WHICH ONE OF ME IS ME? – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s Provocative Question #5

Behind the words for this prompt is a blurry, but genuine picture of a rare Pileated Woodpecker, the “you better believe it” Woody Woodpecker. I have seen this guy a few times and they are rare, but we have one living in our woods. He doesn’t come to the feeder. I’ve seen him working on a nearby tree and this time, I saw him fly past the deck and deep into the woods. I have a 750-mm lens on this camera, but that Woodpecker was WAY back in the woods and there were a million twigs and branches in front of him. So this is as good a picture as I could get. It’s pretty blurry, but at least I can say with some surety that I’m not delusional. We really have a gorgeous Pileated Woodpecker living in our backyard. If ONLY I could focus on him!

Is there anyone who is the same all the time? I know I was different at work than at home. Different at home than when out with friends. Different writing than not writing. Different talking to strangers than chatting with family.

Garry had two almost opposing personalities for work and non-work. He was aggressively outgoing in his professional life. He had to be because that was what the work required. Personally, he was quiet and sometimes shy, though over the years the two parts have fused and become more alike.

We all have more than one face, whether we realize it or not. I think writers notice it more than non-writers. One of the great joys of writing for me is having the opportunity to clean up reality. Not scour it smooth, but get rid of the dust on the edges and smooth out the lumps in the middle. I figure we all tidy up reality as we write.

This isn’t a diary. I see no reason to expose everything going on in my sometimes very wacko brain.

The writing “me” is a more thoughtful “me.” In real life, I’m crabbier and more tired. Writing is painless; reality isn’t. Real me is in a lot of pain most of the time and could use a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, real and writing me has a great sense of humor. Even when I believe I’m dying, the idea is too hilarious to ignore. I almost tore my newly reworked heart out because I couldn’t stop laughing. Did you know it really hurts to laugh after major surgery?

Besides, I can’t be dead. Who’d write my blog?

I work at not talking about what’s bothering me. No one likes a whiner. I don’t even like me when I whine, so I certainly don’t want to put it all into print.

Sadly, the pain is probably the thing I spend the most time cleaning up. I wish cleaning it up as a writer would make it go away for real.

What might be the most interesting change since I began blogging 7 years ago (without the foggiest idea of what I wanted to do — or why) is how much clearer I am in my writing goals. I know what I’m writing. I know what effect it will have. I even know when what I am planning to say is going to piss a lot of people off.

Sometimes, I just need to piss people off. It’s part of the wacko thing.

Categories: Birds, Blogging, Daily Prompt, Photography, Provocative Questions, Writing

Tags: , , , , ,

29 replies

  1. I really love the effect you did with the Pileated Woodpecker.


  2. I started writing my blog as a means to perfect my writing and story telling. It quickly evolved into connecting with other writers and for me has become fundamentally a part of my day. I love reading your and other blogs, I love the humour and knowledge and wisdom portrayed here and it has given my life purpose in a lot of ways. I’m so glad your here, Marilyn, you and several others.


  3. It’s a way of working things out in our minds, when we put them on paper.


  4. “I figure we all tidy up reality as we write.” True. And for those of us who enjoy writing flash fiction posts, we create a different “reality” as we write.


  5. You are having such fun. You with your woodpeckers, I with my hibiscus!! And poinsettias.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The big redheaded woodpecker is actually pretty rare, so I feel privileged to have one on my property. I wish he’d sidle up to the house and let me take his picture. Properly.

      I love your flowers. You have a great place for growing pretty much everything!


      • I do. And a great gardener to water them for me. I do some planting and trimming. All of the buying of plants and deciding where they go. I’ve earned this. Man, i used to spend hours everyday in the garden..and all my own housework, raising kids , writing and doing shows, making the art and curator of the art center. I do not know how i did it. The raising of kids full time was only a few years. That helped. Now I can barely get the blogs done, animals fed and house organized. Very little art, some socializing and travel.


        • I can’t imagine how I actually WORKED. I have NO time for work. I barely have time for fun!

          In my house in New York, I didn’t have any curtains. I had HUGE windows and all of them were completely covered by growing plants. I had HUNDREDS of them. I started with a handful given to me by a friend who said “Put them in a window. Water ONLY when dry.” A year later, not only had they propagated, but I would come home from work and find cuttings on my porch. Total strangers brought me cuttings. Eventually, I bought a little hose I attached to the kitchen sink so I could water them all in less than a full day, but I was always cutting and tweaking and re-potting, dividing et al.

          One day, I decided to divorce Jeff, move to Israel and do something else with my life. In Israel, I only had a few hundred plants and all lived outside on the balcony. The climate was very Arizona.

          Everything was a cactus, a petunia, or a geranium. These were only plants that could tolerate that much intense sun. When I got back here, I didn’t want to spend all my time running an indoor nursery. So I got a few little plants that got insanely huge. I’ve given away a lot of giant plants to people who had somewhere to put them. I’m back to small again. I think I’m sticking to things that don’t grow so tall … and I’m carefully NOT building plant racks and shelves, though my son delivered hooks and ropes the other day. I think he’s decided I need more plants. He, Garry, Tom, and my friends Ben and Cherrie are the only people who remember I used to live IN a nursery.

          I never thought of myself as having a green thumb. I just knew what did well and chose to grow things that did well in my environment. But you know? I always knew which way was north, south, east, and west because I had to know where to put each type of plant. You don’t really forget things. They just get stored in your external brain storage units 😀

          I wish I had someone to take care of the gardens. My outdoor gardens are sadly neglected.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I love the redheads. Is it like Woody Woodpecker, pileated?


      • We had acorn Woodpeckers in CA. Not pileated, but red-capped like a


  6. You really did capture the Pileated Woodpecker, even if blurry and dim! He’s beautiful! Don’t dust and polish too much — just a little does it as we work through the world’s issues!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mostly, I try not to complain a lot. It doesn’t help AND it doesn’t make me — or anyone else — feel better. Yes, you actually CAN see the big woodpecker. You know how on tv, they take a tiny piece of a picture and blow it up and you can see everything? It doesn’t work that way in real life. I spent the evening trying and those were as good as I got.


  7. I like your idea of tidying up reality as we write!

    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Just another WordPress site

The Small Dog

Life from the Tail End

Cee's Chronic Illness Sisterhood

Peer support and hope for women with Chronic Illness and their support team.

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.


Independent views from someone who offers some historical context


I use the best, I use the rest

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns



The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writing, and More



Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World


Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

%d bloggers like this: