unpaid job. On the other hand, knowing that there are people out there who really like my stuff is satisfying and makes the effort worth it. Without the satisfaction of sometimes making a difference, I’d quit.

It is a balancing act. I won’t ignore the topic or event that appears to be on everyone’s mind, but I will not automatically write about the current hot topic just because it’s hot. I try to avoid mindless partisanship and to keep an open mind. Easier said than done. I could be more popular if I worked at it, but the place I am is good. I believe it will get better. I’m not tied to a boss or an editorial policy.

I get to be myself. So far, so good.

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Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 11 – Remake! — Leda and the Swan, Take 2

For more than 50 years, I have been nurturing this idea and I have to thank you for giving me an opportunity to tell the world.

Back in my bright college days, I was for the first 2 years, a music major. When my fellow wannabe musicians hung out on the quad on warm sunny days, we would plan projects that were going to make us famous. Symphonies were planned. Great achievements as conductors and composers were spun as glorious dreams, although I don’t know that my class actually produced anyone who really hit the big time. Medium time seems to be as good as we got.

But my dream, my great project, was a full musical comedy based on the story of Leda and the Swan. I thought Broadway because in those days, there were no computer generated graphics to make the impossible real on-screen. Now, I think perhaps Hollywood would be the correct venue for this masterpiece.

In the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan, Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces, or rapes Leda. Which is never made entirely clear, but I vote for seduction since I have a lot of trouble visualizing rape by a swan. I mean, even as Zeus … swans are not agile except on water. They have trouble with take offs being rather heavy-bodied. Moreover, the lack of hands and arms seems to make rape a rather difficult to manage business. Regardless, Leda becomes pregnant from the experience. She bears Helen and Polydeuces, both children of Zeus. Simultaneously (and I’d like to know how she managed this), she also gives birth to Castor and Clytemnestra who are the offspring of her human husband Tyndareus, King of Sparta.

In the myth, Leda is able to convince her parents and husband that despite all  logic or reason, her extraneous pregnancy was not the result of a lover or promiscuous sexual behavior. No, no! Honest to gods (we are in a polytheistic world, remember), really, no kidding, it was Zeus who did it. Not merely was it Zeus, not some guy, but he was in the form of a swan!

I figured there were a couple of potential show-stopping moments with high comedic potential embedded in this.

The first … and perhaps my favorite scene … would have to be the first act closer. In this highly emotional musical extravaganza, Leda pours out her distress in a heart-rending lyric soprano rich with passion. In it, she explains that it really truly was Zeus.

Leda: Even in the form of a swan, I knew it was Zeus. And you all know how much I love birds and feathers, right? I mean … what girl could resist such a gorgeous bird who is, after all, the top God in the Pantheon? No kidding. I wouldn’t lie to you.

Tyndareus, King of Sparta: I want to believe you, but I’m having a few problems with this.

Leda: Trust me, dear. It was Zeus. As a swan. You know how clever he can be.

Later, we all get to see the central event, Leda’s experience. In the carefully choreographed dream sequence, Leda relives the heady romance of the seduction. I’m assuming it was seduction rather than rape. I mean, how big was that swan anyhow? And, uh, some of the technical aspects of the experience make for interesting mental meanderings. How, exactly, did … well … this is a G-rated site, so I won’t get too specific. Suffice to say it would make one heck of a scene on stage. Even better, now that CGI has come of age, with some well done special effects?

Wow, this could have the audience on its feet! I can hear the applause from here. I see the royalties rolling in. I ought to add that depending on which version of the story you read, Leda either gave birth to babies … or eggs.

Eggs open up a whole new set of possibilities. If she birthed eggs, did she have to sit on them until they hatched? As Queen of Sparta, could she order her court attendants sit on the eggs in her place while she performed her royal duties? Did she build a nest? In the palace? Did the issue of this union feel a lifelong need to dive into lakes and ponds? Were they born knowing how to swim?

Zeus?
Zeus?

Inquiring minds want to know! Details, details. Please?

I’m a bit long in the tooth now for writing a full musical comedy, but I freely offer this incredible concept to anyone who feels inclined to flush it out. I think it might just launch more than one career. You think?

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Days Of Our Lives Drifting Through My Mind…

This is such an amazing, terrifying, remarkable — and true — story, I hope all of you will read it.

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Days of our lives drifting through my mind…life is forever…right? Our lives were running out of time with only seconds left…run…run from what? Wait…what? RUN NOW!

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Looking back now, the images seem almost surreal. Everything that happened to us, happened in a matter of seconds. We were all players, fulfilling our roles in this real life and death drama…only it was our life and death drama and it was very real. We survived the unusual flash flood, the timing of us all being together was a blessing from above. The flood went down in history due to the massive amount of water and debris, calling it a historic 100 year flash flood.

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This post is a bit different as it picks up where the last one left off but I have added more photos of the flood’s destruction. I will tell part of the story and add a picture, describing…

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